Bandon remedial flood works set to start

Bandon remedial flood works set to start

Alan Coleman in Bandon

Alan Coleman in Bandon

CORK County Council CEO Tim Lucey has confirmed that remedial flood relief works in Bandon will commence this week.

The works will include the instillation of non-return valves at all entry points from the river and extending the defensive banks along the River Bandon adjacent to the Lidl store in the town.

Tenders for the proposed flood defence scheme in Skibbereen were also opened at Monday’s Cork County Council Meeting in Cork County Hall. Cork County Council are the lead agency in the Skibbereen scheme under the auspicious of the Office of Public Works.

Welcoming the news Cllr Alan Coleman an Independent Candidate in the upcoming General Election in Cork South West said, “This is welcome news for the people of the town as they have been to hell and back in recent months. Having experienced unacceptable delays with an overly bureaucratic tendering process led by a central government agency in The Office of Public Works this action is a reprieve for the resilient people of this West Cork town.

“People’s patience with flood defence scheme delays has been well tested and we just want to see action. Today’s news of these developments are welcome but at the end of the day these works are well overdue. I sincerely hope that there will be no further unnecessary delays,” he added.

Singing to lift your spirits in Skibbereen

Singing to lift your spirits in Skibbereen

big-singIF you’ve been finding the wet and windy weeks somewhat difficult of late you may be glad to hear that a new free singing session is beginning in Skibbereen Town Hall from 10.45-11.45am on the second Friday of each month.

Singing is a great way to lift the spirits and all are welcome to come along and enjoy singing uplifting songs in an easy and fun way with others. There is no charge for these sessions, so why not pop in and enjoy meeting others over a sing and a cup of tea or coffee.

The ‘Little Sing Sessions’ are being run as part of the Friday Club’s weekly programme and will link in with local events such as the Feelgood Festival in Bantry and the West Cork BIG SING! Project.

The singing will be facilitated by local Community Musician and Choir Leader Caz Jeffreys. For further information please contact Caz on 083 1425599 or by email at: You can also follow the project on Facebook at West Cork Arts and Wellness or Caz Jeffreys Music.

West Cork estate agents win Sherry FitzGerald Franchise of the Year 2015

West Cork estate agents win Sherry FitzGerald Franchise of the Year 2015

sherry-fitzTHE winner of the Sherry FitzGerald Franchise of the Year Award 2015 was announced at the company’s annual Countrywide Conference which was held recently in Killashee Hotel, Naas Co. Kildare recently. Fighting off stiff competition from 67 franchised offices, Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill, with branches in Clonakilty and Skibbereen emerged victorious, a reflection of their excellent standard of service, business acumen and professionalism.

Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill are long established in West Cork, the business having been founded by Ray O’Neill’s grandfather in 1930. Ray O’Neill and his wife Mary O’Neill were one of the first estate agents to join the Sherry FitzGerald Countrywide network in 1999 and they have gone from strength to strength ever since. They are a business that are continually striving to improve the customer service experience and are particularly strong in their use of marketing and technology to do so.

Ray O’Neill said, “We are thrilled and honoured to be the recipients of the Sherry FitzGerald Franchise of the Year 2015 award. Our partnership with Sherry FitzGerald began in 1999 and we have been delighted to be working with this progressive company ever since.

“Our innovative systems ensure that our service as an estate agent in the West Cork market is the best it can be. Our intention is to continue to lead the market in West Cork and provide a quality service to vendors and purchasers alike.”

Mary Dillon, Managing Director, Sherry FitzGerald Countrywide, said, “Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill in Clonakilty and Skibbereen represents all that is best about our franchise members. Their outstanding customer care, professionalism, and innovative approach to marketing to ensure they always achieve the best price are some of the qualities that make them an outstanding member of our Franchise team.”

West Cork poetry collection published

West Cork poetry collection published

After the StormGLANDORE resident John Riordan has published his first collection of poems titled “After the Storm”, prepared for publication by Maurice Sweeney of Drombeg Books, based in Leap.

John Riordan, his wife Gill and daughter Laurie moved from Dublin to Reenogrena in 2008 after John’s retirement from a career in communications. His poems reflect “his love of nature, the people and landscape of West Cork  and the challenges of making the transition from city to country living”.

In his foreword to the book Maurice Sweeney writes, “Poetry according to the American poet Marianne Moore ‘provides a place for the genuine’. That is a quality that is immediately obvious in John Riordan’s poems”.

“After the Storm” is on sale in Cathal O’Donovan’s bookshop, Skibbereen; the Bantry Bookshop; Kerrs and Clonakilty Bookshop and Whytes in Schull. The book is also available in Skibbereen and Clonakilty Libraries and through the Cork Library system.

The XPERT programme comes to Clonakilty and Skibbereen

The XPERT programme comes to Clonakilty and Skibbereen

diabetes1A series of free education sessions for people with diabetes are planned for Clonakilty and Skibbereen this Spring 2016.

The award winning X-PERT programme is being organised by HSE Community Dietitians Bernie Dennehy and Melissa Byrne, in conjunction with local general practitioners.

The aim of the programme is to educate people affected by diabetes so that they can best manage their condition, improving their health and increasing their control over their diabetes.

The programme consists of a two and a half hour education session each week, for six weeks, during which participants learn all about what diabetes actually is, what treatments are available, and how diabetes is affected by weight, diet and exercise. There are lots of practical tips and participants learn from each other.

Bernie Dennehy Dietitian said that The X-PERT programme has been shown to improve people’s diabetes knowledge, increase the skills needed to look after diabetes and improve health. It will give you the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have with your diabetes.

The programme in Clonakilty, scheduled to commence early February, run by Bernie Dennehy. Contact Bernie on 086 7871590 to register for this programme.

The programme in Skibbereen is scheduled to commence early February run by Melissa Byrne. If you would like to register, contact Melissa on 087 9696267 or to book your place on a course, call the HSE Infoline on 1850 24 1850 or visit and fill in the online form  or contact your local HSE Office for more information on 028 40400,

Further X-PERT programmes will be advertised for other towns in West Cork in the autumn this year.

West Cork RNLI lifeboats launched more than 100 times in 2015

West Cork RNLI lifeboats launched more than 100 times in 2015

rnliFIGURES just released by the RNLI show that West Cork’s six RNLI lifeboats were launched 104 times in 2015 assisting and rescuing 125 people in the process.

In what was a very busy year the Baltimore all-weather lifeboat saw the most launches with a total of 25 while the new Union Hall inshore lifeboat which is currently under assessment by the RNLI proved to be a valuable asset launching 17 times and assisting 21 people.

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat assisted the most people of the all-weather lifeboats rescuing a total of 38 people.

West Cork’s three all-weather lifeboats (Baltimore, Castletownbere and Courtmacsherry) rescued a total of 78 people, while the three inshore boats (Baltimore, Kinsale and Union Hall) rescued a further 47 people proving just what a vital service is provided by the RNLI right along West Cork’s coastline.

Nationally there were 1,098 launches bringing 1,244 people to safety at 45 lifeboat stations around the Irish coast and on inland waters, of the recorded launches, 416 were carried out in the hours of darkness.

The type of incidents the charity’s lifeboat crew responded can range from danger of drowning (66 launches) to searches for missing people (54 launches), grounded or stranded vessels (126 launches) or people thought to be in danger or overdue (118 launches). Machinery failure and fouled propellers (251 launches) were again a common cause for callout.

There were also a number of callouts to four-legged casualties in 2015 including eight cows who became stranded and ended up in the sea off Kinsale.


Gareth Morrison RNLI Lifesaving Delivery Manager said, “Last summer the RNLI launched its national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water, warning people that the coastlines and waters can be dangerously unpredictable. This year we will continue to build on that and help inform those who enjoy the water and our beautiful coastline to take care and help reduce drowning.

In 2015 we had the honour of bringing the first Shannon class lifeboat home to Ireland. It was the first all-weather lifeboat class to be named in recognition of the contribution of the RNLI’s Irish volunteers, who have been saving lives in Ireland since 1826.

“Irish volunteer lifeboat crew, our fundraisers and supporters have again worked exceptionally hard serving our local communities. We would like to thank all of our volunteers for their hard work and dedication over the last 12 months. Without them our lifesaving service would not exist.”



Skibbereen Flood Relief Scheme back on track says TD

Skibbereen Flood Relief Scheme back on track says TD

Noel Harrington and  OPW minister Simon Harris.

Noel Harrington and OPW minister Simon Harris.

FINE Gael TD for Cork South West, Noel Harrington TD has welcomed the confirmation made today by Minister Brendan Howlin, when he visited West Cork, that the Skibbereen Flood Relief Scheme is firmly back on track.

“I was notified by Minister of State (OPW) Simon Harris on Friday last, that this scheme was now ready to proceed once again”, Deputy Harrington said.

“The report from the appointed consultants reviewing the Environmental Impact Statement for the scheme has now been published and confirmation given for the full green light to the River Ilen Flood Relief Scheme to progress and commence.

“This was the final hurdle before the appointment of a Contractor and works to commence which will happen in a matter of weeks now. It is envisaged that the construction phase will take approximately two years to complete and I am confident that Skibbereen will benefit from the greater investment and confidence as a result of these protection works.

Flooding on Market Street, Skibbereen. Pic: West Cork Times

Flooding on Market Street, Skibbereen. Pic: West Cork Times

“Having worked closely with the local businesses and residents in Skibbereen, I am thrilled that these works will shortly commence and hugely alleviate the ongoing worries of being flooded for everyone concerned,” Deputy Harrington concluded.

Major investment announced for local community hospitals

Major investment announced for local community hospitals

clon-hospital-groupSEVEN Community Hospitals in West Cork – Castletownbere, Dunmanway, Bandon, Clonakilty, Skibbereen, Kinsale and Bantry are to receive €17.87m in funding for upgrades and refurbishment it has been announced.

Overall, investment is planned for 90 centres across the country between now and 2021. This includes the replacement of 33 existing facilities and refurbishment / extension of 57 others. In addition the programme of investment will deliver 215 additional beds in centres being built or refurbished in locations identified as having particular capacity issues.

Local hospitals that will benefit from the investment include Clonakility €5m, Kinsale €3.78m, Bandon €3.44m, Skibbereen €2.59m, Bantry €1.8m, Castletownbere €1.04 and Dunmanway €200,000.

Local Labour TD Michael McCarthy said, “The future of these public nursing homes is now secure as a result of this announcement, something which is very reassuring for those living in these homes and indeed their families. While residents and their families no doubt attest to the excellence of the care received, many agree that the physical environment needs improvement.”

Fine Gael TD Noel Harrington added, “This is a hugely significant investment for our Community Hospitals in West Cork, and reflects the Government’s determination to maintain the current numbers of public nursing home beds and to ensure all Community Hospitals will be compliant with HIQA standards by 2021.

I am confident that this investment will re-assure our communities, particularly those who care for and who are ill and/or infirm, and it will allow those who require care and support, to remain within the area and close to their families at their most vulnerable stage of their lives.”

Row: A view of Skibbereen Rowing Club through the lens of Debbie Heaphy

Row: A view of Skibbereen Rowing Club through the lens of Debbie Heaphy

Debbie Heaphy. Pic: Emma Jervis

Debbie Heaphy. Pic: Emma Jervis

Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre is delighted to present an exhibition of photographs of the highly successful Skibbereen Rowing Club by Debbie Heaphy. Debbie has been recording the activities of Skibbereen Rowing Club for the past four years, often accompanying coach Dominic Casey in his launch on early morning training sessions.

Debbie said, “Having spent the last four years with these athletes, I am totally in awe of the resilience, focus and commitment of these young people. I have watched them strive to achieve what, at times, would seem to be unreachable goals”.

2015 was a very successful year for the club with seventeen Skibbereen athletes rowing for the Irish National Squad, and two rowers, brothers Gary and Paul O’Donovan qualifying in September for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

This exhibition is a compilation of what Debbie regards as her best photographs from her time at the club. “I hope to portray through the exhibition, the intensity of training and the essence and sense of place of the Ilen River, and also a snap shot of the unique and extraordinary journey of the boys and girls from Skibbereen who are determined to take on the world,” she said.

The exhibition celebrates these young people’s achievements and the achievements of Skibbereen Rowing Club. It ws officially opened by guest speaker Steve Redmond, Irish swimming legend and first to complete the Oceans7 Challenge.

A limited edition publication of photographs and essays accompanies the exhibition and sales of this publication and the photographs on exhibition will go towards raising funds for the club

Trading Online Voucher Seminar in Skibbereen

Trading Online Voucher Seminar in Skibbereen

online-trading-voucher-schemeTHE Local Enterprise Office are holding a Trading Online Voucher Seminar in Skibbereen, this week; Thursday, 28th January, 2016.

Anyone wishing to launch, upgrade their own site or participate in Skibbereen’s collaborative will need to attend, or send a representative.

The seminar is a pre-requisite to an application being accepted and evaluated by the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) to assist businesses in trading online.

We are encouraging businesses to take advantage while it is in Skibbereen, this week. There will be others during the year in venues such as Clonakilty, Bandon and Bantry.



Event: Trading Online Voucher Seminar

Venue: West Cork Hotel

Date: Thursday, 28 January 2016

Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm



For more information, please see the LEO site:

The LEO Trading Online Voucher scheme application is the means of securing matched funding for your investment in the project or your own website.

What is is a collaborative approach to eCommerce, aiming to help bring small business online and establish or enhance their online presence while taking advantage of pooled funds and economies of scale.

To obtain these funds for, your application will be submitted, as a collaborative group, to the LEO for approval.

As many don’t have a full web presence, is an opportunity for you to dip your toe into the World Wide Web, with full-support and back-up, through the entire process and post-launch, as well as the expertise to market eStreet and attract shoppers.

Participation will benefit your business by helping you reach a wider audience of potential customers and highlight your products, brands and services. The potential is there for the taking!