N. Ireland minister hopes for more exchanges with East Tenn.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Even the many Americans with Irish ancestry may not think of Ireland much except on St. Patrick's Day.

But Northern Ireland hopes to take advantage of a growing interest in genealogy to promote a cultural and tourism exchange between that region and East Tennessee.

Many of the whites who settled in East Tennessee in the 18th century where Scots-Irish who left Ulster for the Appalachian frontier.

Northern Ireland Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Edwin Poots, was in Tennessee last week and says he sees a "significant opportunity" for tourism and exchanges between the two regions.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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