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St. Charles Sister Cities Irish Chapter Donate $40,000 Towards New Gym Floor for CCS

On Friday, 14th June, an adult delegation from Inishowen’s Sister City, St. Charles Missouri, arrived in Carndonagh to begin a four-day visit. The group were hosted by families in the locality. Tours of Inishowen, Derry City and the north coast were enjoyed during the weekend, with mayoral business conducted in CCS on Monday, 17th. Elected councillors, the Garda Superintendent, and the Fire Service Chief were in attendance to welcome the delegation to CCS. Following a fantastic display from the Coyle School of Irish Dancing, the Sinead McGonigle School of Irish Dancing, and the Inish Dance Academy, Carla O’Dell, President of the SCSC (St. Charles Sister Cities) Irish Chapter, opened the presentation ceremony. On behalf of the Mayor of St. Charles, Dan Borgmeyer, Carla presented the councillors with formal invitations to the City of St. Charles and invited the Gardaí and Fire Service to begin the process of forming partnerships with their counterparts in St. Charles.

With great joy, the visiting delegation, representing the SCSC Irish Chapter and the Missouri River Irish Festival, took to the stage to present Carndonagh Community School with a cheque for $40,000 to assist with the purchase of a new gym floor. It was a need that was noticed in 2012 and a dream that never faded. This staggering sum was the result of years of fundraising facilitated by the Missouri River Fest (, the showpiece of the SCSC Irish Chapter projects. The Management at Carndonagh Community School extended their deepest appreciation for the extraordinary generosity of the SCSC Irish Chapter.

While there are several key aspects of the Partnership, such as adult and student exchanges, community and political initiatives, fundraising, and trade and commerce, there are no apologies for the fact that potentially the most eagerly anticipated development is the prospective golf rivalry! With several handy golfers on both sides, there’s talk that the “partnership” might go out the window for two or three days during the next visit. The “Mayor-Cathaoirleach Golf Challenge” verbals have already teed-off...  See you soon!

The St. Charles-Inishowen Partnership was formally inaugurated in 2016 when Rena Donaghey, then Chairperson of the Inishowen Municipal District, signed an agreement in St. Charles City with Mayor Sally Faith. The Partnership is the culmination of ongoing efforts by the St. Charles Sister Cities organisation, who initially sought to find a suitable ‘sister city’ in Ireland in 2005. In 2006, the Missouri River Irish Festival was established, allowing the sister city search to accelerate. The first green shoots of the Partnership were sprouted with the visit of pupils and staff from St. Charles West High School to Carndonagh CS in 2012. The expansion of the student exchange gave Scoil Mhuire Buncrana the opportunity to begin their association with St. Charles High School. The foundation was set for the municipal Partnership that exists today. Long may it continue!

Interested in becoming involved with the St. Charles-Inishowen Partnership?  Please email John Collins at A group from Inishowen is looking to expand their friendships and ideas to make the St. Charles-Inishowen Partnership even better.  Golfers are welcome too!!


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