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Carrigaline On Course For American Twinning

Connection With Newport News Goes Back 400 Years

Writes Leo McMahon

Carrigaline Municipal District (MD) is on course to twin with the town of Newport News, Virginia, USA, the origin of which is linked with Carrigaline.

Replying to Cllr Jack White (FG) at its recent meeting, MD officer Carol Conway reported that the twinning proposal was approved by Cork County Council’s International and European Affairs in June and approved by the Corporate Policy Group at a meeting in July.

The next step, she added, was to contact the local authority in Newport News, a city with a population of around 186,000 and situated on the east coast of the USA. MD members welcomed this.

‘At the beginning of the year, we were contacted as an MD by the Mayor of Newport News who expressed a willingness to forge links between the towns,’ Cllr White told The Carrigdhoun Newspaper.

‘From that, I proposed that we developed a Twinning between the towns. As an MD, there was agreement that we set aside €5,000 from the Town Development Fund to properly analyse the benefits. I know that many people both here in Carrigaline and Newport News would be very enthusiastic in making that link stronger and I believe there would be obvious economic and tourism benefits to Carrigaline.

‘In recent months, I worked with members of the International Affairs Committee, to ensure they saw the importance of this project to Carrigaline and I’m glad they approved it to go to the executive and full Council to be progressed. We must now ensure the twinning proceeds and that we engage the Carrigaline Twinning Group, other community groups and businesses in the town for input,’ Cllr White added.

Carrigaline Planter Daniel Gookin Was Driving Force In Founding Of Newport News, Virginia

Carrigaline resident Dr Hiram Morgan of the School of History in University College Cork has written about English settler Daniel Gookin from Carrigaline who settled there around 400 years ago.

The plantation of Munster in the late 16th century was a prototype for the colonisation of Virginia founded by the English landing at Jamestown in 1607.

Originally from Kent, Gookin, a Puritan, purchased Carrigaline in the mid 1610s after earlier settling with his older brother Vincent in Courtmacsherry in 1611, said Dr. Morgan.

Around 1620, Gookin decided along with Captain William Newce, a veteran of the Battle of Kinsale after whom Newcestown is named, decided to invest in the Viriginia Company in America where tobacco soon became the main cash crop.

‘Virginia had already seen its first import of African slaves and the Pocahontas love-in with local native Americans was likewise coming to a close. The new investors promised to bring in 1,000 settlers and import cattle as breeding stock to feed the growing colony. To raise the required capital, Gookin obtained money from merchants in Kinsale, sold his plantation land in Co Longford and although he continued to lease it, sold Carrigaline as well to the ultimate capitalist-colonialist of the period, the newly created Earl of Cork, Richard Boyle’ writes Dr Morgan.

Willliam Newce became Knight Marshal of Virginia but died soon after. Daniel Gookin, who crossed the Atlantic Ocean on board ‘The Flying Hart’ in 1621, had more success and was largely responsible for the successful establishment of Newport News which eventually eclipsed Jamestown as the main town in the region.

Dr Morgan writes: ‘The town’s name derives not, as some believe, from William Newce but from the buccaneering sea captain Christopher Newport who earlier delivered pioneering settlers to Jamestown.

’ At the start of 1622, Viriginia’s governor and council reported back to London, he continues: ‘There arrived here about the 22nd of November, a ship from Mr. Gookin out of Ireland wholly upon his own adventure, without any relation to his contract with you in England, which was so well furnished with all sorts of provisions, as well as with cattle, as wee could wyshe all men would follow their example. Hee hath also brought with him about 50 men besides some 30 passengers. Wee have, according to their desire, seated them at Newport News and we doe conceive great hope, if the Irish Plantation prosper, yet from Ireland great multitude of people will like to come hither’.

Having erected fortifications, Gookin and his settlers survived the great Indian Revolt of 1622. On the boat ‘Providence’ in 1623, he brought more settlers and cattle. Leaving his son Daniel in charge, he returned to Ireland gave up the lease of Carrigaline in 1630 and resided at Red Abbey, Cork until his death in 1630.

Today, Newport News is a city with a population of over 186,000 located in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. is an independent city in the U.S. state of Virginia. Its Mayor of L Price McKinley.

Thanks to Kim Lee Communications/Media Relations Manager at the Department of Communications, City of Newport News for her assistance with images.

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