On last Wednesday evening outside Norma’s Corner House Bar in Goleen the Irish Tricolour and the US Star Spangled Banner hung side by side as inside a warm welcome was being made for a Delegation from the Government of Maine led by Commissioner for Economics Ms Denise Garland.
Earlier a very important agreement had been signed between Co Cork and the State of Maine at County Hall. Here in Goleen two communities met to celebrate the ancient bond between neighbours an ocean apart. We proudly call ourselves the last Parish before America and on this evening two neighbours Goleen and Maine came together with the hospitality we in West Cork are so proud of.
There is a closeness brought about through our collective histories and Michael Kingston Director of the Irish Cultural Centre in London and Special Advisor on Shipping, a son of this Parish and force behind this coming together addressed a full house of smiling faces from behind the bar of his Aunt’s Pub. There were eloquent stories told from both sides of the water of emigration and the past, ambitions for the future and hopes of closer ties between us all, songs were sung, poems read, toasts held and friends made long into the evening. It was a truly very special night and so generously hosted.