There was an international dimension to proceedings as Enniscorthy Municipal District Council honoured Mayor Bob Coburn of Muskogee, Oaklahoma, United States, at a civic reception held in Bunclody Golf Club this evening.
Mayor Coburn, and his wife Gwen, was given a warm welcome to Bunclody and Co. Wexford by the Cathaoirleach, Cllr Willie Kavanagh.
Cllr Kavanagh said he was delighted that Mayor Coburn has joined us on his visit to Ireland. “I hope you have a wonderful trip taking in all the sights and enjoy this beautiful part of the county. Enniscorthy looks forward to developing joint co-operation links with you.”
Mayor Coburn said he had been in the country about eight hours having flown from Atlanta into Dublin Airport earlier in the day with a party of 17 who will spend a few weeks in the country and “I am already impressed by what I have seen.”
He drew similiarities between Muskogee, which is a town of about 40,000 inhabitants in the state of Oklahoma, and Ireland.
Then in relaxed fashion he encouraged the invited guests to ask him questions and he had a busy 20 minutes, but intrigued his audience with his knowledge and clarity of the differences and similarities of the political scene in the two countries.
An exchange of gifts brought the event to a closure with Cllr Kavanagh presenting Mayor Coburn with a stain-glass piece in the Wexford colours – purple and gold – the work of Ned Whelan, and Cllr Keith Doyle, Chairman of Wexford County Council presented a ‘pikeman’ pin.
Guests present included Cllrs Paddy Kavanagh, Kathleen Codd-Nolan, Barbara-Anne Murphy and John O’Rourke. The Council was represented by Liz Hore, District Manager, and Joanne Kehoe, Executive Engineer for Enniscorthy district. Jimmy Gahan flew the flag for Enniscorthy & District Chamber of Commerce.
There was an unusual coincidence in that country singer Merle Haggard had a hit with ‘Okie From Muskogee’ while the late great Luke Kelly of the Dubliners was known for his unique version of ‘The Streams of Bunclody’
Later Mayor Coburn and his Lady Wife attended the opening of the second annual Streams of Bunclody Community Festival featuring a spectacular street parade and the theme takes its inspiration from the characters in Alice in Wonderland – Alice in Bunclody.