Free mental health care will soon become easier to access in West Cork

Free mental health care will soon become easier to access in West Cork

Lisheens House-logoTHE West Cork Suicide Prevention Service, Lisheens House, has taken another step toward realising its dream to offer free counselling to anyone in the region who needs it.  Lisheens House organisers, Noreen Murphy and Mick Kearns, are delighted to announce the opening of their first drop-in centre location on Main Street, Skibbereen which is due to open in early April.

“We have been waiting for suitable premises in the right location and the shop next door to Pierce Hickey’s newsagents suits our needs perfectly” said Mick.

Lisheens House will continue to operate the 023 8888888 HELPLINE offering free counselling throughout the whole of West Cork.  This next step is extending the service to allow for people to call in and chat with someone face-to-face during open hours.

Because the service is free, fundraising is an important component of Noreen and Mick’s work.  Therefore the store front will be run as a charity shop with room in back for a friendly chat and a coffee.  A space will be available for private counselling as well.

“Right now the plan is to be open 6 days a week from Monday to Saturday,” says Mick.  “In time we will want to replicate this model throughout West Cork to offer assistance to everyone who needs it.”

Lisheens House is the brainchild of Noreen who lost her husband to suicide in2008.  In her experience mental health facilities are too difficult to navigate for some folks debilitated by depression or other mental health issues.  It has been her mission to ensure that as many people as possible who need mental healthcare get it.

To this end she and Mick have assembled a team of volunteers and accredited counsellors dedicated to helping Noreen reach her goal.  Until now all contact with the public has been through the helpline or through pubic fund raising events.  The prospect of finally opening a drop-in centre is an exciting one.

“We are thrilled to take this next step.  I’m really looking forward to opening the doors,” said Noreen.  “It has been the generosity and support of the people of West Cork that has enabled us to get this far and we hope they will continue to support us on our journey to ensure that anyone in our community that needs help will be able to access it free and without delay.”

Donations of quality used items can be dropped at the new location from the 1st of March or please email or call 086 1721269 to arrange collection.

Skibb team heading for European Youth Rugby Festival

Skibb team heading for European Youth Rugby Festival

Skibbereen U-13 Rugby team. Photo: Anne Minihane.

Pictured: Back (l-r): Kieran Sheehan (Coach),Joseph Griffiths, Brian Stout, Donnogh Hutchinson, Dylan Young, Adam O’ Regan, Jack Crowley, Asa Curran, Sam Farthing, Conor O’ Neill, Eugene Curran (Coach) and Walter Young (Coach). Front (l-r): Jacob Coughlan, Donnacha O’Donovan, Liam Hodnett, Matthew Sheehan, David Regan, Tiarnan Collins, James McNulty, Blake Haley and Ben Ronan.

THE Skibbereen  under  13 team have been invited to participate in the Terenure 13’s European Youth Rugby Festival which is happening on the weekend of  May 2nd to 4th .  This Is a fantastic opportunity as they will get the chance to compete against teams from different parts of Ireland and Europe, thus allowing them to embrace different languages, cultures and styles of rugby first hand.  The festival is a professionally organised 2 day event that brings teams from all over Europe together for a fantastic weekend of rugby.

This talented U13 Team have been playing together since U8’s and have progressed up through the Rugby Mini’s Section. This is their first year playing competitively with a full pitch 15 a side. They are unbeaten this season and have now qualified to the top tier of the Quarter Final of South Munster U13 League. Their dedicated & enthusiastic Coaches Walter Young, Kieran Sheehan & Eugene Curran have been with them from the start and have instilled a great love of the game and sportsmanship in the lads. New players are always welcome.

The club is holding a fundraising event this coming Saturday 28th at the clubhouse in Skibbereen. There will be a cake sale with tea/coffee for sale also so that while your child is at training you will be able to indulge in a nice cuppa and cake while you wait. In conjunction with this there will be a clothes collection so that you will have the chance to do a spring clean of your wardrobe and clear out all those unwanted clothes, shoes, belts etc and bring them along in refuse bags.  This will all take place between 9am and midday.  Your support for the lads would be greatly appreciated and any funds raised will help with the substantial funds needed to get them to this tournament.

A new era for Skibbereen & West Carbery Golf Club

A new era for Skibbereen & West Carbery Golf Club

Pictured at the Pay As You Golf launch, Skibbereen & West Carbery Golf Clubwere (l-r): Lady president Margaret Foley, President Brendan Hamilton, ILGU official Marion Pattenden, Lady captain Una Murray, Captain Frank Ryan, the club's first Pay As You Golf member Liam O'Brien, course record holder Kieran Lynch. Pic: Aoife Hodnett O'Brien

Pictured at the Pay As You Golf launch, Skibbereen & West Carbery Golf Clubwere (l-r): Lady president Margaret Foley, President Brendan Hamilton, ILGU official Marion Pattenden, Lady captain Una Murray, Captain Frank Ryan, the club’s first Pay As You Golf member Liam O’Brien, course record holder Kieran Lynch. Pic: Aoife Hodnett O’Brien

SKIBBEREEN & West Carbery Golf Club celebrates its 80th Birthday in 2015. Working closely with the Confederation of Golf Ireland, the umbrella body of the GUI, ILGU and the PGA, the club has developed new strategies to showcase its fantastic playing facilities and  to attract new members of all ages to the club.

Pay as You Golf membership:?For a basic fee of €175, plus a GUI/ILGU affiliation fee, Pay As You Golf members pay as they play at a discounted rate per round of just €10 for 18 holes or €5 for 9 holes. The first three rounds are free and the club’s ‘buddy system’ helps newcomers to find playing partners in the club. Club Captain, Frank Ryan, is convinced a fresh approach to golf membership is the way forward. “We’re delighted with the amount of interest Pay As You Golf membership has generated. The initial reaction has been very positive and we have welcomed several new members to the club already, including our very first Pay As You Golf member Liam O’Brien.” This offer is open to new applicants or for anyone who has been a lapsed member for two years or more. To download a membership form, visit and click on Membership or call the clubhose on 028 21227.

Ladies’ Get into Golf Programme?For ladies who have never played the game before or those who would like to come back to golf, there’s the Ladies ‘Get into Golf Programme’. Assisted by officers from CGI, the ladies’ Captain Una Murray has drawn up a 9 week introductory programme. The first evening is free and all equipment will be supplied. PGA Club Professional Ian Stafford will provide the technical coaching and will be assisted by a number of club volunteers. If you think that you would like to try golf, why not come along on Friday April 17th for the free taster session. You can book your free place by phoning the club at (028) 21227.

Men’s Hi-Lo?Monday nights see the return of the 9 hole men’s High/Low competition which will commence in April. This programme welcomes any men who would like to try the game under the guidance of members for a nominal fee on the night. Equipment will always be available for newcomers.

Rhona O’Donoghue, club P.R.O. would like to encourage people of all ages to visit the ‘friendliest club in Cork': “Playing golf is the ideal way to exercise and make new friends. As the club proudly marks eighty years of golf at Licknavar this year, we extend a warm welcome to people of all ages to ‘give golf a go’.” Buggy hire, cart, trolley and club hire are all available to visitors and guests.

With a strong family focus and an active juvenile section, Skibbereen & West Carbery Golf Club also offers Family membership and membership for the under 18s as well as Country and Overseas membership for golfers who have membership at another club.

About Skibbereen & West Carbery Golf Club; ?Located 3km from Skibbereen town, on the road to Balitmore, Skibbereen & West Carbery Golf Club is an 18 hole, 5,967 yard course set against the backdrop of Lough Hyne, Ireland’s first marine nature reserve, the sailing and fishing village of Baltimore and surrounding islands. Originally a 9-hole facility founded in 1935, the club celebrated its official 18-hole opening with the President of Ireland Dr. Patrick Hilary in 1993. The first 9 holes contain 5 mature par four holes, two par fives and two par threes. The back 9 contain 6 rugged par fours, 2 par threes and 1 par five. There is a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding countryside from all back 9 holes.


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A night with a twist at Casey’s of Baltimore

A night with a twist at Casey’s of Baltimore

a-night-with-a-twistON Saturday, March 7th Eileen and Marilyn are coming to Casey’s of Baltimore Hotel to do their show. It will start at 7pm and the show takes place while dining. A first in Baltimore.

In this latest version of their comedy/cabaret show “Eileen and Marilyn” whisk you into their lives and story of their trip to New York to check in on Eileen’s Aunty Eily who’s had a “bit of a turn”.

The purpose of the visit is to bring a bit of the ould sod to cheer Aunty Eily and to ensure that she is being looked after in her illness. It’s important for families to stick together in a crisis. But with Uncle Phil’s liking for the drink and Marilyn’s liking for company to drink with, Eileen is worried that she will be sorting them out, not just Aunty Eily! And anyway, Marilyn is only a “sure God help us” kind of family member, isn’t she?

Will Eileen get her heart’s desire to see the Statue of Liberty? Will Marilyn get to meet her husband, Colin, the really famous off off Broadway director? Will Marilyn get her place in the family? Will Eileen be able to manage her family? What lessons will be learned in New York?

Featuring Terri Leiber as Marilyn, Karen Minihan as Eileen and Norman Collins, Musician.

Price for dinner and the show is €25, booking advised at 028 20197, one seating only at 7pm.

For more information and reservations, call 028 20197 or email:

Minister Coveney inspects storm gates installation on Cape Clear

Minister Coveney inspects storm gates installation on Cape Clear

Harbour works being carried out on Cape Clear.

Harbour works being carried out on Cape Clear.

MINISTER for the Marine Simon Coveney visited Cape Clear Island recently to see the progress of the new storm gates being installed to protect the island’s North Harbour from storm damage.


The €4.3 million project will see the automatic gates installed that will be able to close at the touch of a button and protect the harbour’s interior from storm surges and waves. It is expected that the gates will be fully operational some time in March.





Simon Coveney on Cape Clear.











The island was badly affected by last February’s storms and the “Bull’s Nose” pier head at the entrance to the harbour was deemed unsafe due to subsidence.

West Cork community first responders training dates

West Cork community first responders training dates



FOLLOWING the recent very successful community first responder flashmobs in Skibbereen and Clonakilty the West Cork Association of Community First Responders are actively recruiting for new members and will hold training sessions on the following dates:

Saturday 28th February in Skibbereen, in the Town Hall at 10am and 2pm.

Sunday 8th March in Clonakilty in O’Donovan’s Hotel at 10am and 2pm.

The cost is €10 per participant.

Since sharing the Flashmob footage on social media ( there have been more than 950 online views and a huge amount of interest from members of the public.

Therefore spaces on both the scheduled training dates are filling quickly and those interested are encouraged to contact either of the Johns (086 806 8747 & 086 241 2855) as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. The objective is to train 200 new members in the Skibbereen and Clonakilty areas (100 in each area) to become community first responders.

The new association is made up of medical personnel and community volunteers. The objectives of the association is to join all the community first responder groups into a support and training network as well as gathering all data on available defibrillators in the West Cork area. This will result in lives being saved in West Cork in collaboration with the National Ambulance Service. Responders will be despatched as community assets to events such as cardiac arrests.

The association welcomes interested groups in the West Cork area who have a group already set up or who want to set up a group in the West Cork region.

Minister guest of honour at “whiskey plank” ceremony

Minister guest of honour at “whiskey plank” ceremony

Minister Coveney hammers home the symbolic "whiskey plank". Pic: David O'Sullivan

Minister Coveney hammers home the symbolic “whiskey plank”. Pic: David O’Sullivan

SAILORS, shipwrights, well wishers and the plain curious gathered in the Great Corn Store at Hegarty’s Boatyard, at Old Court between Skibbereen and Baltimore, recently to witness a major milestone in Irish shipbuilding.


They were there to witness Minister for the Marine, Simon Coveney hammer home the final plank in the hull of the AK Ilen, described as the last traditional Irish-built wooden boat and Ireland’s largest original wooden sailing ship, which is under restoration at Hegarty’s.


Minister Coveney said, “A lot of people here should be very proud of what’s been achieved; when this ship is built it will be an extraordinary source of pride I think to people from Baltimore, to people from the islands around Roaring Water Bay, to people from the Ilen School and people in Limerick and Foynes.


“In many ways this project is going to reinvigorate wooden boat building in Ireland again; we have plans for projects in the heart of Baltimore to intrigue people, to educate them around wooden boat building and its traditions. Hopefully multiple ports around the country will be able to build projects like this in the future so that we can start to really create a narrative and a story”.


The “whiskey plank” ceremony took on an almost religious atmosphere as Brother Anthony Keane from Glenstal Abbey made a short speech while incense was wafted around the ship’s hull and onlookers drank shots of whiskey in celebration.


Liam Hegarty, Simon Coveney, Gary MacMahon and Noel Harrington on the deck of the Ilen at Hegarty's Boat Yard. Pic: David O'Sullivan

Liam Hegarty, Simon Coveney, Gary MacMahon and Noel Harrington on the deck of the Ilen at Hegarty’s Boat Yard. Pic: David O’Sullivan

The whiskey plank is the final crafted plank nailed to the hull of a wooden sailing ship. It marks a significant milestone in the build and is traditionally marked by a celebration.


Brother Keane and Gary MacMahon are directors of the Ilen School, the non-profit project set up to restore the 1926 vessel to its former glory.


The Ilen, named for the river that flows through Skibbereen was built in Baltimore to the designs of Foynes native Conor O’Brien who was the first Irishman to sail around the world in a small boat.


The Ilen was built for service in the Falkland Islands as an all-purpose transport and on completion O’Brien sailed her there with two islanders from Cape Clear as crew, Con and Denis Cadogan who were cousins.


Gary MacMahon, a Limerick native and sailor himself brought the shell of the Ilen back to Ireland in 1998 and since then she has been undergoing a meticulous restoration at Hegarty’s as part of the Ilen School project based in Limerick.


It is hoped that the Ilen will return to the sea as a sail-training vessel.


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Sinn Féin delegation and Irish fishermen meet EU policy makers in Brussels

Sinn Féin delegation and Irish fishermen meet EU policy makers in Brussels

Cllr Paul Hayes (right) seen here after the round table talks to highlight issues facing the fishing industry with Dominic Rihan - Technical Policy Officer with the EU Commission and Bernhard Friess - Director in charge of Atlantic, Outermost Regions and Arctic.

Cllr Paul Hayes (right) seen here after the round table talks to highlight issues facing the fishing industry with Dominic Rihan – Technical Policy Officer with the EU Commission and Bernhard Friess – Director in charge of Atlantic, Outermost Regions and Arctic.

SINN Féin MEP for Ireland South Liadh Ní Riada recently welcomed a delegation of Irish Fishermen to Brussels to meet with key policy makers on the difficulties that they face in making a sustainable living and on other issues impacting the industry.

The delegation included fishermen from all around the Irish Coast including from Dunmore East, the Waterford Estuary, Kilmore Quay, Youghal, Union Hall, Castletownbere, Fenit and Arklow.

Sinn Féin’s Dáil Spokesperson on Agriculture Martin Ferris TD, Assembly Spokesperson Oliver McMullan MLA and West Cork Cllr. Paul Hayes also accompanied the group.

In a series of roundtable discussions, the delegation met with with representatives of the Fisheries Commissioner and the EU Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, including the Director in charge of the Atlantic, Outermost Regions and Arctic, the Head of Unit for the Common fisheries Policy, the Commission’s Fisheries Scientific and Technical Policy Officer, and the EMFF, which provides funding for the industry and coastal zones.

Ní Riada said, “Today in Brussels, Irish fishermen had an opportunity to outline their concerns to the people who make the laws, regulations and policies that impact on their lives and livelihoods, and crucially to illustrate to those policy-makers the human cost of their decisions.

“The reality is that regulations drafted at EU level rarely take into account local realities. It is a fundamental mistake to think that the “one size fits all” approach works .This is mainly because the nature and structure of the European fishing industry varies from region to region.

“It is this flawed thinking that has produced regulations that are bureaucratic, wasteful and that have failed to protect the environment and fishing stock.

“Irish fishermen need to be defended. They are the backbone of many coastal communities, and present a sustainable model of fishing. Fishermen are natural custodians of their fisheries, and can see the state of fish stocks, up close and on a regular basis. They have the knowledge, expertise and interest in maintaining stocks .

“Irish fishermen have been struggling as direct result of the disparity underpinning these regulations. I was inspired by the manner in which members of the delegation presented their position to policy makers. It is clear that they are the real experts.”

She added, “The main thing to come out of today’s meetings is the call, from all concerned, for the EU Commission to sanction an independent economic and social impact study into the impact of regulations on Ireland’s fishing industry.

“The study would then be used as a base from which to examine the EU wide industry. Such a study would complement a process of direct engagement between EU policy makers and the fishermen in member states. These are crucial steps in transforming the European Union into a system that works for the betterment of citizens. Sinn Féin was proud to stand with Irish Fishermen in Brussels.”

Big turn out for Skibb’s Glow Run

Big turn out for Skibb’s Glow Run

glowLAST Friday night last was something special in Skibbereen. Up to 1,500 people lined the streets of Skibbereen to take part in The Glow Run. The atmosphere, the glow costumes and the overall feeling throughout the town was amazing.

The crowds gathered from early evening in Fields Car Park and were entertained by DJ Billy Flaherty. The crowd were paraded on to Main Street which was packed to capacity as the fun run started, with St. Fachtna’s Silver band providing music for the crowd as they passed the Square.

The Glow Tunnel at the cutting was a big hit with both young and not so young, the youngest participant on the night was under 1 year of age while the oldest was 80.

The big winner in Skibbereen was community spirit, fun and charity. 100% of everyones entry fee goes to charity and over €9,000 will be raised from last Friday night’s event. The nominated charities being COPE Skibbereen, and the ASD and Special Needs Classes of St. Patrick’s Boys National School, St. Josephs Girls National School and Rossa College.

Skibbereen Library Knitting and Crochet Group

Skibbereen Library Knitting and Crochet Group

SKibb-Knitters 3Skibbereen Library Knitting and Crochet Group were very busy during 2014. They knitted for several charities throughout the year alongside their own knitting projects.

These included baby caps and blankets for the neonatal unit in CUH, little hats for the Innocent Big Knit for Age Action Ireland and an assortment of knitted items such as socks, hats, scarves and teddies for the Christmas Shoebox Appeal. The group meet every Wednesday morning from 10.30 am to 1pm in Skibbereen Library. All are welcome.

Pictured, front (l-r): Mary McCarthy, Sheila Derham, Siobhan O’Mahony, Mary McCarthy and Pauline Keohane. Back (l-r): Eileen O’Connell, Karen Harboe O’Shea, Marie O’Sullivan, Patsy Hayes, Mary Harnedy and Margaret Quish.