Killarney, Co Kerry, has so many twins that it takes two large signposts on the town’s outskirts to list their names. However, a review says these sister arrangements, some of which go back 30 years, need to be on a firmer footing.
The town has nine twins, including towns in Britain, Italy, France, and the US.
An independent assessment commissioned by the Killarney Municipal District says some are now “sleeping partners” and, rather than seeking new partners, it may be better to nurture the old ones, a council meeting has heard.
Cooper City in the US is one of the dormant twins. The 1986 relationship with Castiglione di Sicilia, Sicily, was only sporadically awake, as was the connection to two cities in the US, South Myrtle Beach and Concord.
Far more active relationships in terms of exchange visits took place between Killarney and the French town of Saint-Avertin; the German towns of Pleinfeld and Staffanstorp; Springfield in the US; and Kendal in the UK Lake District. However, even the sporadic partners have possibilities for cultural and perhaps economic exchanges, the review found.
“No detwinning or un- twinning is being proposed,” said the chairman of the Killarney Municipal Twinning committee, John Joe Culloty of Fianna Fáil, who has been appointed chairman for the next three years. Cultural and economic benefits accrued from the more active twins but even the less-active ones have potential for Killarney, the meeting heard.
The review also looked for similarities between Killarney’s many twins and found there was not that much in common between large urban US cities and a small Sicilian town.
It will take funding of €12,000 to maintain Killarney’s existing twinning arrangements in 2016, the meeting was told.
Meanwhile, Castleisland’s single twin of Bannalec in Brittany is very active and had developed strong cultural links, the review found.
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