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Bright future for Ballinrobe twinning project


Bright future predicted for Ballinrobe twinning project

Ciara Galvin

BALLINROBE is to further develop cultural ties with its twinned town Luzinay. The South Mayo town and the South Eastern French town of Luzinay have been twinned since December 2012 when a Twinning Oath was signed by the Mayor of Luzinay, Agnes Reboux and the Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council at the time, Cllr Cyril Burke. The twinning is supported by the Ballinrobe Community Development Council and Mayo County Council.
The Oath signing was the formal recognition of twinning exchanges between Ballinrobe and Luzinay which had taken place, originally initiated by a resident of Luzinay who had visited Ballinrobe on a fishing trip and had fallen in love with the area.
The Twinning Committee in Luzinay had looked at other European countries for their project but they finally decided that Ballinrobe was their favourite choice.
Luzinay is a small rural town, about the same size as Ballinrobe, and is located in the Department of L’isere in South Eastern France, about 35 minutes drive from Lyon airport.
New signs have been erected on the outskirts of Ballinrobe which announce that the town is twinned with Luzinay and it is intended to develop more cultural and school exchanges between Ballinrobe and the small French town along with expanding tourism opportunities for both areas. The towns are similar in size and have clubs and groups with many interests in common such as fishing and shooting.
Speaking to The Mayo News about the twinning, Ann Reid of Ballinrobe Community Development Council said the focus of the twinning was to get young people and the people of Ballinrobe involved in the twinning.
An important factor will be the development of language skills. It is hoped that school exchanges will take place in the near future between young people learning French and English from the Ballinrobe and Luzinay areas.
In July last year two teachers and six students visited Ballinrobe for a week and in return, a small delegation from Ballinrobe visited Luzinay. A member of that delegation, Ann said they were ‘overwhelmed’ with the welcome and hospitality received. They visited many local attractions, and also met with delegates from local clubs and associations including their choir, as well as cycling, walking, shooting/fishing, horse-riding and active retirement, and sports clubs.
Ballinrobe RFC U-17s team have twice travelled to France at the invitation of the local Luzinay community group to take part in a tournament in the biennial World Festival of Rugby which takes place in the nearby town of Vienne. 

Anyone interested in getting involved with plans for future twinning projects or would like further information on Luzinay should contact Ann Reid on 086 8344340.