Clonakilty’s Community Cycle Scheme takes to the streets

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.

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13th April, 2018  ·  

An evening on the 'Balance of Feeling Good' by Clonakilty Gaa Club Health and Wellbeing Committee followed by Guest Speaker, Cork GAA Chairperson, Tracey Kennedy.

Paddy Duggan, former Principal of Clonakilty Community College, will be MC on the night, facilitating a discussion on getting the balance of feeling good.
Contributors on the night are Colm Sheehy, Conor Murray, David Lowney, Denis Murphy, Eoghan Deasy, Sean McEvoy, Thomas Clancy and Treasa O'Brien.
Topics covered will range from awareness and responsibility to yourself and others to the benefits of exercise and nutrition.
The evening is suitable for everyone aged 16 and over from players, members of the community, parents of young and adolescent children, etc.

This is a public event, free of charge and everyone is invited and very welcome to attend.
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The Cast of Harold Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’ are on their way to the All-Ireland finals, having won 26 awards, including five best of Festivals, at the Amateur Drama League of Ireland annual three act festivals. The play ‘No Man’s Land, by Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize Winning Author is directed by Jennifer Williams.

One last opportunity to view this multi award winning play at Skibbereen Town Hall, on Saturday 14th of April, before the finals.

Having met by chance in a pub, two aging writers continue a long night of drinking and reminiscing in a stately London home. As the night wears on, their conversation wanders through memories long forgotten or invented. Is their encounter real or a delusion? Are they strangers or do they share a past history? When unexpected guests intrude upon an increasingly surreal evening, the atmosphere quickly changes from friendly to threatening, and the encounter becomes a game of survival.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by emailing schulldramagroup@gmail.com

For more information please contact hilary.mccarthy6@gmail.com
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