Historic agreement between council and Chinese province
WICKLOW County Council and the Hainan Province in China signed an official partnership agreement at the Wicklow County Campus in Rathnew last week.
His Excellency Mao Chaofeng, Vice Governor of Hainan, and a delegation from the province, were greeted by council cathaoirleach Edward Timmins, Deputy Andrew Doyle and Bryan Doyle, Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council.
Cllr Timmins and Vice Governor Mao signed the agreement in the presence of representatives from the Chinese Embassy and community in Ireland, Wicklow County Council, County Wicklow Tourism, the Chambers of Commerce and Local Enterprise.
Cllr Timmins said it was a great honour to sign the historic partnership agreement which would commit to ‘enhancing and developing the friendship and co-operation between our two communities.’
Mr Mao said the agreement was a great opportunity to promote friendship, economic and trade interflow between the two partners and of the positive experiences of the delegation on their visit to Ireland. He also thanked Cllr Pat Vance and his wife for accompa- nying the group to a production of ‘ Riverdance’ in the Gaiety Theatre the previous evening.
A presentation by Fred Verdier of Wicklow County Tourism highlighted some of the beautiful tourism hotspots in the county, including Glendalough, the Powerscourt Estate and the Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk.
Sheelagh Daly, Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office, gave an overview of Wicklow from a business and film perspective before County Wicklow and the Province of Hainan were showcased in a number of visual presentations.
Cllr Timmins then presented Mr Mao with a print of Glendalough, while His Excellency presented the county council with a traditional hand-woven brocade from Hainan.
Earlier in the day the Chinese delegation visited Powerscourt House and were brought on a tour of Ashford Studios by owner Joe O’Connell.
At the celebratory dinner that evening, the Chinese delegates enjoyed fresh Irish produce and the delightful harp playing of local musician Madeleine Doherty.
Before heading home, the guests visited Glendalough where they were given a tour of the monastic site and a flavour of its history by George McClafferty of the Office of Public Works. They were then accompanied on a walk along the lakeshore by Cllr Gerry Walsh and executives from the Economic Development Unit of Wicklow County Council.
Vice Governor Mr Mao Chaofeng, Hainan Province of China, and Cathaoirleach Cllr Edward Timmins.