Bandon in danger of losing its youth café

Posted on: 15th January, 2018

Category: Headlines

Contributor: West Cork People

Bandon is in danger of losing its youth café if more young people don’t support it.

Funky Fish youth café manager Keith Kingston is appealing to Bandon teenagers to use this valuable asset so they don’t lose it. “If you want somewhere to meet your friends in town, make Funky Fish ‘your place’,” he says. “There’s never been a better time to start using the café, now that it’s quiet.”

Youth projects often alternate between cycles of being busy and quiet. “For the last few years, our crowd has been getting older,” explains Keith. “At the start of the summer, a large group stopped coming, as they were getting too old for the café. Prior to that we had very few younger teens coming; younger and older teens don’t tend to mix well so now we have a gap!”

The main purpose of Funky Fish is to provide a safe, supervised place for teens to meet. The youth café has a strict no alcohol, no drugs policy and there is always at least one youth worker and one volunteer on duty.

The café, which is open to secondary school students, aged from 12 to 18, offers pool, ping-pong, WiFi, Xbox and PS4. It also has a music system, mini-cinema and lots of space with comfortable seating. Hot snacks and soft drinks are also sold on the premises.

Irish professional footballer Conor Hourihane recalls using the café when he was in school in Bandon. “I remember the craic we had there when I was a teenager. It was a great place to hang out. Pool and FIFA, we didn’t want much more.”

Community Garda Damian White says Funky Fish provides an “invaluable service to the young people of Bandon. The youth café is a safe space for them to gather, and through their involvement with the café, I have seen many young people develop a strong community spirit, and they have contributed greatly to the town. Indeed, several young people who have attended the Funky Fish have been honoured at the West Cork Garda Youth Awards, in recognition of their community work.”

A new robotic workshop starts at Funky Fish this month. ‘Messing Around With Robots’ will teach participants how to drive, build and fly robots. Led by Elgan Loane, a local man with a long career in designing and building robots, the workshop will also include the process of 3D printing and flying a drone with a camera and making a video with the footage. If interested, get in touch as soon as possible, as the workshop will only go ahead if there’s enough interest.

Funky Fish is currently open Tuesday to Thursday, 4-6.30pm, Friday, 8-10pm and Saturday, 3-6.30pm and 8-10pm.

For updates follow on facebook and Instagram or call 085 7773522.

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


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  ·  

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.
... See MoreSee Less

16th February, 2018  ·  

Jump to: