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Seated from left: Former mayor Gerry Doyle, Mayor Daniel Bianchi, and former mayors Sara Hathaway and James Ruberto film a message Friday for Pittsfield’s Irish Sister City of Ballina, Ireland, whose town council will dissolve to join a regional government.

PITTSFIELD -- How do you get three former city mayors into the same room as the current one? For the love of Ireland.

Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi welcomed his predecessors -- James M. Ruberto, Sara Hathaway and Gerald S. Doyle Jr. -- into his office Friday morning to film, with Pittsfield Community Television, a brief video message of gratitude and solidarity for their fellow delegates in Pittsfield’s Sister City of Ballina, Ireland.

Ballina, located in North County Mayo, about 71 miles north of Galway, will hold its last town council meeting on Thursday. Ballina is one of the many councils that will be abolished as of June, and absorbed into a newly adopted regional governing system.

The sisterhood between Pittsfield and Ballina was established on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1998, through Sister Cities International. Ties and annual delegation visits have been maintained over the years with support from Pittsfield Irish Sister City Committee.

"I thought this would be a nice opportunity for us to come together and wish them well," said Bianchi. "Our hearts and arms will always be open to the people of Ballina."


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