A Community Shrouded in Shock and SadnessEvery community is brought to its knees from time to time as a result of a sudden or tragic death. The sense of shock and sadness that permeated West Cork – particularly the Ballinascarthy and Bandon area this month – was seldom if ever witnessed in these parts, because of the depraved circumstances surrounding the death of Cameron Blair. It is difficult to find words to truly reflect the sympathy felt by the people for the Blair family, but they can be assured of all our prayers and support in the weeks and months ahead.
The unexpected calling of the General Election for February 8th catapulted The Opinion team into overdrive in an effort to bring you, our valued reader, a comprehensive account of the contenders and the issues involved. Our other major feature this month is on Weddings… a very significant contributor to the local economy. My thanks to all my colleagues for stepping up to the plate with regards both. St. Michael’s Centre, Bandon celebrated half a century of caring for the elderly; West Cork lost two popular padres since our last issue: Fr Peter Queally C.S.Sp and Fr Eddie Collins CC. ‘In My Opinion’ this month features well-known journalist and broadcaster Alison O’Connor, a native of Bantry; the launch of the new 254 Local Link from Bandon to Kinsale is a credit to everyone who worked so hard to make it happen; Stephen Teape was the popular and well-deserved winner of the Cork Person of the Year Award and once again we highlight the scourge of drugs in our society as reflected at a Joint Policing Committee meeting at County Hall.
Bandon Mart saw the completion of its state-of-the-art Calf Ring this month and in Schull, efforts are still ongoing to acquire funding for its ambitions harbour development, with a promise now from Minister Simon Coveney of impending investment. Traffic tailbacks in Bandon continue unabated, with little joined-up thinking being displayed; meanwhile, many West Cork schools tasted success at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition. We pull a final curtain over the festive season with our Festive Frolics and we bring you the results of our Christmas Annual competitions. Rosscarbery and Oliver Plunketts are getting ready for their Lip Sync contests and there were enjoyable celebrations in recent weeks by Ballinascarthy, Kilmeen/Kilbree, St James and Castlehaven GAA Clubs. There was no shortage of Tractor Runs and Cheval Rides throughout West Cork in December and January. We look forward to St. Brigid’s Day on February 1st and remind ladies that it’s a Leap Year with 29 days in the month. Let’s hope for finer weather as the stretch comes into the evenings.
Until next month