Cork has taken the first steps towards twinning with Liverpool.
The news emerged during a city council meeting on Tuesday in reply to a question from Fianna Fáil Cllr Nicholas O’Keeffe.
He had asked the chief executive, Ann Doherty, for an update on the twinning process, and whether Cork had ever considered twinning with Liverpool, given the shared historical and cultural links — both have been European capitals of culture, Cork in 2005, and Liverpool three years later.
But it emerged that city officials here have already embarked on discussions with officials in Liverpool with a view to forging a twinning link.
In her written reply, Ms Doherty said the city’s tourism unit, TEAM, has been focusing on forging links with cities connected directly by air to Cork.
“In that context, we have built successfully mutually beneficial relationships and business arrangements with Bordeaux, Edinburgh and Belfast, and as it happens, has also commenced discussions with Liverpool, which is a sister capital of culture.
“The mayor of Liverpool, as well as our official counterparts, are very welcoming of our approach to build meaningful links with Liverpool on a number of fronts, including our shared culture, heritage and diaspora.”
Cork is already twinned with six cities — Coventry in the UK since 1958, Rennes in France since 1982, San Francisco in the US since 1984, Cologne in Germany since 1988, Swansea in Wales since 1994, and it has a sister city relationship with Shanghai in China since 2005.
The Lord Mayor, Mary Shields, has just returned from a visit to China with Cork Chamber where she and her delegation visited the cities of Hangzhou, Shanghai and Wuxi.
She attended the 2014 Hangzhou International Sister City Mayors’ Conference, where she delivered a keynote speech on green transportation. She met city leaders and discussed further co-operation in the areas of innovation, education, culture and local government.
She also met Xu Feng, chairperson of the Shanghai Women’s Federation, and held meetings with the foreign affairs office of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, the Shanghai Federation of Industry and Commerce, and the Bright Food Group.
The mayor addressed the Wuxi International Sister Cities Forum on tourism and co-operation, where she spoke on Cork’s tourism product.
There are five Chinese companies currently located in Cork, and there are plans to bring the city’s Pulses of Tradition Irish music showcase to Wuxi in 2015.
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