Precious water — a New Year’s wish for West Cork

Posted on: 16th January, 2014

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: West Cork People

With water now becoming a hot topic for taxing debate, it might be time for an even more honest one. According to eco plumber Donogh o'Loghlin, we need to preserve precious water, as we can never improve the quality of the ground water that we all drink.

Chemicals abound in our homes, cars, workplaces, in agriculture and industry. In essence, they are almost a part of us at times. The water we bathe in and drink is a valuable asset that is taken for granted. We also take for granted where it comes from, assuming that it will never run out. Run out, No perhaps, but it will become seriously polluted beyond the point of consumption. This is becoming a possibility, as has already happened in parts of Galway, Roscommon and Leitrim amongst other areas where residents now have to boil their water.

It is widely accepted that the pollution of surface water is the cause of many problems, such as the eutrophication of lakes and rivers (UCC study Kilkern lake Castlefreake). Sea lettuce generally occurs when there are excessive inputs of nutrients, particularly nitrogen derived from domestic, industrial and agricultural sources.

In essence, what we put in to our water is what we will eventually get out. Household bleach, powdered or liquid, kills bacteria long after it has flushed down the toilet. It kills the benevolent bacteria in our septic tanks. It forces treatment plants to work even harder causing noxious gases etc. Forty years ago, John Seymour (environmentalist) was one of many to predict a Nitrate Time Bomb. The water test laboratory I use, which also serves the city, is telling me that the nitrates are through the roof this past 24 months.

As a domestic plumber, I view any house holistically. It wasn’t until I came to West Cork that I first encountered so many wells and the negative impact they have on people’s plumbing and heating due to mineral composition, which causes system failure. But more obviously on the health of the general public. ‘Don’t pee in the pond’, be careful where you site oil tanks and oil boilers (every condensing boiler’s waste water must be treated accordingly). You may not by ‘law’ discharge to drains, ground water or even over the gunawale of a boat; motor oil, grease, anti-freeze, cooking fat, weedkillers, turps, white spirits, medicines — none of these should be going down your drain.

So my wish for 2014 would be for every multiple and shop on the island to stop stocking non ecofriendly products. There are so many old school remedies available online now, that in fact these are even unnecessary. Remedies such as vinegar and baking soda will clean your stains from your toilet or, if really stubborn, empty the trap of water and fill completely with coca cola and soak overnight (ironically, this is cheaper than water). In fact, the stains on your toilet are mainly lime and other mineral deposits. Amazingly, no monsters are going to jump up and bite you on the posterior if you go ‘old school’ (no, in fact we are perfectly good at doing this ourselves). We have everything we need to turn this situation around…all we need is the will. Clean water will safeguard our immediate environment, our health, our community, our sustainability. So here’s to good will, the year of the optimist 2014. Stay safe and healthy and help keep our water clean.

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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at or text at 086/0476124.
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