THE Italian town of Nettuno which is twinned with Ardee, once again sent a delegation to Ardee for the St Patrick’s week celebrations and there are strong hopes that the connection will be maintained after the local elections in May.
After the local elections Ardee Town Council will be abolished.
It was the council that set up the connection with the Italian town and since then exchange visits have taken place.
This annual visit was established a few years ago and Ardee Town Council are putting together an itinerary for their visitors.
In 2011 Ardee Town Council held a civic reception for the Netunno delegation.
The link has established cultural, social and economic ties that will hopefully develop over the years.
Louth Local Authorities have been involved with these international relationships and officials have paid tribute to the work done by members of Ardee Town council and officials who established the link with their Italian colleagues.
Deputy Seamus Kirk said the twinning ceremony was taking place at a time when the Louth economic forum was promoting Louth tourism and heritage, and that Ardee had an important part to play in this development.
He was confident that the twinning with Nettuno would establish great links between our two cultures.
The Netunno guests this year once again took part in the town’s wonderful St Patrick’s Day Parade led by Grand Marshall Tom Minogue who served on the town council and the commissioners before that with great distinction for many years.
Three years ago, Italy celebrated the 150th anniversary of the country’s reunification and to mark the occasion Ardee Town Council held a civic reception at the local golf club.
The setting was ideal as Ardee Golf Club was celebrating its 100th anniversary.
So now, as major changes take place in local government here, Ardee councillors are hoping to maintain and develop the Italian connection and develop it so that more of the local community become involved.
One proposal is to develop a student exchange programme between schools in both towns.