A tale of twinned towns

By Paul Carton

Photos Courtesy of Wikicommons.

You only have to look at our ‘Silicon docks’ and see why Dublin City Council decided to twin cities with San Jose / Silicon Valley in California.

Twinning with cities and towns is a distant memory now, but one of the cities that Dublin has twinned with has proven to be a lucrative venture for the council. Dublin has twinned with Liverpool and Barcelona but the one that stands out is the partnership that Dublin City Council made with San Jose, culminating in our own stretch of tech giants known as Silicon Docks. Here at NewsFour, we notice the city getting bigger but the towns like Ringsend and Irishtown seem stuck in a dimension where time stays still.

We are in a position here at this newspaper to apply on behalf of the villages we cover to apply for town twinning, which partners these communities up with other towns in other countries, with the purpose of establishing links, sharing political views, culture and history and developing partnerships across the world.
This EU funded movement began after the Second World War in parallel with the European integration. One of the major developments came after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when EU member states and countries from Central or Eastern Europe began twinning towns to prepare for their integration into the European Union.
Signs to inform the public that the town they are entering has been twinned with another town in Europe still remain on roadsides.
Another example of town twinning was in 2000, when the village of Rathcoole in South County Dublin was twinned with École-Valentin in France. This involved inviting and hosting the French town twinning committee for a few nights and a sharing of culture and history with a tour around such important sites around the country and vice versa.

All this was supported by the South Dublin County Council and the French municipality who in turn received funding from the EU town twinning grants. The funding also goes into school trips to those towns for pupils to appreciate the culture and a taste of the language in towns involved.
Back around the time when Dublin City Council linked with the City of Liverpool, Ken McCue on behalf of the Dublin Inner City Arts project applied for town twinning between Dublin and Liverpool based on the postcodes i.e Dublin 4 was to be linked with Liverpool 4. Ken who now works as Cultural planner for Sports against Racism said that the application, after months of project work, was denied by the EU because it was “one or two nautical miles less than the minimum distance” that is required for towns to be twinned.

Ken told NewsFour that, with Brexit on the horizon, twinning with towns in the UK couldn’t be more important than it is now, with the distance growing between neighbouring countries.
If you have any suggestions or would like to take part in the project please contact me here at paulcartonnewsfour@gmail.com