Chairman - Pat McGrath
Secretary - Eileen Fitzgerald
Ass. Secretary - Sandra McGrath
Treasurer - Elizabeth Dolan
P.R.O. - Caroline O'Sullivan
Educational Officer - Ruth Lynch
The association has about 80 members to date.
The inaugural meeting was held on 22nd April 1996. Richard Lincoln chaired this and future events were discussed re twinning with Abbotskerwell in Devon and later with Le Pré d'Auge Les Menceaux in Normandy.
It all began when a Devon tourist visited Ardmore and came to the conclusion that Ardmore was an ideal twinning partner for Abbotskerswell.
In February 1996, a small group from Ardmore visited Devon. In May, some members travelled via Devon to France. At the end of September 1996, a group of Devonians visited Ardmore with their chairman, Tom Banks and at the end of October, we welcomed some French people with their chairperson, Murielle Hauvel. We are very lucky to have Ruth Lynch as interpreter.
In order to get E.U. funding, the Association was registered and a copy of the constitution sent to the European Commission.
We were very grateful to the Ardmore Enterprise Co-Op who donated £600 to our funds. Various fund raising activities took place, for eg a Christmas party, Valentine party, concert, tabletop quiz, American Tea-party, and Fashion show, as it was necessary to raise a good lot of money to cover the cost of signing.
During 1996-97, French classes were held under the guidance of Mary Cashman. Ruth Lynch also touched up our meagre knowledge of French before our visit there.
A group of French teenagers visited Ardmore in July 1997 and some 5th and 6th class children travelled to France at the end of May 1998. A group of Adults travelled to Abbotskerswell in May 1997 and to France in May 1998 for the second part of the Charter signing.
Autumn 1997 was a very important and busy time in the history of the Ardmore Twinning Association. The signing of the Charter took place during the October weekend, when the three groups met and enjoyed the craic, bia agus ól. The main function was held in Halla Deuglán, which was tastefully decorated. Food and wine were served and local musicians played into the early hours. Speakers included Lar Hart, chairman of Waterford Co. Council, County manager, Donal Connolly and Canon O'Connor P.P. Ardmore.
All three groups met again in Abbotskerswell in mid May 1999 for the third phase of the charter signing.
An immense fund of goodwill and a spirit of camaraderie has been engendered between rural communities in three countries, a basis for real international friendship.
See article by Michael Mulcahy, "St. Declan's Road" in 1988 issue of the Ardmore Journal.
Author: Siobhan Lincoln