AN unfortunate turn of events marked a visit on August 3-4 to Naas by the Mayor of a US city.
Mayor of Omaha Jim Suttle and a second delegation member required treatment for a brief period at Naas General Hospital and the Vista Primary Care centre having felt unwell shortly after arrival, apparently because of exhaustion. The pair made a rapid recovery and all of the delegation have since returned home to America.
Chairperson of Omaha Sister City Association (OSCA), Sue Mehaffey, Carol Stoltenberg and Judith Schweikart, OSCA Board members also visited as part of a whirlwind tour of their European twinned communities in Lithuania, Germany and Ireland. Naas has been twinned with Omaha since 2002 but in recent years the main contact has been through Naas and Omaha scouts. This visit was planned to inject new life into the relationship and discussions took place on areas of potential future co-operation, which include commercial opportunities through the Chamber, educational avenues through Naas schools, cultural aspects through art and film projects.
The delegation were extremely complimentary of the care afforded to them in both medical institutions and Mayor Willie Callaghan paid tribute to medical teams at Vista and Naas General. While the visit itinerary had to be somewhat curtailed, the group nonetheless met with the President and the CEO of the North Kildare Chamber and got to see a display of hurling at Naas GAA, visited Naas Town Hall, Aras Chill Dara, Nas na Riogh Housing, the Moat Theatre, the Country & Farmers Markets as well as getting a history tour of Naas.
Naas Twinning Group Chairman, Tim Mulvihill, thanked all those involved in organising the visit and said that the Twinning Group looked forward to exploring new avenues of mutual interest as we forge closer links with Omaha.
Naas is also twinned with three other towns in otner countries including St. David’s in Wales and there are strong links between rugby clubs in Naas and St. David’s.
- Paul O’Meara