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Carrigaline Twinning with Kirchseeon

By Carrigaline
CARRIGALINE TWINNING WITH KIRCHSEEON by Howard Crowdy


Carrigaline’s ties with their twin town of Kirchseeon in Bavaria were strengthened even further with a very successful five day trip in July 2018, as friendships were rekindled following the German group’s visit to Ireland last March.

Kirchseeon is a small town in Bavaria with a population of 10500 with less than 20% under the age of 18, about 25kms south east of Munich which is the third largest city in Germany.
The two communities signed a twinning charter in the Carrigaline Court Hotel in May 2015 in the presence of Minister Simon Coveney TD and Benedikt Wiedenhofer, representative of the German Ambassador to Ireland, as well as dignitaries from Cork County Council and local councillors and representatives from a number of local groups and organisations from both communities. 

The charter was signed by Jim Kelly, Chair Carrigaline Twinning Association and Udo Ockel, Mayor of Kirchseeon , who had worked tirelessly over two years in preparation of the signing of the twinning charter and who had managed to bring the two communities closer together. Also signing the charter was Deirdre Forde, chair of Ballincollig Carrigaline Municipal Area.
Since then, both twinning groups have visited each other’s respective community; the group from Kirchseeon in March 2017, with the Carrigaline group making a journey to Bavaria in December 2016 and more recently in July 2018.

This is Carrigaline’s second twinning – they twinned with Guidel in Brittany back in 1986 making it one of the longest running active twinning communities with upwards of 30 people travelling to and fro between Ireland and Brittany every second year.

The Bavarian twinning is still relatively in its infancy, but a 20 strong group stayed in Carrigaline over St Patrick’s weekend in 2017 and enjoyed the hospitality of their hosts who took them to Cork City, Kinsale, Midleton and Garretstown. They also attended a number of ceili sessions courtesy of members of the local Carrigdhoun Comhaltas group and the Owenabue Valley traditional group in the GAA Club and the Carrigaline Court Hotel.

And so to the return Irish visit which took place from July 19-24 in 2018 with a small group who were welcomed with open arms complete with Irish and Kirchseeon flags upon their late evening arrival at Munich airport.

The following day a half hour’s train ride to the centre of Munich, then a fifteen minute tram ride took the group to the former Royal Palace of Nymphenburg, commonly referred as the ‘German Versailles’ which was home to the Royal Family from 1760 and built by King Ludwig II. 
Later, after cooling down from 28 degree heat in Munich’s largest beer garden area, the group split up and went separate ways into the city, visiting local churches, markets and shops as well as the 306 step climb up to St Peters tower with a spectacular view of the Marianplatz (Main Square) and the Rathaus (Town Hall). 

Later that evening the local Bavarian Dance group entertained the party in a Greek styled restaurant in Kirchseeon and who even had a brief lesson on Irish dancing much to their amusement and delight! The Irish group also entertained their hosts with a sing song led by Jim Kelly and Michelle Hogan.

On Saturday, the party travelled to the nearby town of Wasserburg, a medieval town surrounded on three sides by the River Inn and were given a tour of the local beer cellars where the temperature underground was 7 degrees, which kept the beer cool during the summer months. 
In the evening the group attended a Dorffest in nearby Eglharting where the local community turned out in the town’s fire station for a big party complete with large amounts of Bavarian beer and music which commenced at 6pm and went on until 11pm that evening. 

On Sunday morning the party travelled to a local Community run barbeque gathering where the local Bavarian Brass band played live traditional music in front of a large appreciative crowd. Unfortunately the weather turned against the visiting party and plans for outdoor events had to be changed quickly. However another BBQ at the home of one of the hosts proved to be very enjoyable where a video presentation on the Bavarian groups visit to Carrigaline last year was shown.
Monday was the main highlight of the five day visit with a spectacular visit to Berchtesgaden, situated on the Austrian border and at the base of the Alps and about 1 and a half hours drive from Kirchseeon.

 The group visited the Berchtesgaden Salt Mines which have become a major tourist attraction in recent years and where salt has been extracted from the mountains for the past 500 years and subsequently exported throughout the World. A gradual climb up the mountains took in some spectacular views of the valley 1500 metres below, catching a glimpse of Salzburg in the distance on one side and the famous ‘Eagles Nest’, Hitler’s hideaway, on the other which was even higher again perched on the edge of a mountain. The sun managed to break through the clouds for a time offering up a truly amazing view amongst some of the highest mountains in Germany.

In what appeared to be a very short time, it was time to say goodbyes as friendships were made and rekindled as the Irish group headed back home. Provisional plans were put in place for the return visit by the Bavarian group in September 2019, with the promise to bring the town’s traditional ‘Perchten’. These are part of the local folklore where locals dressed up as mythical creatures in heavy fur coats and huge wooden grotesque looking masks who parade and dance along the streets, banishing the evil spirits of the cold winter normally between Christmas and 6th January.

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The official site of Carrigaline -the thriving town at the South Coast of County Cork, Ireland. Site established by Carrigaline Community Association.