Tuam - Straubing Twinning Welcome to our website Willkommen auf unserer Website The Tuam - Straubing twinning partnership was established in 1984. Die Tuam - Straubing Städtepartnerschaft wurde 1984 gegründet. History of the Town Twinning between Tuam and Straubing  Since Ireland’s entry into the E.E.C. communication and travel between Ireland and it’s new European partners increased in leaps and bounds. Initially, the first relationships were on a private or business level. Gradually, communities started first exchange programs and after a while partnerships  between Irish towns and towns in the other EC countries developed. For historic reasons these partnerships were mainly with English towns or towns in  Brittany.   Tuam’s first town twinning steps go also back to the early 80’s. While the Town Commissioners initially favoured a town in Brittany,a study done on their  behalf by the Tuam historian Dr. Claffey suggested to twin with a Bavarian town.The main reasons were: common Celtic heritage, religious and cultural  connections from the early days of Irish missionaries in Bavaria, common Celtic traits in character, etc.    Simultaneously, but initially unrelated, links between Tuam and Straubing were established through the contacts of Willi Kiefel,a native from the  Straubing area living in Tuam.The result of these activities was a visit in 1984 by a group of pupils from the “Ursulinen Gymnasium” with their principal,  Sr. Angela to Tuam. This Straubing school had been looking for some time at various schools in English speaking countries with a view to establish an  exchange programme. Tuam seemed to be a suitable place.   By 1987 most of Tuam’s Secondary Schools had introduced German as a subject. Consequently they, too, now were interested in a pupil exchange  programme. Furthermore, an increasing awareness of Germany as Ireland’s second most important trading partner led to the establishment of a Twinning Committee  within the Tuam Chamber of Industry and Commerce in 1988. Martin Mc Donnell, a secondary teacher, became its chairman.   In August 1988 the Tuam Twinning Committee made a formal approach to the mayor of Straubing through W. Kiefel.   In September 1988 the Deputy Mayor of Straubing, Dr. Wackerbauer, tabled a motion in the city Council to establish a partnership with Tuam. He gave  as the main reasons the student and pupil exchange, also cultural exchange and the fact that Tuam officially proposed such a partnership. Straubing’s  councillors then decided to wait with the official twinning for the time being but to support the pupil exchange. At the same time “old” relationships between schools in both towns were revived with the result that a first exchange was agreed for Spring and Autumn  of 1989. These exchanges were very successful. They have continued without interruption until now. In Spring 1990 further ties were established with the visit of  the choir of the “Anton-Bruckner Gymnasium”. Their performance in Tuam’s historic St. Mary’s Cathedral was a resounding success.    On 21/6/1990, Dr. Wackerbauer proposed again to the City Council of Straubing to establish a formal partnership with Tuam. This proposal was not  endorsed in initially. But in view of the many representations by pupils and teachers and “Friends of Tuam” the City Council voted on 27/7/1990 to  establish such a partnership.  In February 1991 Straubing’s “Friends of Tuam” established a formal association. Its goal is “to bring life” into the partnership with Tuam.    On 22/4/91, the City Council formally ratified the partnership and proposed that the partnership charter should be signed at the time of the annual  Gäubodenvolksfest.    On August 14,1991, the Chairman of the Tuam Town Commissioners, Miko Kelly, signed the partnership document in Straubing and on September  6,1991 the Mayor of Straubing, Herr Perlak, countersigns this document in Tuam’s St. Mary’s Cathedral:    “In the name of the citizens of our respective towns we promise: to maintain lasting friendly contacts and to cooperate in all areas of common interest, to  further exchange visits,particularly youth exchange, to commit ourselves to better understanding between people, and through our relationship to  contribute to the development of a united Europe in the spirit of freedom and peace.”   Since then the pupil exchange has continued to remain the foundation of this partnership with ever increasing numbers.   Theatre and music groups from both towns have visited each other.    Tuam had a stand at the Ostbayernschau each year. Students from Tuam came to Straubing for the last 4 summers for holiday jobs while an increasing  number of visitors from Straubing came to Tuam for holidays on private arrangements.   W. Kiefel, 28/7/95 Pages designed and written by John Fahey and made with Xara