Castletownbere Development Association Ltd. – Annual General Meeting 2017

The Castletownbere Development Association held their Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, 28th February 2017 in The Beara Coast Hotel, Castletownbere. The meeting was well attended by members of the local community and local County Councillors’, Patrick Gerard Murphy & Danny Collins.

The meeting commenced with Outgoing Chairperson, Darren Lynch, welcoming all in attendance to the AGM and this was followed with the reading of the minutes from the previous years AGM by outgoing Secretary, Rozalyn Williams, and these were adopted.

Outgoing Treasurer, Alice Harrison, then proceeded to give her financial report for 2016, which showed an increased income of approximately €7,000 over the previous year. She put this increase down primarily to the success of the monthly fundraising bingo nights and again this report was adopted.

Darren Lynch presented his report on the events & projects undertaken during the year and started by thanking the Main Sponsors, Murphy’s SuperValu & Celtic Sea Minerals and all others who constituted to the CDA during the year. He gave a run through the main community events organised over the year and made special mention to the excellent work done by, Anne Marie Cronin, in her ongoing commitment in the running of the very successful St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

“The Ring of Beara Cycle Kenmare is another key event that helps promote the town in a positive light to the 3,800+ participants that will pass through again this May”, Darren told the meeting. He announced that the proceeds of this year’s cycle will be donated to the Castletownbere Hospital and that 500 of the cyclists will start & finish in the town. “This will give a boost to the local hospitality sector ahead of the summer period.”

Darren urged the incoming committee to continue to grow the ‘Festival of the Sea’ and to keep with the Maritime theme going as that is the town’s best asset. He made mention of last year’s festival being one of the biggest in recent times, even though Regatta Monday was a complete washout for the second year in a row.

Thanks were extended to everyone that volunteered their time to the running of ‘Wild Atlantic Way Run’ in September and the ‘Haunted Church’ at Halloween.

For the Christmas period, Darren commended the tireless commitment of the Christmas Newsletter editorial committee of, Dorothy Brophy, Sandra O’Shea & Michael Downey, for the time and effort they put into the ever growing publication & to Joan Kelly who distributes them around the businesses.

In relation to the Christmas Lights & Tree, he thanked Donal Kelly – Fastfish, Chris Downey – Murphy’s SuperValu, Gavin Power – Power Construction & Miah O’Sullivan – Castletownbere Construction Ltd. for the use of their forklifts & teleporters, to help with erecting the lights & Tree and electricians Conor Twomey & Seamus Harrington for helping to connect up the various power points. Castletownbere GAA Club was thanked for providing the impressive tree and anyone that helped in anyway on the night of the turning on of the lights.

Darren then proceeded to give updates on the various projects the CDA are involved in within the town, he started by explaining that the purchase of St. Peters Church is in the final stages and hopes that the final contracts can be signed soon. He explained that Cork County Council granted €14,000 for the redevelopment of the Playground and that the community has to provide match funding of another €14,000, which is being raised by the Monthly Bingo Nights. In relation to the Public Toilets, he confirmed that Cork Co Co plan to commence the €40,000 refurbishment works by the end of March and that the incoming committee will be keeping pressure on to see that these works will happen.

The first stage of the ongoing Traffic Management Plan, being carried out by Aecon consulting engineers, on behalf of the County Council, is almost complete and the second public consultation is due in April or May. The new pier development is also in its early stages and it is thought that the planning applications will be submitted in the coming weeks, Darren told the meeting.

A key piece of infrastructure affecting the progression of the town is the Wastewater Treatment System, which has been proposed for the last 40 years or more, but has never commenced. Darren provided a very welcome update, that the CDA has been lobbying our local T.D’s in recent months to try and see when these woks might be carried out and that a response was received from Fine Gael TD, Jim Daly, which said; “The project is now approved to proceed to the Detailed Design & Planning stage. Following that, the next phase will continue through the latter part of 2018. Construction would then be expected to commence in 2019 with a duration of 12-18 months.”

Darren concluded by personally thanking everyone in the community for the support he had received in his two years as chairperson and he wished Cian Murphy and the incoming committee all the best of success for the year ahead. He then stood down the outgoing committee and invited, Noel Harrington, to chair the election of officers for the coming year.

The following were elected;

Chairperson; Cian Murphy, Vice Chair; Noel Forde, Secretary; Mark Golden, Vice Secretary; Rozalyn Williams, Treasurer; Celina Sheehan, Assistant Treasurer; Christina Saridakis, Pro; John Galvin, Development Officer; Darren Lynch, Event Coordinators; Killian Martin-Sullivan & Kieran Murphy, Committee Members; Alice Harrison, Andrea Lotty, Grace Delaney, Joanne Kelly, Siobhan Murphy & Viktorija Gecaite.

Noel wished the incoming committee every success for the year.

Newly elected Chairperson, Cian Murphy, then addressed the floor.

Firstly, he thank everyone for coming to the meeting & said “It’s encouraging for a new committee to see so many people take an interest in the CDA’s activities.

Thank you to Noel for presiding over the election of officers. Also, a massive thank you to Darren, our outgoing chairman for his work over the last 2 years. The work and commitment he gave to the CDA was outstanding.”

Cian continued, “For me personally it’s a huge honour to be taking over as Chairman of the CDA. I was dragged to a meeting 5 years ago and little did I think 5 years later I would be sitting here as chairman, but I’m very excited and looking forward to the next 2 years. I think everyone here can see that the CDA has gone from strength to strength and that is solely due to the commitment and enthusiasm of the committee members, I’m delighted to see that so many of the old committee are staying on, as well as seeing so many new faces joining.