Ambassador is welcomed at council meeting
Members of Wicklow County Council extended a warm welcome to the German Ambassador Deike Potzel at their November monthly meeting.
Cathaoirleach Pat Vance led the welcome wishes and complimented Mrs Potzel on the beautiful city of Wurzburg with which Wicklow is twinned.
He said that it took plenty of work on both sides to ensure this most successful of twinning initiatives and that there have been many fruitful exchanges of the educational, cultural and economic varieties.
Mrs Potzel described it as an honour to be in Wicklow and praised the county's scenic beauty which she has enjoyed since the first week she arrived to Ireland, exactly one year ago.
She too lauded the benefits of twinning and said that the Wicklow-Wurzburg arrangement is one of Germany's 'liveliest'.
Some members shared their experiences of Germany and personal connections and former councillor George Jones who was instrumental in the twinning programme announced that the group is in the process of setting up formal arrangements with local schools.
Cllr Edward Timmins took the opportunity to highlight the need for a more diverse banking system to afford Irish people access to lower interest rates.
He said that the Sparkasse banking model would work well in Ireland and resistance to it should be overcome.
The issue of Brexit wasn't far from the minds of the Wicklow councillors or Mrs Potzel and everyone agreed that Ireland and Germany must continue to nurture good relations and to support one another during the turbulent time ahead.
She said that Germany is 100 per cent behind Ireland on the border issue.
The members made a presentation to Mrs Potzel of some hand crafted knitwear created by Shuttleknit, a community enterprise partnership between local settled and Traveller communities.