AN a diving incident that claimed the lives of two experienced divers off the West Cork coast last year was described as a “terrible tragedy” at an inquest in Cork city.
Cork City Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane described the events that led to the deaths of Australian Jonathan Scott (61) and Stephen Clarke (65) from England as a “terrible tragedy” and recorded a verdict of misadventure.
The two friends had been diving the wreck of a German U Boat off the coast near Baltimore at a depth of 45 metres.
The two got into trouble and it is believed may have suffered from the bends as they came back to the surface too quickly after spending two minutes longer than scheduled at the bottom.
Mr Clarke reached the surface unconscious but died later in hospital while Mr Scott’s body was recovered from the water after several hours of searching.
The court heard that the equipment the men were using was not a factor in their deaths.
THERE was good news for Skibbereen town when Minister of State at the Department of Education Damien English TD confirmed a new school building for the staff and students on a visit to Gaelscoil Dr Uí Shúilleabháin.
The school which is 21-years-old has been looking for a permanent building for many years and has been accommodated in temporary pre fab structures for almost all of its existence. The Minister was accompanied by local Fine Gael TD Jim Daly who was a former principal teacher at the school prior to his election as a TD for West Cork.
The site for Gaelscoil Dr Uí Shúilleabháin’s new build is on the site of Rossa College and is currently being transferred from the Cork ETB to the Department of Education. Minister English confirmed that the Department of Education has agreed to the building of a four class room new school building with appropriate ancillary accommodation which will include a General Purpose room, Library and Resource area, multi purpose room and office space. The new development will make provision for up to 70% expansion in the current enrolment.
Minister English advised the School management that when the school signs up for the new proposals, his Department will begin the next steps to secure planning and proceed to tender and then construction.
“I was delighted to travel to West Cork to visit the Gaeilscoil in Skibbereen with Deputy Jim Daly. My Department has approved this worthy and much needed new school building in principle. The necessary resources and funding will be made available to bring the project from design, to planning and through to the construction stage.
“Having viewed the current accommodation at the school, I look forward to the early progression of this project and will ensure every assistance is made available during this process,” he said.
Deputy Jim Daly expressed his delight at what he described as “Very long overdue but none the less welcome good news,” for parents, students and staff of the Gaelscoil in Skibbereen.
“I tried to progress this project as principal over a decade ago when money was plentiful and development taking place at every cross roads but to no avail. I am so happy for the school community to see this dream finally become a reality. Investment in our young people and their education system will reap multiple dividends for generations to come,” he said.
Jim Daly TD who is vice chairman of the Oireachtas Education Committee also confirmed that he discussed with Minister English the next priority for Skibbereen which he believes should be to develop the potential offered by the amalgamation of the three secondary schools to establish a full time third-level campus on the site of the former Rossa College.
WEST Cork Arts Centre presents the ‘Museum of Miniature: The Islands’, a portable museum curated by artists Marie Brett and Tess Leak which is touring to the West Cork Islands of Sherkin, Heir and Bere this summer.
This ‘pop-up and wondrous’ museum of tiny artworks that ‘fit in the palm of your hand’ includes work from artists based on Irish off-shore Islands plus those on European and international islands including Fejoe (Denmark) Saltspring (Canada) Fogo (Newfoundland) and Honolulu (Hawaii).
The project follows on from the huge success of the Museum in 2012 that took place during Skibbereen Arts Festival and included work from 142 artists from around the world.
The communities on Sherkin, Heir and Bere have also worked with artist Tess Leak to create populations of miniature figures, a vibrant and imaginative collection that will be at the heart of this year’s Museum.
Artist Marie Brett said, “I am delighted to be curating to Museum of Miniature: the Islands with Tess and would like to thank everyone on Bere, Heir and Sherkin Islands for their enthusiasm, and West Cork Arts Centre for their support. It is exciting seeing new artwork being made and to plan the touring exhibition that will hop from island to island over the summer months.”
Sherkin’s Island Museum will open on Friday 5th June 6pm at The Community Hall by Ann Davoren, Director Uillinn, West Cork Arts Centre
Exhibition: Weekend 6-7 June, 11am – 5pm
Heir Island opens on Friday 12th June, 6pm, Island Cottage Gallery.
Exhibition: Weekend 13 – 14 June, 12pm – 4pm
Enquiries John Moore: 086 8192342
Bere Island opens on Friday 17th July, 6.30pm, The Drill Hall
Exhibition: Sat 18 July 11am – 5pm and Sun 19 July 11am – 2pm
Enquiries Helen Riddell: 027 75099
Shape Art Studio will be launching their new website, www.shapeartstudio.com with an open studio day on Saturday 30 May at 2pm at the old Masonic hall, Mardyke Street, Skibbereen.
Shape Art Studio is an artist’s collective based in West Cork producing affordable, accessible contemporary artwork. The Shape artists Alison Cronin, Paul Forde Cialis and Rebecca Keyser work in the atmospheric environs of the Masonic hall, a building dating back to the 19th century.
Each artist has their own unique art practice, brought together by a shared belief in trusting where their creative instincts take them, a fascination with visual language, and parallel careers in sharing their artistic passion with the community through classes, workshops and other events.
The new Shape website showcases their work, with a blog keeping you up to date with their own, and other, artistic happenings, and links to buy original artworks online.
All are welcome to join the artists in their studio on Saturday 30 May, from 2pm, for light refreshments, a chance to meet the artists, see the studio, view finished artwork, and works in progress, and celebrate the launch of their new website
ON June 21 each year, music making is celebrated all around the world, under a variety of festival names, such as: Fête de la Musique, Love Live Music or World Music Day. This tradition has been going on since 1982 and has become an international phenomenon, celebrated on the same day in more than 460 cities in 110 countries. A wide variety of events celebrate different musical styles, with an emphasis on enjoyment and participation, where in the words of Maurice Fleuret ‘the music is everywhere and the concert nowhere’.
For the second year running, West Cork Arts Centre is collaborating with West Cork Mental Health Services to host an exciting free event suitable for all the family on Sunday 21 June, in the courtyard at Uillinn, commencing at 3pm. Last year’s event, which celebrated the legacy of Pete Seeger attracted many local musicians and this year the organisers are again inviting musicians of all styles and the community to come together and celebrate Skibbereen’s contribution to World Music Day.
All are welcome to join in this global celebration of music making and community. Confirmed performers include Liz Clark, The Happiness Ensemble, Clon Drums, Bantry Community Choir, traditional music with Ann Coughlan and friends. There will be an instrument making workshop with Peter Fitzpatrick, of the Happiness Ensemble where children of 8 years and over, will have the opportunity to make and decorate their own customised didjeridoo! An ‘Open Door’ music session, to which all musicians are welcome to contribute, will conclude the event, so if you play an instrument or sing, come along and play your part on World Music Day 2015.
PERROTT House, in Skibbereen held its fourth Garden party, as part of the nationwide Bealtaine festival recently. The event featured an exciting programme of creative activity.
Dr Pat Bracken officially launched “Soundfields”; a collection of poetry composed by the residents of Perrott House and the artist Tess Leak.
“Silver Strands” a short film created in Perrott House with Alison Glennie received its premier screening. There was singing and music with MusicAlive and special guests, including The Bantry Community Choir.
Visual artist Tomma McCullim curated an art exhibition and the beautiful gardens of Perrott House were open to invited guests from the local community. This annual event celebrates the arts and health programme that runs throughout the year at Perrott House, in association with the Cork Education and Training Board and is also supported by the Friends of Perrott House.
Pictured (l-r): Dr Pat Bracken, Tess Leak, Kevin O’Shanahan and John O’Toole. Pic: Emma Jervis
A LARGE crowd attended the opening of two new exhibitions at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre recently. In the James O’Driscoll Gallery is Nearshore an exhibition of paintings and ceramics by well known local based artists, Cormac Boydell, John Kingerlee, Kate Standen and Karen Hendy. Nearshore is an exhibition of work inspired by the coastline of peninsulas, estuaries, harbours and islands along the west Cork and South Kerry, where sea and land meet at gravelly and sandy beaches, mudflats and cliffs as well as at piers, docks and slipways. Through ceramics and paint these Artists have captured aspects of the colour, texture and beauty of this weathered shore.
Tess Leak, Baltimore based artist’s solo exhibition I shall make for my own castle is in Gallery II. Tess has just completed a Residency at Uillinn and this show is a culmination of her work. Tess commissioned composer Justin Grounds to create a piece of music for strings, bassoon and the phono-fiddle that she recently inherited from her grand uncle, music hall performer Frank Clifton. The Vespertine Quintet, of which both Tess and Justin are members, premiered the work also titled I shall make for my own castle, at the opening of this show on Friday much to the delight of all present. The work can be heard on headphones as part of the exhibition. Tess also worked with film-maker and sound designer Tadhg O’Sullivan to produce a short film entitled No matter how loudly they growl for this exhibition. Tadhg recorded sounds found on Cape Clear Island in 2013, later creating a soundtrack in response to a collection of images drawn and found by Tess.
by Cormac O’Carroll
HEINEKEN Ireland recently hosted the launch of the 2015 Glandore Classic Regatta at their brewery in Cork. The event was well attended by members of the press, as well as invited members from south coast sailing clubs.
Jim Cashman of Heineken welcomed the Commodore and Classic committee members, sponsors and invited guests present. Following this introduction Nick Bendon of CH Marine spoke of his company’s involvement in the regatta in recent years and remarked how after a very quiet season in Glandore last year this year already the village is buzzing and business is definitely on the up. With the re-opened Glandore Inn and the newly opened Glandore Bistro at the Pier House, as well as Hayes’ and Casey’s bar exceptionally busy over the Easter weekend and May Holidays. Nick looks forward to a very successful CH Marine Glandore Classic Regatta in July.
Sean Walsh, the Commodore of the Old Gaffers Association then addressed the gathering; the Old Gaffers Association is a world-wide group with members drawn from lovers of gaff rigged boats from all over the world, though mostly from UK, Ireland and France. Sean said that this year the Old Gaffers were having their big cruise on the south coast and were making a beeline for the Glandore Classic Regatta as part of their cruise which will then bring them as far west as the Fastnet and Skellig Michael.
Sean also said that since he first visited the Classic Regatta in 1992 he has returned each time to the warmest of welcomes at the club and in Glandore Harbour generally. The Commodore John Dowling closed with a review of some of the boats that are planning to be in Glandore for the Regatta in July, a number are regular visitors, there are a a few which have been in re-build right through last winter, and also a number that were re-launched for the first time during last season.
The club looks forward to welcoming back the Cork One Designs and the Anglesey Fifes, as well as the Ettes of Castletownshend to name just a few. John closed by inviting people who are interested in coming to register online now at the regatta website.
The Glandore Classic Regatta runs from Saturday July 18th to Friday July 24th, The Regatta opening ceremony takes place on Saturday evening July 18th, The parade of sail takes place on Sunday afternoon July 19th. There is a sailing and racing programme of activities daily until Friday 24th when the regatta closes with the final prize giving. Throughout the week there is a full schedule of events including recitals, lectures, quiz, BBQ, street music etc.
See www.glandoreyc.com for more information.
Last year Skibbereen and District Chamber of Commerce launched a Kids Passport for a trial run during August and following very positive feedback the Chamber are delighted to announce that the Skibbereen Kids Passport returns for the entire summer season in 2015.
This year Skibbereen Credit Union is sponsoring the Kids Passports which are designed to be a fun way to inform families about local places and activities not only in Skibbereen but throughout West Cork. The passports aim to increase interest in the locality by encouraging visitors and locals alike to call to as many kids’ attractions and businesses as possible, they list lots of great fun activities for families to enjoy in Skibbereen and the surrounding areas and you can even get your passport stamped when you visit different venues!
Each colourful passport includes information on beaches, ferries and local wildlife and has a mixture of both free and fee-paying activities as well as activities suited to the many vagaries of Irish weather!
Speaking at the launch held at Skibbereen Credit Union they said they were delighted to be involved with a project such as this that enhances the awareness of the many fun filled attractions in the locality.
Donal O Driscoll, manager, said “the passport allows visitors an easy means of mapping out their stay in the locality along with providing them with a memento of their visit to this unique area. The richness of the area was now being really discovered under the banner of the Wild Atlantic Way and this was being captured by the credit union Wild Atlantic Year photo completion”. Carla Sheehy the youngest winner in the Credit Union competition was on hand to launch this passport initiative and said she couldn’t wait to follow the trail and collect her stamps.
Passports are free and can be picked up from the Skibbereen Tourist Office as well as businesses around Skibbereen & District, so don’t delay, pick up your passport today!
THE Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, Joe McHugh has confirmed that funding of more than €300,000 has been confirmed for non-gaeltacht islands to the end of this year.
There was an outcry from islanders late last year when it was announced that funding was due to be cut off this year with many claiming it could spell the end for viable communities on the islands in question.
Two West Cork Islands will receive €185,000 in total. The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has reached agreement with Comhar na nOileán Teo., who will be responsible for administering the fund at a total cost of €34,160 in 2015.
Funding for the non-Gaeltacht islands was previously provided by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.
Local TD Noel Harrington, welcomed the announcement saying, “I am delighted that both Departments have now reached an agreement regarding the funding, which have now been fully restored, to the levels they were at in 2014.
“This follows months of negotiations between the two departments, which I actively lobbied and pursued on behalf of the Islands in West Cork, to get the allocation of resources that were required, without any reduction in their budgets. Both Bere and Sherkin Islands, will now receive the same amount of funding they got in 2014.
“This announcement is evidence of this Government’s commitment to the islands and I am pleased that the resources are available to ensure that the great work being carried out by these organisations on the non-Gaeltacht islands will continue to be funded. I would like to personally thank An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Minister Joe McHugh, and Minister Alan Kelly & Minister of State Ann Phelan at the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government for their support given towards reaching this resolution,” he said.