Centre for Franco-German relations opens in Limerick

A CENTRE for students to converse in French and German has been opened in Mary Immaculate College by the French and German Ambassadors to Ireland.

A CENTRE for students to converse in French and German has been opened in Mary Immaculate College by the French and German Ambassadors to Ireland.

Her Excellency Madame Emmanuelle d’Achon, and the German Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Dr Eckard Lübkemeier, opened the Franco-German house, a joint-initiative by the departments of French Studies and German Studies at Mary Immaculate College.

It stems from the need to create a space where students of French and German could meet, socialise, speak French and/or German and have access to audio-visual resources in both languages.

The centre is based in Summerville Lodge, a listed building erected on campus in the 1870s, and is surrounded by a landscaped garden. Having been left unused for many years it required a full restoration work in compliance with the standards of the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

College president, Professor Michael A Hayes, “Summerville Lodge, our new Franco-German House, will contribute to enabling our students to master, not only another European language (French/German), but to grasp the importance of intercultural skills for the benefit of the European community of which we are a part.”

Ambassador Lübkemeier gave the audience an overview of the development of the Franco-German relationship since World War II, which he described as, “one of the closest, if not the closest relationship of any two countries, a partnership both within Europe and for Europe.” He spoke of this relationship as, “a work in progress, which must be developed further by every generation.”