Summer Food & Fest Feature A Bumper Issue… Enjoy!
We bring you a bumper issue of news, views and opinions this month as we welcome the arrival of June, which usually heralds the start of the summer festivities. Consult part one of our three part Food & Fest Series to acquire details of the Fastnet Film Festival on this weekend and Bandon Music Festival, Kinsale Point to Point, Belgooly Show, Innishannon Steam & Vintage Rally – all happening during the Bank Holiday Weekend and the many other popular events like Clonakilty’s Street Carnival, Organic Arts Festival and Agricultural Show later in the month. We feature a number of significant Art Exhibitions running in West Cork at present and information on upcoming concerts and shows in both the Everyman and the Opera House.
Early May saw the welcome start of dredging and removal of rock debris by Wills Bros in the Bandon River as part of the Flood Relief Scheme. We were truly overwhelmed by the positive reaction of readers to our coverage of the controversy surrounding this project in our last issue and which thankfully has been resolved. We publish breaking news in this issue including measures by the OPW to keep the public informed on progress. We have also been highlighting the sorry state of the roads in Bandon. We are glad to state that the County Manager, in association with the relevant personnel, is planning to alleviate the situation on an interim basis.
A major talking point during the month has been the unprecedented number of checkpoints on our roads by members of An Garda Siochána. There has been a very critical response by innocent members of the public who felt ashamed and upset having a breathalyser stuck into their mouths as they went to town to shop. We know of one major concern that complained bitterly about its staff being breathalysed going to and from work. Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan said that it wasn’t their intention to cause any fear or insult. On the plus side, crime rates have dramatically been reduced in the area, he advised, as a result of the increased checkpoints. The Chief was speaking to The Opinion as the Cork West District welcomed five new Garda recruits to Bandon and the news that Clonakilty is to become a Garda training station.
There is an agri-slant to many of our features and interviews in this issue. We publish an exclusive interview with Joe Healy, President IFA, who was in Bandon to launch the Agricultural Show; we congratulate Clona Dairy Products Ltd, Clonakilty on their double success in being the first in Ireland to have 100% of its suppliers accredited to Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme and in acquiring the Bord Bia Origin Green brand. We mark the achievement of Denis Keohane, Ballinascarthy in being elected Chairman of the National Ploughing Association and we talk to Tom McCarthy, Manager of Bandon Mart as the vital livestock facility enjoys its busiest April in 20 years. Still on a rural theme it was a real pleasure to visit the newly-discovered souterrain on the farm of Humphrey and Noreen Desmond, Templemartin. The ancient ‘monument’ comprises two underground chambers discovered by chance when a trailer of earth subsided into its entrance. Kinsale rightly prides itself on many fronts, not least its attraction for tourists and its well-run Rugby 7s. In the light of reports this year we ask are the yobs hijacking this popular event. Progress continues to be made with the Flood Relief Scheme in Skibbereen, and Dunmanway witnessed the opening of its magnificent new swimming pool this month. All-Ireland success came to Clonakilty on the double with the girls of Sacred Heart winning the prestigious Concern Debates competition and John Joe Lyons scooping the Volunteer of the Year at the Irish Red Cross Awards. Young Duncan Rose took the Young Volunteer of the Year award. Rachel Coomey from Templemartin also claimed an All-Ireland win at the BEBRAS Computational Thinking Challenge Final. A plaque has been erected in Bandon to salute the organisers of the Make Your Mark on Cancer walk and Bandon Fire Service remembered its deceased members with a fitting tribute during the month. Out at the Old Head all those who perished in the Lusitania sinking were commemorated when Minister Simon Coveney officially opened the memorial garden. In Kilmacsimon Eamon O’Cuív TD did the honours unveiling a memorial to Pat Deasy.
Sporting achievement is never too far away from West Cork and May was no different with school teams and individuals bringing home silverware. We wish Innishvilla FC every success in the AUL final in Turner’s Cross. In business meet Sabine Lenz of Enibas, Schull and Kinsale.. one we could rightly call a jewel in local enterprise. For those contemplating driving a new car out of a garage forecourt shortly, our 172 Reg Motoring Feature should be of assistance.
Our new columns ‘In My Opinion’ and ‘Opinion Style’ penned by Emma Connolly continue to attract favourable comment. This month Emma puts the very affable Eileen Sheppard of Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa in the hot seat whilst she gets some very handy wedding tips from various players in the fashion, hair and beauty sector for her style column.
Finally, do get to see the wonderful bluebells in Courtmacsherry Wood before they go to sleep.
Until next month