WITH grants up to €25,000 now available from the Europe for Citizens programme, communities groups everywhere are taking a fresh look at twinning, an initiative that can bring great economic and tourism benefits to an area.
Cork County Council’s Municipal District Officer, Justin England, told members of the Western Committee recently that the Council had received a letter from a town in Brittany – population 8,300 – seeking expressions of interest in
Skibbereen was discussed as a possible option, but local Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) said: ‘The last twinning in Skibbereen died a horrible death. He did, however, ask in jest: ‘Is there anywhere near Boston looking to twin with the town?’
Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan pointed out that Clonakilty is very successfully twinned with Waldaschaff in Germany. ‘It is a great asset to the local economy and they play a massive role in the St Patrick’s Day parade every year,’ he said.
Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) said Goleen is twinned with a town in Finland and, with the support of the local community council, have ‘a very active programme.’
Mary Hegarty said Bantry is happily twinned with Pont-l’Abbé in France and La Crosse in America, although she did say it was difficult to arrange things in the past because the former Town Commissioners had such a limited budget.
She said the fund offering money, which is known as ‘The Wheel’, would support community groups with their twinning plans.
Western Committee chairman, Cllr Declan Hurley (Ind) said that Dunmanway is twinned with Quéven in France and that it was good for the town.
Cllr Hurley urged other towns to consider finding a twin because ‘there is something of a twinning revival.’ Anyone interested in being twinned with the town mentioned by Justin England could, he added, contact the Council to find out more.
After listening to the other councillors extolling the virtues of twinning, Cllr Carroll recanted and said: ‘Leave it with me for a few days and I will see if there is an appetite for it.’