Over the years this column has received enquiries about an Irish Club on the Coast. When we started there was such made up of a group of posh French presided over by Pierre Joannon, the seemingly eternal Honorary Consul here. Anyway, the club didn't appeal to local Irish. A couple of other abortive attempts were made, including one group which chose the name Irish Riviera Association ... or IRA. One problem was that a lot of Irish people didn't see the point - as one Dubliner wrote to us, "Why must I pay a subscription to have a drink?
Now Mary Mitchell from Meath is having another go. Says Mary, now living in Mandelieu: "I've been in France for twenty years, down here for nearly three. I've noticed quite a lot of Irish people, some from the Republic, some from Northern Ireland. I thought occasional meetings or a meal would be a good idea with the possibility to exchange information and experiences. I've already had some interesting feedback - including from someone who'd like to run Gaelic classes!" Anyone interested should contact Mary.
Curiously, just the day after we talked to Mary Mitchell we got an e-mail from Siasy Collins who from the campus of the Cork Institute of Technology runs a website called europeanirish.com which offers information about Irish events of all kinds happening across Europe, plus details of 2200 Irish pubs and 30 Gaelic football clubs on the continent. There's lots of music, links to many Irish radio stations and an expats' meeting forum: My Irish Network in Europe (MINE).
From Riviera Reporter Issue 126: April/May 2008