It’s Sizzling … and Thank God
As I pen this letter, we here in West Cork, like the rest of the country, are sizzling in temperatures approaching the mid-twenties, with huge numbers heading for our beautiful beaches. All I can say is Thank God. It’s hard to believe but it is less than four months since we witnessed the Big Snow, not to mind the nine months of rain, so get out and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts. To help you make the most of it, we bring you the second of our three part ‘Summer ‘18’ series in which we highlight all the festivals, events, restaurants and attractions for both visitor and local to enjoy throughout July. Our generous pictorial coverage this month is a snapshot of the June festivities which were blessed with fine weather and which attracted thousands of people. Unfortunately one event that led to unfavorable publicity – the Bandon Music Festival – had teenagers from outside the town to blame for lewd behaviour. The concerned Chairman Don O’Sullivan speaks out in this issue about the efforts of a small minority to highjack their popular and well-run event. Two festivals that struck a chord with people in recent weeks were the Bandon Footbridge Mini-Fest and the Clonakilty Street Carnival. While the latter event, only in its third year, has already proven itself to be a real success, the once-off Bandon Fest was most enjoyable and showed what can be done when a small, enthusiastic committee puts its shoulder to the wheel.
We carry a two page exclusive interview this month with Micheál Martin TD, Leader of Fianna Fáil, in which he deals openly and honestly with both local and national issues. There is a religious theme running through this issue: Tricia Tyson sets the scene for the forthcoming Pope’s visit and his plans to meet Brother Kevin Crowley, a native of Kilcolman, Enniskeane; Jeffers Music Co, Bandon is to provide the organs and pianos for the ceremonies; Canon Bertie O’Mahony celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination; Fr Liam Crowley, Ballinadee celebrated his 90th birthday and Sr Angela of the Presentation Order makes an appeal for donations to build a new school in Zambia, where she does trojan work. While Bandon has received much negative publicity in recent years it should never be forgotten that it is still a great market town and despite its many setbacks, has rebuilt and re-energised itself as it awaits the completion of the major flood relief works and the planned Drainage/Sewerage Scheme. The recent Cork County Council Breakfast Briefing held at Bandon Town Hall heard of the ambitious new designs and improvements earmarked for the town once the works are completed. It is no exaggeration to say that Bandon could be one of the most attractive towns in Munster in five years times if the people and businesses engage with the relevant bodies and utilise our river to maximum effect. Dunmanway too is pushing ahead with a new tourism drive to promote its historic attractions and Bantry is seeing a steady increase in the number of cruise liners mooring in its magnificent harbour. We always like to recognise success and in that regard Bandon’s Rugby Under 18 heroes were honoured in County Hall with a Civic Reception and a young Kinsale golfer became the first Corkman to win the prestigious St. Andrews Links Trophy in Scotland. In business we profile John O’Doherty, Head of AIB Cork County; we welcome the re-opening of the Old Market Bar & Restaurant in the centre of Bandon and we congratulate both Dan Seaman Motors and Kelleher’s Topline on reaching significant milestones in their respective businesses. Emma Connolly talks to Clonakilty’s new Mayor Gretta O’Donovan; Kate Ryan’s interesting and timely article advises of her favourite spots to enjoy a beer with a view (and she is open to more suggestions). Many of Ireland’s red-heads converged in The Westlodge Hotel, Bantry and over the mountains in Schull, An Garda Siochána held a very admirable get-together with elderly victims of crime. We appeal for proper communication between OPW and construction firms with traders and residents when roads have to be closed to facilitate works. Ring, Timoleague and Courtmacsherry are in the firing line at present and in the middle of the tourist season, common sense must prevail. The very successful and worthy Make Your Mark on Cancer Walk takes place in July. Wildlife photographer Martin Quirke seldom fails to fascinate with his wonderful photography and this month is certainly no different. Finally, all our other photographers didn’t let us down either this month as we received some very well taken and unique pictures. We were so impressed, we have given over the whole of the inside back page to a sample of them. Enjoy.
Until next month,