Local MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has welcomed the signing of a new Friendship Agreement between West Dunbartonshire and Letterkenny in Donegal, Ireland.
The SNP MP for West Dunbartonshire joined Provost Bill Hendrie and local councillors to welcome the Mayor of Letterkenny, Ian McGarvey, to Clydebank on Saturday.
Also in attendance was Donegal County Council Director of Services Liam Ward, Consul General of Ireland to Scotland Mark Hanniffy, Gil Paterson MSP, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Dunbartonshire Mr Owen Sayers, Sister Rita Dawson MBE, Chief Executive of St Margaret of Scotland Hospice and other invited guests.
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP, who is vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Ireland and the Irish in Britain, said that with Breixt looming he believes strengthening historical ties between Scotland and Ireland is more important than ever.
The formal friendship agreement was signed between West Dunbartonshire Council and Letterkenny Municipal District on 30 March 2019 and through this Friendship Charter both Councils undertake to encourage educational, sporting, tourism, economic and individual links between the citizens of the two areas.
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:
“We’re proud to be home to a large Irish diaspora here in West Dunbartonshire, with many of my constituents having direct and historical family links to Ireland; including my own coming from Stralongford.
“As Brexit looms I think it’s more important than ever that we look to build on the beneficial social and economic ties between Ireland and Scotland. I’m excited about the opportunities of this partnership between West Dunbartonshire and Donegal and look forward to it benefiting our communities in the years to come.”
Mayor of Letterkenny, Ian McGarvey said:
“The link between our two regions is of important historical and social significance to both our communities. For generations Donegal people travelled to Scotland mainly for work and many remained in Scotland, set up home and raised their families while all the time retaining a strong link and affinity with Donegal.”
Provost Bill Hendrie said:
“This friendship agreement is an important step in strengthening long established links between the citizens of West Dunbartonshire and the town of Letterkenny in Donegal. Clydebank in particular has strong connections throughout Donegal and as Provost it is a privilege to cement our heritage links.”