Over 100 sportsmen and women from County Clare recently returned from the Newry and Mourne District in County Down having participated in a sports exchange as part of a long standing twinning initiative.
The Twinning Sports Exchange Weekend featured a range of sporting events including underage hurling, soccer and Gaelic Football, as well as Special Olympics soccer, boxing, currach racing, pitch & putt and angling.
The visit, which was hosted by Newry & Mourne District Council, continues what started in 1994 when the first sports exchange weekend took place.
According to Cllr. Paschal Fitzgerald, Chairperson, Clare County Council’s Twinning Committee: “The Exchange initiative helps to further strengthen the social, cultural and sporting links that exist between the people of Newry & Mourne and Clare. We had a Sporting Exchange Weekend in Clare in 2012 and we are glad to have met with many of the clubs again this year. We are continuing to examine new ways of forging news links between both areas as part of what has been a very successful twinning arrangement to date.”
“I want to thank the different sporting clubs in Clare who travelled with us to make this sporting exchange weekend such a success. I also wish to thank the clubs and organizers in Newry and Mourne for hosting this weekend and I hope that the links forged during the weekend will continue into the future”.
Among the clubs that travelled to Newry and Mourne were Ennis boxing club, Kilnamona Pitch & Putt, Banner Gaelic Football U12 and U13 Hurling Clubs, Munster Angling Club, Special Olympics Soccer, Burren United, Bridge United and Newmarket U12 Soccer Clubs, and Clarecastle Currach Racing Club.
Speaking following the visit, Mayor of Newry & Mourne Cllr. Mickey Ruane stated: “I am particularly delighted that we had hurling on the agenda after County Clare’s amazing display and worthy winning of the All Ireland Hurling Final in September.”