Relaunch of newly refurbished Luncheon Club at Cara House, Skibbereen

Relaunch of newly refurbished Luncheon Club at Cara House, Skibbereen

Martin O'Mahony, Chairperson, Geriatric Society; Peggy Hurley & Aine Minihane, Services Manager.

Martin O’Mahony, Chairperson, Geriatric Society; Peggy Hurley & Aine Minihane, Services Manager.

FORTY-eight enthusiastic members of the Skibbereen Luncheon Club were welcomed to the newly refurbished and extended premises by Service Manager, Aine Minihane recently.

“Over coffee old friends were re-acquainted and it was clear to see that new friendships were being forged”, said Aine.

The ethos of Skibbereen Geriatric Society, founded in 1970 is based entirely on the provision of service to the older people of Skibbereen and its wide hinterland. The Luncheon Club was established in 2013 and received funding from the National Lottery and Cork County Council to refurbish the old building, to remove the old bedrooms and extend the dinning room to allow for a purpose-built building for older adults.

The club is a social club which aims to empower individuals not to just exist in the community but to flourish and be an active part of their community. The club encourages the participation of all club members. This people centered facility is open every Tuesday and Friday morning at 11am with morning coffee and freshly baked scones, daily newspapers and magazines are also available. There is a gentle exercise routine every day and a three-course meal is served in the dinning room. There are also guest speakers providing useful information talks every week and music regularly.

Staff at Cara House.

Staff at Cara House.

The Luncheon Club can also facilitate transport from many areas including Skibbereen, Leap and Castlehaven.

If any volunteer speakers or individuals for art, craft or music are interested contact 028 22269. Following the success of the relaunch of the Luncheon Club wishes to emphasise the essential need for prior booking on 028 22269 or email

Crumbling road surface on N71 in Leap to continue until 2016

Crumbling road surface on N71 in Leap to continue until 2016

The road-surface in Leap is in poor condition

The road-surface in Leap is in poor condition

LOCAL Fine Gael TD Jim Daly has criticised the National Roads Authority and the stated position of their programme manager Gary Lynch in relation to the condition of the road surface at Leap.

In a letter issued by the NRA in response to Deputy Daly’s representations, Mr Lynch stated that “strengthening works have been identified on the N71 in Leap and the works are currently scheduled to be undertaken in 2016”.

He also stated that national roads are prioritised on the basis of machine-based condition surveys of the network and he hoped his response was of assistance.

Deputy Daly said, “The substance of the response was completely inadequate. To suggest that this stretch of road will be left in its current state until 2016 is of no assistance to me or indeed the people of Leap.”

“Regardless of the ‘machine-based surveys’ that are undertaken I have informed the NRA that the surface of this stretch of national road which is routed through the small village of Leap is crumbling beneath the users of the surface.

“As the area is located in a village it is not just motorists who have to navigate the obstacles but also pedestrians, including many children who have to cross the busy road on their way to school. There are layers of the top surface, many up to 100mm deep after peeling away and an accident is waiting to happen to some pedestrian who will trip over these hazards as they attempt to cross the road.”

The TD said he has asked the NRA to re-examine and re-survey this area in its current state and to furnish him with a copy of the completed report as soon as possible. He has also requested the NRA officials to liaise with Cork County Council to organise without delay spot repairs as more permanent options are considered. The Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe hashas also been given a copy of the correspondence to date by Deputy Daly.

Flying Colours for West Cork Arts Centre’s new building: inviting all primary school children to be part of an exciting new art installation

Flying Colours for West Cork Arts Centre’s new building: inviting all primary school children to be part of an exciting new art installation

flying-colours-3FLYING Colours is an exciting initiative from West Cork Arts Centre and West Cork Education Centre bringing the colour, creativity and energy of children’s artwork into West Cork Arts Centre’s new building from the very beginning.

West Cork Arts Centre’s annual Primary Schools Programme has been a core part of their programming for more than ten years, working with teachers and children from all over West Cork to explore contemporary art practice and create the annual Children’s Exhibition, a highlight of the exhibition calendar. This autumn, as they move into their brand new premises in the centre of Skibbereen, including Primary School children and teachers as an important part of the arts community remains a priority.

Developed and implemented by visual artist and Schools Coordinator, Alison Cronin, Flying Colours invites all teachers and children from every West Cork Primary School to contribute their own individual element to an installation artwork. The final installation will flood the spaces of the new building with colour, and be on show as part of the opening season later this autumn, alongside artwork from professional, nationally and internationally renowned artists. Each child is invited to create a colourful and imaginative flying creature incorporating the child’s name and village or townland. These creatures will be hung in waves of colour throughout the building, swarming up corridors and down stairways across the building.

An installation like this represents each individual child, as well as what can be achieved when we all work together, and will join together children from towns, villages and islands across the West Cork region in a flood of colour.

This project is being run in partnership with the West Cork Education Centre. Teachers who would like to register for the project can contact them on 023 885 6756. Teachers workshops, demonstrating techniques and approaches for use in the project, are taking place at West Cork Education Centre in Dunmanway on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 September. Booking is essential. A project pack will be available soon, with ideas for the classroom, on There is no fee to participate in the programme or the workshops, and the project is open to all primary schools across West Cork. Be part of it!

West Cork and Kenmare among the medals at tidy towns 2014

West Cork and Kenmare among the medals at tidy towns 2014

Tidy Towns volunteer duo Jimmy O’ Regan and Tom Keating recently undertook the power washing of another blackspot in town, which it is hoped will be painted soon. A couple of months ago they transformed the former Houlihan’s Bakery building in a similar way.

Tidy Towns volunteer duo Jimmy O’ Regan and Tom Keating recently undertook the power washing of another blackspot in town, which it is hoped will be painted soon. A couple of months ago they transformed the former Houlihan’s Bakery building in a similar way.

TOWNS, villages and islands across the region were among the winners at the 2014 SuperValu Tidy Towns competition this year.

Regular strong performers in the Category C section Clonakilty, Kinsale and Kenmare all picked up gold medals.

In Category A for the smallest villages, Eyeries and Rathbarry both won silver medals as did Bantry in Category D and Sneem in Category B.

Also performing well and picking up bronze medals were Rosscarbery and Timoleague in Category B.

There were double celebrations in Kinsale with the town also scoping the tourism award while Kealkill was among the “Endeavour” award winners for the best improvement year-on-year.

Off the coast West Cork led the way with Bere Island being named Ireland’s tidiest island while Sherkin was also recognised with a “highly commended” accolade.

Many towns and villages across the region performed strongly reflecting the pride of place of the local people in West Cork and Kenmare; Kilkenny City was the overall national winner with 320 points, the city last won the title in 1985.

Overall results for West Cork and Kenmare area with points:



Rathbarry 311

Eyeries 310

Lislevane 302

Bere Island 299

Sherkin Island 294

Kilbrittain 293

Kilcrohane 283

Ardfield 279

Glandore 278

Ring 269

Lauragh 255

Cuil Aodha 254

Castletownshend 249

Toormore 247

Whiddy Island 247

Ballylickey 243

Goleen 242

Inchigeelagh 240

Dursey Island 238

Lisavaird 232

Kilgarvan 213



Sneem 312

Rosscarbery 308

Timoleague 306

Ballydehob 304

Glengarriff 298

Innishannon 296

Union Hall 285

Courtmacsherry 275

Baltimore 274

Schull 266

Kealkill 257

Aherla 239

Ballinspittle 218

Coachford 201



Skibbereen 294

Dunmanway 278

Castletownbere 275



Clonakilty 315

Kenmare 315

Kinsale 310

Bantry 307

Macroom 303



Bandon 286

Belling West Cork Artisan Food Awards winners announced

Belling West Cork Artisan Food Awards winners announced

Pictured at the Belling West Cork Artisan Food Forum Awards held at Liss Ard Estate, Skibbereen, Co. Cork as part of the A Taste of West Cork Food Festival was Rose O'Driscoll, Una Fitzgibbons (Marketing Services Director, Bord Bia), John Field (Fields of Skibbereen, Supervalu), Avril Allshire (Rosscarbery recipes), Elmer Nolan (Union Hall smoked fish) & Helen Collins (Chairperson, A taste of West Cork) Photography: Emma Jervis Photography

Pictured at the Belling West Cork Artisan Food Forum Awards held at Liss Ard Estate, Skibbereen, Co. Cork as part of the A Taste of West Cork Food Festival was Rose O’Driscoll, Una Fitzgibbons (Marketing Services Director, Bord Bia), John Field (Fields of Skibbereen, Supervalu), Avril Allshire (Rosscarbery recipes), Elmer Nolan (Union Hall smoked fish) & Helen Collins (Chairperson, A taste of West Cork)
Pic: Emma Jervis 

A TASTE of West Cork Food Festival, which runs annually in September, has announced the winners of the prestigious Belling West Cork Artisan Food Awards, held at Liss Ard Estate, Skibbereen recently, and which recognises excellence in artisan food production.  The awards went to Caherbeg Free Range Pork  (Rosscarbery, Co. Cork) and Toonsbridge Dairy (Macroom) which produces Mozarella cheese.  Other finalists short-listed for awards included Claire’s Homemade Hummus (Union Hall), West Cork Pies (Schull),  Glebe Gardens (Baltimore), and Durrus Cheese (Durrus, Bantry).

Chairman of the Awards, John Field (Fields Supervalu) also presented a Hall of Fame Award to Elmar Nolan (Union Hall Smoked Fish Ltd) in recognition of her contribution to excellence and quality in the food supply sector, and for being a “great ambassador West for West Cork”.

A Taste of West Cork Festival sees 16 towns and villages and over 90 restaurants and pubs and numerous hotels and guesthouses welcome visitors from the region, nationally and from the UK and Europe.

The festival, which is now in its 11th year, is, according to Chairperson Helen Collins “enjoying fantastic take-up on bookings for events, with some events being repeated, such is the demand”.

She added, “Events such as ‘The Story of Milk’ running at Fields Old Bakery in Skibbereen, and West Cork Tasting & Music at the lovely Grove House in Schull are proving very popular, while the biodiversity and wonder of the estate – the Manch Project – is creating a frisson of excitement for visitors to Ballineen, to mention a few. There are so many culinary, educational, and fun events going Wests Cork region – there’s something for everyone”.

See for more.

Earn your SCARs on the Wild Atlantic Way

Earn your SCARs on the Wild Atlantic Way

Colm O'Driscoll, Brian Hurley, Donal Og Hodnett (Cork Senior Footballers 2014) and Leo the Lion launch the SCAR event. Pic: Emma Jervis

Colm O’Driscoll, Brian Hurley, Donal Og Hodnett (Cork Senior Footballers 2014) and Leo the Lion launch the SCAR event.
Pic: Emma Jervis

IRELAND’S only adventure race which gives 100 per cent of the proceeds to charity, will take place along part of the spectacular West Cork leg of the Wild Atlantic Way, this October.

‘SCAR’ – the Skibbereen Charity Adventure Race – has already signed up a number of top Irish adventure athletes, including Jerry O’Sullivan (2012 Adventure Race National Series sport category winner), Chris Caulfield (National Adventure Race Champion 2013-Men’s Expert), and Fiona Meade (Adventure Race Champion).

The race will be organised and run by a 100pc volunteer committee, from the Skibbereen & District Lions Club.


Irish adventure racing has seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years, but what makes Skibbereen’s three-course offering unique is the volunteer organisation behind it. This will allow the total funds raised to be donated to charity – 50pc to Cork Association for Autism, and the remainder to nominated local organisations, through Skibbereen Lions Club.

The SCAR race, which takes place on Saturday October 18, will offer Taster, Sport and Expert options, ranging from an entry level 17km to a thigh-busting 76km.

Catering for everyone from the beginner adventure racer, to the elite athlete, SCAR will involve a mix of running, cycling and (in the Sport and Expert courses) kayaking.

The route will comprise the stunning coastal scenery of the Wild Atlantic Way – following a course which hugs the sea from Skibbereen, through Castletownshend, Union Hall, Tragumna, and finishing in the stunning Liss Ard Country House estate, near Skibbereen.

The kayaking stages will take place in the largest saltwater lake in Europe – Lough Hyne, near Baltimore.

|In the Skibbereen club, there are several members who are regular adventure racers, so we thought why not create our own race event as a fundraiser, where every cent of a participant’s entry fee will go to charity,” said organiser Ciaran Dillane. ‘The Sport and Expert courses are designed to attract the more serious racers from around the country, with several racers joining us from the UK.  They will get to pit themselves against some of the country’s top adventure racers and tri-atheletes on the day.”

“To get to a point where we can donate all the entry fees we have to have major support from the community to provide all the equipment and support free of charge,” Ciaran added. “On behalf of Skibb Lions Club, I’d like to thank all of the businesses and volunteers who are supporting the race in one way or another, in particular Skibbereen Chamber of Commerce, Drinagh Co-op, Skibbereen Credit Union, Liss Ard Estate, Glenilen Farm, Emma Jervis Photography and many others, who are absorbing all the costs involved.”


The club’s chosen beneficiary is Cork Association for Autism – a charity that provides support services to adults on the autistic spectrum in Cork city and county.  Services include residential care, day service, respite, home support and an Asperger Syndrome support service.


The Cork Association for Autism (CAA) was founded in 1978 by a group of parents with autistic children in order to focus on supporting adults with Autism and Asperger Syndrome.


Services provided to individuals and their families include: respite, residential living, home support, day service, and Asperger Syndrome support service. Service centres are based in Carrigtwohill, Mogeely and Bishopstown, with the Asperger Syndrome Support Service running out of Penrose Wharf. The CAA supports each individual to live the very best life that they can lead with their disability and they focus on the individual person at all times. The CAA now provides support services to approximately 200 adults on the autistic spectrum.


The CAA is currently fundraising for their ‘Building for the Future’ project which involves essential repair and building work at their service centres.


The event is hoping to raise €12,500 for charity – with a target of 300 participants. Already, over 150 have signed up.


For more see or

Labour Activation Minister visits West Cork

Labour Activation Minister visits West Cork

humphreys-heritageMINISTER of State at the Department of Social Protection, Kevin Humphreys T.D and local Labour TD Michael McCarthy, today visited a number of centres offering supports for jobseekers across West Cork.

Deputy McCarthy said, “Tackling unemployment remains the single biggest issue for West Cork. I was delighted to show new Minister for Labour Activation, Kevin Humphreys, around today so that he could see for himself how this region is fighting back.

“While the national economy is showing signs of recovery, as a TD for Cork South West, I remain determined to see that this trend translates into real jobs across the county. This area was badly hit during the recession and sadly many young people emigrated. As things turn around, targeted action is particularly needed to encourage young jobseekers to take up the many great career-focused training schemes on offer, so that they can acquire the skills they need to get the jobs they want.”


The visit included a stop off to the Skibbereen Heritage Centre which collaborates with the Department Social Protection through the Rural Social Scheme. Followed by a call to the Skibbereen Geriatric Society, as well as a visit to the Model Railway Village in Clonakilty, to meet with a group of jobseekers with various skills including carpentry and joinery that are currently working on a renovation project.  Minister Humphreys and Deputy McCarthy then visited the West Cork Development Partnership Office in Clonakilty, as well as meet with the local Community Council in Dunmanway and the volunteers working in the local St. Vincent de Paul shop in the town.

Minister Humphreys said, “I am very pleased to be in West Cork today and meet with the many local people and groups who give so much of their time to helping improve their communities.  I will also be meeting with officials from my Department and discussing with them the progress that is being made in working with unemployed people to get them back to work.  Having come through a very difficult recession, all of us, at Government and local level, must focus on getting our unemployed people back to work.  I look forward to working on the progress that’s being made and where possible look at new channels that could lead to jobseekers finding work.”

Union Hall’s new RNLI lifeboat station is ready for action

Union Hall’s new RNLI lifeboat station is ready for action

The new Union Hall lifeboat.

The new Union Hall lifeboat. Pic: RNLI


THE RNLI’s 45th lifeboat station in Ireland has officially been put on service at Union Hall for a trial period of two years. The station boat is now a declared search and rescue asset based at Keelbeg Pier in Union Hall.

The RNLI will operate a B class Atlantic 75 lifeboat from temporary station facilities and launching from a slipway adjacent to the pier. The station’s lifeboat Maritime Nation has come from the existing RNLI relief fleet and was previously on service in Galway City, Red Bay in County Antrim and Crosshaven in County Cork. Following a two year trial period the RNLI will then make a decision on whether to establish a permanent lifeboat station.

Representations were made to the RNLI in February 2013 for a declared search and rescue asset to be established at Union Hall. Following meetings last year a team of volunteers was selected to operate the station and crew the lifeboat.  There has since been an intensive period of training for the volunteer lifeboat crew, which has included months of training at Union Hall and visits to the RNLI training college in Poole.

There are currently 16 volunteer lifeboat crew including six helms at Union Hall. Their backgrounds range from a civil engineer, Guard, electrician, carpenter, fisherman, fishmonger and fireman. There are also two members of the one family involved with Castlehaven GAA club. Footballers and brothers Shane and Stephen Hurley are members of the crew. The station also has one female crew member in Carla Nugent.

Lifeboat Operations Manager John Kelleher is proud of the new station, which he and other local people had been active in securing for the area. He said, “This is a great day for everyone involved in the setting up of this station. For years the community in Union Hall and the surrounding areas of West Cork have supported the RNLI with street collections and various fundraising events.  Even though we did not have a station in Union Hall we knew how important it was to have the lifeboat service in Ireland.

“The late Joe Regan, a former mechanic at Baltimore RNLI and former chairman of the Union Hall Fundraising Committee started things rolling many years ago before others in the community took up the challenge.  We received great support and encouragement from everyone involved with the RNLI at both Swords and Poole. To see this group of volunteers coming together and training with the lifeboat and now going on service is a proud day for me.”

The station will operate approximately eight miles to the west and 14 miles to the east of the greater Glandore Bay area. It is a popular spot for fishermen and visitors including anglers, rowers, swimmers and sailors. The station is flanked by Courtmacsherry RNLI to the east and Baltimore RNLI to the west.

Ronan Boyle RNLI Divisional Operations Manager said, “On behalf of the RNLI I wish everyone involved at the new trial lifeboat station in Union Hall every success.  From the initial meeting right through to the start day, the enthusiasm shown by the crew and station management has been overwhelming. I am delighted that Union Hall now the opportunity to demonstrate the utility of a lifeboat in this location for the trial period of two years.”

David Puttnam to chair the Belling Forum to explore the further promotion & appreciation of all that is West Cork

David Puttnam to chair the Belling Forum to explore the further promotion & appreciation of all that is West Cork

Sean O'Driscoll, of Glen Dimplex Belling.

Sean O’Driscoll, of Glen Dimplex Belling.

ONE of the key events during A Taste of West Cork Food Festival (which runs from 4th-15th September in 16 towns and villages in the area) is the Belling Forum and the Belling West Cork Artisan Food Awards which will be held on Saturday, September 6th at 2pm at Liss Ard House, Skibbereen.

The Forum is entitled ‘Promotion and Appreciation – promoting the West Cork Brand nationally and internationally’.  With the strategic position West Cork has on the Wild Atlantic Way, the focus of the Belling Forum this year is to support the creation of a recognisable West Cork brand, promoting West Cork food and West Cork as a tourist destination.

The Forum, which will be chaired by Lord David Puttnam will include the following speakers;

  • Tim Lucey, Cork County Manager
  • Seán O’Driscoll, Managing Director, Glen Dimplex/Belling
  • Eamon Howell, Purchasing Director, Musgraves
  • Una Fitzgibbon, Director of Marketing, Bórd Bia
  • John McKenna, Food Writer and Critic (Author of “Where to Eat and Stay on the Wild Atlantic Way”)
  • Helen Collins, Chairperson of Taste of West Cork Food Festival
  • John Field of Fields Supervalu –  Chairman of the Belling Awards

The Forum will be followed by the announcement and presentation of the 2014 Belling Awards, showcasing the best of artisan foods from West Cork.

Finalists for the Belling Awards include Claire’s Homemade Hummus (Union Hall); West Cork Pies (Schull), Glebe Gardens (Baltimore); Toonsbridge Dairy (Macroom); Caherbeg Free Range Pork (Rosscarbery) and Durrus Cheese, (Durrus, Bantry).

Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School is guest speaker at the awards dinner which follows.

Full information on this forum and A Taste of West Cork Food Festival can be found at

Irish South Coast Dragons 2014 at Glandore

Irish South Coast Dragons 2014 at Glandore

IMG_1581400Bigger Dragon fleet at Glandore for this years South Coast Dragon Regatta, we had 15 entries, 6 from Dublin Clubs, 5 from Kinsale and 4 from the home club GHYC, this is up from last year and bodes well for the Glandore fleet with the prospect of up to three more dragons joining the club for the 2015 season. The Club was delighted that Richard Leonard of RCYC was again able to come and act as PRO for the Dragon South Coasts and we wish to thank Jim Whitaker and Wayfarer for acting as committee boat.

Racing was scheduled to start at 13:00 on Friday 29th September, however given the storm crossing south of Ireland last Friday the PRO ribbed out south of Adam Island to assess the sea conditions before coming to a decision to postpone race one until Saturday morning. The forecast was that the weather would settle Saturday and Sunday so that the regatta would see the full five races completed before lift out on Sunday afternoon. There was a quiet reception at the new GHYC Club house on Thursday evening to welcome our visitors, the majority of the boats then lifted in on Friday morning.


_MG_8751400Saturday morning race one started on schedule in a settled 270 wind, the first race was won by Chimaera sailed by Andrew Craig with Mark Petit and Brian Matthews. Kinsale’s Cameron Good sailing Little Fella came second with Martin Byrnes Jaguar in third place, there was a short  postponement between race one and two as there was a slight northerly shift which meant the course marks had to be re-laid, race two got underway and the top three came in in reverse order  of race one, Jaguar Martin Byrne, Adam Winkleman and and Prof O’Connell,  with Little Fella in second and Chimaera third.  The winds lightened as the afternoon passed and for race three the conditions were quite light in the east-filling tide, local boat Sonata was looking good at the bottom of the second run starting the last beat second around the mark, however race three was won by Chimaera with Cloud sailed by Clare Hogan, Neil Hogan, Richard Leonard and Jay Burke in second place, both who went to sea for the final beat and came in with a great first and second place respectively. After Saturdays races Chimaera had 5 points, Little Fella on 9 and Jaguar were on 10, with two races left the overall result was still open.


The second day, 31st August turned out to be a challenge for the PRO  as there was a threat to the final race because of poor visibility, however fortunately all races were sailed and a discard allowed. Race 4 was won by Shawn Kingstons Grey Hare, sailed by Philip Bendon with Jack Kingston, a good win for Philip who will be participating with his Glenmar match race team at the Dutch Match Race Cup later this month in Holland.  The visibility improved enough to allow Richard Leonard start race five before the 14.30 cutoff time.  Race five was won by  Chimaera with Little fella in second and Chloe finished in third place sailed by Daniel and Sean Murphy with Nelson Moor getting their best result of the regatta.



_MG_0066400With Discard applied  South Coast Dragon winners this year are Chimaera, Andrew Craig with Mark Petit and Brian Matthews.

Little Fella, Cameron Good, Henry Kingston and Simon Furney.

Jaguar, Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelman and Prof O’Connell


After lift-out Prize Giving was held in the GHYC Club House.


Seefull results table on the Club website