Bretons from abroad


Ireland is a very special place for the Bretons and the relationship with the country goes really deep. Ireland is the Celtic place and Brittany never misses an opportunity to foster the links and stay in tune with its big sister.

Irish pubs and Irish shops are plentiful in Brittany, where people celebrate Saint Patrick’s day with energy. The region has started to develop Saint Yves’ day, even with a New York event (Ireland is influencing Brittany in many other ways). Many Irish people spend their vacations or retire in Brittany. Hundreds of towns and villages have a twin in Ireland, starting with Rennes and Cork since 1982, Brest and Dun Laoghaire, or Quimper with Limerick (in all fairness, many Breton cities that don’t have an Irish twin have a Welsh or Scottish one…), and are connected through Brittany-Ireland. Traditions are similar and you could easily mistake a leprechaun for a korrigan or a banshee for a groac’h. Even their missing parts (the North for Ireland, the South for Brittany) bring the 2 places closer to each other, even though of course the issue has never been as painful in Brittany as it is in Ireland.

The bond between Ireland and Brittany is such that there is a very active Breton Gaelic football community, with a team sometimes involved in the world games (2016 and 2019 for instance).

Several air or sea routes link Ireland and Brittany, and a power cable should come soon (the Celtic Interconnector), making Ireland Brittany’s closest neighbor (if we ignore the Anglo-Norman islands). Ireland is a prominent guest every year at the Interceltic Festival of Lorient. Irish regions are involved in various projects with Brittany in groups like the Atlantic Arc Commission.

Many Breton higher education institutions have exchange programs with Irish counterparts. Around a hundred Irish students come to Brittany every year.

Bretagne Commerce International develops the business links.

There are no local Bretons From Ireland groups yet.