One man’s junk is another’s treasure


Posted on: 8th March, 2016

Category: Features

Contributor: West Cork People

Ten creative and resourceful groups of students from West Cork schools are eagerly preparing to take on a fashion challenge on March 11 in the Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture Southern Regional Final. The students will showcase their couture creations made from rubbish and recycled materials in an electrifying on stage performance in Limerick.

Students from Bandon Grammar School, Sacred Heart Secondary School, Clonakilty, Clonakilty Community College, Colaiste Pobail Bheanntrai, Colaiste Na Toirbhirte, Bandon and Mount Saint Michael, Rosscarbery are all competing in the hope of earning a place in the Grand finals and winning the top prize of €2,500 for their school. With almost 3,000 students entering this year, the competition has seen the greatest number of applications to date, making the judging process the toughest yet.


Mount Saint Michael team ‘Freedom Feathers’ is a group of three, Jane Roycroft, Sarah McCarthy and Emer Perkins. The students’ design process started off with an ‘ice queen’ design made from milk cartons, which later developed into a ‘bird’ dress. “We cut up milk cartons into feather shapes and glued them all together,” says Jane. “We finished the front of the dress by adding a fiery centre area made out of orange netting glued onto reflective Crunchie wrappers. We also added a spine to the back of the dress using milk carton handles. The headpiece is made out of wire hangers covered again in the milk carton feathers and orange netting.”

The project took the girls four months to complete, however the model had to be cut out of the dress, so the group is now in the process of putting it back together for the Regional competition.

The design represents freedom, freedom of imagination and also the liberty of a flying bird. “A bird is a messenger and in this concept we hope to convey the constant struggle for freedom just like our forefathers in Easter of 1916. Here we recycle the past to create the future,” explains Jane.

‘Steel Elegance’ from Colaiste na Toirbhirte is a collaboration between Sophia Jumaa, Suzanne Casey and Aoife O’Mahony. Inspired by 1920s fashion, their interpretation of the Flapper dress is created using can pulltabs, soft drink cans, recycled jewellery, an old broken disco ball, nails, a used etching plate and recycled cooking trays. “We transformed the dull, rough metals into something glamorous, fit for a 1920s socialite,” says 15-year-old Sophia.

Sacred Heart Secondary School students Eabha Walsh, Hannah Deasy and Gwen McCarthy used Cleo Pathra for design inspiration. Their project ‘Cleo’ uses woven pieces of newspaper and cut up milk cartons accessorised with Nespresso coffee capsules. “We all believe in the power of women, so we decided to use Cleo Pathra as our theme for the outfit because she is such a strong, beautiful and powerful female historical figure, says Sophia (16).

Nineteen-year-old Samuel Kudela, a student at Clonakilty Community College has loved fashion from a young age and hopes to go on to study it at Third Level. “I used to be obsessed with Alexander McQueen; he is a big inspiration to me and I think he was a revolutionary in the fashion industry. I used to watch the Victoria Secrets fashion show instead of doing my homework,” says Samuel.

Samuel’s project ‘Illuminati’ was inspired by a Madonna show he went to see a few months ago. “I wanted to create something original and when I saw the metallic diamond masks worn by the dancers in Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour, I decided to create something ‘Illuminati’. I think it’s something new even with the horns and the skirt and I haven’t seen anyone doing it yet in Junk Kouture.”

Kasia Bednarz (16), a student at Sacred Heart Secondary School in Clonakilty decided to create her outfit using two of her favourite things — books and fashion. “My inspiration for this dress was the 1950s. I wanted it to be glamorous and elegant but quite simple, as I believe less is more.”

In her design, Kasia used an old corset that she bought in a charity shop and pages from old books. “I also used old newspapers, an old plastic bag that was wrapped around a baby pram when my parents bought it, used fairy lights and my mum’s high heels!”

Each of the 100 roses on her dress took Kasia 20 minutes to make.

Anna O’Mahony Sinnott, Jennifer Abbott and Emma Stokes from Bandon Grammar School used ‘change’ as the theme for their dress. “We felt this was very appropriate as we are in transition year and we are also changing junk into something beautiful,” explains Anna.

The girls named their dress ‘Féileacán Morpho’, after a type of butterfly found in North America, which looks blue when reflected by water.

The dress is made from plastic bottles, metal bottle caps, chicken wire, old fencing wire, a corset, worn tights and school shirts.

‘Lady Loo’ is the creation of Sadhbh Wiseman, Rachel O Regan and Mary Hilda Hurley, transition year students from Colaiste Pobail Bheanntraí.

Inspired by the fashion style of music artist Lady Loo, the students made their dress from different types of cardboard (shredded boxes and toilet rolls) and hula hoops. “We got our school friends and family to collect toilet rolls and also plagued the Sodexco Maintenance team in our school to save as many rolls for us as possible,” says Sadhbh.

Andrea Stock, Caroline Downey and Jessica Cronin, also from Coláiste Pobail Beanntraí in Bantry called their design ‘Miss Frangelic’, taking inspiration from fashion at the Races. The dress is made entirely of recycled bubble wrap and decorated with a few old necklace beads.

Established in 2010 by entrepreneurs Elizabeth Curran and Troy Armour from Co. Donegal, The Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture competition has seen thousands of teenagers’ work submitted over the past five years, with some spectacular and awe-inspiring pieces gracing the competition’s regional and national catwalks.

The Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture competition is open to all second level students across Ireland and Northern Ireland. For further information, please visit, Facebook or Twitter.

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Visiting restrictions in place at Bantry General Hospital due to Flu Presentations

Strict visitor restrictions have been put in place with immediate effect at Bantry General Hospital due to the number of patients who have presented with flu like symptoms.

In the interest of patient care and in order to restrict the spread of the flu virus within the hospital, it is necessary with immediate effect to ban all visitors to Bantry General Hospital, with the exception of following: critically ill patients are restricted to one visitor per critically ill patient and confined to visiting times only, and attendance at the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) and Local Injury Unit (LIU) should only take place if absolutely necessary, only one relative per patient attending these areas.

The elderly, children, pregnant women or young adults, those with chronic illnesses or vulnerable others are advised not to visit. Outpatient, Day care services and routine hospital admissions are not affected.

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People with flu like symptoms are advised to contact their GP by phone in the first instance and avoid presenting at the Emergency Department at Bantry General Hospital.

Bantry hospital staff are asking people to think about all their care and treatment options and keep ED services for the patients who need them most. Others with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of hours GP service where their GP can refer them to an Assessment Unit the following day if required.
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8th January, 2018  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Cope Foundation's Happy Christmas from Cope Foundation. ... See MoreSee Less

What makes Christmas special? Children and adults we support, our incredible staff, families and supporters - these are the people who make our organisation so special every single day, but especially at Christmas! Meet some of them here... Thank you to the wonderful team at AV3 Media who kindly produced this video for us as a Christmas gift! To make a Christmas donation today, go to We believe that together we can do great things and with your support we can do so much more! Please SHARE our video so that more people can learn about the amazing things that happen at Cope Foundation! Evening Echo; Irish Examiner; The Southern Star; The Avondhu; Cork Independent; West Cork Times; West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork; Bandon Opinion/The Opinion; Vale Star; East Cork Journal; Cork Chamber - Faces of Cork Business; Cork City FC; Cork Institute of Technology - CIT; University College Cork; Corks RedFM 104-106; The KC Show Corks 96 FM; Cork's 96FM; Cork's Best; C103 Cork; Cork Airport; Cork Opera House: The Everyman; Cork County Council; County Cork; Cork City Council; CorkLike; CCCahoots; Cork On Ice; Glow Cork; CIT Cork School of Music; RTÉ Today; Ciaran Bermingham - Actor; Rob & Marian Heffernan; John Spillane; Ger Wolfe; Eimear O'Brien PR; Jack O Rourke; Theo Dorgan; Mahon Point Shopping Centre; Blackpool Shopping Centre & Retail Park

18th December, 2017  ·  

This is the real spirit of Christmas at Caseys of Clonakilty. ... See MoreSee Less

Are you alone or do you know someone who will be alone this Christmas? If so, then we here at Casey’s would like to make your day that little bit easier. We are offering a full Christmas dinner on us! Christmas dinners can be collected Christmas Eve from 12:30pm - 8:30pm. Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas from everyone at Casey’s

15th December, 2017  ·  

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s has just announced its Christmas schedule and it features several programmes of interest to listeners in West Cork.

On New Year’s Day at 12.08 pm we’ll hear highlights from the Éigse Dhiarmuidín Festival that took place in West Cork in early December, remembering musician and broadcaster Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin. An Nollaig ar Oileán Chléire is an archive show presented by Mícheál Ó Sé on Wednesday 27 December at 5.30 pm about Christmas on Cape Clear and on Friday 29 December and 5 January at 7 pm, Peadar Ó Riada will bring us very special editions of his Cuireadh chun Ceoil programme from Múscraí. Keep an ear out!
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15th December, 2017  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Garda Síochána - Cork, Kerry & Limerick - Southern Region's photo. ... See MoreSee Less

REMINDER: An Garda Siochana are hosting a Retail Crime Prevention Meeting, to be held at 7pm on Wednesday 29th November 2017. This meeting will be held in the Munster Arms Hotel in Bandon. This meeting is one of a series being held across the West Cork Garda Division, in association with Operation Thor, the Garda National Anti-Crime Strategy. The purpose of the meeting is to increase the cooperation between Gardai and the retail sector, ensuring that the current low levels of crime in the locality extends past the busy approaching Christmas season. The meeting will be addressed by the local Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Ian O’ Callaghan, who will discuss burglary prevention, shoplifting, fraud, and cybercrime. There will be a particular focus on cash handling and cash exposure of businesses in the run up to the Christmas shopping period. All aspects of commercial crime will be discussed, and we would strongly urge all businesses to make a special effort to attend on the evening.

28th November, 2017  ·  

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