A plaque has been erected in a German vineyard to Mayor of Letterkenny and lifelong teetotaller Ian McGarvey and his wife Marjorie.
Councillor McGarvey, who at 89 is Ireland’s oldest elected representative, was part of a delegation that travelled to Letterkenny’s twin town Rudolstadt for St Patrick’s Day. It was his first time in Germany since 1960 when he spent a year working there.
As part of the trip, Mr McGarvey was invited to Wienhof Rudolstadt, a local vineyard established in 2010. There a vine was officially dedicated to him and his wife Marjorie.
Unveiling the plaque that is now attached to Mr McGarvey’s vine, Astrid Von Killisch-Horn explained, “The vineyard began back in 2010 at which point it was just overgrown wasteland. A local woman had the idea of restoring it as a vineyard because it is warm here and a very good place for wine. She got others involved and we all started cutting back the trees and knocking down walls.”
Similar to projects that have been undertaken in Letterkenny, the local probation service was invited to get involved. They began directing those on community service to the vineyard.
“It is the most beautiful workplace in all of Rudolstadt,” said Astrid.
The vineyard is financed by companies who sponsor each of the vines. Around 50 local businesses have their names exhibited on slate plaques. Right there alongside them hangs the names of Ian and Marjorie McGarvey.
“We are very happy to be dedicating this vine to Mr McGarvey and his wife Marjorie,” Astrid Von Killisch-Horn added.