WEST KERRY and Brittany forged closer ties last week as Cairdeas Idirnaisiúnta Chorca Dhuibhne officially welcomed delegates from Erquy to Dingle.
Erquy, the largest scallop port in Europe, shares many cultural, economic and geographical similarities with Dingle and efforts have been underway for some years now to create a bond between the two towns. Cairdeas Idirnaisiúnta Chorca Dhuibhne has also been behind building links with Springfield in Massachusetts and for the town's twinning initiative with Santa Barbara, California.
Cairdeas Public Relations Officer John Moriarty, who welcomed Erquy's delegates to Dingle, said: "We hosted some very lengthy discussions and the delegates were very keen to welcome students from Dingle to Erquy to learn French. "Equally, we are keen to welcome French students to Dingle to study English, or even Irish, if they so wish.
John said the group from Erquy were enthusiastic about a cultural exchange, especially through the medium of the regions' indigenous music as Brittany is also a Celtic region.
"We hope to bring some Breton musicians to Dingle for The Gathering next year and also to send some of our traditional Irish musicians from Dingle to Erquy," said John.
Last Monday's meeting was made possible following a lengthy correspondence over a two year period between Cairdeas Idirnaisiúnta Chorca Dhuibhne and people of Erquy, most notably Mons. Jean Louis Barbedeinne who was among the delegation to visit Dingle last week.