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.

Tourism, Hospitality & Culinary Roadshow – Celtic Ross Hotel Tuesday 23 Feb

An exciting event is coming to West Cork and takes place in the Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery on Tuesday 23rd February.

If you are considering a career in tourism, hospitality, hotels, events, catering, restaurant or bar management then this event is for you.  Run by CIT, the roadshow aims to encourage secondary students into the hospitality/ tourism and culinary sectors. It is a great opportunity for the students in Transition Year, 5th Year or 6th Year to ask questions about possibilities for their futures and is a great opportunity for us to keep the talented youth we have in the country and most importantly in Cork!

Please come along to the Celtic Ross Hotel on Tuesday 23 February to this free event which is on from 7pm to 8:30pm to find out more.


West Cork estate agents win Sherry FitzGerald Franchise of the Year 2015

The winner of the Sherry FitzGerald Franchise of the Year Award 2015 was announced at the company’s annual Countrywide Conference which was held recently in Killashee Hotel, Naas Co. Kildare on the 29th January. Fighting off stiff competition from 67 franchised offices, Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill, with branches in Clonakilty and Skibbereen emerged victorious, a reflection of their excellent standard of service, business acumen and professionalism.

Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill are long established in West Cork, the business having been founded by Ray O’Neill’s grandfather in 1930. Ray O’Neill and his wife Mary O’Neill were one of the first estate agents to join the Sherry FitzGerald Countrywide network in 1999 and they have gone from strength to strength ever since. They are a business that are continually striving to improve the customer service experience and are particularly strong in their use of marketing and technology to do so.

Commenting on the award Ray O’Neill said “We are thrilled and honoured to be the recipients of the Sherry FitzGerald Franchise of the Year 2015 award. Our partnership with Sherry FitzGerald began in 1999 and we have been delighted to be working with this progressive company ever since. Our innovative systems ensure that our service as an estate agent in the West Cork market is the best it can be. Our intention is to continue to lead the market in West Cork and provide a quality service to vendors and purchasers alike”

Mary Dillon, Managing Director, Sherry FitzGerald Countrywide, said “Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill in Clonakilty and Skibbereen represents all that is best about our franchise members. Their outstanding customer care, professionalism, and innovative approach to marketing to ensure they always achieve the best price are some of the qualities that make them an outstanding member of our Franchise team.”

picture from left to right – Philip Sherry (Sherry FitzGerald), Caroline Herlihy, Tina Foley, Frank O’Driscoll, Ray O’Neill, Orla Healy, Michéal Duggan & Mary Dillon (Sherry FitzGerald Countrywide)

Skibbereen Flood Relief Update

Minister Howlin T.D. confirmed last Friday, 22nd Jan, that the Skibbereen Flood Relief Scheme is ready to proceed once again.  This was followed by a letter from the OPW complying with the terms of the Confirmation on Tuesday, 26th January.  This then allowed Minister Howlin to sign a Government Order for the Scheme on the same day.

Officially Government have now allowed the Scheme to go ahead.

It is now over to Cork Co. Co. and the OPW to complete the tendering process. Tenders are due back to Cork Co. Co. in the first week in Feb.

Assessments of tenders are scheduled for the end of March when a contractor will then be appointed. There will be a lead-in period during which loose ends, notification to property owners, contractor arriving on site and other preparations will be completed so hopefully we should see construction in mid-2016.

Minister Howlin re-iterated that the Skibbereen flood Relief Scheme will take 3 years to complete at a cost of €30 million.

update from Skibbereen Floods Committee

Skibbereen welcomes Down and Dirty competitors

Welcome to Skibbereen and the very best of luck to the 1000 participants who have signed up for the 6k Down and Dirty Adventure Challenge.

The organisers have been working hard on the course for the last number of weeks and there will no doubt be a few surprises for you to enjoy this year!

Don’t forget to pop into Skibbereen where you can pick up some unique Xmas gifts or why not enjoy a well deserved treat in one of the many cafés or restaurants in the town.

Good Luck!

Countdown to National Digital Week

Please click image to get a glimpse of what’s happening in Skibbereen this week……

digital week skibb

and if that has whetted your appetite you can preview the full schedule here: Digital Week Full Schedule

Remember you can keep fully up to date with what’s happening in Skibbereen during National Digital Week by checking the following links too:


Skibbereen hosts Ireland’s first ever National Digital Week, Nov 3 – 8

4 days, 60 Speakers, 3000 attendees, 1 inspirational location

This exciting initiative takes place in Skibb from Nov 3 – 8 and showcases how one small group of people is building Ireland’s most high tech town – read more about what all the buzz is about here!

The early bird offer for the event finishes this Wednesday, 21st October, so make sure you book you tickets today here

Speaking sessions and workshops are tailored to cater for all interests and age groups.

–          Farming 2030

–          Digital Future of Education & STEM

–          Empowering a Billion Women 2020 & Social Entrepreneurship

–          Digital Revolution of retail and services

–          The Digital and Industry Fusion

–          Energise Enterprise Workshop

–          The Story of Entrepreneurship & the Internet of Things: Re-Imaging a connected world.

For a summary of the schedule click here and for details of the amazing speakers you can expect to hear from click here

Don’t forget if you are interested in helping out during the week the Ludgate Skibbereen group needs volunteers urgently and would appreciate your support. The team are looking for a range of volunteers – you do not need to be digitally minded! Please email and pledge your support.


Ilen Swim & Kayak this Sunday 27 September in Skibbereen

This inaugural event takes place along the River Ilen from 4-7pm and promises to be a fun family afternoon with Paddle Boarding and Kayaking along the river as well as feature swim races for the mores serious competitor over 1.5km and 3km and to top it all the weather forecast looks like it will be favourable too!

Many Thanks to our sponsors on the day – Ilen Sports Injury Clinic, Russagh Mill Hostel & Adventure Centre, Kalbo’s Café, The Edge Sports, Cork and GSUP Paddle Boarding  – please find out more about each business by clicking on their image below.

ilen sports clinic

Russagh Mill


The Edge







All proceeds raised will go toward the new Christmas Lights for Skibbereen Fund, which the Skibbereen & District Chamber of Commerce is actively fundraising for.  The town would really appreciate your support in lighting up Skibbereen this Christmas, so join us for a fun afternoon in Skibb this Sunday!


“March Back in Time: Jeremiah O’ Donovan Rossa Torchlit Parade.”

Well done to all involved in the March Back in Time event last Friday night.  Fantastic atmosphere and great crowds in Skibbereen to commemorate the centenary of O’Donovan Rossa’s death in 1915 and to mark the opening of Skibbereen Arts Festival with a parade like no other  – click here to sample the atmosphere on the evening, March Back in Time – Skibbereen 24th July 2015

photo : Ian Flavin Photography

video: Ludgate Skibbereen








BACKSTAGE-IRELAND 091-590706/e-mail

This September, Backstage Academy of Performing Arts-Skibbereen, will hold auditions for a youth production of Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’.   This will be a modern production of the play and as the play deals with money lending, debt, interest, mercy and forgiveness, it should prove very topical.

Auditions will be open to 14-19 year olds and no previous acting experience is required as the cast will be put through their paces by the teaching staff at Backstage, which is based at St. Josephs National School and begins its third year in Skibbereen this September.

Skibbereen Tourist Office Re-opens for 2015 Season

Skibbereen Tourist Office has re-opened for the 2015 summer season.

The office opens on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 – 4pm during May and will open 7 days a week from June.

The office has already had a lot of visitors from not only Ireland and the UK but also France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and that is only in the first 2 weeks!

Please feel free to pop into the Tourist Office to catch up on what Skibbereen and West Cork has to offer!

Skibb Tourist Office 3Skibb Tourist Office 1


Backstage Academy “Frozen Summer Camp” in Skibbereen

Backstage Academy of Performing Arts are holding a “Frozen Summer Camp” in St Joseph’s National School, Skibbereen from Mon 6th to Friday 10th July.

Backstage Frozen


For more details please contact Backstage – 091 590706 or

More information can also be found on the registration form which can be downloaded here Backstage Summer Camp Form





Southern Star hosts Skibbereen Business Breakfast

REMINDER that the Southern Star are hosting a Business Breakfast in the West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen on Friday, May 1st at 7:30 am.

The Skibbereen & District Chamber of Commerce are delighted to be in partnership with the Southern Star for this event as they look on it as an excellent opportunity for business in the area to network and catch up.

If you are interested in attending please email or call 028 21200

Skibbereen Tourist Office Re-opens early May

Following a successful season in Skibbereen last year, Fáilte Ireland are happy to work again in partnership with Skibbereen & District Chamber of Commerce so that the Tourist Office will be once again be open 7 days a week from June for the 2015 summer season.

To facilitate the extended opening hours the office will be staffed by a combination of part-time staff and volunteers, with Fáilte Ireland training taking place over the coming week.

Plans are still underway for the Town Hall building, which encompasses the Tourist Office, to be re-modelled toward the end of the year, however it is still hoped that the Office can be freshened up for the tourist season ahead.

Keep an eye for more updates as they become available……..

Run for Cycle Against Suicide – Wed 8 April and Thu 9 April

Jim Breen, founder of Cycle Against Suicide is on his mammoth run of 50k each day for 28 days consecutively and is expected to arrive in Skibbereen next Wed April 8 at approx 3pm so please come out and support Jim on this leg of his journey!

The Skibbereen Stage of the Run takes place on April 9th, Jim Breen will speak beforehand with a 9am START TIME for ALL RUNS

RUN 1 – 1K Fun Run – West Cork Hotel to New Bridge – ALL WELCOME! (children must be supervised at all times)

RUN 2 – 5K FUN RUN – West Cork Hotel to Aughadown Community Playschool (GAA pitch) (Bus transport back to town provided)

RUN 3 – 50K RELAY – from West Cork Hotel to Mizen Head

Optional Legs – 1) Skibbereen – Ballydehob; 2) Ballydehob – Schull; 3) Schull – Goleen; 4) Goleen – Mizen.

Registration for RUN2 & RUN3 8 – 8.45am in the West Cork Hotel.

Further details available from

The Forecast is good so looking forward to seeing you all there!

Skibbereen’s St Patrick’s Day Parade

A Big “Thank You” to everyone who came out to enjoy what was one of Skibbereen’s biggest and best parades!

The Skibbereen & District Chamber of Commerce would like to thank everyone who got involved this year to make the parade such a success particularly the participants who put so much creativity into their efforts – the ideas, colour and really

best float 2015

Thank You also to the businesses, stewards, judges and MC and to everyone who helped with the planning and particular thanks to those who were out with the dawn chorus setting up for the day!


Congratulations to the winners of the Julia Hickey Perpetual trophy – Skibbereen Credit Union and also to the runners up Castletownshend National School and Cycle against Suicide, congratulations also to Skibbereen’s best little leprechaun – Alan Dobisz.  11024797_10205129450388909_7617722024199484845_n


We very much look forward to seeing you all in Skibbereen again next year!



Celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Skibbereen!

This year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade in Skibbereen is themed – “The Wild Atlantic Way” and schools, clubs and businesses throughout the community are encouraged to participate in this ever popular family event.  Businesses can get involved straight away by dressing their windows and turning Skibbereen “green” for the festival of events.

Festivities in Skibbereen get underway with the Comhaltas Féile Cheoil weekend from Friday March 13-15 with a full programme of music and cultural events to suit all – please find full details here

St Patrick’s Day Church services take place in Abbestrewery at 10 am and in St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 9 am and 11:30 am.

singing at paradeThe annual parade then starts at 2:30pm, from the playground in Skibbereen and follows its traditional route before finishing at the Old Mart Car Park on Bridge St.  The Julia Hickey Memorial Shield will once again be presented to the overall winner on the day and there will be runner up prizes too, as well as a special prize for the best little leprechaun!

The fun doesn’t stop there as between 4 and 6pm in Abbeystrewery Hall the Gaelscoil are holding a fundraiser with teas and coffees, face painting and many more fun activities for all.