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Skibbereen Comhaltas prepares for St. Louis Irish Arts visit!

Skibbereen Comhaltas are currently preparing for a visit this week by a group of fifty members of St Louis Irish Arts Comhaltas from Missouri, USA. This visit is one of Skibbereen’s largest 2013 Year of the Gathering events and is kindly supported by the Cork County Council Gathering Fund. The connection between the two groups was initiated in June 2007 when the two branches were officially twinned at a ceremony in the West Cork Hotel. In the intervening years a number of visits have been made by Skibbereen members to St Louis, but this is the third occasion since 2007 that the St Louis group has made a visit to Skibbereen, coinciding with the sixth anniversary of the twinning of both branches. This innovative partnership agreement has been recognised as the first international twinning of Comhaltas branches.

The St Louis group will arrive in Skibbereen on Monday, August 5th to the West Cork Hotel where they are being hosted courtesy of Skibbereen Comhaltas. That evening the membership of Skibbereen branch will join with the St Louis group for a welcome dinner and a session. On Tuesday, the group will visit SherkinIsland and Baltimore for the day. On Wednesday, the group will visit Lough Ine where they will experience kayaking and hill walking. The West Cork Hotel will be focus of attention on Wednesday night as the Skibbereen and St Louis groups present a spectacular joint concert. Many visiting dignitaries will be in attendance including Ard-Stiúrthóir of Comhaltas Senator Labhras Ó Murchú. The St Louis group are renowned in North America for their prowess in both music and step dancing, and it promises to be a wonderful night of traditional musical entertainment.  Doors will open at 8pm, and all are welcome. On Thursday, the group conclude their visit to Skibbereen with a visit to the Heritage Centre and shopping in Skibbereen before departing for the for the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Derry, hopefully leaving with many happy memories of Skibbereen.

 We invite you all to attend and be apart of this very special occasion



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Comhaltas Seisiún, 9pm every Wednesday night, July & Aug

Skibbereen Comhaltas summer Irish nights will return to the West Cork Hotel this summer on each Wednesday night starting on this coming Wednesday, July 10th at 9pm. Séisiún presents an authentic show of Irish traditional music, song, dance, stories and more, bringing our Irish cultural traditions to life. Each Seisiún show offers a unique audience experience for Irish locals and visitors – a real taste of our cultural talent. The first part of the night promises a show with depth but variety as the various aspects of Irish dancing, solo and group instrumental music and singing in both Irish and English are illustrated by the talented Skibbereen Séisiún group. The evening concludes with an informal session where we welcome our audiences to take to the floor for a Seige of Ennis or The Walls of Limerick. Join in a song or if you play an instrument please bring it along! Refreshments are served during the interval. Seisiún 2013 celebrates The Gathering and extend a special welcome to our overseas visitors and promise you an evening of traditional Irish entertainment and an opportunity for you to join in the night’s events.

Tickets are €10 for adults. Children are free when accompanied by an adult. €5 tickets are available when you dine in the hotel restaurant or bar before the show and to hotel guests. Group concessions also available.

For more information on the Skibbereen Seisiún show, Contact (028) 22739 or email

Cork Gathering

Rebel Passport launch roadshow in Skibbereen!

Rebel Passport Launch


You’re invited to the Rebel Passport Roadshow in Skibbereen

An opportunity for your business to be part of it!

Your business is invited to the Rebel Passport Roadshow as part of the preparation for Cork’s flagship Gathering, Cork Rebel Week. This is your chance to be part of the hugely acclaimed Rebel Passport initiative.

Date: Friday 28th June

Venue: The Rugby Club, Skibbereen

Time: 8.00pm

Presentation by Padraic O’Kane, on Cork Rebel Week and the workings of the Rebel Passport

During the Roadshow you’ll be given information on how your business, whether individual retail unit, shopping centre, restaurant, bar, hotel or venue can easily become a Rebel Passport Partner. Being an official partner will not cost you anything, however it will provide you with the platform to market your business to a highly attractive audience of local, national and international Rebel-Passport holders.

Don’t miss this opportunity to promote your business and be part of Cork Rebel Week.
For further information on Cork Rebel Week, including the Rebel Passport, please email us to

Further launch night information at

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The Annual Baltimore Fiddle Fair, 9th-12th May

For Schedule of events & ticket sales visit

‘ Hi there Fiddle Fair fans – we are delighted to announce the line-up for our 21st anniversary festival.
We hope you agree that its pretty special:

We kick off on Thursday 9th with a candlelit concert at Dún na Séad Castle with John Carty and Arty McGlynn – John performed at a couple of Fiddle Fair’s back in the bar days, once with the amazing group At The Racket and one very memorable concert with Arty in 2003. He is a truly gifted multi-instrumentalist and is accompanied by the living legend and Fiddle Fair ‘Hall of Famer’ Arty McGlynn.

On Friday at the Fiddle Fair Marquee we welcome back one of the world’s finest exponents of Old Time fiddle music, Bruce Molsky. Bruce played at Fiddle Fair 2007 and is another multi-instrumentalist,singer and one of the most sought-after fiddle teachers in the world of folk music.

Then we are thrilled to present one of the very first Irish shows by the new ‘Super Trio’ The Teetotallers, Martin Hayes, Kevin Crawford and especially John Doyle have performed at many Fiddle Fairs down the years and as you can imagine this new project of theirs is exceptional.

On Saturday at 1pm in Dún na Séad we present Cork fiddler Liam Flanagan with Limerick accordion maestro Derek Hickey. Liam is the fiddle player with one of our favourite Fiddle Fair bands, North Cregg and Derek has played accordion with some of the great names if traditional Irish music (He also played fiddle here last year).

Then we move to Glebe Gardens Amphitheatre for a double bill featuring the world premiere of John Doyle, Bruce Molsky and Casey Driessen and one of the most exciting young traditional acts in the country Reel It In’, 5 young guys who are proving that the future of the music is in very good hands.

On Saturday night at the marquee we present a double bill of GRAMMY nominees, first up is the astonishing talent that is Casey Driessen. We have been trying to bring this genius to the Fiddle Fair for many years and are incredibly excited to present the Irish Premier of Casey Driessen Singularity. Do not miss it!

And then we have the amazing Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole. Cedric is the leading light of the new generation of Cajun and Creole musicians out of Louisiana and is a remarkable talent – bring your dancing shoes.

On Sunday at Dún na Séad we present the fiddle duo Toner Quinn and Malachy Bourke. Fiddle duos are always a highlight of our festival and these two guys, based in County Galway play sweet sweet music.

Back up to the stunning Glebe Gardens then at 3pm for The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, Kevin Henderson form Shetland played at a couple of previous festivals, including the last ever Fiddle Fair gig in McCarthy’s with his band Fiddlers Bid. Along with Olav Luksengård Mjelva from Norway and Anders Hall from Sweden, they create a very special sound.

Then we present founder member of The Frames and currently The Swell Season, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, a gifted violinist who has been touring the world for the past 20 years yet is making his Fiddle Fair Debut.

To round off proceedings we go back to the Fiddle Fair Marquee for Una Palliser and Marco Hatlak. Una is originally from Cork and spent many summer holidays in Baltimore. In 2010 she played a memorable concert here with her Slovenian band The Balkan Bears, This time around she is accompanied by the supremely talented Marco Hatlak, founder member of the critically acclaimed Slovenian rock band Terrafolk.

Then to finish our festival we are really excited to present one of the worlds best bands, Capercaille. Scotland’s finest are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year and are making an all-too-rare Irish appearance. Featuring the amazing voice of Karen Matheson and stellar musicians Donald Shaw, Manus Lunny, Charlie McKerron, Ewen Vernal and Fiddle Fair King Michael McGoldrick, Capercaille have a reputation for innovation and excellence and have influenced countless other acts in Scotland and all over the world. As they celebrate 30 years in the business with a hectic schedule of concerts, we are honoured that the only Irish date is at the Baltimore Fiddle Fair. * Please note that Mike McGoldrick will not be here for this show (we can’t afford him these days:) but his very able deputy is exceptional piper and whistle player from County Tyrone, Jarlath Henderson.

We told you it was pretty special, hope to see you in May. ‘

‘PS – Thank you for the phenomenal response and support of the FiddleFair! You can further your support buy purchasing a full season pass for only €125 (a €25 savings!) and see ALL these incredible acts for one amazing price!’






Ballydehob Jazz Festival 2013, 3rd-6th May

The boutique festival in the back of beyond packing a bombastic artistic punch.

Since its inception in 2007, the Ballydehob Jazz Festival has grown in stature and standard due to its commitment to a first-rate and varied programme of events.  Over the years this off-beat little hamlet has hosted a string of extraordinary musicians and performers that include award-winners, child prodigies, Irish legends and pop stars such as Liane Carroll, Andreas Varady, Paddy Cole and Camille O’Sullivan, to name-drop but a few.  Each May Bank Holiday weekend sees over 40 performances that range from big name concerts to small workshops; from lively pub gigs to intimate side shows and a healthy dose of fringe attractions to compliment.

It is perhaps no wonder that such an amazing event emerged out of this improbable corner of the world.  Ballydehob in West Cork has long been a mecca for artists from all over, creating a unique community where the traditional and the alternative sit shoulder to shoulder at the pub counter.  In the same way,  this festival cozily combines lively swing and dance hall classics with smooth contemporary and hard hitting fusion jazz, culminating in a whole lot of world class talent couched in a pretty little country village.

This year the Ballydehob Jazz Festival will undoubtedly secure its position as an important part of Ireland’s music festival calendar.


This ambitious music event is run entirely by volunteers- an eclectic gang of music lovers and festival buffs who share a vision to promote the arts and entertain the masses.

For full programme & ticket sales information visit

Ballydehob Jazz Festival




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Drimoleague Feile Beag 2013, 3rd-6th May

It is a great honour to announce that Mr Steve Redmond, Oceans 7 Swimmer and West Cork Person of the Year, will perform the opening ceremony of the Féile Beag 2013.   

New Events on the programme this year include the Dawn Chorus Guided Walk, led by Lesley Lewis, along the River Ilen, to hear the first of the bird’s song. This event takes place at 4.30am on Saturday May4th, assemble at the Top of The Rock.  For those braving the early morning, refreshments will be served by members of the ICA after the walk. 

Another new event on the programme this year is ‘Drimoleague’s Got Talent’. The committee are delighted with this new event to the programme as children’s events are very much at the heart of Féile Beag.  This competition is an opportunity for local children to showcase their many talents.

Nominations for The Person/Club of the Year are available locally and completed forms can be returned to the Post Office.  We also wish to advise people to be vigilant over the weekend and check the clues on Mary John V’s window, as rumour has it there may be a ‘Fugitive’ at large. 

The 5K Run returns again this year, as it was hugely successful last year.  It takes place at the GAA Grounds on Monday May 6th at 6pm.  Walkers are also very welcome. Registration starts at 5pm in the dressing rooms and there will be an entry fee of €10.   Individual timing is available and refreshments will be served to the participants after the run. Prizes will be given to the first three men and three women to cross the finish line. There are also prizes for the first man and woman home in the following categories: Under 35, 40, 45, 50, 60 & 70, along with a special prize for the first local man and woman to complete the challenge. 

Other events to watch out for during the weekend are the Lord/Lady of The Rings in May Deans on the Friday night. Saturday’s features include GAA challenges for the kids and the mums.  The evening events include the €1000 Bingo in The Hall and  Rounders make a return to the programme on Monday night in the GAA pitch as part of the Féile Fun. 

The Sunday afternoon entertainment programme includes music and dancing with ‘Shavers Only’, on the Green. There will be an opportunity to enjoy the BBQ, Cartoon Characters, Balloon Modellers, Face Painters and William’s Fun Fair which is in town for the weekend.   A Circus Workshop will be provided by Boggle Entertainment during the afternoon, which will include balancing acts, uni cycle, juggling and other circus acts. 

Along with the Dawn Chorus Walk, The Drimoleague Heritage Walkways have organised two other walks over the weekend, in conjunction with the Féile Beag.

The Glanaclohy Loop Walk takes place on Saturday 4th May and the hill walk to Nowen Hill takes place on Monday 6th.  These walks are an integral part of the Féile Beag programme and are a great opportunity for people to discover the experience of Hill Walking.   

The Féile continues on Sunday with Vintage Cars, The Fun Fair, Children’s Fancy Dress, Duck Race, Children’s Arts & Craft Exhibition, BBQ, Shavers Only and Monster Children’s Entertainment on the Green, Fireworks and live music in the Drimoleague Inn with the Vendetta’s.  

The Féile Beag concludes on Monday with the Pitch & Putt, Hill Walking, Car Treasure Hunt, Long Shot Bowling, Féile Fun in the GAA Pitch including the 5K Run, Kiddies Fun Run, Bouncy Castle and Rounders.   Please check press for times and details of all events taking place over the weekend. 

Finally, the committee wishes to thank our kind sponsors and hard working team of helpers who continue to make the Féile Beag possible. Not forgetting all of you attending and participating over the weekend. We wish everybody a safe and enjoyable Féile Beag 2013.Feile Beag

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Skibb Theatre Society presents ‘The Hen Night Epiphany’

SKIBBEREEN THEATRE SOCIETY’S 2013 drama festival circuit production is ‘The Hen Night Epiphany’, the latest offering from Jimmy Murphy.

His previous hit plays include The Kings of the Kilburn High Road and Brothers of the Brush, both of which had all male casts. This is his first attempt at getting inside the female mind. As the play contains adult themes, it is not really suitable for children.

The Irish amateur premiere of The Hen Night Epiphany takes place this Friday night at Skibbereen Town Hall at 8pm. There will be further performances there on Sunday and Wednesday next, February 24th and 27th, and one more on Friday, March 1st, before they head off on the confined drama festival circuit.

Director Fachtna O’Driscoll stated this week: ‘We are indebted to Jimmy Murphy for giving Skibbereen Theatre Society the honour of being the first amateur group to perform his new play.’

In The Hen Night Epiphany, Una (Breda Herlihy), her two best friends (played by Sarah Murphy and Mary O’Driscoll), her mother-in-law to be (Hilda Hegarty) and her fiance’s godmother (Carmel O’Driscoll) gather for a hen night of sorts at the run-down cottage the couple plan to renovate. The booze flows, the jokes and slagging begin, but all get more than they bargain for with revelation after shocking revelation!

Tickets available at Thornhill Electrical.

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Skibbereen retailers are in for a welcome surprise this Spring

Funded and managed by the West Cork Enterprise Board. Retail guru James Burke will deliver the training programme on behalf of the Board along with visual merchandising expert Celine Cummins.

The West Cork Enterprise Board ran this programme in both Clonakilty and Bandon in 2012 and both programmes were a huge success with fantastic feedback from retailers. With a growing demand and need for such training from retailers in Skibbereen, the Board has allocated funding to run a Skibbereen programme.

Commencing in March, over a 4 month period, the intensive training programme will cover areas including: developing aggressive sales and growth strategies; strategic retail management; negotiation and developing world class customer service; visual merchandising and best display practice. Retailers will also receive an individual store audit and a visual merchandising audit.

Speaking about the course, Michael Hanley, CEO, West Cork Enterprise Board said, “We are delighted to be recruiting for this programme in Skibbereen town. We realise the needs of independent retailers and we are glad to be able to assist them. Without our local independent retailers our West Cork towns would be very different places. Our objective in running this programme is to give a new outlook to retailers and provide them with new tools which they can implement at a relatively low cost to their business over the coming months”.

Also speaking about the course, retail consultant James Burke said, “It was a great to work with the Bandon and Clonakilty retailers in 2012, which despite some tough times were still positive about their businesses. With overall retail sales in Ireland down by more than 4% for 2012 alone, it is imperative for retailers to plan ahead for their business in 2013. I am looking forward to working with the Skibbereen retailers and I am confident that each of them can increase their business by up to 5%, after partaking in the programme, by putting in to practice some effective techniques which they will learn on the programme”.  

 Secretary of the Skibbereen Chamber of Commerce Maeve McCarthy commented: “This is a great opportunity for retailers to benefit from an industry leading expert. When you are operating in stringent times it is so easy to focus on day to day operations. By completing a training course like this , it gives one an opportunity to step back from your business and view it in a holistic manner to see what steps are necessary to increase business and ultimately profits. The Skibbereen Chamber would encourage all retailing members to consider applying for this course”.  

Recruitment is now taking place for what is anticipated to be a heavily subscribed  course, interested applicants should complete an online application from the West Cork Enterprise Board’s website: or call 023-8834700.

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See Skibbereen at its best – TG4 this Sun, 3rd Feb at 7.15pm

Skibbereen is to feature on TG4 on Sunday night coming with a broadcast of the Famine documentary ‘The Great Irish Famine: Remember Skibbereen’ at 7.15pm. The film, made by award-winning local film-maker Pat Collins of Harvest Films, was commissioned by Skibbereen Heritage Centre and supported by the West Cork Development Partnership in honour of the 2009 National Famine Commemoration.

The documentary features interviews with local historians Gerald O’Brien and Philip O’Regan as well as Professor Joe Lee, Dr Larry Geary, Dr Marita Foster, Professor Mark McGowan and Gary White Deer.

The documentary examines how the Famine affected Skibbereen and the human aspect of this tragic period of Irish history. Launched in July 2009 on DVD, the documentary has sold all over the world and is now streamed by many overseas universities as part of their Irish Studies programmes.

Last broadcast on TG4 in 2010, it received very favourable reviews and there are now two further opportunities to see it on TG4; on Sunday night coming at 7.15 and it is repeated again the following Tuesday night, the 5th of February, at midnight.

For anyone who is interested in Irish history and the heritage of West Cork, this is must-see viewing.

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Skibb Gathering 2013 – calling all festival organisers!

We would like to produce a calendar of events to cover the full year of The Gathering, we need all festival/event organisers within Skibbereen & district to submit their festival/event name, dates & brief description for inclusion.  Contact details below.

As part of The Gathering 2013 all festivals & events being organised in Skibbereen & District are intending to incorporate an element of the traditional ‘Welcome Home Festival’ in some events to attract people to travel from far and wide to visit or wonderful part of the world.  We are looking for volunteers to support existing festival organisers with this venture.  Are you – a retired professional? Transition year student? or somebody who would just like to contribute some spare time to help out this community effort.  If you are interested please contact us.
Contact details: Email or Tel: 086 2388300.

Theatre Society’s Christmas Comedy – ‘Cupid Wore Skirts’

The play will also be staged on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, January 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

It features a nice mixture of experienced actors and some newcomers to the stage, including the town’s mayor, Karen Coakley. The story centres around when a widower advertises for a wife and finds the respondents are not quite what he imagined!

The cast of nine includes Niamh Woods as ‘Daphne’, Terri Kearney as Miss Stanfield, Siún Hurley as ‘Harriet’, Isobelle Kelly as ‘Ingrid’, Stephen Curran as ‘Ronnie’, Karen Coakley as ‘Gladys’, Donagh Long as ‘Grandpa’, Gearóid McCarthy as ‘Andrew’ and Micheál Hurley as ‘Brian’.

In this production we visit the home of Andrew Coulter, a widower who lives with his elderly father and teenage son, Brian. His married daughter, Daphne, comes in each day to take care of the men and ensure they are coping. When Daphne becomes pregnant she fears for her male relatives ability to cope.

Andrew’s sister in law is convinced they will not be able to manage and makes a wager that he couldn’t get a new wife within a fortnight. Andrew advertises for a wife in the forlorn hope that he will win the bet and obtain a solution to his problems.

The mayhem is heightened when three women accept Andrew’s ‘proposal’ and only a ‘clever device’ can get the hapless Andrew off the hook.

Blending the customary potpourri of author Sam Cree characters, the play races along to the inevitable conclusion but not before the audience is treated to a hilarious evening of comedy and mayhem.

Why not go along and enjoy a great night of entertainment.

Tickets will be available to book through Thornhill Bros Electrical, Skibbereen, telephone 028-22557, or at the venue on show night.