Mick Flannery and Martin Stephenson among musicians to perform at Skibbereen Arts Festival

Mick Flannery and Martin Stephenson among musicians to perform at Skibbereen Arts Festival

Mick Flannery

Mick Flannery

Mick Flannery and Martin Stephenson will be among the artists and musicians set to perform at this year’s Skibbereen Arts Festival.


Cork singer songwriter Mick Flannery, who has just released his fourth album, will perform his best known songs in the acoustic surrounds of Abbeystrewry Church, Skibbereen, on Saturday August 2nd. 

Martin Stephenson will be playing in Baby Hannah’s Beer Garden on Thursday July 31st. The British musician, whose career spans over thirty years, has gained critical acclaim alongside his band ‘The Daintees’, and has a discography amounting to an impressive 40 albums.


Other music events to take place in the festival include ‘The Annual Canon Goodman Concert’, which will be held on Sunday 27th July. The concert which is held every year in recognition of influential Irish piper and music historian Canon James Goodman, will see musicians Liam O’Flynn, Paddy Glackin, and Alexander Suarez Mendez play their mastered instruments.

Uileann Pipe player Liam O’Flynn is seen as one of Ireland’s leading musicians. O’Flynn has played with the likes of Irish folk group, Planxty, whose members consist of Christy Moore and Andy Irvine, and the National Symphony Orchestra.


Paddy Glackin is Ireland’s leading fiddle player. The Dubliner was the first fiddle player in the traditional music group, The Bothy Band whose original line-up included Matt Molloy and Tony McMahon.


Cuban Galician Pipe player, Alexander Suarez Mendez will be playing along on The Sunday night. Alexander’s passion for uileann pipes began in 2011, after Gay McKeon from Na Píobairí Uileann held workshops in Havana.  The 23 year old musician now teaches the uileann pipes and tin whistle back in his home town.


A Sean Nós session will bring the craic agus ceol to the festival on Friday August 1st at Abbeystrewry Church with music from Nell Ní  Chróinín, Caoimhín Ó Feargahil and The Sean Gnóstics. The Vespertine Quintet are set to bring a flare of Chamber Music to the Festival on Friday August 1st, at Liss Ard. While four part acapella group, The Cork Sacred Harp singers are back to perform again this year at the Abbeystrewry Hall on Saturday August 2nd.

For more information on the festival, its events and bookings, please check out the Skibbereen Arts Festival website at, or for ticket information please call 087 126 0327.

A seahorse in the trees, a hill figure maze, and a dragon at additional open day of The Sculpture Trail Walk

A seahorse in the trees, a hill figure maze, and a dragon at additional open day of The Sculpture Trail Walk

dragonTHERE will be an additional open day of The Sculpture Trail walk on Saturday August 2nd, the trail is just under a mile long, a walk through the nature reserve at An Sanctoir, Ballydehob, and, as many have discovered, is a great way to get off the beaten track and right out into some stunning West Cork nature and scenery.

Sculpture and installation work by local artist Wendy Miles is blended into the the landscape along the route. Many veiwers earlier in the year spoke of their delight at finding the artworks blended into the landscape along the route.

A 10 feet high mirrored seahorse swims leisurely through the trees, deer watch from the bracken, and a huge willow dragon tries to blend in with the lakeside scenery.

While out in a mountain field walkers find and follow a 25 metre Hill Figure Maze. The sculptures are all made from natural and found materials and the trail travels through meadow, woodland, lake, riverside and rocky mountain landscapes, with stunning veiws of the West Cork countryside all around.


seahorseThe trail is open for the day on Saturday August 2nd, 11 am until 8 pm, and costs €5, children free. All are welcome; wellies or waterproof footwear is advised. An Sanctoir is first left turn 1 kilometre from Ballydehob on the N71 main Bantry road.

West Cork Arts Centre online Auction for the Arts

West Cork Arts Centre online Auction for the Arts

The new arts centre viewed from the south.

The new arts centre viewed from the south.

AFTER twenty-nine years in its current location, West Cork Arts Centre is moving to a permanent home in a purpose-built, signature building in the heart of Skibbereen. An auction in aid of the new West Cork Arts Centre will take place online at on Tuesday 5 August from 6.30pm.

As part of Morgan O’Driscoll’s August auction, West Cork Arts Centre is including over 70 lots (Lot 50 to Lot 120) to fundraise for its new building, including paintings, drawings, prints and photographs by artists from all parts of West Cork and from further afield.


The new West Cork Arts Centre, which is in its final phase of construction in the centre of the town, is due to open in November of this year. This exciting building will house two galleries for exhibitions, three artist studios, a workspace for art programmes with children, young people and adults and a multi-purpose performance space for dance, drama and public talks.


Many high calibre artists of note have contributed work, specifically to be sold in support of the West Cork Arts Centre. Among them are Charles Tyrell, Tim Goulding, John Kingerlee, Majella O’Neill Collins, Anita Groener, Patricia Hurl, Brian Fay, Patricia McKenna, Rachel Parry, Cormac Boydel, John Philip Murray, Ian Humphreys, Wendy Dison, Sarah Walker, Bernadette Kiely, Colin Flack and many more.


Online catalogue will be available from Wednesday 23 July. A selection of artworks will be available for viewing in Morgan’s showrooms on Ilen Street in Skibbereen from the 2  to 5 August and, as part of Skibbereen Arts Festival, individual artworks will be on view in shop and business windows throughout the town from 19 July.


Bidding is live from Wed 23rd July to Tuesday 5th August


To register your details on

Baltimore celebrates opening of sailing club’s newly refurbished club house

Baltimore celebrates opening of sailing club’s newly refurbished club house

Simon Coveney pictured at the opening of the newly-rebuilt Baltimore Sailing Club’s clubhouse.   Pic: Emma Jervis Photography

Simon Coveney pictured at the opening of the newly-rebuilt Baltimore Sailing Club’s clubhouse.
Pic: Emma Jervis Photography

THE village of Baltimore was celebrating recently with the opening of the newly-rebuilt clubhouse for Baltimore Sailing Club by Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine & Defence.

The scenic fishing village played host to hundreds of local and national sailors, visitors to the region and the local community, who were hugely supportive of the development of new club house and its facilities, which embraces all levels of sailing and encourages activity in the waters of the Carbery’s 100 isles surrounding Baltimore.  St. Fachtna’s Silver Band from Skibbereen added to the carnival atmosphere, performing in the open air, with the stunning backdrop of Baltimore and the islands behind and boats of all shapes and sizes rafted up to complete the picture.

Minister Coveney said, “Baltimore is a very special place in West Cork, and the vibrancy is palpable from the moment one arrives here. There is an obvious high level of co-operation between the various groups in the village and its hinterland, culminating in the re-building of this impressive structure, offering outstanding facilities for locals and visitors.

“The Government and its agencies including West Cork Development Partnership, and Cork County Council, are delighted to lend support to the project, in the knowledge that it is significantly improving marine infrastructure in Baltimore. The Government has also supported the building of the new pier and service buildings in Baltimore, and I feel sure that, in the future, this harbour will see many new developments for the better in this wonderful part of West Cork.”

Joan Collins, Commodore of the Baltimore Sailing Club added, “This project is a testament to a fantastic volunteer effort by our members, supported by the people of Baltimore, and supporters and friends from many walks of life. In particular I’d like to pay tribute to Tony O’Driscoll, my predecessor as Commodore of the Club, whose relentless enthusiasm and hard work saw this project cross the line in jig time.

“Baltimore has retained its friendly village atmosphere and this new clubhouse adds to the offering, with year round activity to encourage people to get on the water and enjoy the freedom of the waters of West Cork. The re-furbishment will be a great boost for our sailing fraternity, and we now have an option to host our events with style, while encouraging additional events which can only be of definite benefit to the Baltimore and greater West Cork area.

“The Club is a vibrant and active summer club and has, and will, host several prestigious sailing events. With sailing every weekend throughout the summer and additional events out of season including at Easter (Laser Munsters), the National 18s class over June bank holiday weekend this year, and the Optimist Coaching week in February, we will hold many other great events later this year”.

Designed by architect John McCarthy and built by local builder, Michael Joe Leonard, the new club house space incorporates enhanced facilities for members and visiting sailors, including a new shower block (15 showers) and spaces facilitating events, training, seminars and storage and improved dingy parking. Totally transformed, and re-built at a cost of €400,000, the club was supported by Cork County Council and West Cork Development Partnership, with match funding provided by the club itself and by donations from members and the general public. Founded in 1952, Baltimore Sailing Club has over 600 members drawn from the locality and other regions, including several overseas members.

Baltimore is renowned for its sailing courses for children of all levels (85 children availing of this currently), and the Rambler Team Racing for junior club members is very popular again this year.  Junior sailors from Crookhaven, Schull, Glandore and Baltimore are also involved in the inter-club Marconi Cup team racing event bringing communities closer together in the region. There is a course for adults in train this year also, and it is hoped to build on this offering into the future.

Sailing events in Baltimore include Baltimore Sailing Club Regatta will take place over the August bank holiday weekend, as will the 1720 Class. The inaugural Women On The Water (WOW) event on August 12th in aid of Breakthrough Cancer Research (part of Cork Cancer Research Centre) will see craft of all shapes and sizes on the water, with onshore fun for all the family. Sponsorship cards are available at the clubhouse and Commodore Collins is confident this event will raise a substantial amount for cancer research.

The Club will also participate in Bart’s Bash, one of the first clubs in Ireland to register for this massive world-wide charity event. The clubhouse will also be used by local organisations such as the Baltimore Bridge Club, RNLI, local festival groups and defibrillator personnel, truly embracing all strands of society in the area.

See for more.

A night of traditional Sean Nós music at the Abbeystrewry Church, Skibbereen

A night of traditional Sean Nós music at the Abbeystrewry Church, Skibbereen

Nell Ní Chróinín1A NIGHT of traditional Irish song and dance is set to bring Skibbereen alive, with a Sean Nós session on Friday 1st August at 9pm. The session will be part of the Skibbereen Arts Festival which is holding events in a variety of locations around the town from the July 25th to August  2nd.

Singer Nell Ní Chróinín will be performing a number of traditional songs. The singer who hails from Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh  (Ballingeary),  is an award winning Sean Nós singer. In 2012, Ní Chróinín became the youngest ever winner of the ‘TG4’s Traditional Singer of The Year’ award. The singer has also won awards in the Oireachtas Ni Gaeilge competitions, and has appeared in television shows such as Anam an Amhrán, Geantraí and Cérbh í? Nell is currently teaching singing classes in Gaeilscoil Uí Drisceoil, Cork.


Musician Caoimhín Ó Fearghail, will be performing alongside Nell at Sean Nós. The Waterford native is also an award winning musician, having won a TG4 ‘Young Musician of the Year’ award. The young musician began learning the tin whistle at the age of eight, before learning how to play the uillean pipes. Ó Feargahail is also a self-taught flautist and guitarist. He has featured on award winning albums such as ‘Caitlin’ by Caitlin Ni Gabhann, and Edel Fox and Neil Byrne’s album ‘The Sunny Banks’.


West Cork group, ‘The Sean Gnóstics’, will also be in attendance to perform songs sung in Irish, but performed in a variety of styles. The group will perform a mixture of rock, reggae, folk and traditional songs.


Tickets for the event are available online at or from the box office on 087 126 0327.

Mental Health takes centre stage at Skibbereen Arts Festival

Mental Health takes centre stage at Skibbereen Arts Festival

skibb-artsMENTAL health is a subject that has traditionally been brushed under the carpet. This makes it an issue that is stigmatised and not spoken about. This year’s Skibbereen Arts Festival wants to smash that stigma with programme of events and talks enabling openness and inclusivity whilst celebrating difference.

The festival kicks off with a free youth festival hosted by Skibb Smiles. Skibb Smiles is a youth group whose aim is to promote positive youth mental health and wellbeing. From 5pm at the O’Donovan Rossa Park there will be a host of acts including musicians, DJs, yoga enthusiasts and a few other surprises! There will be a barbeque with local produce, a silent disco and a performance by up and coming band, Independent Scouts.


‘Music Alive’ will host an ‘Open Door’ music session in the Skibbereen Farmers Market on Saturday July 26th from 11am. . Organised in partnership with West Cork Mental Health Services, ‘Open Door’ is an open trad session with a focus on creating a space for accessible music making and community participation.


On Sunday July 27th the Mad Pride Family Fun Day is being held in Skibbereen Playground. A free event for all the family, Mad Pride strives to promote better understanding of the issues surrounding mental health while engaging the community through active participation in a fun environment. The day will comprise Children’s Art and Craft Workshops, Puppet Shows, Clown Doctor, an artisan food market and live music by the Roaring Forties and many more.


Men Without Names is a collaboration between poets, actors, musicians and visual artists. On Monday July 28th in Abbeystrewry Church at 8pm, they will joining forces to explore the experience of Irish emigration to the UK in the 1950s.


‘Making Sense’ is panel discussion on ‘Why the Creative Arts play a Central Role in our Mental Health and Well-Being’. Chaired by Dr. Pat Bracken, consultant psychiatrist and Clinical Director of West Cork Mental Health Services, and Dylan Tighe, actor, musician and theatre-maker, the discussion will take place in the stately surrounds of Liss Ard House on Thursday July 31st at 3pm.


All events vary in ages and price. All activities are either free or cost from €5 – €8. For more information and bookings please check out the Skibbereen Arts Festival at or  to book by phone, call the Box Office on 087 126 0327.

Preferred tenderer appointed for new Skibbereen Community School – construction expected to begin in early 2015

Preferred tenderer appointed for new Skibbereen Community School – construction expected to begin in early 2015

The proposed new school. Pic: Mullarkey Pedersen Architects

The proposed new school. Pic: Mullarkey Pedersen Architects

THE Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan has announced that BAM PPP has been selected as the preferred tenderer to build the new Skibbereen Community School as part of a contract to build four new schools across the country under the department’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme.


Under the PPP model, the school will be designed, built, financed and maintained for 25 years by BAM PPP.

Skibbereen Community School will be a new co-educational post primary school arising from the amalgamation of Mercy Heights Secondary School, St Fachtna’s – De La Salle College and Rossa College. The School is intended to provide approximately 900 pupil places.


“I am delighted to announce that, subject to the satisfactory outcome of the planning process, and the conclusion of the remaining stages in the procurement process, it is intended that construction will commence in first quarter of 2015 and the new schools will be available from second quarter of 2016,” said Minister O’Sullivan.


“I am conscious of the importance of this project to each of the communities in which the schools are located. Taken together this project is providing nearly 3,000 new, state-of-the-art school places”, she said.

Local Labour TD Michael McCarthy welcomed news saying, “This investment is a particular source of pride for me as I have been campaigning for many years on this project. Not only does it mean that local pupils will be educated in a more modern and cohesive school environment, but it will also generate a number of teaching, construction and ancillary jobs in the local area along the way.”


Under the PPP process, BAM PPP will provide a range of facilities management services that will include building maintenance, cleaning, security, grounds maintenance and specialist equipment support.

Top line up for Glebe Gardens this August

Top line up for Glebe Gardens this August

tommy-tiernanTHE August at the Amphitheatre concerts at Baltimore’s Glebe Gardens, presented by Baltimore Fiddle Fair feature a top class line up this August,


There are five shows in total running from August 3rd to August 22nd and tickets are on sale now through.

Things get underway on Sunday, August 3rd with “A Day in the Garden” from 3pm featuring the West Cork Ukulele Orchestra, The Saxy Lady Boys, Puppet Show and Granny’s Garden.


On Thursday, August 7th renowned songwriter Jimmy McCarthy takes to the stage at 8pm in his first West Cork appearance for many years.


Next up on Sunday, August 17th are the Hothouse Flowers who return following last years memorable gig.


Then a special treat for two nights on August 19th and 29th comedy superstar Tommy Tiernan: A man in a field telling stories. No ordinary field. No ordinary stories! This concert will be filmed for Tommy’s new DVD “stray sod”.


For trad fans the series finishes on Friday August 22nd with a concert from traditional legends Frankie Gavin & De Dannan.


See for more details.

Glandore’s Marine Hotel up for sale

Glandore’s Marine Hotel up for sale

Glandore-HotelGLANDORE’S landmark Marine Hotel is on the market unde the instructions of receivers David Swinburne and Niall Macklin of KPMG.


The property comprises a three storey bar and restaurant premises together with an 11-bedroom detached annex and 18 self contained holiday homes.

The main bar-restaurant extends to 8,500 sq ft while the detached annex is approximately 4,300 sq ft and the 17 holiday homes provide a mixture of two and three-bedroom architecturally designed properties.


Located in the stunning coastal village of Glandore. The property overlooks Glandore Harbour and is adjacent to Glandore Pier with Unionhall across the bay.


Price is available on request from agents Downing Commercial.

Weather Alert issued for West Cork

Weather Alert issued for West Cork

storm2Met Eireann has issued a weather alert covering West Cork.


The following Weather Advisory was issued by Met Eireann at 07:00 hours Thursday, 17-Jul-2014:


Warm and very humid weather with possible heavy showers/ thunder storms/ hail may lead to local flooding/ disruption/ damage tonight, Friday and Saturday.


Valid from 21:00 hours Thu, 17-Jul-2014 Valid until 21:00 hours Sat, 19-Jul-2014.