Dancing, Dredging and Debating – it’s all going on in West Cork
“Autumn.. the year’s last, loveliest smile”
William Cullen Bryant described the season aptly as we welcome October with its golden leaves, before we meet a usually less benign November. September saw a mass exodus from the rural areas to Tullamore for the Ploughing, where a deluge of rain was a spoilsport on the Wednesday. There was plenty activity involving West Cork people this month. Two Sweetnams, Abbie and Shane, tasted success in the equestrian arena; Ryan Tubridy visited Kinsale where he was entertained royally; Shane Fitzsimons also went back to his home town, where the senior vice president of GE presented Kinsale Community School with a generous cheque in the sum of €50,000 for what is to be called Fitzsimons Park. In sport Cork Camogie ladies won the All-Ireland and a Skibbereen man, Gordon Crowley played a big part in the success of the All-Ireland wining Galway minor team; A Taste of West Cork Food Festival ran off smoothly and the region received good news when it was deemed the Best Food Destination in Ireland. The Flood Relief Schemes in Bandon and Skibbereen continued at a hectic pace, particularly in Bandon as Wills Bros tried to beat the September 30th deadline for work in the river. Piers for the proposed new footbridge are in place awaiting its deck and already names are being mentioned after whom the bridge should be called. Clonakilty received good news that its proposed flood relief scheme got the green light. Bandon entrepreneur Ronan Twomey made great progress with his new invention – the RotaRail, full details of which appear in this issue. The proposal to erect solar panels in the Mishells/Finnis area outside Bandon is causing controversy among locals. Still with business, there is hardly a month goes by that Carbery, Ballineen doesn’t scoop a prestigious award and this past month was no exception. Emma Connolly puts the lovely soprano Linda Kenny in the hot seat for ‘In My Opinion’ and she also pens our Autumn/Winter Fashion Feature, which the ladies in particular should enjoy. We also carry an ‘Autumn Break in Killarney‘ feature and of course with Christmas just around the corner, the race is on to book your venue for that office party, which we hope will be made easier when you check out our ‘Christmas Cracker’ feature. While the tourist season was quite satisfactory in West Cork this summer, there is no doubt but the decision of schools to reopen in August is having a most negative impact on the length of the tourist season.
While we highlighted in recent issues the need for Courtmacsherry and the Seven Heads to be included in the Wild Atlantic Way – and are delighted with it progress in that regard – we take no pleasure in bringing to your attention the unkempt state of Harbour View Beach, which is also on the Wild Atlantic Way. Cork County Council and City Council are at loggerheads as they debate the Mackinnon Report. Colette Olney takes a look at the dilemma, offering advice on the way.
On the cultural scene, we congratulate Kate Anne Fenton on her success in ‘Crazy For You’ and we wish both Bandon and Clonakilty Strictly dancers the best of luck over the coming weeks. There was no Engage Arts Festival in Bandon this September but Eugene O’Hea tells us that it isn’t gone, but changed… for the better. While we miss publishing the Tidy Towns results by hours due to deadline restrictions, we recognise the good people of Rathbarry who enjoyed a great celebration during the month on their recent accolade. The plight of autistic children and their parents is simply unacceptable and more effort will have to be made to recognise the major challenges facing them on a daily basis. Please do support the many fundraisers this October, including a number of fashion shows in Bandon, but particularly don’t forget the 007 theme ball in Innishannon in aid of a sensory room for autistic children.
Finally we bring you two stories on Nature this month that are quite interesting; the near depletion of the Honey Bee due to the Varroa Mite and the incredible photographs taken by Martin Quirke of the very rare Hummingbird Hawk Moth. You will be fascinated by the latter; I assure you.
Until next month