St. Patrick’s Day in Skibbereen

Plans are taking shape for this year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade in Skibbereen, which takes place on Friday 17th March at 4 pm.

The route will start at the Children’s Playground on the Cork Road, move along North Street before turning right into Main St, past the viewing platform on the Bridge and finish in the Fairfield / Old Mart Car Park.

Every year the parade is always a popular family event and this year’s theme is  “Celebrating our Local Heroes” and we have so many to choose from – your local heroes can be inspirational, historical, musical or even sporting!

It is great to see so many people getting involved every year in their local Parade which guarantees fun for all the family.  As in  previous years the Julia Hickey Memorial Trophy will be presented to the overall winner on the day with cash prizes for best community group, best fun group and best theme with spot prizes on the day too!

To finish off the evening in Skibbereen there will be an organised Fireworks Display at 7.30pm in the town, which will be visible from Kennedy Bridge and music in local bars to enjoy too.

We would be delighted to see as many clubs and local community organisations getting involves on the day so please confirm if you are participating, so that we can gauge numbers on the day by sending an email to or text 086 2388300.

St Patrick's Day Poster 2017

Harness the internet: Increase your bed bookings

An essential guide for accommodation providers in West Cork, Harnessing the power of the internet, a workshop for all Bed & Breakfasts, Guest Houses, Hotels & Tourist Attractions takes place on Wed 1st March in the Ludgate Centre Skibbereen and aims to promote your accommodation and sell bed-nights using the internet.

Please click on the link here to find out more

Revisit Newstalk “Down to Business Roadshow” from Skibbereen

Newstalk’s Down to Business roadshow was broadcast live from the West Cork Hotel in Skibbereen on Saturday 12th November during National Digital Week.

If you missed the show you can listen below to local business owners John Field, Field’s Supervalu, Cathal Wilson Chairman of Skibbereen Chamber of Commerce and Director of Ceramicx in Ballydehob and Cathal O’Donovan of the Skibbereen Bookshop.

Christmas is coming to the Celtic Ross Hotel

Don’t miss the exciting Christmas Events coming to the Celtic Ross Hotel this festive season:

  • On the Friday 2nd December Christmas Party Night kicks off festivities and launches the party season with a bang!
  • the inaugural Christmas Charity Ball –  a night of glamour and sparkle is not to be missed on Friday 16th December and this year the children’s charity BUMBLEance, The Children’s National Ambulance Service, are the nominated charity partner to benefit from the event.
  • Santa’s Grotto arrives at the Celtic Ross on the 4th & 11th December 10am – 4pm.  Don’t be disappointed – book your Santa Experience and be treated to an unforgettable festive experience.All this and the ever popular Active Retirement Christmas Luncheon, Festive Afternoon Tea and lots more for you to enjoy – check out or glance through the Christmas Brochure to discover more about the festive cheer at the Celtic Ross Hotel or contact the Christmas Coordinators on (023) 8848722

Skibbereen’s Christmas Lights being switched on Saturday 26th November

We’ve had a great year in Skibb! and have been well and truly in the public eye with our Olympic Rowers, homecoming celebrations, Tidy Towns’ successes and all things digital!

This year Christmas festivities get under way in Skibbereen with the annual tradition of the Christmas Parade which this year takes place on Saturday November 26th and everyone is invited to come along and join in the fun in the town.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there to oversee operations as the Christmas Parade gets underway leaving the bridge on Ilen Street, near the West Cork Hotel at 4.30pm sharp, before making its way down Bridge St and Main St to the Square.

This year the parade is bigger and better than ever with our Fire Service leading the way, joined by the Civil Defence (and a few surprises) as well as elves galore taking part hoping to win Best Elf prizes on offer.  Santa and Mrs. Claus will be travelling in style this year on a horse drawn carriage, complete with Silver Bells and will be greeted in the Square by Skibbereen Comhaltas playing much loved, Christmas tunes.

This year lucky winners from a competition run in local primary schools will have the unique opportunity to switch on the new Christmas Town Lights together with Santa, as Skibbereen lights up for Christmas 2016.

Remember you can keep up to date with what’s happening in Skibbereen by checking the Facebook page or

West Cork Estate Agent Sherry Fitzgerald O’Neill shortlisted for National Award

Congratulations to  Sherry FitzGerald Franchise Of The Year winners, Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill, who have been shortlisted as one of four firms nominated in the upcoming Property Industry Excellence Awards in the Regional Excellence category. This prestigious event which will take place on 10th November at the Convention Centre, Dublin.

Sherry FitzGerald have been shortlisted in 3 categories in total and are defending their crown as Residential Agency of the Year, Cushman & Wakefield are shortlisted in Commercial Agency of the Year along with SFO’Neill, the reigning Franchise of the Year for the Regional Excellence Category.

Comment from Ray O’Neill – ‘We are both honoured and delighted to be finalists in the Property Industry Excellence Awards 2016. We are the longest established estate agency practices in West Cork. We started back in the 1930’s when West Cork would have been a rather insignificant place on the map of Ireland. Since then we have been through many booms and busts, emerging each time with lessons learned and a strong focus on what we need to do to ensure we succeed for the next eighty years, or more.

West Cork has changed dramatically in the eighty years we have been in business, once a quiet backwater with a predominantly agricultural background it is now a vibrant, multi-faceted place where people from all walks of life and new business ventures are welcomed with open arms. We are proud of our West Cork heritage and endeavor to employ the best characteristics of West Cork, friendliness and straightforwardness, in our day to day dealings with our clients and the greater community.

Our business is extremely customer centric and we are constantly striving to come up with ways of improving the experience for both sellers and buyers alike. We are firm believers in the benefits of using technology to improve our service but we are always keenly aware that there is no substitute for the personal touch.

Our two offices in Clonakilty and Skibbereen service a territory of some 1,300 square miles, from the rugged beauty of the Beara Peninsula to the fertile heartlands of Timoleague, and everything in between. We have sold every conceivable type of property from cottages to castles and, although vast, we have an intimate knowledge of our territory with connections in every town and village.

We are of West Cork and are immensely proud that. Some would consider us to be a relatively small outfit but with our connections to the Sherry FitzGerald network and our global reach we certainly pack a punch’

Winners will be announced on November 10th and further information on the awards can be found at

For further information please contact Tina Foley or Ray O’Neill, Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill at 023 8833995 or

“People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project” comes to Skibbereen

Photographer Shay Hunston invites the people of Skibbereen to take part in his photography project “People of the Wild Atlantic Way“.

Shay is following the the route of the Wild Atlantic Way from Kinsale to Donegal, taking portrait photographs of the people living in the towns, villages and remote locations along the West Coast of Ireland and in each town and village he stages an exhibition of photograph.  Starting on Monday 24th October, he will be taking photographs of local people for an exhibition to take place in the shop windows around the town, turning the streets into an open gallery.

Upon completion of the project a book of photographs will be published and all the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the RNLI – Royal National Lifeboat Institution.  Cork Airport will also stage an exhibition of the photographs taken in West Cork.  Online and print media in Ireland and abroad will also have access to the photographs.

Shay has recently completed successful exhibitions of the people of Kinsale, Timoleague, Courtmacsherry and Clonakilty which you may have already seen and would now like to include as many of the Skibbereen business community in the project as possible.

Please view the following link to an article about the project, published yesterday in the Irish American website IrishCentral –

You can also find out more by logging onto Shay’s website or contact Shay on or 087-6507077.

Please Support local Shine a Light event in Violette Skibbereen

On October 21st the Business Community is coming together for one night to raise vital funds for homelessness in Ireland today.

Skibbereen and District Chamber of Commerce members, Violette,  have signed up for the Shine a Light Night event and on the 21st October 2016 all of the staff will be staying in the shop overnight to raise money and awareness of homelessness in Ireland.  Violette have sponsorship forms should people want to join in the fundraising and will also be collecting donations at the shop.  A raffle will also be held on the night, so any Spot Prize donations would be very welcome.

Sandie and Fiona and all the staff from Violette would be very grateful for any support you can give them in this worthwhile cause.

A sneak peek at what’s on the menu for A Taste of West Cork ~ 09-18th September 2016


Plans are well underway for the annual A Taste of West Cork Food Festival which takes place, this year, from 9th-18th September 2016. Soak up the sights and indulge in fabulous fare during this year’s festival which promises food and fun-lovers a jam-packed programme filled with activities to suit the entire family – all set against the breath-taking backdrop of West Cork’s Wild Atlantic Way.

While the picturesque Skibbereen remains the heart of the popular festival, events are taking place across the region with towns and villages such as Bandon, Bantry, Clonakilty, Schull and many more offering a warm welcome to visitors from far and wide.

The 10-day event is a foodie’s paradise, with the regions best chefs preparing culinary feasts in local restaurants, food tastings, foraging walks, open-air markets, masterclasses, and intimate evenings with local artisan food producers on the menu. Cooking enthusiasts can also look forward to learning from the best, as guest chefs from all over the globe will be on hand to present demonstrations and share their culinary wisdom.

Adventure lovers are invited to make the most of the area’s natural resources, with outdoor pursuits such as foraging, West Cork whale watching and catch ‘n’ cook experiences on offer. The vibrant calendar of events also includes something for the loved-up couples, who can enjoy a romantic moonlight kayaking experience or a long coastal walk along one of West Cork’s beautiful beaches.

Indulge in all the good things in life by taking a big bite of the fun at this year’s A Taste of West Cork Food Festival!

Check out our programme for information and updates:;

OFFICIAL OPENING this Saturday at 12pm of St Patrick’s Boys National School Garden – in conjunction with A Taste of West Cork Food Festival,

St. Patrick’s Boys’ National School, Skibbereen are very excited to officially open their new school garden and geodome this Saturday at 12pm. Recently voted Best New Garden in the Cork County School Garden Competition, the garden will also be featured on Nationwide later this month. 

The official opening has been organised in conjunction with A Taste of West Cork Food which will be launched this Friday. Mary Clear, co-founder of the Incredible Edible Movement in Britain will give a presentation on Saturday morning at 11am before the official opening. 

The event is open to all and the school welcomes anyone who would like to visit the garden. The Parents’ Association will provide homemade soup made from the organic school garden produce.

National Jobs Week event at Ludgate Hub, Skibbereen

As part of National Jobs Week, the local DSP Employment Services are inviting local Skibbereen and District Employers to attend a briefing on the range of supports available to employers, including. JobsPLus, EURES, Free Vacancy Advertising and Job Matching Service;  Wage Subsidy Scheme etc. all of which you may currently be unaware of and which are designed to support your business recruit jobseekers.

The event takes place on Wednesday September 28th from 8.30 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. in the Ludgate Hub,  Skibbereen and promises to be a fantastic opportunity to find out more about how you can avail of free supports for your business,

Employers are also invited to take a free stand at the Jobseeker Event which takes place from 10.00-12.00 following the employer’s briefing and will also be an opportunity to meet local Jobseekers and advertise any current vacancies you may have.

To register interest in either/both events, please email  or ring Maureen Canty on 086 8229366.

Current initiatives which aims to support employers are outlined below and include:

  • Employment Services such as advertising to jobseekers on the internet through Jobs Ireland
  • Advertising your Job Vacancy in Europe through EURES (European Employment Services) which gives employers access to a database of European jobseekers and provides specially tailored European recruitment projects for employers.
  • Jobs PLus – This is an employer incentive from the Department of Social Protection which encourages and rewards employers who offer employment opportunities to the long term unemployed and offers up to €10,000 for a qualifying recruit, payable on a monthly basis over a two year period.
  • Being an inclusive and disability friendly employer also has many benefits for employers.

Skibbereen Welcomes Home Rowing Heroes

All roads lead to Skibbereen this Monday evening, 29th August with up to 10,000 people due to attend the homecoming of our Olympic silver medallists Gary and Paul O’Donovan and their coach Dominic Casey.

The homecoming parade will start in the Cork Rd at 7pm with an open top bus carrying the Olympians along the Cork Rd, into North St and then turning right onto Main St before arriving at the Fairfield where you will once again get the opportunity to relive the excitement of the race on the big screen and also see Paul and Gary being interviewed on stage by RTÉ’s Jacqui Hurley.

Parking on the day

Please Note that the FairField / Old Mart will not be available for parking on Monday 29th August due to preparation for the event and restrictions will be in place on Sunday 28th August.  All entrances must be kept clear

Parking will be available at the following locations:

Travelling into Skibbereen from Cork/Clonakilty:

  • Car Park in Skibbereen Show Grounds

Travelling into Skibbereen from Bantry/Schull:

  • Car Park in- Skibbereen Rugby Club
  • O’Donovan Rossa GAA Ground and the Marsh
  • Skibbereen New Mart Marsh Rd
  • Morgan O’Driscoll’s (beside Hurleys’Garage) Ilen Street

Parking will also be available at West Cork Distillers on Market St and supermarket car parks in Skibbereen will remain open until 11 pm to facilitate the event.

Please see map also:

Skibbereen Town Map courtesy of Tom Halliday

Skibbereen’s Local Heroes – Living the Olympic Dream

Fantastic atmosphere in Skibb today as the community cheered on Gary and Paul O’Donovan in their Olympic Semi-Final.  Congratulations to the O’Donovan brothers who qualified for the final and who have really put Skibb on the map not only with their rowing prowess but also with their post match interviews!  Skibbereen is very proud of you!!

Skibbereen Credit Union will be showing the final tomorrow at 14:44 and everyone is welcome to come along again to cheer the lads on.


Ilen River Blue Way launched

The Ilen River Blue Way has been launched and is a fantastic addition to the many activities to take part in in West Cork.

A Blueway is a recreational activity trail that is developed for use by non-motorised activity enthusiasts and the Ilen River trail comprises of 3 sections:

  1. Skibbereen to Deelish Pier – 2.7km Beginner Trail
  2. Deelish Pier to Glebe Graveyard – 6km Intermediate Trail
  3. Glebe Graveyard to Baltimore – 8.6km Advanced Trail

To find out more about the Ilen River Blue Way please download the brochure here

River Ilen Blueway header

Book Yourself Solid® Live Mentoring Event – West Cork Hotel 21 – 23 September

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Grow Your Business Exponentially…….Come to the Book Yourself Solid® Live Mentoring Event at the West Cork Hotel from 21 to 23 September.

° Take your business to the next level.
° Grow your client & customer base.
° Learn cutting edge business practices.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, service provider, coach, consultant, retailer or business professional, Book Yourself Solid® is the fastest, easiest and most reliable system for getting more clients and customers than you can handle, even if you hate marketing and selling!

Three powerful days: Workshops, seminars, coaching and collaboration.

To find out more follow link

Chamber members receive a €90 preferred member discount. Go here to register today. Enter Promo Code: Skib. and follow link

Skibbereen Arts Festival 2016

The 8th Skibbereen Arts Festival has something for everyone with music, film, theatre and poetry. Literature, exhibitions, symposiums and installations. Walks, talks and workshops. Family fun days and a spectacular 1960’s street party.

No matter your age, there truly is something for everyone. We hope you enjoy.

Don’t miss out – book your favourite events now on

Skibb Arts Festival 2016

Skibbereen featuring in Find Your Family Free documentary feature by Mary McEwan

Please click on link to see part 1 of a 2 part special on Ireland and Irish research shown on TCTV Channel 22, Olympia, Washington.

Find Your Family Free featuring Skibbereen

Skibbereen features in this episode with part 2 due later this month and includes interviews with residents of Skibbereen with some very interesting facts about the town and neighbouring areas.

You can check out more of Mary McEwan’s videos on YouTube by clicking the link here – Mary McEwan YouTube

Skibbereen BNS Bingo Fundraiser

The Parent’s Association of St Patrick’s Boys National School are hosting a Monster €1,000 Bingo, in the West Cork Hotel on Sunday 17 April.  All are invited to come along and join in the fun and help raise funds for the School Garden.

New School Garden planned for St Patrick’s BNS, Skibbereen

St. Patrick’s BNS Parents’ Association are currently fundraising for a new school garden project and are holding a Monster Bingo Night on March 22 in the Parkway Hotel, Dunmanway with a free bus leaving Skibbereen at 7.45pm

The new garden will consist of Geodome, Willow Tunnel and Dome, Amphitheatre, Raised Beds, Wormery, Composting Area, Insect Hotel, Observation Areas of Orchards, Mixed Native Hedge, Mini Forest and a Wild Nature Trial.

School Garden Plan

In St. Patrick’s Boy’s National School there are 3 Autism (ASD) Classrooms and in the garden we are incorporating a Sensory Garden which includes a Sensory Path, Planted Areas based on our five senses, a Zen Garden and a Herb Wheel.  Everyone is so excited for this project to be completed so that all of the children in the school can enjoy their Garden.

Other fundraising events are also planned in the near future so please check out their Facebook page – Skibbereen St. Patrick’s BNS Parents’ Association which has all the information about the project and fundraising events.

Skibbereen celebrates the centenary in 2016 by commemorating 1916 on St Patrick’s Day.

All roads lead to Skibbereen in 2016 for the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade which this year is themed “Celebrating 1916 – Our Centenary Year”.  All local businesses, schools, clubs and groups have been encouraged to participate in the ever popular family event and a bumper entry of floats is expected on the day.

In many local west Cork households there are medals, pictures, and memorabilia that we would welcome as part of the Skibbereen 2016 parade and businesses can start to mark the centenary, by decorating their windows with items and memorabilia from the period.  Remember everyone is encouraged to celebrate 1916 in 2016 so come along in dress from the era on the day as we remember our local and national heroes and heroines.

Skibb 1916

The annual parade starts on Thursday March 17th at 4pm from Morgan O’Driscoll’s Car Par on the bypass and then makes its way down Ilen Street then Bridge St past the judges and viewing platform on the Bridge before continuing along Main St and Market St with floats and trailers finishing in the Fairfield.  This year we are delighted to announce that the parade will be led by relatives of Skibbereen native, Gearóid O’Sullivan, who we particularly remember in this centenary year as we honour his role in proudly raising the Irish flag over the GPO on Easter 1916.

The Julia Hickey Memorial Shield will be presented to the overall winning entry on the day along with cash prizes for best community float, best novel/fun group, best themed group, best junior award and best themed window and the parade finishes with the 1916 proclamation read by a volunteer from the viewing platform

The fun continues after the parade as the Gaelscoil are hosting a fundraiser in Abbeystrewery Hall with teas and coffees, face painting and many more fun activities for all with festivities finishing up for the day as fireworks light up the town at 7pm and music on in the local bars until late.  Remember to look out for local buildings turning green on the day too!

Don’t miss celebrating the centenary on Thursday March 17th and help the next generation develop their understanding of their heritage by sharing your knowledge of the past.   Be part of the wonderful opportunity to remember our ancestors and the events that have brought us to 2016 by either taking part in the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Skibbereen or support the day on the street from 3.40pm on Thursday March 17th.