News

NEWS REVIEW 2018

January 5th, 2019 11:55 AM

By Southern Star Team

Frank Mulrennan, president of Local Ireland with Dermot Griffin, chief executive, National Lottery and RTE's Marty Morrissey making the presentation to Anne Kelleher of The Southern Star which won the Best Local Advertisement at the National Lottery Local Ireland Media Awards in the Radisson Blu Hot

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APRIL

THIS month it was confirmed that there had been a spike in the number of sexual offences reported in the Cork West Garda Division over the past five years. Figures released by the Central Statistics Office showed a total of 77 sexual offences recorded in the Cork West Garda Division in 2017, an increase of almost 40% on the 2016 figure of 55. 

The story of how an Enniskeane man John Joe McCarthy used a black plastic bucket to catch a good glimpse of Pope John Paul II when he visited Ireland was reprised in The Southern Star in advance of the visit by Pope Francis.

By mid-April the fodder crisis had impacted all farmers in West Cork regardless of system and stocking rate. Agri advisors in the four local co-ops – Barryroe, Lisavaird, Bandon and Drinagh – were working around the clock to source emergency supplies from around the country as well as the UK where quality of feed is becoming an issue.

Plans to introduce a Leap Card, which would allow West Cork users a 30% savings compared to cash single fares, was announced this month. The higher than standard cost of travelling by bus in West Cork had previously been highlighted on The Southern Star’s front page by FG Senator Tim Lombard, who said that ‘annual figures of €3,100 to travel from the city to Bandon and €2,900 to Kinsale are just not sustainable.’

Two women, who gave pro-life talks at West Cork masses, ahead of next month’s referendum, were applauded by the congregations. However, others expressed their reservations saying that this was not the right environment or occasion for such emotive issue.

Two known and dangerous child sex offenders from Northern Ireland were sighted in West Cork. However, Garda Chief Supt Con Cadogan assured people that the gardaí had a good system is in place for the monitoring of people who are registered as sex offenders.

 

Saoirse Ronan, the star of Brooklyn and Ladybird, and her mother, Monica, come to West Cork in April for a break from her busy schedule. While they were here they enjoyed the delights of The Fish Kitchen in Bantry – one of Saoirse’s favourite restaurants in West Cork.

It was announced a low-flying survey plane will take to the skies over West Cork early next month as part of a national programme to examine the properties of our soil, rocks and water. The data collected will be used to create new geological maps to help government bodies make the best use of environmental, agricultural and natural resources and will be avail- able through the website gsi.ie after the survey is concluded.

A pint-sized Yorkshire terrier made headlines for having a hugely positive impact on the well-being of the residents at Skibbereen Community Hospital. ‘Buddy’ – who was orphaned at birth – has brought nothing but joy to everyone in the hospital.

A campaign to tackle rural isolation and the mental health problems it can cause, including suicide, got underway in West Cork thanks to Lisheens House, the suicide prevention centre. The ‘Friendly Phone Call’ service is aimed at those living in remote areas of the region who are suffering from a lack of human interaction.

A Kinsale woman and three Dubliners were remanded in custody after pleading guilty to drug offences following the discovery of an elaborate cocaine extraction laboratory in Bantry last year.

 

MAY

A JUDGE described as ‘extraordinary’ the fact that the majority of Castletownbere’s raw sewage is being pumped directly into the local harbour. Irish Water was fined €9,000 and was ordered to pay costs in three prosecutions brought by the Environmental Protection Agency. 

West Cork’s rural post offices were put under pressure to shut up shop after being offered an exit package by An Post, but Ballydehob’s Bridie Roycroft fought back with a well-supported public campaign and a redesign and refit of her shop.

 The true extent of the fodder crisis and the resulting financial stress for farmers was ramping up in May. ICSA rural development chairman, Seamus Sherlock, said the winter was the worst for farmers in his lifetime, and would have a knock-on effect for months.

A 25-year old woman, Molly Sloyan, from Abbey Court, Kinsale, who made headlines as a Daniel O’Donnell super fan, was jailed for seven years for her role in setting up an elaborate cocaine extraction laboratory in Bantry.

Concerns were expressed about the electoral boundaries shake-up and the impact it would have in West Cork. As part of the proposals, the West Cork Municipal District is to be divided into a Skibbereen Electoral Area and a Bantry Electoral Area, while Timoleague, Courtmacsherry and South Ring are to become part of the Bandon Kinsale Electoral Area.

A West Cork Independent TD rejected claims that he was a millionaire following the publication of the ‘Political Rich List,’ which estimated his worth at €1,040,622. Deputy Michael Collins dismissed the figures as ‘sensationalist’ and said his properties wouldn’t be worth half that amount.

Gardaí arrested 23 drug dealers in the greater West Cork area during the first four months of this year, according to a Cork County Joint Policing Committee report.

Gardaí in West Cork arrested 13 people for burglary, theft, fraud, drugs offences and drink driving, as well as having searched six premises and seized one vehicle as part of the Operation Thor Day of Action. The purpose of the operation was to prevent crime, disrupt criminal activity, apprehend criminals and to enhance community engagement.

An online poll conducted by The Southern Star indicated that the vast majority of the participants were in favour of re- pealing the 8th Amendment. A massive 83.9% of those who responded said they would be ‘Yes’ in the upcoming abortion referendum.

 

JUNE

THE following week those figures were borne out when Cork South West returned a massive Yes vote, reflecting the national trend, in the referendum on the 8th Amendment, with Sherkin Island having one of the highest Yes votes in the country, at 85%. Overall, the constituency voted 64.5% in favour of repeal, and 35.5% against repeal, which was generally in line with the national figure of 66/34. The sum of €4m was announced by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), for the Ballydehob to Bantry section of the N71.

The organisers of the Ring of Beara cycle have defended criticism from angry residents of Glengarriff who claimed that some of the 4,300 participants showed blatant disregard for the rules of the road and even urinated in a local graveyard, as well as leaving litter and bikes strewn about.

Traffic chaos of a different kind ground Clonakilty to a halt with 50-minute tailbacks of up to 50 minutes caused by a stop-go system governing the €10 million flood relief road works in the area known as The Waterfront. Anger also spilled over when it was announced that work on the road to Ring would see that artery closed completely to traffic for an eight-months period.

The 10th ‘cataract bus’ departed for Belfast in June bringing to 300 the number of people who were successfully treated for the sight-saving surgery.

 

In June it was clear that West Cork was experiencing a bumper year of world-class whale watching, leading to suggestions the region should be developed as a major wildlife tourism destination. Visitors on trips out of Baltimore and Union Hall are routinely being treated to unrivalled sightings of 10 to 11 humpback whales at a time, weighing up to 30,000kg and between 12-16m in length, as well as hundreds of dolphins. Dozens of Minke whales, harbour porpoises and fin whales completed the line-up of spectacular marine life.

 

Ireland’s first community air ambulance was announced following a contract signing ceremony with the UK-based company, Sloane Helicopters. Baltimore man John Kearney, CEO of Irish Community Rapid Response, said the service would be up and running by August.

 

Locals reacted with anger to a decision by Cork County Council to effectively close the hugely popular Barleycove beach to swimmers earlier this week, after it failed an E coli test. Local publican, Dermot O’Sullivan, ridiculed the Council for issuing the notice claiming that there was no way a few E coil could undermine the Atlantic Ocean.

 

A blaze which broke out at the Ilen Seafoods processing factory near Baltimore on Wednesday morning resulted in a local national school being evacuated. From 10am until lunchtime, there were six West Cork fire crews – two each from Skibbereen, Bantry and Schull fire stations – tackling the fire that sent huge clouds of black smoke streaming across the hill towards Rath National School, where pupils were evacuated due to the potential danger from smoke inhalation and fumes.

By lunchtime the situation was deemed so serious that the crew of 20 were joined at the factory complex by crews from Mallow, Midleton and Ballincollig, but by the end of the day they had brought the situation under control.

 

As West Cork sizzled in the heatwave this June, fire chiefs issued warnings that even discarded glass bottle could present a fire hazard. It was a week that saw a fire break out was near Inchydoney and at Ceim Hill, overlooking Castletownshend harbour.

 

For the second year in a row, West Cork has provided the county mayor. Bantry-based Fianna Fáil Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy followed in the footsteps of Dunmanway’s Declan Hurley, when he was elected at the end of June.

of Glengarriff who claimed that some of the 4,300 participants showed blatant disregard for the rules of the road and even urinated in a local graveyard, as well as leaving litter and bikes strewn about.

Traffic chaos of a different kind ground Clonakilty to a halt with 50-minute tailbacks of up to 50 minutes caused by a stop-go system governing the €10 million flood relief road works in the area known as The Waterfront. Anger also spilled over when it was announced that work on the road to Ring would see that artery closed completely to traffic for an eight-months period.

The 10th ‘cataract bus’ departed for Belfast in June bringing to 300 the number of people who were successfully treated for the sight-saving surgery.

In June it was clear that West Cork was experiencing a bumper year of world-class whale watching, leading to suggestions the region should be developed as a major wildlife tourism destination. Visitors on trips out of Baltimore and Union Hall are routinely being treated to unrivalled sightings of 10 to 11 humpback whales at a time, weighing up to 30,000kg and between 12-16m in length, as well as hundreds of dolphins. Dozens of Minke whales, harbour porpoises and fin whales completed the line-up of spectacular marine life.

Ireland’s first community air ambulance was announced following a contract signing ceremony with the UK-based company, Sloane Helicopters. Baltimore man John Kearn ey, CEO of Irish Community Rapid Response, said the service would be up and running by August.

Locals reacted with anger to a decision by Cork County Council to effectively close the hugely popular Barleycove beach to swimmers earlier this week, after it failed an E coli test. Local publican, Dermot O’Sullivan, ridiculed the Council for issuing the notice claiming that there was no way a few E coli ould undermine the Atlantic Ocean.

A blaze which broke out at the Ilen Seafoods processing factory near Baltimore resulted in a local national school being evacuated. From 10am until lunchtime, there were six West Cork fire crews – two each from Skibbereen, Bantry and Schull fire stations – tackling the fire that sent huge clouds of black smoke streaming across the hill towards Rath National School, where pupils were evacuated due to the potential danger from smoke inhalation and fumes.

By lunchtime the situation was deemed so serious that the crew of 20 were joined at the factory complex by crews from Mallow, Midleton and Ballincollig, but by the end of the day they had brought the situation under control.

As West Cork sizzled in the heatwave this June, fire chiefs issued warnings that even discarded glass bottle could present a fire hazard. It was a week that saw a fire break out was near Inchydoney and at Ceim Hill, overlooking Castletownshend harbour.

For the second year in a row, West Cork has provided the county mayor. Bantry-based Fianna Fáil Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy followed in the footsteps of Dunmanway’s Declan Hurley, when he was elected at the end of June.

 

 

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