Wednesday 17 July 2019

Learning the language of friendship

Maria Pepper

Students of all ages from Wexford's twin town of Lugo in Italy came to Wexford to brush up on their English at the Slaney Language Centre which has relocated from Barntown to Rowe Street in the centre of town.

The 45 Lugo residents comprising children and adults ranging in age from 12 to 82 years, were hosted by Wexford families during their stay and were accompanied by group leaders Elena Rignani and Claudia Zaffagnini.

They attended the Language Centre on the top floor of Channing House each morning and also participated in sight-seeing trips and social activities including a boat trip to the Saltee Islands, kayaking on the River Slaney and a day trip to Dublin. The language exchange was made possible thanks to the Adriano Guerrini Association in Lugo.

During the visit, the Mayor of Wexford Cllr. Tony Dempsey hosted a reception for them at the Irish National Heritage Park in Ferrycarrig which was attended by former Mayor Ted Howlin, Cllr. George Lawor and Ms. Rignani who is vice-president of the Twinning Association in Lugo.

Wexford has been officially twinned with Lugo since May 3, 2013 when a formal pact was signed by the former Mayor of Wexford Jim Allen and the Mayor of Lugo, Raffaele Cortesi following a period of 'sisterhood' which was initiated in 2000 by Ted Howlin, a former chairman of Wexford Festival Opera who has maintained links with Lugo for many years.

The relationship between Wexford and Lugo started in 1999 as a cultural link between the Opera House in Wexford and the Rossini Theatre in Lugo which was built in 1797. The theatre is named after the famous composer Gioachino Rossini who first played there in 1806.

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