Skerries Town Twinning Association was founded following a public meeting in 1992 to proceed with the twinning of Skerries with the Canton of Guichen in Brittany, France.
The aims of twinning are to foster friendship between two areas by means of cultural, sporting and interest-centred exchanges. It exists on a premises of mutual hospitality, by opening our homes to each other.
Over the ensuing years, firm links have been cemented and, in August 2014, STTA celebrated the 20th anniversary of the official twinning of Skerries and the Canton of Guichen.
Guichen is a commune of seven small towns and villages in the départment of Ille et Vilaine. It lies 15 km. south-west of Rennes, the fifth largest city in France. It is easily accessible by air to Rennes airport or by ferry to Roscoff or Cherbourg. It combines rural landscape and pretty small towns. The river Vilaine flows through the Canton and boating and fishing activities are popular. Forest walks abound and it is ideal base for exploring the nearby city of Rennes and the beautiful rural landscape of the Brocéliande.
Like Skerries, it provides a commuter base for many of those who travel daily to work in Rennes and its environs. Horticulture and agriculture also provide employment, as well as a number of smaller industries. Each of the seven towns has its own primary school and there are two second-level schools – Collège du Noël du Fail in Guichen, which is a public school and Collège St. Joseph in Guignen, which is a private Catholic school. Each town has its own local council with locally elected councillors. There are well-equipped community centres in each town providing facilities for indoor and outdoor sports and cultural activities.
Over the twenty years of official twinning visitors from each area have exchanged annual visits. These have included school exchanges between our second level schools, as well as individual student exchanges. Visits to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day have been held in both areas. A choral exchange over two years was another major undertaking, with visitors from each area coming together to perform in public. Interest-centred visits on the environment, water provision and waste disposal have also taken place. A regular feature has been sports exchanges for teenagers from both Skerries and Guichen. This has given French children an opportunity to experience Gaelic games, cricket, sailing, rugby, field hockey, while Skerries teenagers have tried their hand at archery, Olympic handball, karate, as well as the tried and trusted soccer. But most of all, it has given children the opportunity to live in each other’s homes and get to know how family life works in each other’s countries.
Chair: Peter Ayton
Vice Chair: John Coleman
Secretary: Geraldine McQuillan
Facebook page: Skerries Town Twinning Association
News about Skerries Town Twinning: Skerries Community Association Blog: Town Twinning
See also: Skerries Town Twinning / EU for Citizens 2015
Last updated on 15 December 2014.