Nearly 400 years after the coastal community of Scituate, MA was founded, it has finally forged an official connection to the country from which so many of its residents trace their roots. On December 8, five visiting officials from the West Cork region of Ireland signed a “Sister City” agreement with the town.
Growing up in Scituate, I often heard it referred to as the “Irish Riviera” – which was a little awkward for a kid with a name like Dina Maria Fantegrossi! The Murphys, O’Donnells and McCormacks definitely had the monopoly!
Approximately 48% of Scituate residents list their primary ancestry as Irish, making it not only the most Irish town in Massachusetts, but in all of America! Pretty impressive for a little fishing village with a population of 18,000.
Patricia McCarthy Jacquart is the head of the Scituate Sister City Project. She traces her own roots back to West Cork and thought it only appropriate for America’s Most Irish Town to forge an official connection with its homeland.
The sister city agreement means that the two communities will promote cultural exchange with one another in the form of tourism, school groups, sports teams, and culinary projects. After touring Scituate, the representatives from West Cork were struck by how similar it is to their own coastal town.
Cork County Mayor Seamus McGrath was among the representatives present to sign the agreement last week. He told wickedlocal.com:
We had a wonderful tour of Scituate. It’s an incredibly impressive place. It’s a town I think we can connect with.”
According to Jacquart the next step is to form a Scituate West Cork Sister City Committee and send a delegation to Ireland to sign the pact there.
The Scituate Sister City Committee has already facilitated a similar relationship with the French city of Sucy-en-Brie, located about 10 miles from Paris. The non-profit group plans to continue to pursue more partnerships with cities across the world.