Snow, Shamrock, Strictly and Sonnes
March was dominated by snow, shamrock and Strictly in West Cork. The early days of the month saw this area covered in a thick blanket of snow, the likes of which many never experienced in their lives. With the arrival of St. Patrick’s Day and the wearing of the shamrock, there was no let up in the cold, biting easterly chill as thousands came out to participate in or watch the parades in towns and villages. The winning of the grand slam by our rugby heroes the same day gave the whole nation a welcome boost – the West Cork connection is highlighted in this issue. Then you had the Strictly Dancing entertainment involving Plunketts and Valley Rovers GAA Clubs, as well as in Bantry, which attracted huge audiences. We have given generous coverage to all these events in this jam-packed issue and we wish to thank the many readers who submitted snow photographs for our online ‘Strictly Snowman’ competition, which proved a resounding success, with hundreds of entries.
This issue features an interview with soccer star Conor Hourihane who is put in the ‘In My Opinion’ chair by Emma Connolly. Emma also talks to Louise O’Neill about her life and her new book. Bandon witnessed the opening of two magnificent healthcare facilities this month – Bandon Community Hospital extension and the new Avenue Grove development. The town will be in mardi gras mood on Friday May 4th when a street festival will be staged to mark the opening of the new footbridge. There was one happy camper in Bandon on St. Patrick’s night when he/she realised they were the holder of the winning €250,000 Lotto Plus ticket, purchased at Bandon Books Plus. Tricia Tyson, our features editor, talks to Chief Supt. Con Cadogan about the new initiative to catch drug drivers. Bandon, Clonakilty and Skibbereen are all in the news for major infrastructural projects and Cllr Alan Coleman has harsh words for Inland Fisheries Ireland for bringing the Bandon Flood Relief Scheme agencies to court.
The 29th Annual Opinion/Bandon Co-op West Cork Community & Sports Awards ceremony takes place on Friday April 6th, where local heroes will be honoured for their contribution to life in West Cork. We carry a comprehensive feature on the Agri/Food sector and its significance to this region and for those seeking an Easter/Spring break in Kerry, we bring you a short feature to help you on your way. Meet the lovely Miss Cork, Tara Nolan, who has strong West Cork connections, and do enter the first of our three free competitions for a hotel break, courtesy Trigon Hotels.
Finally we wish all our readers, distributors and advertisers a Happy Easter.