Carlow native Deirdre Heckler has made history to become the first-ever female mayor of the German town Breuberg.
We all remember the different answers in the classroom when the teacher asked us when we were tiny Junior Infants.
As young Irish children, we all have aspirations for what we’ll be when we’re all grown up.
We had aspiring doctors, astronauts, farmers, actors, mayors of German towns… well, maybe not the last one.
Still, that’s the destiny that has come to be for Carlow town native Deirdre Heckler, who’s recently been elected as the first-ever female mayor of the German town of Breuberg.
Let’s backtrack – who is Deirdre Heckler?
Carlow natives may remember Deirdre Heckler as Deirdre Dooley, her name before marrying a German man.
Deirdre hails from Highfield in Carlow town. A diligent student, she studied both German and French in secondary school.
While most of us struggled to study one foreign language, Deirdre was learning two and continued her language education at third level! Much respect.
What brought her to Germany in the first place? – a chance encounter in the library
In 1990, Heckler struck up a conversation with a girl in a library, who mentioned that she had been offered a summer job working for Odenwald Konserven in Germany.
However, she revealed she was keener on spending her summer in America.
Heckler, who we know already had a keen interest in the German language, asked the girl if she might be able to take her place.
Fast forward 30-odd years, and this Carlow woman is the first-ever female mayor of a German town. So what brought the Irish mayor of Breuberg to Germany in the first place?
Her love of Germany – she arrived and never looked back
Heckler arrived in Germany to help with the Odenwald fruit harvest in 1990. It’s safe to say that she fell head over heels with the country.
After coming home from her summer job in 1990, she made it her business to return as soon as possible. Once returning in 1992, she stayed.
Heckler has since married a German man. They had two daughters together, and she has now been elected the first-ever female mayor of a German town.
We’d be inclined to think she’s a very motivated and accomplished woman, in our opinion.
Breuberg and its similarities to Carlow – how Heckler’s campaign won over voters
During her campaign, Heckler told the public about the similarities between the town of Breuberg and Carlow, where she was born and raised.
She pointed out the similarities in population and the fact that there are many different cultures in both towns.
Heckler says that the fact that she was elected proves just how open-minded a place Breuberg is. One in every five community members is non-German.
The Carlow woman says that being selected and recognised as the first-ever female mayor in the German town is a tremendous honour.
We don’t know about you, dear reader, but we are incredibly proud of Deirdre. Go on, Deirdre girl! What an inspiration.