Glory be – it’s summer!

Posted on: 5th August, 2016

Category: A West Cork Life

Contributor: Tina Pisco

Welcome back to my heart West Cork — all is forgiven. After a winter of floods and wind, flu and vomiting bugs; after months of bad news and death, Brexit and Trump, we woke one morning to find the bluest sky, the brightest sun and a balmy 25C waiting outside our door. Glory be! It’s summer. Last summer was a non- starter. We never once lit the fire pit outside and the BBQ stayed put in the back of the garage.  I can’t remember the summer before that (I have the memory of a goldfish), but it feels as if it’s been an eternity since we’ve enjoyed truly hot, sunny weather. So, throw off the woolly jumpers, throw on some reggae and enjoy it.

The end of July was a double whammy of joy, as summer landed just as the West Cork Literary Festival kicked off. The festival is mighty even if it rains, but few places in the world are as spectacular as Bantry Bay at 30C. (Actually, this year was a quadruple  whammy of joy as I launched my new book in the back of Ma Murphy’s, and Gloria Stenheim was being interviewed by my daughter. It doesn’t get much better…).

I’ve been a part of the festival since the early days when we were delira if we got 20 people at a library reading. This year Gloria Steinham spoke to a packed room of over four hundred. In the last decade the West Cork lit fest has grown into one of the best events in a very crowded calendar of Irish literary festivals. Somehow the festival has managed to grow, both in prestige and popularity, without losing the charm and mighty craic of its early years. I blame it on geography. Though the big names may be what initially attracts many to the festival, it is the magic of Bantry and its people that makes the week so memorable. There is a visible lightness to people’s step after day one.  By day two they are whistling down the street. By the end of the week they are completely under the magic spell that is West Cork.

“Ah, now!” I hear you say. “What about all the hard work that goes into the festival?”

I hear you, and so want to take this opportunity to give a big shout out to all the many people who give their time and efforts to organising festivals all over West Cork. They are the unsung heroes of art and culture, music and craic. They are the soul of their communities. They feed our hearts and our minds, and our bodies. They give us great music and reasons to dress up in costumes. They charm the tourists and make us locals proud. If they didn’t exist we’d still have the landscape, but we’d have less of the magic craic which so defines life here.

I’ve been so buoyed by the good weather and great festivals that I’m going to believe that we still have four weeks of glorious weather left. After months of doom and gloom in the world, I’ve decided to whistle my way through August. I’m having a staycation. I foresee sunny days in the garden, pints by the seaside, BBQs and playing with my dog (and reading — I came home from Bantry with a ton of books). Even if it rains, we still have plenty to look forward to. To paraphrase a Sinatra song: There may be trouble ahead, but while there’s moonlight and music, and West Cork and craic…before you know it, it will be time for the Guitar Festival.

My new book Sunrise Sunset and other fictions (Fish 2016) will be launched in Clonakilty on Friday, August 19 at 7pm, at the Clonakilty Community Arts Centre on Astna Square, followed by ‘This is my constitution’, a short play by Kathy Darcy, craic agus ceol. All welcome.

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West Cork Flag Day Collections
in aid of Cork ARC Cancer Support House

Cork ARC Cancer Support House’s annual West Cork Flag Day collections are set to take place in Bandon on Friday 21st April and in Castletownbere, Bantry, Ballylickey, Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Kinsale and Macroom on Thursday 27th April, 2017.

Hilary Sullivan, Head of Fundraising / Corporate Affairs at Cork ARC Cancer Support House says: “Please remember on our annual Flag Day collection that all our collectors are volunteers, giving their time freely to raise funds and increase awareness about our cancer support services at our West Cork centre.” Acknowledging the ethos of volunteering being the driving force behind the charity’s work in the community, Hilary also says, “As all of the services at Cork ARC Cancer Support House in West Cork are supported by a large volunteer base, we hope that our volunteer collectors’ generosity of spirit will be rewarded by a warm reception from the public despite the difficult financial conditions experienced by so many people.”
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19th April, 2017  ·  

ECCLES Hotel Glengarriff to host April 30th Wedding Showcase – Newly refurbished ballroom and bedrooms on show – Tasters of Chef Nick Davey’s delicious menus

ECCLES Hotel in Glengarriff has been helping guests to experience West Cork in all its serene beauty for over 250 years. And with the Eccles Team now being led by General Manager Aileen Hanley, that tradition is set to continue.

Aileen joins the historic West Cork Property from Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare where she held the position of Sales & Operations Manager. Firmly re-establishing the award-winning property, during her tenure, along with her husband Patrick (now Park Hotel Kenmare General Manager) Aileen plans to continue her success and work her magic at ECCLES Hotel, along with a dedicated team to bring it back to its former glory and re-establish its place in the local community.

Aileen and the team at ECCLES Hotel will host a wedding showcase on Sunday April 30th from 12 to 5pm. The showcase will present the refurbished Ilnacullin ballroom to couples. The ballroom which can comfortably host up to 320 guests, will be set up in all its splendour to help couples visualise their wedding reception at ECCLES Hotel. Some of the hotel’s newly refurbished bedrooms with stunning bay views will also be available to view on the day.

Rose O’Sullivan, wedding coordinator at ECCLES Hotel said, “As well as larger weddings ECCLES Hotel is a wonderful venue for more intimate wedding celebrations too as well as civil ceremonies and blessings. Couples can come and see all we have to offer and enjoy a prosecco and canape reception at the showcase, to give them a flavour of our delicious new wedding fare by Head Chef Nick Davey.”

For more information visit www.eccleshotel.com, call 027 63003 or email weddings@eccleshotel.com
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19th April, 2017  ·  

Clonakilty Cruinniú na Cásca event

As part of the “Cruinniú na Cásca” initiative, Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage has organised a complimentary guided historical walk of Clonakilty town starting at 12.00 noon at the Michael Collins statue on Easter Monday.

The event is totally free and the walk will be led by Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage committee member, Fachtna McCarthy.
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13th April, 2017  ·  

The Peninsula Players' stage their new play "The Cripple of Inishmaan" on April 28th & 29th in the Beara Bay Castletownbere. Tickets at the door. Unsuitable for younger audiences. Not for the faint-hearted! ... See MoreSee Less

10th April, 2017  ·  

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