Ennis speaks at China forum

ENNIS’s unlikely twinning with a sprawling US desert city with a population of more than four million has resulted in two of the town’s top representatives addressing a global forum in China.

At the World Cities Scientific Forum at Chengdu, Ennis town manager Ger Dollard and deputy mayor Mary Howard shared the stage with representatives of the world’s megacities.

Chengdu has a population of more than 14 million and, commenting yesterday after returning from the UN event, Mr Dollard said that “Ennis is punching above its weight”.

Ennis has a population of about 28,000 and was invited to the event through its twinning with Phoenix, Arizona, which has a population of 4.4 million.

Mr Dollard addressed delegates on the Irish experience in emergency response planning.

He said yesterday: “The Ennis presentation went down particularly well.

“There is a recognition that, while the scale of disasters might differ and the resources available in any country might vary, the basic elements of service co-ordination, communication and community awareness and involvement remain the same.”

He added: “We did have the opportunity to highlight the potential of Shannon Airport for a global logistics hub for humanitarian aid in the event of a disaster.

“Now that it is an objective in our county development plan we were able to present it as an initiative that has strong support in terms of statutory plans.”

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