SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — From 3,000 miles away, across the Atlantic Ocean, the city of Scranton is showing its support to its sister city in Ireland.
The special dedication happening just over a week away from the city’s St. Patrick’s Parade.
The bond between Scranton and the city of Ballina, in County Mayo, Ireland, dates back generations.
Tens of thousands of Mayo residents immigrated to Scranton in the mid to late 1880s.
“I love the idea that we have this connection because so many of our ancestors came from County Mayo,” Scranton resident and former Society of Irish Women president Cathy Wechsler said.
In 1991, they officially became sister cities, and have held a close relationship ever since.
“I know a lot of people that will be cheering for the football team on Saturday here in Scranton,” Wechsler said.
This weekend, the County Mayo Gaelic football team is going for its first championship in the All-Ireland Final. They haven’t won since 1951. In honor of their quest, Scranton officials hung the County Mayo flag outside of City Hall Wednesday.
“We’re sending a message to them that the link and the commitment and the bonds are still alive, and whenever they need our support for anything, including for their football team, we’re here to support them,” Scranton City Council president Bill Gaughan said.
Gaughan hopes the commemoration promotes more tourism from County Mayo to the city of Scranton, especially for the St. Patrick’s Parade.
“I think this is a good kickoff and hopefully next year in March we’ll have people from County Mayo come over and join us like they always have in the past,” Gaughan said.
You can watch the Scranton St. Patrick’s Parade on September 18th on WYOU beginning at noon.