© Leixlip Town Twinning Association 2022
October 1996 – Signing Twinning Charter in Bressuire Mayor Claude Boutet, Cathaoirleach Catherine Murphy, Chairman Paul Kelly, President Mirielle Poupard June 1997 – Signing Bressuire Twinning Charter in Leixlip – President Mireille Poupard, Mayor Claude Boutet, Cathaoirleach Catherine Murphy, Chairman Paul Kelly September 1999 – Signing Niles Twinning Charter in Leixlip – Bart Murphy, Mayor Nick Blase, Cathaoirleach Bernard Caldwell, President Charles Barbaglia, Chairman Paul Kelly History of twinning A meeting took place in the Springfield Hotel in 1994 chaired by John Colgan where interested members of the public from different clubs and associations in the town were invited to come along to discuss the whole concept of twinning. From that meeting the first twinning committee was formed.  In the early days much research and work had to be carried out to explore what did twinning entail, writing the twinning Constitution which clearly 24 years later needs to be revisited and updated.  And then their task was to find a country/countries that would be interested in twinning with Leixlip. The first committee approached France /Germany, Wales / Northern Ireland to see if they were interested. The first response for a twinning partner came from Bressuire   in North West, France and our twinning partnership commenced when the twinning Charter between the 2 towns was signed in October 1996 and 3 years later we twinned with Niles, Chicago.  Happily, some 24 years later we are still twinned with Bressuire.  Sadly, our twinning   with our twin sister in Niles Chicago petered out in 2009-2010 and while efforts were made to revitalize our relationship with our twin city of Niles it didn’t happen  Twinning Structure and Funding Leixlip Town Twinning Association  was the brain child of the  Leixlip Town Commissioners  later known as the Town Council but town twinning  was and is independent of the Town Council  but over the  years our local Representatives always gave us  tremendous  backing and  practical  financial support and with the abolition of Town Councils Kildare County Council has been extremely  supportive by organising twinning networking events but also and very importantly give us an annual community grant. According to our twinning Constitution the Cathaoirleach of the Town Council /Municipal district is the President of the Association.  Leixlip –Bressuire twinning - It’s all about bringing people together   Aims & Objectives •	What are the primary aims and objectives of twinning? •	Bringing people together •	Developing partnerships •	Enabling citizens from twinned towns to experience and explore their respective cultures. •	Facilitates school exchanges and student work placements •	Hold Cultural events and Exhibitions •	Run sporting events •	Link websites •	Exchange knowledge on how respective towns operate    Bressuire The name Bressuire means the fortress on the hill. It is in the Municipal area called the Deux Sévres. It is between Nantes and Poitiers. In 2014 the population of Bressuire stood at 19,300. It has quite a young population. Has had a very chequered history and experienced devastation and destruction many times over the centuries as a result of war.  Bressuire. The Castle The town grew up around the château which dates back to the 11th century. It is a fine example of Medieval military architecture. It played a pivotal role in the struggles that took place in the Poitou region between the King of France and England. Since 1996 it is listed as a historical Monument by the French Ministry of Culture. It now belongs to the people of Bressuire.   Bressuire.  The Highland games The Highland games take place in the grounds of the Château every 2 years. These are international championships which can attract up to 10,000 people including participants and visitors   •	The Mairie /L’hôtel de ville / Town Hall •	The Mairie /L’hôtel de ville built between 1825-1830 •	It is where the current Maire Monsieur Bernier works and the Municipal meetings take place.  Cluichi Speisialta 2013 Events and activities  •	In 1998 Leixlip was presented with a Golden Star Award in Bilbao for town twinning.  •	In 1999 a delegation from Leixlip visited Niles in Chicago to celebrate the centenary of their establishment as a town. •	In 2000 Leixlip along with their other twinned towns were invited to participate in their Jeux d’Amitiés -  their friendship games in 6 different sports over a week. Leixlip sent representatives in 3 sports. •	In 2001 Leixlip reciprocated the event with our friendship games to which Niles sent 2 representatives •	Numerous school exchanges between Coláiste Chiaráin and St Joseph  •	A delegation from Leixlip attended the Foire D’Expostion in Bressuire in 2008 to see at first-hand what was involved since Ireland was to be the theme of the fair in 2010.  In 2010 Leixlip was invited to help promote Ireland at the fair. •	A delegation from Leixlip marched in the 4th July Parade in Niles with members of Leixlip -Comhaltas providing the music •	In 2011 LTT invited the Special Olympics Club to participate in the handijeux /Special Games in France and 14 people with disabilities from the club participated in the Special games in Bressuire •	In 2013 the year of the Gathering Leixlip Town Twinning along with Leixlip Special Olympics Club hosted the Cluichí Speisialta where 100 athletes with disabilities from Ireland, Bressuire, France, Scotland and Norway participated in the Special Games in Leixlip between 23rd- 26th August 2013 While the main emphasis was on sport there were also social and cultural events.  Undertaking such a major project required huge funding between 25,000-30,000 € to cover cost of accommodation and meals for our overseas guests and meals for all volunteers over the weekend, hiring of halls, catering, entertainment, meals medals and trophies t-shirts and a gift bag containing mementos including a DVD and a special booklet about the games.  A major recruiting drive took place seeking volunteers for fund raising, time keeping, catering, stewarding, general security, designing posters etc. While  we did a huge amount of fund raising we also obtained funding from the Gathering, Leixlip Town Council, EU Citizens Project.  Some local schools and clubs also fundraised for us. The whole community rowed in behind us It was a phenomenal success thanks to the generosity, co-operation, dogged hard work and determination of so many volunteers to give people with disabilities and overseas guests a memorable weekend.  Centenary of the First World War  2014 As France commemorated the centenary of the First World War.6 members from Leixlip Twinning   committee travelled to Bressuire to be present for the Commemorative Ceremony, the parades, the laying of wreaths to honour and remember the soldiers who died in the First World War   2016  - 20th Anniversary of Leixlip twinned with Bressuire In 2016 we celebrated 20 years twinned with Bressuire and combined this milestone event with the commemoration of the centenary of the 1916 Rising in Dublin, Leixlip, and Maynooth.    7 committee members from Bressuire arrived in Leixlip, on Good Friday and spent the weekend until Easter Tuesday with host families.   The delegation had a very packed weekend --- •	1916 bus tour  •	Visit to Garden of Remembrance &GPO  •	!916 tour of Glasnevin Cemetery •	Wreath laying ceremony in Maynooth  •	Concert in Carton House •	Street play written by a local dramatist about the 15 volunteers who walked from Maynooth to take part in the Rising.  •	Kilmainham Gaol •	Gifts presented to our guests ---- 1916 candle and calendar   20th Anniversary of Leixlip twinned with Bressuire continued  Our 20th anniversary celebrations continued in May when a delegation of 8 people from Leixlip attended the annual film festival in Bressuire. During the festival the Irish film that was screened was The Wind that shakes the barley. On Sunday morning there was a lovely leisurely Camino style 5k walk in beautiful unspoiled countryside La Coulée verte which also included   great entertainment en route provided by local musicians and our own wonderful Irish dancers from Scoil Rince Mobhi. Bressuire twinning went to great pains to put together an Exhibition on 1916 and this was on display in Bressuire for a number of weeks in April.    Job Placement 2017 Sabine and ELsa Over the years we have had numerous requests for work placement  3 students in 2015.Elise Rotureau, Jessica Decaires,and Anaëlle Chariaud 2 students in 2016. Julien Brochard and Valentin Baudu and 2 students in 2017.     Sabine Allais   Every year the twinning committee in Bressuire organise an event to celebrate St Patricks day  Bastille Day On 14th July we invite local representatives, French people who live in the local community , franco-phones,people who  help and support us to a get together to celebrate Bastille day --- la Fête Nationale in France.This planned activity can vary .It could be a fun quiz testing our knowledge on France ,French culture  ,French customs and the French way of life or , perhaps watching a french film ,listening to french music , a barbeque a game of boules .The list is endless. In May 2018 a party of 28 including Councillor Joe Neville,twinning secretary Marian Lyons ,a Gaelic football team from St Mary’s GAA club ,coaches and Managers as well as 7 musicians from Craobh Bheartla Ui Fhlatharta spent a weekend in Bressuire.  Activities during the weekend included a football match between the Leixlip team and a French team while the musicians supplied the music and entertainment.  Aedin and Scoil Rince Mobhi dancers put on a spectacular show in the Helix on Friday 1st March 2019 as a dress rehearsal for the 2 shows they intended to stage in Bressuire over St Patrick’s weekend.    4 Teachers from Bressuire on a short visit to Ireland /Leixlip/ Maynooth in April 2019 to plan a hiking trip around Ireland for 40 of their pupils in May.  Leixlip twinning committee welcomed 47 pupils and 10 teachers from Bressuire to Leixlip,by hosting a meal for them in Leixlip Youth and Community Centre in Confey and they were then given a guided tour of the Wonderful Barn before heading to their accommodation in Maynooth where they spent 3 nights.  Highland Games took place in Bressuire on 15th /16th June in which Aedin and the Scoil Rince Mobhi dancers and the de la Salle band Scout pipe band participated.  Leixlip twinning committee welcomed a party of 39 guests from Bressuire over a number of days before they set out on a week touring Ireland in August 2019.   Leixlip Town Twinning Committee  We hold monthly / bi-monthly meetings depending on what is happening in the Springfield Hotel.  I would like to acknowledge and thank all our local representatives for their help and support. We are very grateful to our former Town Council C and Kildare County Council for their ongoing financial assistance.   A big thank you to the countless musicians, host families, families who took  au pairs, families who have provided accommodation for students on work placement , and the businesses and enterprises who provided  work for the students, entertainers dancers, sports people, schools ,artists, members past  and present who have contributed so generously over the years to Town Twinning .