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16 May 2022

Plans mooted for Limerick to 'twin' with Ukrainian city

Plans mooted for Limerick to 'twin' with Ukrainian city

Councillor Conor Sheehan who is spearheading the initiative is pictured, with fellow northside councillor Olivia O'Sullivan alongside Ukrainian refugees staying in the old St Lelia’s School in Kileely

PLANS for Limerick to explore a twinning arrangement with a city in Ukraine are to be discussed.

The council’s high-level protocol committee is to examine proposals to explore “building networks” with a city in the war-torn state, with a view to potentially finalising a partnership.

Labour councillor Conor Sheehan, who is spearheading the initiative, said: “This will provide tangible support to the people of Ukraine by fostering greater economic opportunities and express solidarity with the people of Ukraine.”

The City North member has been a regular volunteer at the former St Lelia’s School in Kileely, which has been converted for use by those who have come to Ireland to escape the violence propagated by Russian forces.

If approved, Limerick would follow in the footsteps of Dublin, whose council members have voted to twin with the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

Councillor Sheehan foresees Limerick twinning with a smaller-size city in Ukraine.

“I brought this motion forward because I want to develop a similar arrangement with a smaller city in Ukraine which would be comparable in size to Limerick. I’ve spoken to Ukrainian people who have arrived in Limerick, and I feel there is enormous potential to practically help, by doing something to promote economic activity, trade and bring awareness to the conflict,” Cllr Sheehan told the Limerick Leader.

The Labour man added: “In the future, if and when this conflict is resolved, I foresee us having a situation where a delegation from Limerick would be able to visit Ukraine. Obviously, it wouldn’t happen overnight. But I feel this is a really important practical thing we can do in terms of helping Ukraine.”

Councillor Sheehan’s contribution will go forward to the protocol committee, where as he described it, it will be “fleshed out” before coming before a full council meeting in the near future where it will be approved or rejected.

While Limerick is considered the third city in Ireland, Ukraine’s tertiary city is Donetsk.

This is in the disputed Donbas region, which have been under attack by Russian forces since 2014.

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