As part of the ongoing exchanges between Bannalec and Castleisland and to help celebrated the 10th anniversary of the signing of the twinning charter, a group of 16 people representing the Bannalec Town Twinning group visited for a four night stay with host families here.
The group had an excellent time in Castleisland with a number of trips and events organised by the Castleisland group. The trip began in Cork where the group arrived by ferry into Ringaskiddy Port and they were greeted by representatives of their hosts.
Decade Long Series of Exchanges
Twinning founder member, John O’Donoghue takes us through the latest in the decade long series of exchanges:
“A leisurely day in Cork City took in a welcome ‘Tea and Scone’ stop at a friendly coffee shop on French Church Street,” said Castleisland association spokesman, John O’Donoghue.
“Arrival in Castleisland was around 7pm and guests met their host families and spent a leisurely night getting newly or re-acquainted, as the case may be.
“The next three days, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were spent in various ways with visits to beautiful locations such as: Annascaul Lake; Minard Castle; , Dingle; Abbeyfeale; Lyreacrompane; Listowel; Inch and other locations too numerous to mention.
U-12 GAA Game
“Some of the group attended the Scartaglin v Castleisland Desmond’s GAA U-12 game. There were visits to the Dingle Brewing Company to taste Tom Crean’s Irish Lager and to the Lartique Monorail & Museum in Listowel.
“Collins Bus Hire in Currow provided the transport for the outings and thanks to our very patient and expert driver, Donal Nelligan, for getting us safely to and from all our destinations.
“The guests were very lucky with the weather this year – they were amazed that the sun does really shine in Ireland – sometimes.
“The Gala Dinner was held on Tuesday night at the River Island Hotel in Castleisland, where our 16 Breton visitors, with their host families, enjoyed a splendid meal.
Afterwards, they went on to Browne’s Bar where our local musicians kept the group entertained till the wee hours of the morning.
Three Nights Touring
“On Wednesday morning the group left Castleisland, with O’Connors and spent a further three nights touring around Kerry and Cork – taking in a boat trip around Skellig Mhicil after spending a night in Portmagee.
On Saturday after visiting Kinsale they caught the ferry back to Brittany in time to cast their votes in the French Presidential Election on Sunday once they reached Bannalec.
“This year’s visit was extra special as it marked the 10th anniversary of the signing of the charter between the two towns.
“This very special occasion was celebrated throughout the visit. Castleisland Chamber Alliance very kindly hosted a night in Browne’s Bar, where the guests were treated to a feast of local talent, including harpists, dancers, story-tellers, local musicians.
A Welcoming Speech
“Brendan Cronin, the Mayor of Killarney Municipal District was in attendance and made a welcoming speech to our visitors, as did Hugh O’Connell, President of the Castleisland/Sliabh Luachra Town Twinning Association.
“Roger Carnot, President of the Bannalec Town Twinning group also addressed the crowd.
The hosts and organisers at the Castleisland side wish to thank all those who made the visit a huge success including Mayor Brendan Cronin and Castleisland Chamber Alliance.
Community Support Fund
They also acknowledge the financial assistance from Kerry County Council’s Community Support Fund.
“The Town Twinning committee is open to anyone who is interested in making new friends and experiencing Breton and French culture.
“If anyone would like more information about the Twinning or would like to partake in future Twinning events, please email email@example.com or phone John on 087 24 62 098 or Hugh on 085 17 40 677,” said Mr. O’Donoghue.
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