Bannalec Group on Enjoyable Twinning Visit

Visitors from Bannalec and Castleisland host family members pictured during the recent visit here. Photograph Courtesy of Castleisland Twinning Committee.
Visitors from Bannalec and Castleisland host family members pictured during the recent Breton twin visit here. Front from left: Rollande Olivier, Nelly Picard, Deirdre O’Connor, Eileen O’Connell, Margaret Cahill, Ginette Duigou. Backfrom left: Patrick Pennaguer, Lilianne Devineau, Roger Carnot, Anette Millere, Gilbert Duigou, Pierre Picard, Youn Andre, Sylvianne Pichon, Bernard Millere, Raymond Pichon, Sheila O’Donoghue, John O’Donoghue. Photographs: Courtesy of Castleisland Twinning Committee.

On the last Wednesday in July the Castleisland Twinning group welcomed 14 people from Bannalec, Brittany for a three night stay.
On arrival they had a welcome drink at The Poet’s Inn where Bobby O’Connell the Mayor of the Killarney Municipal Area was there to greet them along with all the host families.

Castleisland committee member, John O’Donoghue reports on the latest developments in the twinning story between the two communities which began back in 2000. The group had an excellent time during their stay in Castleisland with a number of trips and events organised by the local twinning committee.

Celtic Towns
The Bannalec group members were taken on a walk through the Glanageenty Woods, entertained at the ‘Spirit of Ireland with Celtic Kings Irish Tenors’ show at the INEC venue in Killarney, enjoyed a day tour of the Dingle Peninsula taking in

Slea Head with lunch at the Blasket Centre and a stop at the South Pole Inn on the way back to Castleisland.

A farewell dinner was held at  Ó Riada’s Pub and Restaurant in Ballymacelligott where a wonderful meal was provided by  Ó Riada’s. Despite the unseasonal July weather, the trip was a great success and it has forged new friendships between the two Celtic towns. A traditional music and dance session was performed at the Poet’s Inn by the very talented Currow Half Set who danced and were accompanied by Rachel O’Connor.

Visitors and hosts enjoying a trek through the impressive Glanageenty Wood.
Visitors and hosts enjoying a trek through the impressive Glanageenty Wood.

Brush Dance

The Bretons were even treated to a performance of the Brush Dance! There were also some Breton dances performed by the visitors on the night. It is worth noting that the Currow Half Set of Fiona Nelligan McGuire, Thomas Barrett, Eimear Horgan and Paul O’Connor coached by Mary Philpott are performing at the Fleadh Cheoil in Sligo this month. This year the Bannalec group’s stay in Castleisland was short as they also travelled to Belfast, Derry and Galway before making their way to Castleisland.

Summer 2016 Trip
A return trip to Bannalec is planned for the summer of 2016 and we would like to hear from anyone who is interested in travelling with the Twinning group. It will be an opportunity to practice or improve your French language skills, make new friends, experience the Breton life style and keep the Twinning alive and vibrant for the future.
The people of Bannalec and the Castleisland and Sliabh Luachra area have so much in common and the twinning will ensure there will be many more exchange visits in the future.
If anyone would like more information about the twinning or partake in future Twinning events please email or phone 087 24 62 098 or 085 17 40 677.