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A group from Clare Valley in South Australia have been officially welcomed to County Clare by the Mayor of Clare Pat Daly at a reception in Áras Contae an Chláir.
The group of 13 students, aged 14 to 17 years, from Clare High School are being accompanied on their trip to The Banner County by their Principal and school teaching staff, as well as Clare Valley community representatives. The group’s visit forms part of a curriculum programme with St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Spanish Point.
The group was also met by the Chairperson of the Twinning Committee, Cllr Pascal Fitzgerald today and was provided with an opportunity to share ideas with members of Comhairle na nÓg as well as visit Coláiste Muire in Ennis to learn about the progress being made under the Green Schools Programme.
A Twinning relationship has existed between Clare County Council and Clare and Gilbert Valley Councils since 1986. The Clare Valley is one of Australia's oldest wine regions and includes the towns of Sevenhill, Mintaro, Kapunda, Penwortham, Watervale, Auburn, Bura and Clare. The town of Clare is 120 km north of Adelaide. The Ngadjuri people lived in the Clare Valley for many generations before Irish settlers decided it resembled County Clare.
Commenting on the visit Mayor of Clare, Pat Daly stated “I am delighted to welcome this group of young people to our County and it’s especially important that they are visiting in the year of the Gathering 2013. I hope they will enjoy their stay and will encourage their families and friends to make further trips to our County”.
Chairperson of the Twinning Committee, Cllr. Pascal Fitzgerald added: “Twinning is about developing links with other towns/locations/destinations to foster and promote tourism, economic development and cultural appreciation and this has certainly been achieved with the very many delegations over the years from Clare Valley, South Australia.”
Cllr. Fitzgerald continued: “Clare High School has been coming to County Clare for the past few years and is part of the success story of the twinning arrangement with Clare County Council and Clare and Gilbert Valley Councils which started in 1986. It is hoped that Roy Blight, Chief Executive Officer, with Clare and Gilbert Valley’s Council will also make a visit to Clare this year which will also tie in with the Gathering 2013.”
According to Rob Knight, Principal, Clare High School: “It is with great pleasure that I thank the staff, students and families at St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Spanish Point and Clare County Council for the hospitality and friendliness afforded to us during our visit to Clare.”
Mr. Knight added: “Clare Valley in South Australia shares a wonderful historic connection with County Clare, Ireland. Our ancestral links extend back to the 1800s and our town takes its name directly from County Clare. Your people have shared countless stories with us and have captured our imagination with stories from days gone by. We are hopeful that students from Clare will travel to Clare in South Australia in 2014 before our return again in 2015.”