Clonakilty’s Community Cycle Scheme takes to the streets

Tom O'Donovan, O'Donovan's Hotel, and Mayor Cionnaith lead the parade to launch Clon Bike Fest.

Posted on: 6th July, 2015

Category: Headlines

Contributor: Sheila Mullins

The fourth annual Clonakilty Bicycle Festival kicked off on June 11 with the official opening of a new bike hire scheme at O’Donovan’s Hotel. A brainchild of hotelier Tom O’Donovan and sponsored by Clóna, Clonakilty Community Cycle Scheme is similar to those operating in Barcelona, Dublin and Cork, but is the first in a rural town. It is seen as an ideal fit for Clonakilty, known for its huge number of accessible beaches and laid back lifestyle. Sheila Mullins reports from the launch of another first for this forward thinking town.

The Clonakilty Community Cycle Scheme operates between 10 local hotels, from Rosscarbery, around Clonakilty and down to Courtmacsherry; with another docking station at the West Cork Model Railway Village. Initially some 60 bicycles are in service, but depending on demand, the number can be increased.

At the launch in Recorder’s Alley, committee member Michael O’Neill of Fernhill House Hotel welcomed an ebullient crowd, many with their own bikes in tow. Michael’s reiteration that this was “a first for a rural area” received loud applause, as did his thanks to everybody who had participated in and supported the establishment of the scheme including Tony O’Driscoll, Managing Director at the main sponsor Clóna Dairies; the Irish Hotel Federation and all the local hotels; the West Cork Model Railway Village; Cork County Council and Sustainable Clonakilty, who were invaluable in helping the committee to access grants.

Michael thanked David Sheehy from Kilty Cycles who sourced the bicycles (and stayed up until 3am in the morning building them) and also Mathew Harte, who designed the software that is the engine behind the scheme.

However, the loudest applause was for Tom O’Donovan, who in Michael’s words “is last on my list to thank, but not least. Tom had the vision and through huge effort and numerous man-hours has seen his idea to fruition. This is something that will help to attract inward investment to the town by showing us to be forward thinking and proactive. I encourage everyone to buy membership to support the scheme and help it to grow.”

Rev Fr. Galvin performed a blessing of the bikes, praying for the safety and happiness of all users before new Mayor Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin, master of ceremonies, stepped up to cut the ribbon. “This is an historic evening that yet again shows Clonakilty to be a leader, and not a follower,” he said. “We were the first Fairtrade Town, the first to directly elect a mayor and now this is another first. We don’t wait for others to come in to develop our town but we do it for ourselves. This scheme shows that just two or three people working together can change the world. Tom has been ‘peddling’ this idea for a while; he saw the potential and now he has succeeded.”

To kick off the Clonakilty Bicycle Festival, Tom and Cionnaith than led — wobbling slightly under the pressure — a parade of bicycles around the town before arriving back for a party in O’Donovan’s Hotel.

Membership of the bike scheme is available to locals for just €20 a year whilst visitors can purchase a guest membership for approximately €10, depending on the length of their holiday. The first hour of use is free with subsequent hours charged at €1, up to a maximum of €10 per day. With safety in mind, users receive a special high-visibility jacket, helmet and information booklet detailing cycle routes in the locality. Membership can be purchased at any drop and collect hotel.

Latest News Articles:

Have your say in shaping the future of Clonakilty
Dursey Island project passes first phase in Failte Ireland’s Grant Scheme
Minister Ring visits superb rural initiatives in West Cork
West Cork farms celebrated at Milk Awards
Issue of childcare a major concern for 72 per cent of female entrepreneurs
Rain, slurry deadlines and housing
Celtic Ross Hotel awarded AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence
St. Joseph’s in Clonakilty looks back on 50 years of educating young girls
‘Operation Transformation’ for Young Beef Farmers
Macra President welcomes publication of EU Young Farmer Survey

Join us on Facebook

Meet Santa and his elves, penguins and polar bears at Leapland, which returns to Leap Village on December 2. A magical experience for little ones who can visit from Mon-Fri 5pm-8pm and Sat-Sun 12pm-8pm. Call 087 7427016 for enquiries. ... See MoreSee Less

21st November, 2017  ·  

And here's our lucky winner Sandra picking up her voucher from Warren Allen this morning from the lovely model Maebh. Happy shopping Sandra! ... See MoreSee Less

21st November, 2017  ·  

Thank you to everybody who took part in our West Cork Catwalk competition. We had a massive response from all over West Cork and beyond.The winning shop with the most votes for their outfit is Warren Allen Collection!

Congratulations to voter Sandra O'Donovan from Bandon who has won a €50 voucher from the winning boutique.
... See MoreSee Less

20th November, 2017  ·  

Jump to:

Top