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Town Twinning


Kilmacow is formally twinned with Saint Thurien in Brittany.

Twinning Charters were signed in Saint Thurien on Saturday, 29th July 1995 and in Kilmacow on Saturday, 10th August 1996.

This represents the culmination of work which began in April 1992 when Kilmacow was approached on behalf of Saint Thurien by representatives from Templeorum [Piltown] /Mellac [Brittany] Twinning Committee.

The approach from Saint Thurien was the catalyst for Kilmacow to consider the idea of twinning. After researching 8 other possibilities an inspection visit to Saint Thurien in 1993 resulted in the recommendation by the delegation of Saint Thurien's suitability as a twin for Kilmacow.

This decision was based on a number of criteria including:

1. Location.

2. Accessibility.

3. Common Celtic origins.

4. Amenities etc. available.

5. The attractions of the surrounding area.

6. The friendship/goodwill of the local people.

7. The commitment of local people to the twinning ideal.

A return visit by a delegation from Saint Thurien in 1994 confirmed the existing friendships and satisfied its delegation of Kilmacow's suitability as a twin for them (presumably on the same criteria).

Twinning offers the people of Kilmacow many possible benefits e.g.

1. Cultural/Sporting/School/Group exchanges

2. Education and language acquisition

3. Social and Family Exchanges

4. Reduced holiday costs

5. Localised tourism

6. Impetus for local awareness and development

7. Possible economic linkages

8. Alternative approaches to solving local development problems

9. Increased community involvement

 

Signing of Twinning Charter in Kilmacow on Saturday, l0th. August 1996.

 

Twinning is an outward expression of the progressive nature and openness of both communities.

It is a fundamental principle of the Twinning Committee in Kilmacow that the benefits of twinning be available to all the community. This means that it must be inclusive and affordable.

All funding raised by the committee is devoted to the costs of hosting visitors from Saint Thurien and the related events organised to coincide with these visits. This ensures that as many people as possible from Kilmacow can participate in the events organised.

All grants received by the Twinning Committee are also used to defray the costs of hosting the visits of the people of Saint Thurien.

The Twinning Committee does not subsidise the fares of those travelling to Saint Thurien.

This effort to maximise community involvement makes funding a critical issue in ensuring the success of twinning in Kilmacow.

To date the main sources of funding have been local. In this regard the Twinning Committee would like to acknowledge the generosity of the people of Kilmacow and make special mention of the Parish Committee, Hall Committee, Marian Hall Committee and Sports Complex Committee which were either invaluable sources of funding and/or

contributed greatly to the Twinning Committee's fund raising activities in earlier years. Currently because of the representative spread of committee membership and the great success of twinning activities to date the Twinning Committee has been able achieve a great response from the people of Kilmacow to its funding needs.

The degree to which this funding is required, its relationship to the total expenditure incurred and the localised impact it has can be gauged from the following:

a) The entire cost of the inspection visit to Saint Thurien in August '93 was paid by the five members who
     travelled.

b) The Twinning Committee estimated that when the delegation from Saint Thurien visited Kilmacow in August
     '94 total expenditure amounted to 3,000. This was equally financed by the Twinning Committee, individual
     members of the Twinning Committee and by the Saint Thurien delegation. The Committee estimated that
     95% of this expenditure was incurred within county Kilkenny. Kilkenny Castle, Jerpoint Abbey, meals in
     Thomastown, Bennetsbridge, Mullinavat etc. Craft shops within the county were major beneficiaries. Local
     public houses also derived significant benerit.

c) The entire cost of visiting Saint Thurien for the Twinning Ceremony in July '95 3,017 was shared among the
    19 people who travelled. A grant from the European Commission towards the cost of this visit was carried
     forward to the following year.

d) The cost of hosting Town Twinning Week in Kilmacow in August '98 was 5,204. A grant of 800 was
     received from Kilkenny County Council and a grant of 748 was received from the European Commission.
     The net cost of the week to the Twinning Committee was 2,475 with the balance being contributed by the
     people of Kilmacow participating in the events of the week. The total estimated expenditure generated
     during the week was estimated to be in excess of 20,000.

e) In 1997 a group of 33 people from Kilmacow visited Saint Thurien. The entire cost of this visit, 5400, was
     shared among those who travelled. No grant was received towards the cost of this visit.

f)  In 1998 42 people from Saint Thurien came to Kilmacow in August. The total spending by the Twinning
    Committee was 5,000 of which approximately 1,800 was recovered from participants. A grant of 200
     has been promised by Kilkenny County Council. Thus the net cost to the Committee is estimated at 3,000.
     The total expenditure generated was again estimated at in excess of 20,000.

The committee estimates that 80% of all expenditure generated by the twinning during Town Twinning Week accrues within county Kilkenny. The twinning of Mime and Saint Thurien has led to a significant number of personal visits and exchanges over the past 5 years. It should also be noted that many people in Kilmacow have taken their holidays to coincide with the visits of the people of Saint Thurien. This helps to greatly increase the retention of expenditure in county Kilkenny.

Notwithstanding the attention given to the expenditure referred to above, it is nothing to the "lift" it has given to Kilmacow since the twinning started. It has greatly increased community spirit and self confidence, it has activated in many a deep sense of pride, and it has allowed many new friendships to he made not only with the people of Saint

Thurien but also among the people of Kilmacow. Perhaps a good gauge of this might be that almost 300 people attended the Celebration Dinner Dance in 1996 and up to 100 people travelled on trips organised as part of the Twinning Weeks' events in 1996 and 1998. Also it must be stated that in the people of Saint Thurien the people of Kilmacow have found great friendship and generosity. There is a genuine and shared sense of interest in the development and progress of each community. There is a deep sense of commitment of both communities to each other.

While the Twinning Committee has always sought to keep its focus on the community aspect, it recognises that opportunities will arise for groups and organisations within Kilmacow to establish their own particular relationships with corresponding groups in Saint Thurien. For example, the Twinning Committee has facilitated different types of contact between the local schools and the school in Saint Thurien.

The Twinning Committee is strongly of the opinion that the twinning of Kilmacow and Saint Thurien should develop according to its own genius and according to a timescale mutually agreed by both communities.

 

 

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