The landscape of West Cork belongs to us all

Posted on: 2nd April, 2014

Category: Features

Contributor: Sheila Mullins

Pictured at the launch of West Cork’s Spring Clean were Dr Mary Stack, Cork County Council, the Green Flag Committee from Clonakilty Community College, Rita O’Neill and Mike Deasy of Clonakilty Tidy Town, Sarah McGovern representing An Tasice and Dave Sheehan of KWD.

This month is the perfect time to ‘take pride in your place’ and get West Cork in tip-top shape for the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way. The National Spring Clean is Ireland’s largest anti-litter initiative organised by An Taisce in conjunction with local councils. The campaign runs throughout the month of April every year with clean-up events taking place in towns and villages all over the country.

The 2014 spring clean for West Cork was launched on April 2 in Clonakilty by model Sarah McGovern who has been An Taisce’s National Spring Clean ambassador for several years now. Local schools and community groups joined Sarah in Emmet Square to kickstart the campaign. This year’s theme is roadside litter and branded car bins were handed out at the launch to encourage people to take litter home with them and not throw it out a window – where it becomes an eyesore and can harm wildlife.

The whole initiative relies on volunteers in the community with over 500,000 participating throughout Ireland last April. Teddy Browne, West Cork Litter Waste Inspector with the Environmental Section of Cork County Council, stresses the importance of people taking ownership of their own landscape, “We must get a handle on the litter situation, with particular emphasis on marine waste and debris. The recent storms showed how much litter is discarded on our beaches and in our seas, and how that doesn’t disappear but floats around, ready to be washed up again in bad weather.

We have a huge opportunity now with the Wild Atlantic Way to make the roadsides and coastline of West Cork something we can be proud to show off to visitors. It’s so easy to get involved either in a community event or by just choosing a small beach near your home and spending a couple of hours yourself picking up discarded rubbish.”

Taking part in the National Spring Clean is very straight forward. Organise for a clean up of your local area, to take place any time during April, and register your event online at to receive your free clean up kit. The kit contains valuable tips on how to hold a successful clean-up event, posters to advertise, ideas on how to make your event different, plastic bags, tabards and gloves to keep your hands and clothes safe and clean.

In West Cork you can also get information for your event by phoning Teddy at his office in Skibbereen’s courthouse on 028 21299 or by contacting your local engineer’s office.

Cleaning up the verges of the N71 is a particular focus this year and Dave Sheahan of KWD in Bantry has made a very generous offer to collect rubbish from community groups along the route, starting in Clonakilty and continuing right down to Glengarriff. KWD will supply marked bags and collect and process these bags free of charge. To find out more contact Dave on 027 56673.

A number of events have already been organised including a free WEEE collection on Saturday April 12 in four locations around West Cork – Bantry, Pier Road Car Park; Drimoleague, Old Railway Car Park; Dunmanway, Kilbarry Road by the bring site and Ardfield/Rathbarry at Church Cross. Collections will take place from 10am to 4pm and staff will be onhand to help you unload. Why not consider calling on elderly neighbours to see if they would like to get rid of any old electrical items or removing an appliance that has been dumped near you? You will get huge satisfaction knowing that an eyesore will now be recycled.

Initiatives like the National Spring Clean are making a huge difference to our environment. In 2013 an estimated 550 tonnes of litter was collected with 35 per cent of that being recycled. Another successful initiative is the Farm Plastics Collection that takes place later in the year. Launched in 2007 it has grown year on year and over 1,000 tonnes were collected in 2013!

“I’d like to thank the farmers for getting behind us,” says Teddy. “Imagine if that amount of plastic was being burned or improperly disposed of. Their support has been of huge benefit to our rural visual landscape.

“I’d urge everybody to get involved this year in whatever way they can. We can all contribute to making West Cork a beautiful and safe environment for locals and visitors to admire and enjoy.”

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This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

Check out this new upbeat indie-folk track Edges, released today from Inni-K with a video by Myles O'Reilly. Inni-K will be performing at Levis’, Ballydehob on Saturday 24th February, with support from Sam Clague.
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16th February, 2018  ·  

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