The news from our friends in Guingamp is that they are planning to visit Shannon in May, arriving on Wednesday 9th and departing on Saturday May 12th. We expect that the group will include the Mayor and some Councillors, and that some others in the group also will be visiting the town for the first time. So preparations are beginning in Shannon for the visit, more news to follow soon!
We are happy to hear that the committee in Guingamp has re-convened, and have elected some new officers. Liliane Le Gac and Yves Morice are the new co-presidents, and are setting about getting new people to join the association.
Shannon has been awarded the European Diploma of the Council of Europe. This great honour for the town was awarded following a presentation by Pat Costello on the achievements of the Twinning between our town and Guingamp. This presentation formed the basis of an application which was submitted by Liam O Connor, Shannon Town Clerk and secretary of the Twinning Association.
News of the award reached us just a few days ago, and this week’s Clare People and Clare Champion newspapers feature articles which details our involvement in and success with, the Prix de ‘Europe and the awarding of the diploma to Shannon. http://www.clarechampion.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14151:standing-tall-on-the-ideal-of-european-unity&catid=59:shannon&Itemid=56
The AGM of the association was held on February 19th.Having completed over four years as chairman, John O’Brien retired from the position and Pat Costello was elected new chairman. The new PRO is Denise Ahearne, and both the secretary, Liam O’Connor and treasurer Catherine Shirley continue in their positions.
The exchange visit to Guingamp in September 2012 was a great success. A delegation of thirty six people, including the Mayor of Shannon, Mike Fleming, spent a highly enjoyable time in the Brittany. The visitors from Shannon were overwhelmed by the welcome and hospitality extended to them by their hosts. The following are some photos taken various members of the Shannon contingent.
On the Sunday, there was an official parade from the church in the main street to the Town Hall, led by the Bagad, the traditional Breton pipe band.
In the grounds of the Town Hall, there was tree planting ceremony to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the twinning. This was performed by the two Mayors and completed by the two chairmen of the twinning associations.
This was followed in the town hall by addresses and presentations by both Mayors and an address by the chairman of the Shannon Twinning Association. Then the charter of the original twinning was signed again, 21 years later by both delegations.
Later there was an exchange of gifts by the two twinning associations. The Guingamp committee presented a beautiful ornate handcrafted dish made in Lorient.
The Shannon committee presented a special once-off edition of a book depicting the castles and abbeys in the vicinity of Shannon. The book of photographs, illustrations and historical commentary, was produced by Pat Costello and John O’Brien.
Music, singing and dancing has always been an important aspect of the twinning visits and this one was no exception. Among the musicians from Shannon were Pat Costello, Brian Jackson, Charlotte O’Brien and Catherine Shirley.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade was a spectacular success. The Shannon association members were joined by Bernard Le Gac, Herve Rouault, Jacques Kergourlay and Rene Le Coz from Guingamp, and all paraded with their flags and banners, followed by the float which was constructed and decorated by a small but very energetic work group.
All gathered at 1pm and got into position. The weather was perfect; sunny but not too warm. Everyone was in good humour !
At last we were on the road and it seemed that all the population of Shannon (who were not taking part) were out to cheer and wave their flags.
We were all shocked and saddened by the sudden death on June 8th, of Tomas. Tomas was one of the people instrumental in the setting up of the twinning with Guingamp and performed the job of secretary over the following twenty years with the same degree of efficiency and diligence which he applied in all his other roles. Tomas was very highly regarded not only in Shannon, but also in our twin town of Guingamp. This was demonstrated in a very tangible way by the attendance at his funeral of a delegation of five people from Guingamp, representatives of the many close friends he had there.
The Shannon Twinning Association members will greatly miss Tomas both for the invaluable contribution he made to the Twinning endeavour, but also as a sincere and trusted friend.