herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Newbridge make a French connection

Moves are being made to set up a twinning between a town in Brittany and Newbridge after the two mayors met last week. Paddy Kennedy met with his counterpart, Emile Blandeau, from Argentre du Plessis, which hosted a tour party from Newbridge Rugby Club as part of an Irish festival. The 50-strong tour party brought along Newbridge mayor and fellow town councillor John Deely to sound out the possibility of an official twinning between the towns.

Paddy Kennedy met with his counterpart, Emile Blandeau, from Argentre du Plessis, which hosted a tour party from Newbridge Rugby Club as part of an Irish festival. The 50-strong tour party brought along Newbridge mayor and fellow town councillor John Deely to sound out the possibility of an official twinning between the towns.

Argentre is a town of 4,000 located just 30 kilometres west of Rennes, Brittany's largest city and boasts superb sporting facilities.

Local rugby player and a regular visitor to Ireland, Louic Vaisson, made the first contact between Aurore Rugby Vitre and Newbridge RFC last year. Keen to strengthen his home town's ties with Ireland, he organised the rugby game against AR Vitre to form part of the weekend-long Irish Festival.

Several members of the touring party were hosted by local families and already plans are being made to return the favour.

"The hospitality we were shown was just unbelievable," said Newbridge RFC spokesman, Eamon Dillon. "They pulled out the stops and made everyone feel at home"

The Irish group were welcomed at a formal reception in the Town Hall on the Friday. On behalf of Newbridge RFC, Mayor Kennedy presented a commemorative silver plate from Newbridge Silverware to his opposite number.

On Saturday, in the town's municipal sports grounds, more than 1,000 spectators turned out to watch the game. The Irish team's appreciation of their hosts didn't extend to the pitch where they won 55-16 in a full-blooded encounter.

See www.argentre-du-plessis.fr and www.newbridgerugby.com.

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