The Mexican Ambassador to Ireland has proposed that Kilkenny link up with a similarly “vibrant and energetic” city in his country.
Ambassador Carlos García de Alba made the suggestion during a courtesy visit to Kilkenny’s City Hall on Tuesday of last week.
Upon meeting Mayor David Fitzgerald, the first thing the two representatives discovered that they had in common was that both took up their current roles on June 16 of this year.
After showing the ambassador the city charter and mace, and a brief hurling demonstration, the mayor spoke of similarities between Ireland and Mexico.
“We have a shared history of being reliant on the United States and our two economies have a huge connection with the United States,” the mayor said.
As both countries are “nations where emigration has been an issue”, he said both were looking to the US “to regularise the status of our citizens abroad”, he said in reference to those from both countries who are living there without legal status.
Mr García de Alba in turn thanked the city representatives for a warm reception. He, too, pointed to similarities between Mexico and Ireland.
“We were colonies of stronger powers, and we have been neighbours of a powerful country, so we both share the advantages and disadvantages of being neighbours of a big country,” he said. “Geography is a fact. In daily life divorce exists, but in geography divorce does not exist.”
He spoke of a desire to increase trade between Ireland and Mexico.
“I am ready to support more Irish goods in Mexico and of course to bring Mexican products and goods to Ireland, to the benefit of both countries,” he said.
One of the companies in which Mr García de Alba is interested is Glanbia, because it “sells a lot of powdered milk to Mexico”. His country, he noted, is the second-largest importer of milk powder worldwide.
He said, however, that he was surprised to find that no Irish city or town was twinned with a Mexican counterpart, and he suggested that Kilkenny could be an ideal choice.
“I would love to explore the possibility of promoting a sistership between a Mexican city and this beautiful city,” Mr García de Alba said.
The mayor replied that he “would be delighted to explore any opportunity that we can to improve links between Mexico and our city.”
Mr García de Alba was then presented with a Kilkenny tie and two books about the city’s heritage.