Offaly villages heading to France as part of twinning project

Damian Moran

Reporter:

Damian Moran

Email:

damian@offalyexpress.ie

The Ballycommon, Ballinagar and Geashill town twinning project are planning a trip to Jaux in France this June to coincide with the Jaux summer festival.

The project has grown over the last two years and this year a group of eight people RE going to Jaux, including a group of
three teenagers who are going to explore the French village and experience their lifestyle.

There is a full packed itinerary for the event which sees the group being placed in host families and escorted around the area to sightsee and to experience the rich culture of the Picardy and Paris region.

Building up to the trip, the local BBG committee have been continuing to link with the local schools of Cappagh, Ballinagar and Geashill and a skype call was organised between some children in Cappagh and the children in the school in Jaux.

Alex Aubin, the French teacher that has been mentoring the children in the schools this year, has been exemplary in
teaching the children the basics of the French language through the medium of play.

The group met in Ballycommon Telework and Training centre and linked up via Skype to Jaux. The group conversed in both English and French and the Cappagh children gave a display of Irish dancing to the school children. This was a wonderful opportunity for the schools to link up and to see each other’s progress in the foreign language and was very well received by
the teachers in both countries.

It is hoped that this programme will be continued next year in all three schools.

In May the BBG hosted a table quiz in The High Chaparral in Geashill which raised much needed funds for the project. The quiz generated many queries regarding the project and was excellently hosted by Liz and Derek Martin and compared professionally by Gerard Nolan.

The BBG committee would like to extend a huge vote of thanks to all those who partook in the quiz and sponsored the raffle prizes. The winning group donated the winnings back to the BBG to help continue the work within the community.

Ballinagar also received funding for a planter for the village which was skilfully planted by Mags and Frank Duffy and Noel O’Brien in the Red White and Blue colours of the French flag. This is placed on the traffic island on the Geashill road out of Ballinagar and will be tended to by Mags and the keen gardeners in the Ballinagar area.

The summer is a great time to celebrate the Town Twinning project in the communities of Ballycommon, Ballinagar and Geashill and this will commence with Boules on the Green in Geashill on Saturday, July 14 in conjunction with Bastille day.

Bastille day is the French national day and is the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, a turning
point in the French revolution, as well as the Féte de la Féderation which celebrated the unity of the French people on July14, 1790 where celebrations are held throughout France.

Like our St. Patricks Day, Bastille Day will be an opportunity for all French nationals who are in the midlands area to join the BBG community to celebrate from 7pm on the green in Geashill village for a game of Boules (Irish Style) and some ceoil agus craic.

For more information contact any of the committee members. To see more information check out Facebook/bbgtowntwinning or call any of the members of the BBG Committee.

The BBG committee members consist of: Gerard Nolan, Mary O’Connor (Ballycommon), Greta Clear (Geashill), Mags Duffy, Denise Keoghan 087 9183352 & Margo Sheil (Ballinagar).

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