A Toast to West Cork

Posted on: 5th May, 2015

Category: The Wine Buff

Contributor: Tony Eklof

When we first moved from Dublin to West Cork just short of three years ago, it did not take us too long to realise all those people waving at us from their cars were doing so out of friendliness not out of recognition!

We chose the area not so much because of its reputation for pretty towns set amongst beautiful seaside country but more from a desire to be closer to our four grandchildren in Inchigeelagh and to play more than a bit part in their lives. We spent six months in Glandore while searching the area and finally choosing Clonakilty, a decision we have many reasons to be happy with.

I find myself asking ‘is this town the friendliest in Ireland?’ To start with the neighbours in our estate, all welcoming and helpful, whether it is Pat who is very ‘handy’ checking out our faulty ballcock in the attic and ‘doing a bit of insulating’ while up there, or John and Elaine bringing back a few bottles of my favourite French wine (Pecharment) from their

Summer holidays, and likewise Sean and Mary with samples from the local winery in the French countryside — there is a sense of community here that I haven’t experienced since leaving my small Cape Cod town to go to university in the city all those years ago. And the sunsets viewed from the Inis Cuain Estate on a summer’s evening are like something from a Turner painting.

We can walk down Desert Hill into Clonakilty where many of the employees of Scally’s and Meadows and Byrne have become friends over the months, and on to one of the two great bookshops. A Dublin friend emailed me recently to say he came across Kerr’s while on holidays and “didn’t realise that good bookshops like that still existed!” And what about O’Neill’s butchers? I wrote to the Food and Wine Magazine about asking about a particular type of sausage not on display at O’Neill’s and being told by Michael “if you have shopping to do you can call back and I will make some for you…” The result was an unexpected case of Macon wine for ‘letter of the month’. I could go on and on, and at the risk of committing the sin of omission, McCarthy’s newsagents, Bluett’s Pharmacy, the iconic Lettercollum Food Project, the toyshop run by the charming young man from France, all are a delight to step into. I love being on first name terms with the postman and traffic warden, these are simple things that have disappeared from city living.

Oh, there are always downsides, the windstorms of two winters ago up on Desert Hill were quite scary and I do wish that those people who let their big dogs out for a run off the lead on the beautiful West Cork beaches would think again. I also wish Cork Airport would get its act together so that we wouldn’t have to drive all the way up the M8 in order to fly to France or Italy.

When my sister and her husband visited from Connecticut in November, we made a few excursions with them to Timoleague, Courtmacsherry, and to the Sheep’s Head Peninsula and had many more planned until they told us “we prefer to stay right around here, walk down to Ring each morning and over to town at noon to stop in at Scannell’s for an excellent lunch and a pint of Beamish.” I think that says it all, Clonakilty and West Cork, I raise a glass (of fine wine of course) to you. Cheers.

Recommendations The best wine I have tasted recently is one of the house wines in Caffe Italiano in Bandon. A lovely scented Chianti, and a steal at €20. Monteguelfo Chianti, 2013.

Latest News Articles:

Schull Garda Station wins ‘Leading Light in Road Safety’ award from Road Safety Authority
Go quackers at the 2018 West Cork Bird Race
Bandon in danger of losing its youth café
Local professionals invited to Anam Cara information pack launch
Bandon Transport and Public Realm Enhancement Plan shortlisted for Irish Planning Awards
Christmas on the beat
Clonakilty town aims to get snowed under with the return of the Clonakilty Christmas Express
On call for Christmas
Have your say in shaping the future of Clonakilty
Dursey Island project passes first phase in Failte Ireland’s Grant Scheme

Join us on Facebook

Visiting restrictions in place at Bantry General Hospital due to Flu Presentations

Strict visitor restrictions have been put in place with immediate effect at Bantry General Hospital due to the number of patients who have presented with flu like symptoms.

In the interest of patient care and in order to restrict the spread of the flu virus within the hospital, it is necessary with immediate effect to ban all visitors to Bantry General Hospital, with the exception of following: critically ill patients are restricted to one visitor per critically ill patient and confined to visiting times only, and attendance at the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) and Local Injury Unit (LIU) should only take place if absolutely necessary, only one relative per patient attending these areas.

The elderly, children, pregnant women or young adults, those with chronic illnesses or vulnerable others are advised not to visit. Outpatient, Day care services and routine hospital admissions are not affected.

All infection control measures are in place and every effort is being made to manage and contain the spread of the flu virus.

People with flu like symptoms are advised to contact their GP by phone in the first instance and avoid presenting at the Emergency Department at Bantry General Hospital.

Bantry hospital staff are asking people to think about all their care and treatment options and keep ED services for the patients who need them most. Others with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of hours GP service where their GP can refer them to an Assessment Unit the following day if required.
... See MoreSee Less

8th January, 2018  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Cope Foundation's Happy Christmas from Cope Foundation. ... See MoreSee Less

What makes Christmas special? Children and adults we support, our incredible staff, families and supporters - these are the people who make our organisation so special every single day, but especially at Christmas! Meet some of them here... Thank you to the wonderful team at AV3 Media who kindly produced this video for us as a Christmas gift! To make a Christmas donation today, go to www.cope-foundation.ie/donate. We believe that together we can do great things and with your support we can do so much more! Please SHARE our video so that more people can learn about the amazing things that happen at Cope Foundation! Evening Echo; Irish Examiner; The Southern Star; The Avondhu; Cork Independent; West Cork Times; West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork; Bandon Opinion/The Opinion; Vale Star; East Cork Journal; Cork Chamber - Faces of Cork Business; Cork City FC; Cork Institute of Technology - CIT; University College Cork; Corks RedFM 104-106; The KC Show Corks 96 FM; Cork's 96FM; Cork's Best; C103 Cork; Cork Airport; Cork Opera House: The Everyman; Cork County Council; County Cork; Cork City Council; CorkLike; CCCahoots; Cork On Ice; Glow Cork; CIT Cork School of Music; RTÉ Today; Ciaran Bermingham - Actor; Rob & Marian Heffernan; John Spillane; Ger Wolfe; Eimear O'Brien PR; Jack O Rourke; Theo Dorgan; Mahon Point Shopping Centre; Blackpool Shopping Centre & Retail Park

18th December, 2017  ·  

This is the real spirit of Christmas at Caseys of Clonakilty. ... See MoreSee Less

Are you alone or do you know someone who will be alone this Christmas? If so, then we here at Casey’s would like to make your day that little bit easier. We are offering a full Christmas dinner on us! Christmas dinners can be collected Christmas Eve from 12:30pm - 8:30pm. Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas from everyone at Casey’s

15th December, 2017  ·  

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s has just announced its Christmas schedule and it features several programmes of interest to listeners in West Cork.

On New Year’s Day at 12.08 pm we’ll hear highlights from the Éigse Dhiarmuidín Festival that took place in West Cork in early December, remembering musician and broadcaster Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin. An Nollaig ar Oileán Chléire is an archive show presented by Mícheál Ó Sé on Wednesday 27 December at 5.30 pm about Christmas on Cape Clear and on Friday 29 December and 5 January at 7 pm, Peadar Ó Riada will bring us very special editions of his Cuireadh chun Ceoil programme from Múscraí. Keep an ear out!
... See MoreSee Less

15th December, 2017  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Garda Síochána - Cork, Kerry & Limerick - Southern Region's photo. ... See MoreSee Less

REMINDER: An Garda Siochana are hosting a Retail Crime Prevention Meeting, to be held at 7pm on Wednesday 29th November 2017. This meeting will be held in the Munster Arms Hotel in Bandon. This meeting is one of a series being held across the West Cork Garda Division, in association with Operation Thor, the Garda National Anti-Crime Strategy. The purpose of the meeting is to increase the cooperation between Gardai and the retail sector, ensuring that the current low levels of crime in the locality extends past the busy approaching Christmas season. The meeting will be addressed by the local Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Ian O’ Callaghan, who will discuss burglary prevention, shoplifting, fraud, and cybercrime. There will be a particular focus on cash handling and cash exposure of businesses in the run up to the Christmas shopping period. All aspects of commercial crime will be discussed, and we would strongly urge all businesses to make a special effort to attend on the evening.

28th November, 2017  ·  

Jump to: