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Irish mayor speaks to New London council

Sister City representative visits area

By Robert Cloud


Tony O’Brien spoke to the New London Common Council when it met Tuesday, Aug. 15.

He is the cathaoirleach (mayor) of County Clare and a resident of the town of Killaloe, New London’s sister city in Ireland.

New London signed a charter making it Killaloe’s Sister City one year ago.

“I’ve been coming to New London now for approximately 15 years,” O’Brien said, noting that he has made good friends here, including Carie and Larry Katerzynske, who were the 2014 Irish Rose and Irish Man, and other members of the New Dublin Shamrock Club.

“Many of the Barringtons have come on many occasions and all are welcome in Ireland and in Killaloe,” O’Brien said. “The purpose of our Sister City relationship is, I suppose, to develop an understanding and a friendship and to see what we can learn from one another.”

Noting that he had visited the senior center and the high school, O’Brien said many of the programs in New London are identical to those in Ireland.

“Your geography and topography around here is very similar to what we have,” he said. “One of your main factors here is the Wolf River. The River Shannon is our greatest natural resource. We have many, many things in common.”

O’Brien said he spoke with Mayor Mark Herter and City Administrator Chad Hoerth.

“I understand your difficulties are similar to mine at home in representing the people who elect you,” O’Brien said. “I have to face an election next year, so I have to please everybody for at least the next 12 months.”

Later, Herter presented a round plaque commemorating the one-year anniversary of New London and Killaloe’s Sister City relationship.

O’Brien gave Herter a framed photo of Killaloe and the River Shannon.

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