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Mayor leads Kildare delegation to Lexington

Mayor Martin Miley will lead a delegation to Lexington, Kentucky on 25 October, 2017 in response to an invitation from Lexington-Lafayette County to mark the 60th anniversary of their Twinning under the Sister Cities Programme.

The Kildare County Twinning Committee is a committee of council and operates under the Corporate Policy Group where updates of operation are presented as appropriate.

Lexington-Lafayette County are twinned with the following locations all of whom have strong racing connections under the Sister Cities Programme:-

Deauville in France

Kildare in Ireland

Newmarket in the UK

Shinhidaka in Japan

Kildare signed the Twinning Agreement in 1984 and has evolved over the years particularly in the area of student exchange and academic development.   This year the programme has four distinct themes which will help develop and sustain the twinning relationship:-


  • Academic exchange

    This starts at primary level with skyping arrangements between primary level students,  at second level students have been undertaking exchange programmes for 16 – 18 year olds annually for many years and at third level, an internship programme is operated through Maynooth University with the University of Kentucky.


  • Business exchanges have evolved through the horse racing industry through Darley Stud/Godolfin (Kildangan Stud in Kildare) and is linked with the racing industry in Kentucky.    This year particular industries already involved in a business relationship with Lexington, are looking to expand the range and depth of their activity and a number of Kildare businesses are undertaking an exchange of information to grow their business with their Lexington counterparts.  The Kildare Local Enterprise Office has grant funding available to support development of these relationships.


  • Cultural exchange includes a specific piece of work that was developed to commemorate the 1916 – 2016 national programme of commemorations to mark Ireland’s emergence as a nation.    A delegation from Kentucky attended the concert in the majestic setting of Castletown House in 2016 and requested a representative performance travel to Kentucky to mark the anniversary celebrations planned between Deauville and Lexington.


  • The equine sector was actually the basis on which the late Michael Osborne initiated the twinning arrangement with Lexington in the first place.   Kildare is undertaking a programme to capture the records of Horse Racing Ireland and the National Stud which are being digitised as part of a Horse Genealogy Programme which can be shared with our friends in Lexington.


Mayor Martin Miley said “I am delighted to lead this delegation to Lexington to mark the 60th Anniversary of their Twinning Agreement with Deauville and am especially pleased that we are building on the academic, business, cultural and equine links already established.   In this regard it is important to note that John Osborne from Horse Racing Ireland has recently returned after a very successful visit to Lexington expanding on the original business opportunities”.



Ends                                                                                                  23 October 2017


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