Anybody living in Carrickmacross or in any of the areas around Carrickmacross is welcome to join the Town Twinning Association. Distance from the town is not a barrier to membership. While it is an advantage to have some French it is not essential. Many people have had a brilliant time in Carhaix, France without ever needing to use the French language. The Town Twinning Association organises relatively cheap holidays and exchange programmes for people of all ages.
Adult / Family Exchange Trips
Adult individuals, couples or families can apply to go on eight-day holidays, which take place every second year.
The first three to four nights are spent in good quality hotels in some part of France.
The location is agreed when the group is formed.
The second part of the holiday is spent in Carhaix in the homes of French families. Group activities and social evenings are organised each day.
The following year the Carhaix group comes to Ireland to spend three / four nights in Carrickmacross homes and the rest of the time in some other part of Ireland. There is minimum disruption to family life.
Language or communication is rarely a problem. The holidays are always great fun and many real friendships have been made over the years.
In 2006 the cost was €550 for adults, €275 for children (any age), which included flights, insurance and hotel accommodation from July 8th to July 15th inclusive.
Leaving Certificate & Third Level Students Placements
Over the years Irish University or Institute of Technology Students have applied to spend time in Carhaix to improve their oral French. Generally, individual exchange partners are found for them. The student spends anything from three weeks during the summer holidays living with his / her French partner. The French partner then spends a similar amount of time in Ireland to improve his / her English. Another excellent way to improve one’s language is by working in France for the summer. The Twinning Committee has organised several work placements for Irish students in Carhaix and organised jobs for Carhaix students in Carrickmacross.
The twinning Committee can organise introductions (translation if necessary) whereby a Carrickmacross family swap their house for a few weeks for a cheap summer holiday with a Carhaix family.
School Exchange Programmes
If you are a student of Inver College, Patrician High School or Saint Louis Secondary School you are welcome to apply to take part in the Exchange Programmes.
School Exchange Partners
Students from the three schools in Carrickmacross are invited to complete an application form.
Carhaix students are invited by their teachers to complete a similar type application form.
Irish and French students are matched by common interests / hobbies, age etc.
When the students accept the match, they then become exchange partners.
The Carrickmacross students leave school for one week, usually in the third week of September, to travel with a group of fellow students to France.
They are accompanied by adults or teachers from their school.
They stay in their French partners’ homes at night and come to the school gate with them in the morning and go home with them after school in the evening.
While their French partner attends school as usual, the Irish students spend their days together on coach tours around parts of Northern France.
The French students come to Carrickmacross in April / May. They stay in Irish family homes and spend their days from 9am to 4pm (apart from one day, which, is 9am to 8pm) on coach trips while the Irish students are at school.
There is minimum interruption to school and family life while at the same time students learn a great deal (culture & language) by living in the homes of their exchange partners.
Many long lasting friendships have been made.
Special Interest Groups
Introductions can be made for special interest groups, soccer, choral society etc. Carrickmacross scout venturers spent an excellent two weeks in Carhaix Camp Site some years ago. Bikes, a marquee tent and the Town Council bus were among some of the items provided for them by Carhaix Town Twinning Committee.
The Rock Music Festival
The biggest rock festival in Europe, known as “Le Festival des Vieilles Charrues”, takes place in Carhaix every year on the third week in July. (July 20th – 23rd 2006). Many Carrickmacross rock fans, who kept up the friendship with their exchange partners, attend the festival and get free accommodation with their Carhaix friends.
Anybody going to France is welcome to inform the Carrickmacross Town Twinning Committee if they plan to be near Carhaix. Carhaix, only 80 km from the Ferry Port of Roscoff, has a lot to offer the visitor such as; an excellent adventure park for all ages, a top class swimming pool, jacuzzi and water slides, go-carting, bowling, squash, pitch & putt, a high quality municipal camping and caravan park, canoeing, a pony club, an orientation course, walks, excellent restaurants and hotels. Contact numbers can be provided to help make your visit more enjoyable.
The Aims of the Association
To promote and foster friendship and understanding between the community of Carrickmacross and other communities with which the Association may form links.
To encourage visits by individuals and groups to and from linked towns particularly by children and young people, and the development of personnel contacts, and by so doing to broaden the mutual understanding of the cultural, recreational and commercial activities of the linked towns.
To organise fund-raising activities to foster the aims of the Association.
There shall be four classes of membership.
4. Special Category
A nominal membership fee is decided at the Annual General Meeting. The annual subscription is currently €5 for individuals, €10 for families. Special category members are those who render some special service to the Association, which is accepted in lieu of the annual subscription.
The Town Twinning Committee Committee
The affairs of the Association shall be conducted by a management committee consisting of not more than ten members of the Association. There are eight Committee Members for the year 2006 – Cathal Birdy, Matt Carthy, Mary Gallivan, Rose Garvey-Malone, Mary Kerr-Conlon, Michael Mc Mahon, Francie O’Donoghue and Eugene O’Gorman.
The Association shall have a President, an Honorary Secretary and an Honorary Treasurer. These shall be appointed by the Committee from among its elected members each year. Michael Mc Mahon is President, Rose Garvey-Malone is Honorary Secretary and Cathal Birdy is Honorary Treasurer.
There are three main sources of Funding.
An annual grant from Carrickmacross Town Council
Grant aid for organised trips from the European Union in Brussels
Carrickmacross / Carhaix Town Twinning Association publicly acknowledges the financial assistance from the European Commission and Carrickmacross Town Council. In addition the Association appreciates the benefit in kind, (civic receptions and the like) provided by the Town Council and organised by Town Clerk Frances Matthews and her Staff.
The financial statement is professionally audited by a qualified accountant and presented to the members at the Annual General Meeting, which takes place between January 1st and February 28th.
Ring Michael at 00-353-42-9661097. Mobile:00-353-87-7535280
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact any Committee Member