The twinning relationship with the city of New Brunswick will inspire Limerick to continue making positive changes.
Cathaoirleach of Limerick City and County Council, Kevin Sheahan, said the 15 year partnership between Limerick and the New Jersey city has influenced both parties greatly and will continue to do so.
“It (the twinning) will inspire us to do to Limerick what those of us who are totally dedicated to Limerick want to do, and that is to make Limerick a safe prosperous city with educational facilities, medical facilities, a place for the arts and most importantly, a place for the people of Limerick to live ” Mr Sheahan said.
The Cathaoirleach, added that New Brunswick has undergone many changes in the past ten years.
On his last visit to New Brunswick, Mr Sheahan was told, when he walked from a function late at night to his hotel, he would not have done that ten years ago due to antisocial behaviour.
The twinning agreement was reaffirmed to mark the merging of the two local authorities in Limerick and in celebration of the relationship’s 15 year anniversary.
The charter was signed by Mayor of New Brunswick, James Cahill and Cathaoirleach, Kevin Sheahan, at a ceremony in City Hall last week.
The partnership was first discussed in 1996 and was formalised in 1999, with a driving factor being that the headquarters of Johnson and Johnson is located in New Brunswick and Johnson and Johnson have contact lens factory, Vistakon, in Limerick.
James Cahill, Mayor of New Brunswick, said there are many similarities between the cities.
“There is a lot similarities in that, we are both cities that are built on rivers, we both have health care facilities and universities.
“There is the sharing of Johnson and Johnson, the worldwide headquarters of which is located in New Bruswick and we just saw the wonderful expansion of the facilities of Vistakon here and Ethicon is soon to open up, so there is a lot of similarities,” he said.
Mr Cahill, who has been Mayor for 24 years, said he has seen huge changes in Limerick over the past 15 years.
“Limerick has changed a lot since 1999. I can attest to that by having stayed in two different hotels that have been built since then.
“The down town area of Limerick City is looking to thrive. The business and retail community looks like it is really on an up swing,” he added.
New Brunswick has a long history of Irish decent and is the most ethnic diverse community in central New Jersey.
Representatives exchanged gifts to mark the occasion.