BY HELEN RIDDELL
A NEW purpose-built house for service users of CoAction in Beara, which was funded by a €250,000 donation from Castletownbere Fishermen’s Co-operative Society, has been officially opened for use.
The house on Tallon Road, Castletownbere, was opened last Friday at an event which was attended by service users of CoAction Beara, along with committee members and representatives of Castletownbere Fishermen’s Co-operative Society.
In 2018, the Castletownbere Fishermen’s Co-operative celebrated its 50th anniversary and decided to mark the occasion by investing in a new respite house for CoAction West Cork.
John Nolan, the co-operative’s managing director explained that the organisation wanted to mark the anniversary but by doing something which would give back to the local community.
‘To honour all our fishermen, managers, crews and staff when we met as a board and discussed how to celebrate 50 years. It was never about the glitz and glamour of a big party, it was always about the community and so we decided to purchase a house for CoAction,’ he said.
John stated that all felt it would honour all those who started the co-operative and the memory of those who have lost loved ones.
‘We as the co-operative and our community have faced great tragedies over the last 50 years. I think almost all families on the peninsula have had to face the loss of a loved one at sea, and sometimes with no body recovered to allow these families to grieve. From the Sea Flower and the St Gervais with all hands lost, to many individual drownings, there were people who gave their lives working for our community. To honour them all we felt to purchase a house for Co-Action would be a fitting tribute to them.’
Wayne O’Sullivan from CoAction West Cork thanked the Fishermen’s Co-operative for their generosity.
‘On behalf of everyone in the committee we give huge thanks to the fishermen and fishing families of Castletownbere. They are the cornerstone of our community and this is a huge act of charity and the gift is a testament of their generosity. The donation of a house is a first in Co Action West Cork. Thanks, too, to all past and present workers, and especially management of Castletownbere Fisherman’s Co-Operative who chose to benefit the people who attend CoAction Beara, and who worked so hard to make this come about, and also to Joe Power and family, who was also involved in the process.’
Wayne said on behalf of the committee they hoped the house would be used to its full potential.