Flood Relief Scheme

Latest Update on Skibbereen Flood Relief Scheme

“We are edging ever closer to construction and to work on the ground ” was the verdict from Skibbereen Floods Committee after their meeting at Leinster House last week with Simon Harris T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for the OPW and Public Procurement.

Historically Skibbereen  has had major floods in 1943, 1944 x2, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1964, 1969, 1975, 1976, 1986 x3, 1988 x2, 1995, 1998 x2, 1999, 2008, 2009 x2, and many near misses over that period too.  Over the last 4 years there have been  6 near misses where another two hours rain,spring tide,or change in wind direction could have had further severe consequences–because most people do not now have flood insurance cover.

Because of the history of flooding and the last major flood event in 2009 effort had to be directed to  planning for a €14 million Flood Relief Scheme for Skibbereen.  It has been designed to provide a 200-year flood event protection for 179 homes and 131 commercial properties. This has been underway since 2010 and has lead to the Public Consultation in 2011, the Public Information Day 2012 and the public Exhibition in 2013. These fed into the Stage 3 Detailed Design which is now 99% complete. There  has been ongoing consultation with landowners,private householders and businesses, and at the same time the dotting of a lot of i’s and the crossing of a lot of t’s by the O.P.W as Managers of the Scheme, Cork Co.Co. as their agents and Consultants R.P.S.

The Scheme is now at the final Procurement stage before construction . This  is a 2 stage process.  In the first stage,  8 contractors have now pre-qualified from an original list of 21 contractors which included 60 specialist sub-contractors. Letters have been sent to the successful and unsuccessful applicants.

The second stage involves  the 8 successful applicants tendering for the Scheme. The date for this is mid-February.  At the same time  Brendan Howlin T.D Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform “confirms” the scheme.  It is estimated that the main Works Contractor will be appointed by the end of March and work on the ground to commence May-June and will take two years to complete.

The preparations for this Scheme began in 2010.We are confident that these preparations are nearing completion  and expect construction of this long awaited scheme to  commence mid-year 2015.

Skibbereen Flood Relief Scheme-Skibbereen Floods Committee.


Skibbereen & District Chamber of Commerce AGM – Wed 18 February

The Skibbereen & District Chamber of Commerce AGM takes place on Wednesday February 18 at 7:30pm in the Fuchsia Suite in the West Cork Hotel.
This is an opportunity to review what the Chamber has focused on in 2014 as well as to give your input into future plans for 2015 and is also a chance to catch up with other Chamber Members too!

If you are a business and are interested in discovering more about the Chamber and membership please come along on the evening to find out more.

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Make Skibbereen your West Cork Shopping Destination this Christmas

Skibbereen's Christmas 2014The 90 members of Skibbereen & District Chamber of Commerce are encouraging you to shop local and make Skibbereen your West Cork Christmas Shopping destination.  There is a focused campaign to promote shopping in Skibbereen during the festive season, which this year will culminate in a “12 Days of Christmas Draw” where €200 worth of vouchers will be drawn daily at 11am in the square between the 9th and 20th of December for the lucky winners.

Festivities kick off on Friday 5th December with the annual Christmas Parade, which begins at 4:30pm from Ilen St and makes its way to the Square, where this year one lucky winner of a competition run in the local primary schools will have the unique opportunity to switch on the Christmas Town Lights.

Back by popular demand is the convenience of Sunday Shopping in Skibbereen on both the 14th and 21st of December and new this year are Christmas Carriage Rides around town on these days between 2 and 6pm from the Bridge, where a new Crib Scene, thanks to the Community Employment Workers, will also be on display.

The approach to the town is lit by Lights on Living Trees and the chamber would like to acknowledge the hard work undertaken by Mark McCarthy and Paul Daly to create this feature as well as the sterling efforts of Skibbereen Tidy Towns who continue to ensure that Skibbereen looks at its best particularly at this time of year.  To keep the atmosphere in town as festive as possible we are also encouraging businesses and shoppers alike to don a hat for “Santa Hat Saturday” on 13th December.

The excitement is already building for the festive season in Skibbereen as two exciting new ventures open in town on Friday December 5th – “Frozen World” at the Paragon and “Santa’s Secret Garden” l launches at the Eldon.  Also returning to the West Cork Hotel on Sunday 21st December is the popular Family Funday Sunday which always proves to be a great hit with all the family.

If you love a bargain, discount promotions will run in participating businesses over the weekend from the 5th to 8th December and on Saturday the 20th of December keep an eye out for Santa’s Elves who will be around town helping out where they can.  Finally, don’t forget that the Over 60s 10% discount promotion continues every Tuesday and that Skibbereen offers free town parking too!



Annual Cork West Garda Division Retail/Business Fora

The Annual Cork West Garda Division Retail/Business Fora will take place in the Main Hall, Parkway Hotel, Dunmanway on Tuesday 25th of November 2014 at 7.30pm sharp.
It is essential that businesses support this event so we raise issues of current concern and discuss ways to address these matters with the ultimate aim of reducing and preventing commercial crime
Chief Superintendent Tom Hayes of Bandon Garda Station will be in attendance as well as Superintendents from the Garda Districts of Bandon, Macroom, Bantry and Clonakilty.
A presentation on commercial related crime will be given by Divisional Crime Prevention Officer with particular emphasis on commercial crime that has effected businesses in this Division .
There will be an opportunity to discuss policing issues with Garda management and to seek advice on any matter.
A short workshop shall also be conducted where feedback will be sought from those in attendance on ways An Garda Siochana in Cork West Division can improve our service to businesses.
This Fora is free and will conclude at 9pm. Ms Deirdre Kelly Chairperson of Dunmanway Enterprise Network shall MC.

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Santa’s Secret Garden

Santa’s Secret Garden will be running daily at the Eldon Hotel from December 5th to 23rd and aims to be a feature attraction in Skibbereen over the Christmas period, with already over 200 people booked in!

albxmas2On Saturday December 13th and 20th there will be an opportunity to ‘Breakfast with Santa’ from 10am to 11.30am in Albergo Restaurant.  Parents can bring their kids along where breakfast: pancakes, hot porridge, cakes, scones, hot chocolate etc. all freshly home made, will be served.  They will also meet Santa for games, activities and story telling. This is fully supervised by qualified child minders so parents can (if they wish) leave and do some Christmas shopping in Skibbereen.

Bookings now being taking for Christmas parties in ‘Santa’s Kitchen’, part of Santa’s Secret Garden in a specially set up dining area for private parties with a Christmas theme. 2/3 Course meal options available including mulled wine & a tour of Santa’s Secret Garden from €25 per person. Santa’s Kitchen is available from November 21st (Nov 29th & Dec 7th are booked out) so Book Now at 028-51782

So why  not make Skibbereen your West Cork shopping destination this year?

Horizon2020 logo

European Funding Business Breakfast – Tuesday 11 November

Dr. Seán McCarthy, Hyperion Ltd will present at the upcoming Skibbereen & District Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Briefing on Tuesday next, 11th November in the West Cork Hotel, from 7.30 to 9am.

The presentation, “European Funding for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020)” will focus on opportunities for Irish companies and will provide an overview of the European funding that is available for research and innovation. This encourages European companies to work together with particular emphasis on small and medium sized businesses and is a method by which local business can work with companies amongst our European neighbours and draw more money, business and skills into the Skibbereen and District area.

Seán is a native of Drinagh and a past pupil of St. Fachtna’s, De La Salle in Skibbereen. He designs courses for research managers in Universities and Research Centres and since 1997 over 48,000 people have attended his courses in 29 countries. This will be a unique opportunity to attend a presentation on this subject by a leading European authority in West Cork.

Tickets are only €20 and numbers are strictly limited. To register online please go to www.eventbrite.com and search for ‘European Funding Breakfast Briefing’.
Further enquires can be made to Mary at chamber @skibbereen.ie or contact (086) 2388300.

Halloween 2014

Have a “Spooktacular” Weekend in Skibbereen this Halloween!

Prepare to have a fright this weekend!!!

Room 28 at the Haunted Hotel continues in Skibbereen over the weekend, check out their Facebook page or contact them on 086 2220055

TONIGHT Teen Underage Disco at the Nightclub Realm in Club BED, Friday 31st October, Doors Open at 9pm

Adult Disco at the Nightclub Realm in Club BED, Saturday 1st November, Doors Open at 9pm

Halloween 2014


Countdown to SCAR!

The countdown is on!  

Only 3 days to go to SCAR, which takes place this Saturday 18 October in and around the breathtaking beauty and rugged environs of Skibbereen, Castletownshend, Lough Hyne and the wild Atlantic coastline that defines this stunning part of West Cork and Ireland.

SCAR offers beginners, intermediates and expert racers a serious challenge that will test and push you to compete and complete a professionally organised and truly memorable course in this unique part of south west Ireland, and remember ALL race entry fees will be donated 100% TO LOCAL CHARITIES and good causes in the area.

So welcome to Skibbereen and the very best of luck to all competitors!

Keep an eye on www.thescar.ie for updates and details.


Culture Night 2014 19th September

culture-night14 There is plenty to do in Skibbereen town on Culture Night, this Friday the 19th of September.

Skibbereen Heritage Centre offers free admission to its exhibitions on the Great Famine and Lough Hyne between 7 and 9pm with a guided tour of the Famine exhibition at 7.30pm. (028) 40900

Skibbereen Working Artists Studio invites you to join them between 7 and 10pm  for a night of poetry and music alongside an exhibition of the visual art from the members of the Studio.

 Skibbereen Comhaltas present an evening of traditional music at the West Cork Hotel between 7.30pm and 10pm. There is music of another kind at Lissard Estate between 8 and 10pm featuring a range of plucked string instruments as well as baroque flute (booking essential for this event).


Further information on all of these events is on the websitewww.culturenightcorkcounty.ie

Harvest Moon Schull

HARVEST MOON MUSIC FESTIVAL 2014 – Schull Village, 5 – 6 September

Staying true to its core, this year’s line-up, yet again, promises a wonderful weekend of fabulous music, with many on those on the line-up playing for the first time in this beautiful corner of West Cork.

With an incredible local singer Songwriter kicking off the weekend’s events at 5pm Friday in Hacketts Bar,  the festivities quickly unfold with music  to be found the length and breadth of the village in this two day festival including O Regan’s Bar, the Blacksheep, The Corner House, Casa Diego Tapas Bar and, of course, in the beautiful setting of Grove House.

This hidden gem of a festival also holds dear the premise of being a festival for everyone to suit all tastes!   This year’s festival is no exception with a line-up that includes contemporary folk, trad, rock, acoustic latin, folk/blues, salsa, disco, gypsy swing, electronica, Cuban percussion and a very cool bunch of DJs spinning funk, disco, soul, deep house and dance through-out the weekend.

The Harvest Moon is also based firmly on a policy of free admission to all music acts through-out the weekend!  (This is with the exception of a single ticketed ‘food & music’ event taking place at Grove House on Friday 5th – call 028 28067 to book tickets for this event.)   Put this together with its fantastic policy of mixed genres and its ruling moto – ‘a festival for everyone in a village with a big heart’ – is most definitely one that is true to its word!

A decidedly added (and tasty) bonus to this year’s festival is the two superb food events being organised in collaboration with the Taste of West Cork Food Festival at Grove House on the Colla Road.    Friday Evening plays host to a ‘tasting and music’ event with music by the super talented duo Colin Vearncombe and Maurice Seezer while Saturday afternoon boasts an outdoor event for the whole family with Dublin-based band, Saint John the Gambler, providing some gypsy swing style of refreshment against the backdrop of a mini food market where local producers will be offering yummy things to eat and buy. All in all, its fair to say, Harvest Moon 2014 promises to be another magical musical (and food) Experience!

For more information on this year’s line-up and other events, please see the festival website on www.harvestmoonmusicfestival.com

Follow on facebook at www.facebook.com/harvestmoonfestival

For all other enquiries, call 085 2180484 or 086 059 3248


Kids’ Passport for Skibbereen & surrounding area

If you need something to do with the kids before they go back to school, or if you have family and friends visiting West Cork over the last few weeks of the season why not pop in to the tourist office for your free copy of the ‘West Cork Passport for Kids’?

The Passports have a full list of things to do in Skibbereen and surrounding areas and you can even get your passport stamped when you visit different venues! The Passports also have pages for colouring, as well as information on beaches and places to visit.

Pop into the Skibbereen Tourist Office for your copy (but be quick there are only a limited number of Passports left)!

Thanks also to Inspire Design for their help in producing the Passports


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Backstage Performing Arts Academy begins a second year in Skibbereen

Backstage is based at St. Josephs National School in Skibbereen and it runs every Friday from 6pm-8.30pm.It is open to 7-18 year olds, grouped by age, and subjects range from Drama, Mime and Musical Theatre to Stand-Up Comedy, Dance and Performance.

Backstage, nationally recognised for its Performing Arts work with young people over the past fifteen years, teaches performing and production skills and a number of their students have now gone on to be recognisable faces in Film, TV and Stage but that is only part of what they do. The Academy also uses these performance skills to develop self-confidence, communication skills and critical thinking.




Entry to Open Day is free of charge but you must arrive in time for a 6pm start and be prepared to stay for the full session.

Further information from Backstage-Ireland on 091-590706 or e-mail backstageireland@eircom.net.

Skibbereen Arts Festival draws inspiration from its river and the coast

Skibbereen’s own River Day will be held on Wednesday 30th July. The River Day will be held in celebration of one of Skibbereen’s dearest treasures, the Ilen River. The day will begin with a trip to the Fastnet, leaving from the Ilen River. Attendees will be joined by Ger Butler, one of Ireland’s last lightkeepers. Now an attendant at the Galley Head Lighthouse, Butler was previously an assistant keeper at the Fastnet, Bull Rock, The Old Head of Kinsale and Mizen Head Lighthouse. The Lightkeeper was an attendant at the Fastnet during the tragic 1979 Fastnet Yacht Race, which resulted in the loss of 18 lives.

A kayaking trip will be available for those wanting to see Skibbereen from a different view, and a river dance will take place at the Steam Mill Quay. Skibbereen musicians from Comhaltas Óg will be performing on a boat as they travel through the town, and will stop at the Quay at 7pm to provide music for the dance. Later at 9pm, a Séisiún will be held in the West Cork Hotel. The Séisiún will give a real taste of Irish traditions, providing Irish song, dance and stories.

Mark Boyden and Stephanie O’ Toole will be presenting ‘Streamscape Ilen’. ‘Streamscape Ilen’ will be a presentation on the innovative Streamscapes Ilen Enviromental Education Project. Those who attend will learn about Biodiversity and Socio-economics benefits of a healthy river, and will get the chance to be involved in an open discussion afterwards.

Finally, the river will be a source of  inspiration for participants of Toma McCullim’s outdoor painting workshop, on Wednesday 30th, so people can paint their version of the Ilen River.

For more information please check out the Skibbereen Arts Festival website at www.skibbereenartsfestival.com, or for ticket information please phone 087 1260327.

4 plays

A little bit of Broadway in the heart of West Cork!

On Tuesday 29th July, the Skibbereen Arts Festival is presenting a selection of performances at four landmark locations in ‘4 Plays in a Day’.

To start the day, Wild Productions will wake us up with their comedic play ‘Mrs. Shakespeare’.  Performing at the stately Liss Ard House, Irene Kelleher will play a female patient in a mental hospital, who thinks she is the reincarnation of writer, William Shakespeare. Back to set right her mistitled ‘Hamlet’, she is set on a rewrite for a new play with a more feminine perspective called ‘Ophelia’.

Following on from there, Karen Minihan of Playacting Theatre will present her one-woman play, ‘Eileen’ at West Cork Arts Centre. The story of a middle-aged country woman facing the divorce from her farmer husband. The play deals with the stigma of being a divorcee in a traditional, rural town.

Schull Drama Group will present five revue sketched by Harold Pinter. Written in the late 1950s, these are all early works by Pinter. They all focus on an aspect of an incident which may or may not have happened. The five sketches are ‘Special Offer’, ‘Request Stop’, ‘Last to Go’, ‘The Black and White’ and ‘Trouble in the Works’.

To finish off this rather dramatic day, the award-winning Kilmeen Drama Group will present their production of JM Synge’s ‘The Playboy of the Western World’. Winner of the 2013 RTE All-Ireland Drama Finals, and performed at the Abbey Theatre, Kilmeen are now bound for America where they will tread the boards in October. Make sure you see it here first!

Each performance is individually priced but for the hardcore theatre buff there is a special day ticket for all of the performances at €20.

For more information and booking please check out the Skibbereen Arts Festival website at www.skibbereenartsfesitival.com , or phone the box office at 087 126 0327 for ticket information.

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Mick Flannery and Martin Stephenson among musicians to perform at Skibbereen Arts Festival

Cork singer songwriter Mick Flannery, who has just released his fourth album, will perform his best known songs in the acoustic surrounds of Abbeystrewry Church, Skibbereen, on Saturday August 2nd.

Martin Stephenson will be playing in Baby Hannah’s Beer Garden on Thursday July 31st. The British musician, whose career spans over thirty years, has gained critical acclaim alongside his band ‘The Daintees’, and has a discography amounting to an impressive 40 albums.

Other music events to take place in the festival include ‘The Annual Canon Goodman Concert’, which will be held on Sunday 27th July. The concert which is held every year in recognition of influential Irish piper and music historian Canon James Goodman, will see musicians Liam O’Flynn, Paddy Glackin, and Alexander Suarez Mendez play their mastered instruments.

Uileann Pipe player Liam O’Flynn is seen as one of Ireland’s leading musicians. O’Flynn has played with the likes of Irish folk group, Planxty, whose members consist of Christy Moore and Andy Irvine, and the National Symphony Orchestra.

Paddy Glackin is Ireland’s leading fiddle player. The Dubliner was the first fiddle player in the traditional music group, The Bothy Band whose original line-up included Matt Molloy and Tony McMahon.

Cuban Galician Pipe player, Alexander Suarez Mendez will be playing along on The Sunday night. Alexander’s passion for uileann pipes began in 2011, after Gay McKeon from Na Píobairí Uileann held workshops in Havana.  The 23 year old musician now teaches the uileann pipes and tin whistle back in his home town.

A Sean Nós session will bring the craic agus ceol to the festival on Friday August 1st at Abbeystrewry Church with music from Nell Ní  Chróinín, Caoimhín Ó Feargahil and The Sean Gnóstics. The Vespertine Quintet are set to bring a flare of Chamber Music to the Festival on Friday August 1st, at Liss Ard. While four part acapella group, The Cork Sacred Harp singers are back to perform again this year at the Abbeystrewry Hall on Saturday August 2nd.

For more information on the festival, its events and bookings, please check out the Skibbereen Arts Festival website at www.skibbereenartsfestival.com, or for ticket information please call 087 126 0327.

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A night of traditional Sean Nós music at the Abbeystrewry Church, Skibbereen.

A night of traditional Irish song and dance is set to bring Skibbereen alive, with a Sean Nós session on Friday 1st August at 9pm. The session will be part of the Skibbereen Arts Festival which is holding events in a variety of locations around the town from the July 25th to August  2nd.

Singer Nell Ní Chróinín will be performing a number of traditional songs. The singer who hails from Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh  (Ballingeary),  is an award winning Sean Nós singer. In 2012, Ní Chróinín became the youngest ever winner of the ‘TG4’s Traditional Singer of The Year’ award. The singer has also won awards in the Oireachtas Ni Gaeilge competitions, and has appeared in television shows such as Anam an Amhrán, Geantraí and Cérbh í? Nell is currently teaching singing classes in Gaeilscoil Uí Drisceoil, Cork.

Musician Caoimhín Ó Fearghail, will be performing alongside Nell at Sean Nós. The Waterford native is also an award winning musician, having won a TG4 ‘Young Musician of the Year’ award. The young musician began learning the tin whistle at the age of eight, before learning how to play the uillean pipes. Ó Feargahail is also a self-taught flautist and guitarist. He has featured on award winning albums such as ‘Caitlin’ by Caitlin Ni Gabhann, and Edel Fox and Neil Byrne’s album ‘The Sunny Banks’.

West Cork group, ‘The Sean Gnóstics’, will also be in attendance to perform songs sung in Irish, but performed in a variety of styles. The group will perform a mixture of rock, reggae, folk and traditional songs.

Tickets for the event are available online at www.skibbereenartsfestival.com or from the box office on 087 1260327

Arts Council

Mental Health takes centre stage at Skibbereen Arts Festival

Mental health is a subject that has traditionally been brushed under the carpet. This makes it an issue that is stigmatised and not spoken about. This year’s Skibbereen Arts Festival wants to smash that stigma with programme of events and talks enabling openness and inclusivity whilst celebrating difference.

The festival kicks off with a free youth festival hosted by Skibb Smiles. Skibb Smiles is a youth group whose aim is to promote positive youth mental health and wellbeing. From 5pm at the O’Donovan Rossa Park there will be a host of acts including musicians, DJs, yoga enthusiasts and a few other surprises! There will be a barbeque with local produce, a silent disco and a performance by up and coming band, Independent Scouts.

‘Music Alive’ will host an ‘Open Door’ music session in the Skibbereen Farmers Market on Saturday July 26th from 11am. . Organised in partnership with West Cork Mental Health Services, ‘Open Door’ is an open trad session with a focus on creating a space for accessible music making and community participation.

On Sunday July 27th the Mad Pride Family Fun Day is being held in Skibbereen Playground. A free event for all the family, Mad Pride strives to promote better understanding of the issues surrounding mental health while engaging the community through active participation in a fun environment. The day will comprise Children’s Art and Craft Workshops, Puppet Shows, Clown Doctor, an artisan food market and live music by the Roaring Forties and many more.

Men Without Names is a collaboration between poets, actors, musicians and visual artists. On Monday July 28th in Abbeystrewry Church at 8pm, they will joining forces to explore the experience of Irish emigration to the UK in the 1950s.

‘Making Sense’ is panel discussion on ‘Why the Creative Arts play a Central Role in our Mental Health and Well-Being’. Chaired by Dr. Pat Bracken, consultant psychiatrist and Clinical Director of West Cork Mental Health Services, and Dylan Tighe, actor, musician and theatre-maker, the discussion will take place in the stately surrounds of Liss Ard House on Thursday July 31st at 3pm.

All events vary in ages and price. All activities are either free or cost from €5 – €8. For more information and bookings please check out the Skibbereen Arts Festival at http://www.skibbereenartsfestival.com/ or  to book by phone, call the Box Office on 087 1260327.

Martin Stone Exhibition

West Cork Crafts hosts new exhibition by local artist Martin Stone

West Cork Crafts in Townshend Street, Skibbereen is hosting a show of new work by well-known local artist Martin Stone. The show is now open from 11am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday (including the Arts Festival), and Martin will be in residence to demonstrate his painting style and talk about his work. All work is for sale, at significant reductions over normal gallery prices. During August, Martin will be joined by local watercolourist Peter Mabey, for a joint exhibition.

Adrian Brentnall, Secretary of West Cork Crafts – the popular arts and crafts co-operative, said ‘We’re delighted to host Martin’s exhibition again this year. West Cork Crafts is dedicated to promoting the work of local artists and craftspeople – and we currently feature some 18 individuals, with everything from Art to Woodcraft – and lots in-between. Because we work as a not-for-profit co-operative, we don’t charge any mark-up on anything we sell – so customers can purchase unique, locally-produced art & crafts at very affordable prices.”

Adrian continued – “We’re finding that more and more customers (visitors and locals alike) are wanting to buy gifts that have been hand-made in the local area, in preference to items manufactured overseas. We are lucky in West Cork to have such a vast array of local talent – and it seems pointless to import items, when higher-quality work is available from local artisans.

Although our shop currently has a full complement of artists and craftspeople, we’re always happy to talk to new people who might be interested in joining us later in the year – for full details of what we do and how we work – take a look at our website – www.westcorkcrafts.ie. West Cork Crafts is open at 61 Townshend Street, Skibbereen from Tuesday to Saturday – 10:30 to 5:30 – call in & prepare to be amazed!