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NEWS REVIEW 2018

January 5th, 2019 7:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

As part of the Ahakista August Festival, Graham Norton hosted the Annual Graham Norton Table Quiz. Special guest, Jennifer Barry (from the Young Offenders), also attended the festival. The proceeds of the hugely popular quiz went to the Ahakista Community Association.

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JULY 

EXTREME weather conditions threatened the Clonakilty Regional Water Supply Scheme. Irish Water confirmed that about 600,000 litres of water per day was being transported from a mains supply, adjacent to Skibbereen Fire Station, to Clonakilty to help fill the reservoirs on the Clonakilty Regional Water Supply Scheme. 

Skibbereen was gearing up for the opening of an exhibition of the world’s largest collection of famine related art, ‘Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger’ at the Uilinn: West Cork Arts Centre. The collec tion came from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

Ireland’s largest food festival, A Taste of West Cork launched in the historic Castle Freke near Rathbarry. Some of this year’s highlights included the visit of six chefs from the USA.

The future of Skibbereen Community Hospital was secured by an nvestment that will see the hospital complex extended by 436 sq m. The development will pave the way for the construction of eight single en-suite rooms and one three-bedded room, which will also be en-suite.

Kinsale went into pot in the hazy summer sunshine as gardaí discovered a cannabis plant growing in a flower bed outside the gourmet town’s popular tourist office one evening. Supt Brendan Fogarty of Bandon Garda Station said ‘it was a strange one’ alright.’

The flood relief works in Clonakilty was causing  consternation among Clonakilty traders. Complaints from them included huge traffic delays, the lack of a proper management plan and the lack of public representation on the project’s steering committee. Frustrated Chamber members set up a new group, Clonakilty Business Action Group (CBAG) to highlight their grievances with the works.

A major fire took place at the Palfab timber processing factory in Lissarda. Seven units from Cork County Fire Service and two units from Cork City Fire Service attended the scene and spent several hours tackling the blaze before it was brought under control.

On a visit to Drinagh, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the government would consider the introduction of a relief package for farmers for the winter, if the fodder crisis had not improved in the interim.

 

AUGUST

A CASTLETOWNBERE woman and her five children were left homeless by devastating fires in California. Zita Harrington, a single mum of six described the fire as ‘armageddon’ and said she was lucky to escape alive, along with her five children.

The construction of the Bandon River ‘fish pass’, said to be the biggest in Europe, was described as ‘butchery’ by one well-known environmentalist Dr William O’ Connor of Ecofact, while  many jokingly referred to it as ‘whale pass’ such was the enormity of the project.

Night-time restrictions were imposed at the start of the month on water consumers in Bantry due to the demand outstripping supply. Irish Water appealed to customers supplied by the Bantry scheme to make ‘every effort possible’ to conserve water, as water levels were ‘extremely’ low.

West Cork lost another post office when Desertserges Post Office near Enniskeane closed for the very last time. It was an emotional day for postmistress Hannie Crowley as she said goodbye to her customers, friends and neighbours. 

Highly toxic mercury was found at the Fastnet Rock – days after the newly installed LED bulb went live,  The Commissioners of Irish Lights went ahead with a plan to remove the iconic light, and replace it with a more modern LED bulb. However, soon after the new bulb was installed, there were reports of mercury in the vicinity of the famous light-house.

Bantry Bay was branded ‘heavily littered’ in the first nationwide survey of Ireland’s rivers, beaches and harbours. The An Taisce survey, on behalf of Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL), found heavy levels of cans, glass and plastic. 

levels of cans, glass and plastic bottles, bottle lids and tops in the water.

The inaugural West Cork Business and Tourism Awards – a new initiative designed to celebrate and recognise excellence is business and tourism were launched. The awards scheme was created by The Southern Star in partnership with Cork County Council and associate sponsor AIB. 

Figures released by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) showed that there are just 153 pubs left in the Cork South West constituency and that more pubs have closed in Cork county than anywhere else in Ireland since 2005. 

 

SEPTEMBER

WEST Cork accounted for half of county Cork’s post office closures in an announcement by An Post. Six of the 12 post offices marked for closure in the county were in West Cork including Ballineen, Allihies, Carrigadrohid and Drinagh, while Desertserges and Minane Bridge were also on the list but both had already closed.

Crosshaven RNLI had a call out with a difference when they attended a man bitten by a shark. Robert Malcomson from Co Down was bitten by a blue shark while angling off the south Cork coast and said he felt like he was ‘being cut by glass and sliced open.’ 

West Cork enjoyed one of its best tourism season in years with visitor numbers up by at least 10% in all areas. Tourism chiefs noted a significant hike in domestic visitors as well as those from North America. However, they said visitors from the UK were notably down, explained perhaps by a poor exchange rate caused by Brexit uncertainty.

Despite what they told RTÉ about being out on the town until 2am the night before their World Rowing Championship final, Gary and Paul O’Donovan were, in fact, safely tucked up in bed. That good night’s sleep certainly helped as the brother turned on the style to win gold in the men’s light-weight double sculls ‘A’ final in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Plans for major renovation of the West Cork railway bridge were unveiled which according to architect Barrie Stanley could offer the town of Skibbereen an eco-friendly facility to host exhibitions and other events. The plans include putting a glass skin and metallic roof on the landmark structure to protect it into the future.

Figures released showed that Cork and Kerry have a combined waiting list of 1,578 children overdue an assessment for a suspected disability – 40% of the country’s overall figure. 

The Baltimore-based chief executive of the new air ambulance service which had visited West Cork rejected claims that it will not meet international standards. John Kearney of the Irish Community Rapid Response (ICCR) charity rejected the claims that the new service needs to be doctor led.

A new mobile mental health service – designed to help West Cork people help themselves was launched in Drimoleague. The Wellbeing Network is an initiative by Cork and Kerry Community Healthcare and is a preventative approach rather than a medical one

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