What a momentous memorable year 2016 was in the history of town twinning with the celebration of our 20th Anniversary of town twinning coupled with our commemoration of the Centenary of the 1916 Rising.To celebrate our 20th Anniversary Leixlip Town Twinning committee were delighted to welcome Mary Pinet, Gisele and Jean Claude Bordonnat, Jeannette Delahaye, Vera Genevois Laroche, Christine Martin and Brigitte Michel to Leixlip to spend the weekend of 25th – 29th March with host families and to be part of our commemoration of the Centenary of the 1916 Rising.On Saturday 26th our guests along with twinning members attended a wreath laying ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance followed by a 1916 Bus tour of the city visiting the various locations associated with the Rising enacted in a very powerful dramatic authentic passionate way by a group of actors and the visit culminated at the GPO.On Sunday 27th March some of the party visited Kilmainham Gaol while others did a guided 1916 tour of Glasnevin Cemetery. This was followed by a Gala Dinner in the Springfield Hotel hosted by the Leixlip twinning committee. In addition to our Bressuire guests our local guests included Deputy Catherine Murphy, Councillor Joe Neville, two long standing twinning and founding members of Leixlip town twinning Paul Kelly and Mary Foley, former twinning members and former Local Representatives, Kevin O'Connor, Sean Purcell, Teresa Byrne and John Colgan who chaired the inaugural meeting of town twinning.After a gourmet meal in the Springfield Hotel our Bressuire guests were presented with a beautiful Candle with the Proclamation and the 7 Signatories of the Proclamation inscribed on it as well a book about the Rising and a 1916 calendar produced specially for the commemoration by local historian Michael Kenny.Our local musicians Donal Fallon, Seamus Feeney and Paul Branagan completed a perfect night with lively wonderful music On Easter Monday we accompanied our guests to a very full varied programme of events in Maynooth to commemorate the 15 young men who walked from Maynooth in 1916 to take part in the Rebellion. The events in Maynooth included a wreath laying ceremony to remember the young heroes, followed by a musical Recital, an afternoon concert in Carton House and a street play written by a local dramatist re-enacting the journey taken by the brave young men through Maynooth.The weekend left a very deep impression on our guests as it was clearly a huge learning curve for them. So much so that they were inspired to conduct their own research and decided to mount an exhibition in Bressuire from 11-25th April entitled The 1916 Rising and the Road to Freedom. In their exhibition they also included presentations clearly outlining what had been achieved in twinning over the 20 years in areas such as Sport, Education, the Highland games, Music, the Arts. These presentations were then moved to the Bressuire schools for the month of May.To continue our celebration of our 20th Anniversary a Leixlip delegation consisting of Marian Lyons, Jenny Kenny, Bridie Feeney, Marie Kearney, Paddy Lennon ,Mary Foley, Paul Kelly and Councillor Joe Neville spent the weekend of the 27th-30th May with host families in Bressuire .The weekend began with a Ceremony in the Town Hall where the Deputy Mayor of Bressuire Pascale Lefevre welcomed us. After some speeches and exchange of gifts the Scoil Rince dancers entertained us with some exquisite Irish dancing.As part of their film festival the Bressuire twinning committee choose the film the Wind that Shakes the barley which was entirely appropriate and some discussion took place after the film about the theme and subject matter.Later on we were treated to a very convivial meal with lots of wine and wonderful entertainment provided by the talented dynamic enthusiastic dancers from Scoil Rince Mobhi.On Sunday we had a lovely leisurely walk followed by a barbeque.The afternoon activities had to be cancelled because of a torrential downpour.The last few hours on Monday were spent on an orientation tour of the beautiful town of La Rochelle before returning to Ireland.A truly wonderful celebration of 20 years of friendship and close bonds forged between ourselves and our dear friends in Bressuire!
Mary Foley who was synonymous with Leixlip Town Twinning for many years hosted a meal for Mary Pinet ,Presidente of Bressuire town twinning along with Marian Lyons ,Barbara Kavanagh, and Catherine Kavanagh over a weekend in May 2016 when 7 members of Bressuire were here celebrating our 20th Anniversary twinned with Breessuire
French Delegation at Dublin airport with Marian 2016 Christine Martin Mary Pinet Jean Claude Marian Lyons Jeannette Delahaye and Gisele Bordonnat
French Delegation with Irish twinning members and Irish actors on a 1916 bus tour of Dublin in May 2016 as part of the centenary celebrations of 1916