THE Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) has said that while it welcomes the assessment of aquaculture and fishing activities in Roaring Water Bay it is concerned that proposed changes to activities don’t go nearly far enough.
The Bay has long been designated as an area of high importance for nature conservation for its reefs, gardens of sea grass, porpoises, seals, otters and a myriad of other marine life.
However to date it has been merely a “paper park” with no actual regulation of activities in the Bay that are harmful to this priceless biodiversity, the group said.
These include trawling, the use of tangle nets, trammel nets and other indiscriminate fishing practices that IWT say destroy habitats and result in “untold by-catch of marine life”.
The bay is also under threat from the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea Gigas) which is designated as an alien invasive species.
The IWT believes that all damaging fishing practices should be prohibited within the boundary of the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in order to create a robust marine reserve. This would allow sustainable fishing to continue and create opportunities for other marine-based tourism.
Pádraic Fogarty, the IWT’s Campaign Officer, said, “There is a huge opportunity here for fishermen to increase their catches, and the value of their catch, as well as boosting the local economy through conservation.
“In Ireland we have no genuine marine reserves where damaging fishing practices are restricted and this has led to a free for all in our inshore areas. This results in diminishing returns for local communities and an ecological calamity bequeathed to the next generation.”
TWO major West Cork school building projects are among 70 that have been announced across the country by Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn.
Construction work will proceed in 2014 on the new Skibbereen Post Primary School Amalgamation (Mercy Heights, De La Salle, Rossa College) and the long overdue extension works at Kinsale Community School.
Overall the projects will include the construction of 22 new schools at primary level, 12 extensions at primary level, 12 new schools at second-level, 20 extensions at second-level, 3 new special schools and 1 major special school extension.
These school projects will deliver over 27,500 permanent school places and of these over 21,000 are additional places. The remainder will be the replacement of temporary or unsatisfactory accommodation.
The €2 billion five-year capital investment programme, launched by Minister Quinn in March 2012, gave details of 275 new major school building projects to begin over the period 2012-2016.
The projects announced recently are part of the five year plan.
Some €470 million will be spent on primary and post-primary infrastructure next year, with a projected expenditure on large scale projects of more than €320 million.
Alongside the permanent school places that are being built, the investment will support 3,200 direct jobs and 640 indirect jobs in 2014.
The news has been welcomed by West Cork TDs with Labour’s Michael McCarthy saying, “I am extremely pleased to see significant projects in the local area get the go-ahead. This is a major investment by this Government in our local education system and it underlines our commitment to providing modern school accommodation in rural areas like West Cork.”
Fine Gael’s Noel Harrington added, “The new-build for Skibbereen and the extension to Kinsale CS will not only provide additional school places in these areas, but will also give additional employment during the construction, which will be of added benefit to the local economies”.
Sean Murray with Marie O’Regan and Una Murray (Sean Murray Fashions, Skibbereen) presenting a cheque to Eileen Kearney of The Irish Cancer Society for more than €2,600 which was raised in store throughout October.
The retailer who broke the current record for unclasping the most bras in one minute is currently waiting to receive official word from the Guinness Book of World Records.
IN a recent event to mark the retirement of Gerald O’Brien from his position of Treasurer and Board Member of West Cork Arts Centre, Chairperson, Sean O’Ceallaigh presented him with an original artwork by artist and fellow Board Member, Paula Marten.
Gerald O’Brien was a founding member of WCAC and served an unprecedented 27 years on the Board. Reflecting on his long association with WCAC, Gerald recalled the challenge he experienced in the early days of interpreting and evaluating the wide variety of artworks that were exhibited at the Arts Centre.
‘It took me some time to develop my art eye’ quipped Gerald. He expressed his appreciation to the staff of WCAC for their dedication and unfailing courtesy and congratulated the Board and the Director Ann Davoren on the exciting developments of recent years.
Gerald declared that he was honoured and pleased to have been part of the development of the exciting arts scene in West Cork and will continue to support the Arts Centre in its work and future manifestation. On behalf of the Board, staff and members of WCAC, Seán O’Ceallaigh expressed his deep appreciation of the dedication shown by Gerald over many decades and the unparalleled affection in which he is held.
IT was a good day for West Cork at the Good Food Ireland awards held in Dublin recently with the region picking up three awards and reinforcing West Cork’s reputation as one of Ireland’s top food destinations.
Among the winners at the event which was attended by Taoiseach Enda Kenny was Kalbo’s Cafe run by Siobhan O’Callaghan and husband Anthony O’Boyle in Skibbereen who were named as Ireland’s Best Café despite stiff opposition from some very well known establishments around the country.
The judges said that Kalbo’s “has shown an outstanding ability to provide seriously good food in a rewarding and relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy a casual dining experience of local food.”
Also picking up an award was Urru Culinary Store in Bandon, named as Food Shop of the Year for 2013/14.
Urru was established in 2003 by Ruth Healy and previously received a Good Food Ireland Highly Commended Award in 2011/12.
The in-store café, centred around the large communal kitchen table, allows for sampling of the products available for sale while ensuring a lively vibe in the shop on the daily basis.
Also winning an award was Martin Shanahan’s Fishy Fishy Cafe in Kinsale, named as the Seafood Restaurant of the year.
Speaking at the awards at Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel, Margaret Jeffares, founder of Good Food Ireland said, “We are a committed group that want to change Ireland’s food reputation by giving the visitor one trusted guarantee for the very best food experience that builds a culinary picture of our country. Tonight the Award Winners have succeeded in delivering this Good Food Ireland Experience to supreme levels of excellence”.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny whp presented the awards added, “These awards help to make Ireland synonymous with good food and this reputation is vital to supporting our €9 billion of food and drink exports and the 160,000 jobs in the agri-food industry.”
A 26-year-old Skibbereen man has been formally charged with several offences in relation to a fatal car accident in which he was the driver earlier this year.
Sean Casey with an address at Corragannive, Ring, Skibbereen was charged at Clonakilty District Court with dangerous driving causing the death of Megan Johnston at Ilen, Skibbereen, on 8th April last.
He also faces charges of causing serious bodily harm to Kate Petford, Michael Connolly, Patrick O’Sullivan and Michael West and additional charges of drink driving and failing to notify gardaí of an accident.
Mr Casey was the driver of a BMW which struck a pole in Skibbereen in the early hours of April 8th last.
The accident resulted in the death of Ms Johnston (22), who was also from Skibbereen.
LORRAINE Kelleher, a 17-year-old student at Mercy Heights Secondary School, Skibbereen has just released her debut novel Trouble in the Workshop.
Lorraine has decided to donate all profits to two charities which she says are very personal to her- The Irish Cancer Society and Marymount Hospice.
“There may be Trouble in the Workshop”, said Hugh Morley, HR Manager at Marymount Hospice, “but initiatives by people like Lorraine Kelleher help to generate the peace and calm one associates with hospice care.”
“Lorraine’s decision to forego profit on her first venture into publishing and to donate it to Marymount Hospice is hugely appreciated by the staff and patients. We could not run our hospice without such public generosity. We are sure that Lorraine’s grandmother, who was in our care some time ago, would be justifiably proud of her granddaughter’s contribution,” he said.
Lorraine has been a keen writer from a young age and has always dreamed of publishing a book of her own. Without the unwavering support of her friends, family and teachers Lorraine said that it would never have been possible.
Trouble in the Workshop was designed and printed by Inspire Books in Skibbereen and the book was edited locally by Maurice Sweeney.
Lorraine said she is delighted with the finished product and with the support she has received so far. Lorraine said that she still struggles to believe that a story which she spent many hours perfecting is now being read by hundreds of people.
For Lorraine the decision to donate the profits was simple, “Writing is something I enjoy doing and I wanted to share it with others.
“The Irish Cancer Society and Marymount Hospice have supported my family through the loss of my grandfather and grandmother respectively. Their staff provided first class care and I feel that this book is the perfect way to give something back to them.”
Trouble in the Workshop, is an attractive, eye-catching book with a heart-warming festive tale. The book is laid out in the form of a Christmas countdown, comprising of a short chapter for each day beginning three weeks before Christmas. This makes it the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit and it will be a great story for children of all ages.
The book is available in Skibbereen, Schull, Dunmanway, Bandon, Bantry, Clonakility, Enniskeane and Innishannon.
In a time when the news is being filled with heart-breaking stories and financial woe, here is a small piece of news that the people of West Cork can be proud of- Lorraine used her writing talents to create a book which can be enjoyed by all ages while raising money for two vital organisations in the process.
A MONSTER free draw will see shoppers in Skibbereen in with a chance to win €5,000 in shopping vouchers and win a hamper every day between the 1st – 14th December!
Over 50 businesses in Skibbereen have come together for the second year to arrange this special promotion to encourage people to shop locally, to attract new shoppers to the town and to give all of them a reward for their continued support.
“Christmas is the ideal time to show generosity and goodwill”, said Martin O’Mahony, Chamber Board & Retail Group member for Skibbereen & District Chamber of Commerce, an organisation that is taking a very proactive approach to helping & supporting local businesses.
“We are delighted all the businesses have come together again for the second year running, last year’s promotion was a great success and the aim is to make this an annual event” said Mr O’Mahony
The main prize of €5,000 will be drawn on Sunday 15th December & should certainly help to make this Christmas a memorable one for one lucky person or family & there will also be the opportunity to win a hamper everyday for the 14 days.
To heighten the sense of occasion and give families, particularly young children, a real sense of the holiday spirit the Chamber’s Retail Group has organised it so that all the festivities will begin on Friday 29th November. It begins at 4pm with Carol singing by the Youth Choir in the square, followed by a recital by the every popular Skibbereen Silver Band, the annual Christmas Parade from Ilen Street to the square at 5pm & switching on the Town’s Lights by the Lord Mayor.
In addition to the colourful display of Christmas Lights provided by Skibbereen Town Council and the Skibbereen Tidy Towns Committee, the chamber of Commerce has lent it’s support to the Lights on Living Trees again this year.
Visitors to the town have often commented on the atmosphere created by the ‘Lights on Living Trees’ as they approach the town centre from North Street.
This year, Skibbereen Tidy Town will also be creating wonderful festive features at the roundabouts and the approach to the town.
Of course, Christmas in Skibbereen would not be Christmas without Winter Wonderland – this initiative has enthralled children for almost two decades.
“It’s appeal is enduring”, said Mr O’Mahony, “because there simply isn’t anything quite like it anywhere else in the country”.
GARDAÍ in Bantry are appealing for witnesses following a single vehicle fatal road traffic collision that occurred near Skibbereen.
The accident is believed to have happened sometime between 10pm on Thursday, November 21st and 7am on Friday, November 22nd at Tooreen on the L4231 road which runs from the Skibbereen – Drimoleague road to Drinagh village.
A 36-year-old driver, Sharon Hayes from Ballyhalwick, Dunmanway, who was the only occupant of the vehicle was fatally injured when her car left the road.
The road was closed to facilitate an examination by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators and local diversions were put in place.
Sharon worked at Permanent TSB and is survived by her parents Ann and John, brother Sean, sisters Marie and Martina, partner Darren, grandmother Sheila and extended family.
Gardaí wish to appeal for witnesses to this collision and in particular to any person who may have travelled on the road between Drimoleague and Skibbereen between the hours of 10pm on Thursday 21st and 7am on Friday morning to contact them at Bantry Garda Station on 027 20860 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.
A GENEROUS benefactor has stepped up to fund an RNLI lifeboat in Union Hall in memory of his late wife.
Retired radiologist Dr Raymond Fielding from Monkstown in Cork has pledged to pay for the lifeboat serving Glandore Harbour following a two-year trial phase.
The vessel will be named after Mr Fielding’s late wife Christine, who died last year.
“One of my ambitions in life was to leave a lifeboat after me and I had originally planned to pay for it in my will. But when my wife died, I decided I better get going and do something about it, because there would be no one around to do it if I died,” he said.
Mr Fiedling, a keen yachtsman who spent his summers sailing around west Cork, contacted the RNLI. Within weeks he ‘fell into the arms’ of retired fisherman Bill Deasy, coordinator of the extensive search and recovery operation that retrieved the bodies of five fishermen from Glandore Harbour following the sinking of the Tit Bonhomme in January 2012.
“I got on to the RNLI and I said I want to fund a lifeboat in Co Cork, anywhere between Youghal and Castletownbere because this is the area I’ve known and loved.
“Within a matter of weeks, I was told they were looking for a lifeboat here in Union Hall and as I said to Bill Deasy, we fell into each others arms,” he said.
The inshore lifeboat, an RNLI relief vessel, will arrive at Keelbeg pier in Union Hall next year. It’s arrival follows two unsuccessful attempts to have a lifeboat stationed in the harbour, due to the
proximity of RNLI stations at Courtmacsherry and Baltimore.
“The lifeboat is coming now and it’s great news. I hope that we will be able to help someone in difficulty because we certainly don’t want any more tragedies,” Mr Deasy said.
On a visit to Union Hall yesterday, Chairman of the RNLI Charles Hunter-Pease said the board of directors’ decision to trial the inshore lifeboat in Union Hall was unanimous.
“We were aware of the activity and the time you have all put into considering to persuade us that we should have a lifeboat station here. There’s been an immense amount of work done by all of you,” he said.