Heritage Week puts West Cork towns on the map

Heritage Week puts West Cork towns on the map

Declan Hurley

Declan Hurley

AS part of National Heritage Week, Cork County Council has begun an initiative to produce a series of maps for the seven historic towns in the West Cork region.

Launching the Dunmanway Historic Town Map in Dunmanway recently. Chairman of the Western Division councillor Declan Hurley said, “It is hoped these maps will encourage an appreciation of the rich heritage of the seven towns in the region both for locals and visitors and also provide linkages between the existing attractions and the towns.”

“The maps are part of a strategy by Cork County Council to highlight the wide variety of heritage available in our towns and villages in West Cork. They are designed to be a self guided tour of the town’s key heritage sites.  With each map containing beautiful illustrations of key sites and buildings, along with a brief history,” he added.

According to Cllr Hurley, “The idea for creating the maps originated from a well known tourism attraction The Model Railway Village in Clonakilty. Initially the towns on display at the Model Railway Village were selected to encourage people to visit the actual towns themselves and see the wonderful buildings and heritage features in real life.”

“The production of these maps, is taking that idea one step further, and providing visitors and tourists alike, with a brief history of the towns in a compact map format that one can refer to when visiting the towns,” he said.

“Mary Sleeman in the Heritage Unit of Cork County Council in liaison with MacDara O’hIci and Jacqueline Mansfield of the Western Division steered the production of the maps and were ably assisted by Catherine O’Callaghan, Graphics Technician of the County Architects Department.


Rhoda Cronin-Allinac was the artist commissioned to prepare the maps.  Rhoda is a very talented artist in her own right and has a deep understanding of archaeology and history.  Her uniquely illustrated designs are self evident and are the culmination of many hours spent identifying and researching the wealth of history in our West Cork towns and subsequently portraying this knowledge in a user friendly and interesting fashion,”


“The Bandon Historic Town Map was successfully launched in Bandon on Wednesday night and work is already underway on a map of Kinsale,” concluded Cllr Hurley.

The Bandon and Dunmanway Historic Town maps are available in the public libraries and the Model Railway Village in Clonakilty.  They will also be available to download in near future from the internet on visit County Cork.

Caheragh scouting report

Caheragh scouting report

Pictured are the 13th Caheragh Scouts who won a silver award at their first “Pheonix” national event in Palliskenry, Co. Limerick recently.

Pictured are the 13th Caheragh Scouts who won a silver award at their first “Pheonix” national event in Palliskenry, Co. Limerick recently.

THE 13th Caheragh Scouting Ireland Group has been active with educating young people in outdoor sports and activities in the local and greater community since 1992, and is part of 8 other active groups throughout the West Cork County.

Since that time scouting has come of age and is now a modern multi challenging, 46,0000 strong youth activity organization.

With ages ranging from 6 to 25, the Scouts learn from an early age all about Teamwork, Camping, Open fire cooking, Pioneering, Hiking, Map reading, and a huge range of life skills, that they carry with them throughout the rest of their lives.

Scouting Ireland is a voluntary Charity organization and relies on grants, the support of the local community and families who work with the adult scouters who facilitate the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Venture and Rover sections with their various activities.

Over recent years scouts have climbed many mountains in Ireland and locally in West Cork and Kerry including Irelands highest mountain Carrauntoohil.


Latest News; 5 West Cork Scouts have just returned from The World Jamboree in Japan 2015,as part of the 300 strong contingent.

Last weekend a team of Caheragh Scouts (12-15) competed in the 4 day National Phoenix challenge where they competed against up to 60 other patrols of 8 scouts from all over the country. They got a silver award it is a great achievement for them as it was their first ever phoenix event.

We are holding an Open/Enrolment day this Sunday the 30th at 2 o’clock.

There will be a display of scouting activities and fun for all, and we will be on hand to answer any questions you might have.

Signing up to scouting costs €50.00 for insurance, Uniform and book fees are extra and a small contribution to the running of programs and events.

And adults are always welcome to come on board and join in Scouting and help to see children achieve their full potential.

N/B; All Adult Scouters are fully trained and Garda vetted.

For further information

Myross Rowing Club Notes

Myross Rowing Club Notes

The All-Ireland Senio Ladies champion gold medal winning crew of Ciara Deasy (cox); Aine McCarthy; Niamh Browne; Grace Sheehy and Mairead Daly.

The All-Ireland Senio Ladies champion gold medal winning crew of Ciara Deasy (cox); Aine McCarthy; Niamh Browne; Grace Sheehy and Mairead Daly.

After all the hours of training and commitment over the last 6 months,The Myross Senior Ladies pulled out all the stops to come home with the Gold in the All-Ireland Senior Ladies Race in Waterville Co.Kerry on Sunday August 16th last.

After a shaky start,The reigning county and South West Champions crew of Ciara Deasy (cox) Aine McCarthy,Niamh Browne, Grace Sheehy and Mairead Daly,settled into their rhythm and powered off to catch their fellow competitors of Arklow, Killorglin, the Galley flash, East Ferry and Valentia.

With adrenaline high and nerves forgotten and an All-Ireland Gold medal at stake,they eventually pulled away ahead to get first into the turn and once out of the turn,continued to impressively power their way home to victory to beat Arklow and Killorglin by 5 lengths, who were battling to the end for silver and bronze with Arklow just getting the silver on the line.

Heritage week on the West Cork islands

Heritage week on the West Cork islands

Garinish-IslandIreland’s Heritage Week is being marked on the West Cork Islands by a series of events which draw attention to their untold stories.

Throughout the week (22nd-30th August) local historians and guides will help visitors to learn more about the islands’ pasts, debunking any notions that the islands were cut off from the broader strands of Ireland’s history.

Events on Bere Island will explore the military links that deeloped because of the island’s strategic position in Bantry Bay. Meanwhile, the history of women and science will gain an island dimension as the Ellen Hutchins Festival celebrates the work that Ireland’s first female botanist carried out on the island in Bantry Bay.

Heritage Week will also give visitors the opportunity to take a free guided tour of Garnish Island’s Italian gardens.

Find out more at

Union Hall RNLI in late night search after flare sighting

Union Hall RNLI in late night search after flare sighting

The Union Hall lifeboat.

The Union Hall lifeboat.

VOLUNTEER lifeboat crew with Union Hall RNLI launched last Thursday night after a member of the public spotted a flare in the West Galley Head area and raised the alarm.  Valentia Coast Guard tasked Union Hall RNLI at 10.15pm with the lifeboat launching seven minutes later.  Also involved in the search was the Rescue 117 Coast Guard Helicopter and Castlefreake Coast Guard Unit.

The search continued for over three hours in the Glandore Bay area and was stood down at 12.50am when nothing was found.  Conditions at the time were calm with good visibility.


Commenting on the callout Union Hall RNLI LOM John Kelleher said, “The call from the member of the public was a genuine as the person had spotted a flare and feared someone was in trouble.  I would ask that people please continue to raise the alarm if they see something they think is a call for help. However people should contact the Coast Guard in advance if they are planning to set off flares or similar items in a non-emergency”.

West Cork creativity goes on show as stunning and extraordinary art and craft collaborations unveiled

West Cork creativity goes on show as stunning and extraordinary art and craft collaborations unveiled

Alison Ospina, Curator and Craft Maker.

Alison Ospina, Curator and Craft Maker.

WEST Cork Creates is the title of a rare and unique exhibition of collaborative projects between professional artists and crafts makers, designers and photographers taking place from 10 am to  6 pm daily (excluding Sundays) at the O’ Driscoll Building, Levis’ Quay, Skibbereen until  13th September (2015) under the auspices of A Taste of West Cork.


Officially opened by Dee Forbes (President and Managing Director of Discovery Networks Northern Europe), curated by renowned artist and print maker Coilin Murray and Professional Craft Maker and Author Alison Ospina, the exhibition is an exciting prospect. Not only because is it highly unusual for art and craft to be exhibited side by side, but it showcases bespoke projects specially commissioned for the exhibition.


The joint works came about through an open call for submission of ideas for original creations. A final tally of 13 projects were selected, on the basis of their exceptional innovation and originality. These form the core of the show with a selection of the usual work of each of the collaborators also exhibited.


Examples of the sort of work that visitors to the exhibition will get to see include; a basket maker who teamed up with a visual artist on a piece representing the elements (Earth, Air, Fire and Water) using materials such bog oak, willow, paper and charcoal. Another pairing sees a silversmith and cutlery maker team up, resulting in beautiful jewellery and knives with semi-precious stones set into the handles.


Extra features of this vibrant exhibition will include talks on the process of collaboration, demonstrating how the vision of the artist combined with the knowledge of materials and skill of the designer/crafts maker and the techniques learnt and shared. To this end some artists will show photographs, video and recordings of the experience. This should be a fun ‘behind the scenes’ look at what took place in the lead up to the exhibition adding an extra element of personality and emotional buy in to those in attendance.


Recognised as a highlight of the summer festival calendar, ‘A Taste of West Cork Food Festival’ has broadened its scope to showcase not only the best of food but also the amazing arts, craft and design for which West Cork  is  renowned.


‘West Cork Creates, is supported by Cork County Council through its Arts Officer Ian McDonagh, The Craft Council of Ireland and the West Cork Craft Guild.


Entry is free of charge. For more information see

Digital hub to create 500 jobs

Digital hub to create 500 jobs

Pictured at Ireland’s first Rural Digital Hub launch in Skibbereen, were Anne O'Leary (CEO Vodafone Ireland), Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White TD & Sean O'Driscoll Chairman & CEO Glen Dimplex Group. Pic: Emma Jervis

Pictured at Ireland’s first Rural Digital Hub launch in Skibbereen, were Anne O’Leary (CEO Vodafone Ireland), Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White TD & Sean O’Driscoll Chairman & CEO Glen Dimplex Group. Pic: Emma Jervis

THE Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White TD o­fficially launched a new Digital Hub for Skibbereen on Friday.

Ludgate@Skibbereen is an initiative that aims to create an entrepreneurial “ecosystem” in the region and seeks to create 500 jobs in five years with an initial 75 plus jobs in the start-up phase.

The refurbished Old Bakery building which will be renamed “The Ludgate Hub” was made available for the initiative by local entrepreneur John Field and is due for completion in November 2015. The centre is name after Percy Ludgate, a Skibbereen native who is credited as the inventor of one of the world’s first programmable portable computers.


Ludgate@Skibbereen was officially launched at an event in the recently opened West Cork Arts Centre, Uilinn. The 10,000 sq ft hub is the first of its kind in a non-urban area in Ireland and offers a range of supports and services for its occupants. Ludgate@Skibbereen was pioneered by a group of entrepreneurs, digital ambassadors and local business owners that were brought together by West Cork resident and Glen Dimplex CEO, Seán O’Driscoll.


The group operates as a non-profit company and have worked on a pro-bono basis over the last 12 months. With their networks reaching into global companies and organisations, their aim is to provide start-ups with the environment and mentoring support required to research and commercialise opportunities to compete on a global scale. The initiative will also work to attract the wider Irish Diaspora to bring their ideas and talent to Skibbereen.


Vodafone Ireland will be the telecoms partner to the project and SIRO, the ESB and Vodafone fibre broadband joint venture company, will provide the infrastructure to support 1000 Mbps speeds of high quality fibre broadband connectivity. Minister Alex White said, “This Government is rebuilding a jobs-focused economy that will support full employment by 2018. Ludgate@Skibbereen is an important initiative, which will be supported by my Department through the Trading Online Voucher Scheme. It will create 500 direct jobs over the next five years while providing a blueprint that will help other rural communities to become part of our fast-growing digital economy.


“Harnessing digital technology is critical to Ireland’s continued success. The Government’s National Broadband Plan has created the conditions for accelerated commercial investment in high-speed broadband services, which is enabling projects like Ludgate@Skibbereen.”

Leonard Donnelly, of the Ludgate@Skibbereen steering group and former chairman of Dublin Digital Hub Development Agency said, “The hub will act as a catalyst for local economic development by initially housing up to 75 digital, technology & science innovators. Our formula at its simplest is a fusion of global business experience with first generation entrepreneurs & scientists. Our bottom up plan for the area is a new bandwidth based bridge where we can now link arms to promote Skibbereen with Government Agencies, form partnerships with other Digital Co Ops and most importantly involve all our families working abroad and away from home, to shape their future in the place they all call home in West Cork.”


Anne O’Leary, CEO Vodafone Ireland and a member of the steering committee added, “We are delighted to provide dedicated connectivity for Ludgate@Skibbereen which demonstrates our on-going and long-term commitment to investing in and supporting business in Ireland and as well as providing connectivity to rural areas. The commitment and support from Vodafone and SIRO will amplify the e orts to create an innovative entrepreneurial ecosystem, and illustrates once ‘connected’ you can successfully work from one of the most beautiful locations in the world”.


Ludgate@Skibbereen will host Ireland’s first ever National Digital Week in November 2015 to coincide with its official opening. This will showcase high profile international and national speakers and will host a multitude of seminars, workshops and activities. The full steering group consists of: Kevin Buckley, Co-Founder & CEO, Spearline Labs; Leonard Donnelly, Technology Entrepreneur; Oliver Farrell, Co-Founder & Chairman, Vilicom; John Field, JJ. Field & Co; Dee Forbes, President of Discovery Networks, Northern Europe; Lord David Puttnam, award winning film producer and digital champion for Ireland; Sean O’Driscoll, Chairman & CEO, Glen Dimplex Group; Anne O’Leary: CEO Vodafone, Ireland and Adam Walsh, General Manager at JJ. Field & Co.


Vodafone’s existing high speed 4G mobile data connectivity in the Skibbereen and the West Cork area will be further upgraded this September in anticipation of National Digital Week. Further information on Ludgate@Skibbereen can be found at

Skibbereen golf report

Skibbereen golf report

skibb-golf1Jack Lynch Golf Classic 2015

Thanks were expressed by the Skibbereen & West Carbery Golf Club Jack Lynch Committee Chair Hilda Hegarty at Sunday’s prizegiving night to the Jack Lynch 2015 committee, club captains Frank Ryan and Una Murray, competition secretaries Nuala Lupton & Liam Weadick, vice captains Liam Ennis & Maureen O’Regan, Bernie Ryan, Mary Crowley, Maura Dwyer, John McNamara, Charles McCarthy, John Field and all club volunteers for their hard work and participation. The Jack Lynch committee expressed thanks especially to all the Jack Lynch 2015 prize, tee box and team sponsors whose generosity and support made this year’s event an outstanding success as well as all the players in the open events throughout the week.

The Jack Lynch Men’s Fourball sponsored by O‘Regan Stone Quarry on Sunday 12th July was won by Andrew Whelton and Paul Corcoran of Lisselan with 49pts, 2nd Tim Joe O’Regan, James Hicks 44pts, 3rd Jerome O’Driscoll, Brian Fitzsimons 43pts. Tim Joe O’Regan had hole-in-one on 2nd hole! On Monday 13th July, the Jack Lynch Juveniles Singles sponsored by Hourihane Sports was won by Darren Hayes (28) with 46pts, 2nd Diarmuid Kerr (21) 44pts and 3rd Aidan Pearce (6) 40pts.

The Jack Lynch Seniors 3-Man Team sponsored by Kevin O’Flynn held on Tuesday 14th July winners were Harry Jones, James De Courcey & Geoffrey Wycherley with 51pts, 2nd Tom Ryan, Dan McCarthy & John McDonnell 49pts and 3rd Frank O’Sullivan, Seamus O’Mahony & Bernard O’Mahony 49pts.

On Wednesday 15th July, the Ladies’ Champagne Scramble sponsored by Western Beverages & Drinagh Pharmacy had a huge turnout with over 90 ladies taking part. First were the visiting team of Catherine Bird, Anna O’Donoghue & Denise Murray with 53pts, 2nd Annette Lombard, Carmel O’Driscoll & Maria Kennedy 52pts, 3rd Jill Fitzgerald, Marie O’Raghallaigh & Helen Burke 49pts and 4th Marie Kerr, Brenda O’Driscoll & Pauline O’Sullivan 48pts.

The weather took a turn for the worse on Thursday so the Jack Lynch Men’s Singles sponsored by Designs was postponed due to heavy rain. This competition will be played on Thursday 6th August. Timesheet online at

Sponsors Peter & Diney Costello’s coveted golf prizes were on offer during the Jack Lynch Scotch Mixed Foursomes on Friday 17th July. The winners were visiting pair Declan Canavan & Claire Caffrey with 29&3/4 nett, 2nd Darren O’Brien & Catherine Werner 30 nett, 3rd Jerome O’Driscoll & Teresa O’Sullivan 30&1/4 nett, 4th Frank & Dolores O’Sullivan 30&1/2 nett and 5th David Quirke & Catherine Moloney 30&3/4 nett.

The weekend competition was the Jack Lynch Classic held over two days in glorious weather on Saturday 18th-Sunday 19th July. The Ladies’ 3 Ball Better Ball winning team was Mary Crowley (14), Helen Quirke (20) & June Ring (21) with 50 Points, 2nd Bernie Ryan (14), June Ring (21) & Teresa O’Sullivan 49 Pts on the count back, 3rd Marie Kerr (20), Bernie O’Sullivan (34) & Margaret O’Donovan 49 Pts and 4th Catherine Connolly (11), Ester Walsh (20) & Ger Touhy (30) 48 Pts. The longest drive on the 18th was won by Marie Kerr. The winning Men’s 3 Ball Better Ball team were Joseph Joe O’Sullivan, Seamus O’Reilly & Edmund Ring with 53pts, 2nd Sean Conmy, John Sheehan & Tim Coakley 51pts, 3rd Michael Sweeney, Pat Dwyer & Denis O’Donovan 51pts, 4th Frank Ryan, Fergal Morgan & Joe Geoghegan 50pts and Non-handicap Alan Foley, Tom Foley & Colin Johnson 50pts. The longest drive on the 5th was won by Timmy O’Donoghue and nearest the pin on the 14th by Tim Collins 24’’, with thanks to sponsor Jason Field of Blackwater Motors Skibbereen.

A special mention was given to the Paragon Bar who sponsored the BBQ and West Cork Distillers who provided Drombeg whiskey to participants on the 17th tee.



Una Murray’s Lady Captain’s Prize to the Men will be held on Thursday 23rd July and the men’s weekend competition is kindly sponsored by Peter Neumann. Looking ahead, the late Dr. Bernard McNicholas’ Patron’s Prize will be held on Saturday 1st-Sunday 2nd August. The men’s Hi-Lo competition continues on Monday evenings and Mixed Foursomes on Tuesday evenings from 6.30pm. For ladies, Una Murray’s Lady Captain’s day will take place this Sunday 26th July with a draw for partners Friday evening. Please add your name to the list in the ladies’ locker room. Next week’s sponsored competition is the Blue Shop on Wednesday 29th July and the late Dr. Bernard McNicholas’ Patron’s Prize to the Ladies will be held on Friday 31st July. Book your tee times online at or call the clubhouse on 028 21227.

Do Run Run on Sherkin this August

Do Run Run on Sherkin this August

The 2014 Do Run Run. Pic: Robbie Murphy

The 2014 Do Run Run. Pic: Robbie Murphy

Due to the success of last years “ Do Run Run” on Sherkin Island the organisers have set Saturday August 8th for this year’s event, which promises to be bigger and better.

This is a fun, non competitive run, walk, with two options open to participants – a 4 k which is buggy friendly and an 8 k which takes in off road route.

The proceeds of this year’s event will go towards Cancer Connect, Sherkin Island First Responder Group and Baltimore Community Swimming Pool.

The event begins at 2.30 p.m., and your registration fee includes return ferry from Baltimore. There will be open air music at The Islanders Rest after the event.

Registration opens on Monday next at 9 am. To register log on to or log on to our face book page and click on the link. Numbers are limited and registration will close automatically once our quota is full. Further information from Garry Minihane (086) 8328394 or Cian O’Mahony  (086) 3992562.

Fastnet Trails launched at Kilcoe

Fastnet Trails launched at Kilcoe

Jim O'Keeffee presents the Kilcoe Mapboard with Fastnet Trails committee members Ian Hardy, Theresa Hickey, Eugene McSweeney, Brigid O'Brien and Fachtna Wholley.

Jim O’Keeffee presents the Kilcoe Mapboard with Fastnet Trails committee members Ian Hardy, Theresa Hickey, Eugene McSweeney, Brigid O’Brien and Fachtna Wholley.

“The future of communities, rural communities in particular, is communal effort… This (project) is a benefit to your community, to West Cork and to the country . . . to whom you are an example.’

These true words were spoken by former TD Jim O’Keeffe during the recent launch of the Fastnet Trails, a system of way-marked walking (and cycling) routes aimed to promote the local natural and historical heritage.

“We wanted to emulate, in some way, what had been done successfully in our two neighbouring Peninsulas,” said Eugene McSweeney of the Fastnet Trail organising committee referring to Sheep’s Head and Beara.

After three long years of strategizing the Fastnet Trails, with full support and approval from the National Trails Office, was officially launched with an unveiling ceremony of the Kilcoe Trail Head map board near Kilcoe Church.

The eight designated walks (6 looped and 2 linear) start from four different Trail Heads at Lisheen, Kilcoe, Ballydehob and Schull and cover a total of 80 km. There are map boards at each trail head and an overview map located on the Hollyhill layby on the N71 approaching Kilcoe Church, as well as information plates along the trails and brochures available at local shops.

“What we are trying to do here is to increase awareness of our natural heritage, of our built heritage, and of our history, by packaging what the area offers into a pleasing, easily accessible, recreational activity,” said McSweeney at the launch.

The event was well attended by walking enthusiasts and local dignitaries including local Counsellor Michael Collins and Mr Jim O’Keeffe who officially unveiled the Kilcoe map board. Fr. Paddy Hickey, originally from Skeaghnore and author of the book “Famine in West Cork,” regaled the crowd with historic tales of the area’s dalliance with smugglers as they strolled from Kilcoe Church to Roaring Water Pier.

The group then visited the ivy laden ruins and immaculately manicured lawn of the Old Kilcoe Church where Fr. Hickey explained how the architecture of such churches often reflected the times in which they were built and the growing nationalism of the region.

Important community projects like these are never done alone.  Many people donated time and effort and many organisations donated funds and manpower to get to this point.

The groundwork was lay by Eugene McSweeney of Ballydehob and Brigid O’Brien of Lisheen and the small earnest team of local residents Deidre Hardy, Ian Hardy, Theresa Hickey and Fachtna Wholley. They worked, with assistance from several local organisations, for three years to plan routes, gain accesses, deal with applications and regulation issues and raise the funds required to implement the walking trails system aimed at drawing tourists and locals into the outlying spaces of West Cork.

The Fastnet Trail Committee wishes to thank sincerely the many financial and practical supporters who helped make the project happen. Included are the Cork County Council, the Gwendoline Harold-Barry Trust, the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, the community councils of Aughadown, Ballydehob and Schull, the West Cork Development Partnership and Mr David Hayward who designed their brochures. Special thanks for support and guidance go to James O’Mahony of the Sheep’s Head Way and David Ross of Drimoleague Heritage Walks.