During a visit to London’s 2012 Olympic site, President Mary McAleese said that the project was providing many opportunities for the Irish construction sector and that it was up to the Irish to use them and use them well.

President McAleese was taken on a tour of London’s 2012 Olympic Site in East London by Sir John Armitt, Chairman of the ODA.

The President met Irish contactors who are working on the 246 hectare site and some of their apprentices. Of the 9,000 workers currently working on the site, 10% are Irish.

President McAleese said: ‘This very exciting project is proving very beneficial to Ireland on many levels, first of all, as you know, the construction industry in Ireland has come to a bit of a stand still and there are a lot of people looking for opportunities outside Ireland.

‘Many of them have found those opportunities here, builders, surveryors, project managers, architects and anybody involved in the construction business hoping to get work here.

‘Evidence of the Irish contribution here is all around, the names on many of the hoardings are very very familiar, all associated with the Irish construction sector, I am very proud that 10% of the work force here is Irish.

‘They are involved in everything from lifting the blocks to major architectural projects. That's very good news. That's at the construction phase, and then there is the fit out phase.

‘That's a very important element for us in terms of supplying goods and services. I was talking to one contractor this morning who bringing in cladding from north of Dublin.

'A good example of work being generated and opportunities being generated back in Ireland thanks to the Oympic site.'