Carrigaline Twinning Association Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary
Twinning – What Is It?
The town twinning movement started very shortly after 1945 with the intention that Europe should never again be torn apart by war. Most of the first twinnings were between towns in countries that had until recently been divided by war. Since then it has expanded to include countries outside the EU. It has played a positive role in the development of the European Union and has made a substantial contribution to the peaceful development of Europe.
Twinning does not happen in an improvised way. It has to be well researched and placed in a formal structure to stand the test of time. It needs a dedicated group of volunteers giving of their time and energy to organise trips to and from the twin town and to fund raise. Without this energy and commitment, many twinnings have languished.
A support structure should be in place in each town e.g. an active team such as an association that would work in co-operation with the town and its other associations as the Carrigaline twinning group does with the Community and Business Associations. Another important aspect is to involve the whole community including schools, sports clubs, cultural groups in order to keep twinning visible.
Twinning enables links to be forged between citizens by allowing people to experience the daily life of others and become familiar with their culture, music, language and important issues of the day.
Carrigaline Guidel Twinning – Its History
The twinning charter between Carrigaline and Guidel was signed in the Town Hall in Guidel on March 31st 1986. The initial contact from which twinning began was made by Carrigaline resident Denis O’Flynn and Guidel resident Jean Emmanuel Plouet when they came together as musicians in Brittany in 1983. The relationship between both towns has lasted for 30 years and is still very healthy and strong. In fact it is one of the most successful twinnings in Ireland.
Over this time many adult and student exchanges have taken place. Student exchanges have been on an annual basis and adults bi-annually. Over that period there have been thousands of Carrigaline residents who have travelled to Guidel and have forged friendships through their visits that have stood the test of time.
Once established formally, the link between both towns went from strength to strength. The success of twinning was due in no small part to the commitment and enthusiasm of the committees in both towns down through the years. This is a voluntary activity and much energy and commitment was given to twinning by many different Carrigaline residents. A number participated on the various committees and many were willing to travel to Guidel and to host visitors in return. The fact that we are now celebrating the 30th Anniversary is testament to this commitment.
The link between both towns has facilitated the growth of tourism by placing each town on the map for their respective citizens as a potential holiday destination. Both towns even have a road named in honour of each. In Carrigaline, the Crosshaven by-pass road was named Bothar Guidel and In Guidel a new by-pass road there was named Rue Carrigaline. In July 2012 a tree was planted in Guidel at the roadside to mark the 25th Anniversary by Chairman of Carrigaline Twinning Association Jim Kelly. Similarly during the recent visit from the Bretons, their President planted a tree at Bothar Guidel to acknowledge the 30th anniversary.
Many students, now adults, have spent a week in Guidel with their Breton counterparts and they with them the same year. These weeks are always filled with fun and sports activities and the opportunity to learn each other’s language and become familiar with our different cultures.
Adult exchanges have continued every year since inception with alternate visits bi-annually. In July 2012 a group of eighty four travelled to Guidel for the special occasion of the signing of the charter in 1986 in Brittany. This was a very successful trip and included local choral groups such as Java and the Polyphonics, as well as the Carrigdhoun Comhaltas group. During that visit, the hospitality and welcome extended to the Carrigaline group was outstanding. This year a group of nearly thirty adults from Guidel visited Carrigaline for a full week at the end of May and were shown a similar level of hospitality in the glorious sunshine.
Plans are already taking shape for our visit to Guidel in the early summer of 2017 and new visitors are particularly welcome to join us and get a flavour of the Breton way of life while enjoying the good food, cider and wine, spectacular beaches and scenery and their music and history.
Guidel Town And Environs – Some Facts
Location Commune of Morbihan
Surrounded by 17 km of Coast of which 5 km is beautiful sandy beaches- Guidel Plage has Aqua sports, Sailing, Surfing, boating, fishing.
50 km Walks
9 km of Cycle paths
A number of nature reserves
Crafts and Gourmet Foods
Music, Dance, Art, Drama clubs
Many Sports facilities including Soccer and Rugby clubs
Close to Lorient
Schedule Of This Year’s Visit
Saturday 7th April
Ferry arrived at Ringaskiddy 0930
Welcome and meet host families in Hotel. Pipe Band in Attendance
3pm BBQ Bunnyconnellan .
8pm GAA Club, Music and dance
Mass for twinning- 11.15 Pipe Band
Lunch with families
8pm Free Concert in St Marys Church, featuring choirs Carrigaline Singers and the Polyphonics, and other Breton and local musicians. Grand draw afterwards in hall.
Visit to Kinsale
9pm Trad Session in Stables Bar
Visitors depart for Galway/Connemara
Return to Carrigaline/Shopping.
6pm Evening reception in Library for photographic exhibition.
Visit to Midleton Distillery and Lunch
Gala Dinner 7.30pm Carrigaline Court Hotel
Shopping in Carrigaline
Bon voyage at Hotel
Free Concert in St.Mary’s Church on Easter Saturday 8pm-Carrigaline Singers, The Polyphonics and others.
Twinning Between Carrigaline And Kirchseeon, Near Munich.
A group of thirty adults and children, led by the Mayor of Kirchseeon, Herr Udo Ockel, visited in May 2015 to sign a twinning charter between Kirchseeon and Carrigaline.
Kirchseeon is a beautiful small rural town in the Bavarian region of Germany, located 20km east of Munich. It has a rich historical background dating back to 2500 years ago. Kirchseeon also offers visitors a wealth of activities both during the summer and winter months such as hiking, biking, and skiing. It is also located close to Europe’s biggest thermal bath in Erding.
Aer Lingus run direct flights from Cork Airport to Munich twice a week at the moment.
The benefits of twinning are immense as is evident from the very successful twinning of Carrigaline and Guidel in Brittany since 1986. Many visits, student exchanges and other cultural experiences have taken place over the last 30 years and many lifelong friendships have been fostered as a result. We hope that the new twinning will have similar longevity and success.
The new twinning is a potential opportunity to further raise the profile of our town and gives clubs a chance to make links with similar groups in Kirchseeon. Local businesses also benefit from a strong twinning arrangement as has been proven over the years of twinning with Guidel. We also hope to foster links between new schools in Carrigaline and the Gymnasium school in Kirchseeon.
We are currently planning a trip to Kirchseeon in November of this year. As part of that trip there will be a visit to the famous Christmas Market in Munich as well as an excursion to Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart, which this year is celebrating 200 years as part of Austria.
It would be great to see some new members joining us on what promises to be an amazing visit.
Information on both twinnings is available on our Facebook page Carrigaline Twinning Association and the Community Association web site www.carrigaline.ie.
For more details please contact Jim Kelly on 086 2321064.