Twins to Celebrate 10th Anniversary of Charter Signing

In the beginning: Sliabh Luachra ADM manager,  Eamonn O'Reilly (left) and Bank of Ireland manager, John O'Donoghue finding similarities between Castleisland and the Breton town of Bannalec. ©Photograph: John Reidy  5-6-2003
In the beginning: Sliabh Luachra ADM manager, Eamonn O’Reilly (left) and Bank of Ireland manager, John O’Donoghue finding similarities between Castleisland and the Breton town of Bannalec. ©Photograph: John Reidy 5-6-2003

The still developing twinning ambitions between Bannalec, in Brittany and Castleisland go back a few years beyond the decade being celebrated in Browne’s Bar here in Castleisland on this Sunday night, April 30th at 8pm.

Newly appointed, Castleisland Chamber Alliance events committee member, Neil Browne has sent out invitations to the gathering.

The Twinning Process

Anyone involved in the twinning process is being invited to join in the evening’s celebration and to welcome the travelling Bannalec twinning group.

Plans were afoot as far back as as the summer of 2003 and the steps being taken then towards the process were tentative.

There were some trips to and fro in that time but they too were of an experimental nature. There didn’t seem to be any great permanence about the project until the signing of the ‘twinning charter’ at An Ríocht Athletic Club Hall in the dying days of autumn 2007.

Up to then the links had to be resuscitated several times and letters setting out each sides requirements were being swapped.

Now or Never Meeting

On receipt of one such letter from Bannalec, the Castleisland side leader of the time, Seán Linnane called a now or never meeting at the River Island Hotel for early February 2005.

The aim of the meeting was to set the twinning process in motion and to organise a delegation from Castleisland to visit Bannalec the following summer.

That letter from the Breton side stated that the process should be put in motion to further the relationship with an Irish town and countryside.

It stressed the non-profit, non-tourism aspect of any union between the two sides and emphasised the thinking there that Irish and Breton people have a lot in common and much to gain by developing mutually beneficial relations.

Urging Participation

Relationships would be based on exchange in order to enhance conviviality, better understanding of natural and cultural environments and the low cost of visits.

In urging participation in the scheme, the Bannalec document also points out areas where adults and children may benefit in various ways from the flow of exchange.

One of the most obvious is the linguistic interaction of Irish, Breton, English and French languages. All fields of human culture and activity can be enriched by contacts in the areas of: general culture; music; arts; crafts sports and even trade.

Ideal Partner for Castleisland

A description of the town and surrounding area of Bannalec suggested that it is an ideal partner for Castleisland. There are music and cultural festivals and fairs at various times of the year in Bannalec and surrounding areas.

One in these, in August, recalls and celebrates endangered or lost crafts and customs of the area. Anyone needing further information on Sunday evenings celebrations is advised to ring : 086 37 71 901.

With kind regards to Paddy and Denise McCrohan in the UK who did great work with the twinning project during their years living in this locality.

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