As the song goes…‘People Help The People’

Posted on: 5th October, 2015

Category: Music

Contributor: Mark Holland

I wonder, was ‘Live Aid’, 30 years ago, a musical event or a political one, or is it just “not that simple” as Mrs Thatcher said to Bob Geldof?

I have to put my hand up and say that I know nothing, but when it comes to a crisis, and consequent effective action, I’m in good company because neither does anyone else, that is the one thing I do know. I spent time in Iraq after the first Gulf war and I think its consequences are now beginning to bite.

It would of course be unwise not to listen to the counsel of the academics, anthropologists, and the economists of the national and European social services, but that amounts to sitting on our hands and discussing the matter, considering the best plan of action, until the cows wander off, dehydrate and expire. The UN is very good, expert, at doing this. Doing nothing is not just doing nothing – it is a negative response that is contributing to making the situation worse. Time is essential here; refugees become increasingly vulnerable, exponentially, as days and weeks of indecision and inaction move on, ultimately making the required course of action more radical and less effective.

We are already negligent in our duties to people that we can help from their awful fate.

The Lebanon is a country about one-eighth the size of the island of Ireland, with a population similar to our own. There is currently estimated to be 1.3 million Syrian refugees in that country, and Lebanon desperately needs the solidarity and support of the international community to continue to do its best to accommodate these people. These people have not fled their homes and homeland easily; the situation has been going on in Syria too long and they have hit breaking point.  Most of them actually believed that the international community would not allow their situation to become this far out of control, breaking so many international laws, without action. No doubt we will absolve ourselves with bringing the culprits to justice through the international courts long after the damage is done and these monsters have lost their teeth.

According to the Irish Independent, 40,000 new overseas workers arrived in Ireland last year (2014), more than 85 per cent working, all of them with a roof over their heads, and I personally haven’t seen any negative impact.

According to Failte Ireland we had 7.6 million visits last year (again 2014), visits as opposed to visitors, as some of these may have come and gone more than once, and again I personally wasn’t overwhelmed by such numbers.

Yes homelessness is a problem in this country, but it is a different problem and one that is used pathetically to excuse a vacuum of political will.

A single class Boeing 747 carries 660 people, and these things land and offload their passengers here without any particular impact, daily.

It initially takes courage, which in itself is a good thing, for us to show leadership in the international community, to show the way forward in the fabled land of welcomes. If we committed, now, to one plane load per week from Beiruit to Dublin (Cork or Shannon) for the next year, that would add up to a commitment to take in just less than 35,000 people that need our help and whose lives may be saved by our generosity. It would set down a marker to our European Union partners who could follow our lead with an enormous positive impact on a human crisis. It would be like sending out a huge big national Christmas card to the people of Syria saying “You need our help, what can we do?  You’re always welcome here.”

Now that would be music to my ears.

Latest News Articles:

Sam Maguire School Tour launched
Fundraising drive to get Kinsale students to World Robotics Championships to Kentucky
Answer the Call to save lives on March 23
Clonakilty students return from trip of a lifetime to rural Malawi
Clonakilty Fairtrade Fortnight celebrates 15 years
€44 million to improve Cork roads
Clonakilty Access Group AGM hears of many frustrations and challenges for people with disabilities in the town
Schull student scoops top invention award at BT Young Scientist
Schull Garda Station wins ‘Leading Light in Road Safety’ award from Road Safety Authority
Go quackers at the 2018 West Cork Bird Race

Join us on Facebook

Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.
... See MoreSee Less

20th March, 2018  ·  


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
... See MoreSee Less

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.
... See MoreSee Less

20th February, 2018  ·  

Did you know..... ... See MoreSee Less

Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

Jump to: