Ophelia, you’re breaking our hearts
(with apologies to Cecilia)
‘Ophelia, you’re breaking my heart
You’re shaking my confidence daily
Oh, Ophelia you’re downing our trees
I’m begging you please to go home.’
What a month! We don’t have to remind you of the hardship people had to endure when ex-hurricane Ophelia visited our homes, our farms, our gardens and our roads on Monday October 16th. Thankfully Storm Brian was more benign on Saturday, October 21st. Our parody may raise a laugh or two now, but for those affected for days and days without water, power and networks, it was no laughing matter. Hopefully our three-page special in this issue reflects on how Ophelia impacted on West Cork and we remember those three poor people who lost their lives during the storm and nearer home, Conor Lordan, who died tragically repairing a roof of a shed, the following Sunday.
Bandon witnessed huge sadness this month with the untimely death of 32 year old James Milner, the town seeing one of the biggest funerals ever. Drinagh was also enveloped in grief with the passing of seven year old Paddy McQueen and the unexpected death of one of Bandon’s most popular teachers (now retired) Margaret MacCarron caused shockwaves. Innishannon too was in deep sadness a number of weeks ago with the death of little 19 month old Pippa Ella O’Sullivan. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the bereaved families. At times like this it is only right and fitting that we remember all our friends and neighbours who have experienced bereavement in recent times.
There was genuine concern this month over the delay in the opening of the new extension to Bandon Community Hospital as negotiations between the HSE and the staff union representatives seem to have been deadlocked. At time of going to press we have been reliably informed that things are sorted. The town is also set to see more and more designated parking places for older drivers. Clonakilty was en fete for the official opening of the magnificent new Clonakilty Black Pudding premises on the Western Road. The feel good factor among Clonakilty people was tangible to witness. Bandon also seems to be turning the corner with pace; the Flood Relief Scheme is set to conclude next summer and the new Drainage /Sewerage Scheme is scheduled to start early in 2018 after which the town can look forward to major improvements and enhancement to the public realm. Furthermore, there are definite positive indicators in this issue, where the commercial sector is concerned. Planning permission is being sought for an exciting new development on part of the site of the old Bandon Shopping Centre; Mabel Deane has opened a magnificent fashion shop in what was a derelict building for years in the main shopping street. Caulfield’s SuperValu has invested in excess of €1 million in upgrading its supermarket and there are other examples to be seen throughout the pages to indicate progress and confidence among the business and professional sectors. You may have seen her on RTE’s Frock Finders, but now meet her in this issue: Caoilfhionn McDonnell, a pharmacist in Kinsale talks to Tricia Tyson about her life as a model/actor and the challenges she has faced in her personal life. She also features in our most colourful Style & Fashion pages, penned by Emma Connolly. In Skibbereen the world rowing champions received a great welcome home and Garry Minihane did himself and the town proud in the Ironman Challenge in Barcelona. Bantry was also in celebratory mood thanks to the sporting prowess of Eve Murphy and the Whiddy Island Ladies. In Schull, Brú Columbanus was presented with a very generous cheque, proceeds of an exclusive pendent designed by Sabine Lenz in honour of the late Colin Vearncombe. We carry a very interesting feature on a group of 40 East Timor men, working in Bandon and we bring you once again the update on the flood relief scheme and the new footbridge. Meet the County Mayor, Declan Hurley in this month’s ‘In My Opinion’. David Forsythe of the West Cork Times is niching a reputation for himself as a scriptwriter and the current RTE production on Donal Lunny is a brainchild of his. The Make Your Mark on Cancer Walk continues to be one of the most successful fundraisers in these parts and quick on its heels is the Friends of Bandon Community Hospital, whose latest fundraiser ‘Bandon Strictly’ is close to hitting the dance floor. Clonakilty, now an old hand at Strictly, gets its event up and running too this month. Still in the brewery town, ‘My Fair Lady’ a classic and beloved musical is being staged in Sacred Heart Secondary School late in the month and with the legendary Eileen Nolan’s hand on it, the show is bound to impress.
Until next month