WELKOM! Tydavnet in County Monaghan has welcomed a group of fifteen visitors from Geel in Belgium, led by the new Mayor Vera Celis. Tydavnet is twinned with Geel in the province of Antwerp through the common link of St Dympna (Davnet). The group, some of whom have been here before, are staying with host families in the parish. They flew in to Dublin airport from Brussels and were then taken on a tour of Leinster House organised by Cllr Paudge Connolly, followed by lunch in the members’ restaurant. During the visit the Taoiseach Enda Kenny met them briefly, which was appreciated as it was a busy day for him in the Daíl.
I met the group as they departed for Tydavnet, where they were entertained last night in the community centre, having stopped to visit the restored workhouse building in Carrickmacross en route . Last August I joined a group from Tydavnet and Monaghan that went to Geel for the “Eurofeesten” involving twelve European countries. On Thursday the visitors were taken on a walking tour of the St Davnet’s complex in Monaghan. They were then given a civic reception at the Westenra Hotel, hosted by the Mayor of County Monaghan Hugh McElvaney and the Monaghan town Mayor, Seamus Treanor, both of whom participated in the visit to Geel last year. Councillor McElvaney presented Vera Celis with a framed piece of Clones lace and the Burgemeester made presentations to Tydavnet group organiser Sheila McKenna and to the county Mayor. This afternoon the group was taken to visit the new educational campus and the Garage theatre on the Armagh road and they were then due to be taken on a walk around Monaghan town. They will visit Derry on Saturday and will attend Sunday Mass in Tydavnet.