Wexford courts new 'twin' in Belguim

By David Tucker

Published 14/04/2015 | 00:00

Cllr. Fergie |Kehoe with Wexford native Jacqui Menard Byrne (on left) taking part in the tradition of the Gilles march through Fleurus in Belgium.
Cllr. Fergie |Kehoe with Wexford native Jacqui Menard Byrne (on left) taking part in the tradition of the Gilles march through Fleurus in Belgium.

Wexford's twinning committee is just back from Fleurus in Belgium after a two-day visit that could see the town twinned with another European neighbour.

Mayor Cllr. George Lawlor, Cllr. Fergie Kehoe and Wexford municipal district manager Angela Laffan took part in the Easter visit following an invitation from the Belgium town's twinning committee.

The Wexford delegation was accompanied during the visit by former Wexford town resident Jacqui Ménard Byrne who is a councillor in the French town of Coueron which is already twinned with Wexford and Fleurus, the addition of which would create 'a twinning triangle'.

'We are interested in twinning with another European country, so we can draw down European funding,' said Cllr. Kehoe, 'the invitation from Fleurus dates back to the old borough council days, but at that time we were unable to draw on Europe for funds, now we are,' he said.

The next step is for a twinning delegation from Fleurus to visit Wexford and to talks about the prospect of cultural and sporting links and exchanges between clubs.

During the visit to Fleurus, the Wexford delegation met the mayor and were shown some of the town's culture, and participated in the tradition of the Gilles, in which people stuff their costumes with straw before marching to the town hall where they are greeted by the mayor, signifying the end of winter and the start of summer.

'It was a very good visit and we made a lot of links,' said Cllr. Kehoe.

As well as with Coueron, Wexford has a twinning agreement with the Italian town of Lugo. The European funding is conditional on Wexford twinning with three towns.

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