To coincide with the last ever meeting of Castleblayney Town Council, a delegation of French visitors travelled over from Marseillan to officially sign the Town Twinning Charter. The delegation was led by the Mayor of Marseillan – Yves Michel.
The twinning with Marseillan is four years in the reaching and the following explains its origins.
In May 2010, on the invitation of the then Mayor of Castleblayney – Joe Brennan, an official delegation from Marseillan visited Castleblayney. This was with the view to increase the social, cultural and also the tourism links between the two respective towns. Then in 2011, in March, Mayor Yves Michel attended a trade fair in Castleblayney in order to promote their fine wines, food, local products and the tourism opportunities available.
October 2011, saw the Vice Mayor of Castleblayney Peter Grimes, along with Newry and Mourne District Council and Council representatives on an official visit to Marseillan. Here they were treated to a tour of the beach, the restaurants, water activities and other attractions available in Marseillan. A meeting then took place in the local Town Hall. Here the Irish delegation presented the many attractions and activities in promoting Castleblayney and the Newry and Mourne District.
Another return official visit led by Mayor Michel took place in November 2011. During this visit, research of the activities and amenities promoted in the previous visit were researched and discussed. Also, during this time, there were numerous visits between the two towns. These included meetings with the two Secondary School Principals, the Principal of the Marseillan Secondary School and members of various organisations in the Castleblayney area.
To enable official recognition of the links between the two towns, the first procedure involved the signing of the charter in Marseillan in April 2013 by Mayors of both towns – Mayor Yves Michel and the then Mayor of Castleblayney – Aidan Campbell.
The final official endorsement of the strong links between Marseillan and Castleblayney involved the aforementioned signing of the charter in Castleblayney on the night of the last Town Council Meeting. The present Mayor of Castleblayney – Gary Carville and the re-elected Mayor of Marseillan both signed the charter on the historic night.
Photos courtesy of Mary Byrne