25 April 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The prospect of Monaghan Town twinning with Mechelen in Belgium, from where World War I refugees had travelled in 1914 to find temporary accommodation in what became known as the Belgian Square and Belgium Park areas of the town, was raised at the April meeting of Monaghan Town Council by Sean Conlon.

Colr Conlon commended the people of the Belgian Square area for the activities they were engaged in to promote this significant cultural heritage linkage. Mechelen, he pointed out, was located between Antwerp and Brussels, and he thought the local authority should give encouragement and robust consideration to formal twinning links being established in the future.

Mary Carroll said it would be most apt for Monaghan to twin with Mechelen – there were historic links, and one of the schools in Monaghan Town was currently involved in a project along with a school in Mechelen.

Robbie Gallagher thought a report from the executive on this proposal should be prepared for the new local authority that would come into place in June. He complimented the people of Belgian Square on their centenary activities.

A proposal has been received by Monaghan Town Council to develop a twinning link with the municipality of Chepelare in Bulgaria.
In a letter circulated to members at the April meeting, Chepelare Mayor Todor Bozoukov stated:

“Over the past twenty years we have had a strong connection with the Rotary Club of Monaghan, who, with the support of many Monaghan citizens, has engaged in several successful charitable projects in our town and district. A great number of Monaghan people have come in winter to ski in Chepelare and Pamporovo and these have become valued friends.

“In 2010, in recognition of the contribution of the many Monaghan and other Irish friends, the Municipality of Chepelare named “Ireland Street” in Chepelare town, and the street sign was unveiled by the Mayor of Chepelare and the Irish Ambassador to Bulgaria.

“We feel that the time is appropriate to strengthen and develop the links already made through the establishment of a formal twinning arrangement between our two towns. In the attached document we set out some proposals in this regard, which we believe would prove beneficial to both Monaghan and Chepelare. Also I enclose some brochures of our Municipality.

“We look forward to your positive consideration and we will be very happy to engage in further detailed discussion on this proposal.”

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