Loughshinny Twinning Association

Loughshinny is twinned with the village of Quistinic in Morbihan, Southern Brittany.

Philosophers and government leaders have supported the idea of an united Europe for hundreds of years but it was not until after World War II ended in 1945 that a French Statesman, Jean Monnet, promoted the idea of gradually uniting the economic interests of democratic European nations. People of goodwill in France and Germany sat down to discuss a means of ending their enmity once and for all and thus the concept of the Common Market and the European Market came about.

The first six countries to sign up to the Treaty of Rome were France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg with England and Ireland joining in 1973. There now 15 Member States in the E.U. and in tandem with the expansion of the Common Market many other schemes were put in place. One of these was the concept of Town Twinning. According to the Treaty of Rome the best way for the peoples of Europe to get to know one another and to know and appreciate each other's culture, traditions and language is through Town Twinning.

There are now no less than eight twinning groups operating successfully in Fingal, mostly with towns in France but there is also a twinning arrangement between the area of North Fingal and an area in Sicily.

The official twinning of the village of Quistinic in Morbihan, Southern Brittany with the village of Loughshinny took place in 1993 with 48 people from Loughshinny, including 16 children from St. Brendan's School, travelling to Brittany for the event. The following year 62 people from Quistinic came to Loughshinny for the return ceremony and stayed with host families in the area for the week-long event.

Many group exchanges have taken place since and in 1995 representatives from Quistnic including the Mayor, Monsieur Michel Poulin, travelled to Loughshinny for the Official Opening of the Community Centre by the President of Ireland, Mrs. Mary Robinson. The two schools in Quistinic have visited Loughshinny and the children from Loughshinny with their teacher have attended one of the schools in Quistinic.

Cider pressing at Poul-FetanOne of the highlights of the year in Quistinic is the Cider Festival in Poul-Fetan which is organized by the twinning committee and is held each at the end of September. Poul-Fetan is a reconstructed 16th century village of thatched houses with an Auberge [pub-restaurant] and a gite for walkers [hostel] as well as a working museum of country life in Brittany. It is a major tourist attraction and every group from Loughshinny has visited here. The school children spent a day here learning hands-on how to milk cows, make butter, feed pigs and bake bread in outside ovens.

Quistinic extends an open invitation to the people of Loughshinny to come and visit their village, which is situated in beautiful wooded countryside in the valley of the River Blavet. It is hoped that many more exchanges will take place between sports and community groups and individuals in both regions in the years to come.