WITH officials from Wexford's newest twin town of Fleurus, in Belgium, Coueron, in France, and Lugo, in Italy in town for the festival opera, the local authority took advantage of the unusual triple visit to host a civic reception for the visitors at the borough district offices on Spawell Road.
The event was hosted by Wexford Mayor Cllr Jim Moore and included Jean Luc Borremans, the Mayor of Fleurus, Ranalli Davida Mayor, of Lugo, and Lionel Orcil, the Deputy Mayor of Coueron, and follows twinning visits to each of the towns by officials and councillors from Wexford.
Cllr George Lawlor said a ceremony conducted during the visit was aimed at cementing Wexford's triangular twinning with Fleurus and Coueron and and furthering ties with the opera town of Lugo, with which Wexford has been twinned since 2003.
In fact, it was the Wexford Festival which led to the connections between Wexford and the Italian town when Luigi Ferrari, the former Artistic Director of Wexford Festival Opera, brought the organisers of Lugo's annual opera festival to Wexford to see how the operation was run here and the ties have been growing every year since.
Commenting on the recent gathering, Cllr Lawlor said it was very rare for three towns to come together - Wexford, Coureon and Fleurus - with a view to securing European funding, and even rarer for representatives from opera loving Lugo to be here at the same time.
He said Brexit loomed large in talks between all the civic representatives, with agreement that ties would be further strengthened once the UK leaves the European Union.
In an early sign of stronger connections with the Italian town, he said officials in Lugo hope to send a number of young people to the Slaney Language Centre in Wexford early next year to further their use of English.