Letter from the Editor
Welcome to a delightful Christmas Annual
Our Christmas Annual has, by now, become a West Cork tradition, as we celebrate the 41st anniversary of the establishment of The Opinion this year. From old stories and photographs to marvellous features, jokes, trivia and reflections, the Annual has something for both young and old.
Having a great love of the sea, we publish (after years of research) a wonderful story on the famous Cunard Shipping Line and the West Cork connection; and related to it, the survival from the Lusitania disaster of a young boy with Barleycove connections who was later to become a Capuchin priest. We salute former Courtmacsherry lifeboat crew member and mechanic Micheál Hurley, who continues to do occasional voluntary work with the RNLI in Scotland and we bring you an exciting feature on the blue planet in the seas off the Seven Heads. We reveal the magic of Garrettstown and on a sad note, a treble drowning that took place there in the 1950s. Meet nonagenarian Eileen Crean from Bandon, a fabulous lady with great memories. Discover some of Micheál Martin’s Christmas thoughts and likes. Edward O’Driscoll tells Linda Kenny about the significance of the Irish Draught Horse and Monsignor Aidan O’Driscoll, Clonakilty, reveals some personal secrets about New York. Tricia Tyson interviews gardener extraordinaire Diarmuid Gavin and Mary Rose McCarthy tells us about Ireland’s first Postmaster General, JJ Walsh from Ratharoon. Philip Joyce, a grandnephew of the famous James Joyce resides in Clonakilty today and talks to Mary Rose McCarthy. We take a look at Rosscarbery, a heritage town, the weather phenomena of 2018 and Bandon in the Rare Old Times. Marvel at West Cork Heritage & Nature with Martin Quirke and Kate Ryan tells us who she would like to invite for Christmas dinner. We ask some well known personalities what Christmas means to them and we review the year just gone. Yes, we have much more including free competitions for you to enjoy with over €1,000 worth of prizes.
Much hard work goes into publishing this Annual and special thanks to The Opinion office team: Jacinta O’Donovan, Helen Glavin and Tricia Tyson for their dedication and commitment. Thanks also to our contributors and the photographers who captured the moments. We are grateful to our design team in Snap Cork and our printer, KC Print in Killarney, our distributors ACabs and all our advertisers and newsagents. Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and good wishes for 2019.