The newly appointed German Ambassador to Ireland His Excellency Cord Meier Klodt visited the offices of Sligo County Council on Friday 24th September and was welcomed by Cathaoirleach Councillor Paul Taylor and Chief Executive Martin Lydon.
German Ambassador visits Sligo
The Ambassador was accompanied by his wife Gladys.
Attending the reception in the Council Chamber were Mayor Councillors Arthur Gibbons, Councillor Declan Bree, Councillor Marie Casserly, Dymphna Gorman (President) and Imelda Harte Sligo Town Twinning and John Fahey and Nicola Cleary of Sligo Festival of Baroque Music.
Two students from Kempten on an Erasmus placement with Sligo County Council, Hannah Strehle and Eva Mayr were also in attendance.
In his address the Cathaoirleach said ‘It is a special privilege to welcome his Excellency the Ambassador to Sligo. One of the most enduring and successful of our Twinning Associations is our long standing friendships with Kempten. One of the reasons this connection has been so strong is due to the commitment of the people in this Chamber – Dymphna Gorman, Imelda Harte and Councillor Declan Bree, as has indeed has Chair of our Twinning Committee Councillor Rosaleen O Grady
There have been numerous exchange visits in recent years between Sligo and Kempten, and while Covid restrictions did not allow for travel plans, we did have an excellent on-line meeting with Mayor of Kempten Thomas Kiechle earlier this year. That meeting included a special video message from the former Ambassador Deike Potzel, who commended the people in Kempten and Sligo who have maintained this vibrant friendship by arranging exchanges at many levels, civic, sporting, educational and cultural, and commended the Twinning Associations for finding new ways of communicating during the pandemic.
Our remote location on the western periphery of Europe means we greatly value our International friendships, and we deeply appreciate that His Excellency the Ambassador has taken the time to visit us here in Sligo to further strengthen our association. One of the most successful partnerships we have developed with our friends in Kempten is in the realm of education, and in recent years we have welcomed students from Kempten on an Erasmus work placement. This year we are delighted to extend a warm welcome to Eva Mayrand Hannah Strehle who are with us for this year’s programme.
Sligo is proud of its network of international contacts. In addition to our formal Twinning associations with Kempten, Crozon and Tallahassee, in recent years we have welcomed Ambassadors from India, Hungary, Georgia, and the Republic of Korea. In a wider context, Sligo has a sizeable world-wide Diaspora world-wide with a keen interest in what is happening in their home county
Similarly, I envisage enormous potential in our association with our friends in Germany across a wide spectrum of areas – civic, enterprise, community, sporting and in the realm of arts and culture. The visit of his Excellency the Ambassador is another significant milestone in the development of this special friendship.’
The Ambassador made a special presentation to Dymphna Gorman President Sligo Town Twinning in recognition of her outstanding service over many years, particularly her work on the Sligo-Kempten association.