SOS fund brings seasonal cheer to 12 organisations, thanks to €20k fund

December 17th, 2020 7:05 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Brendan McCarthy of Save Our Skibbereen presenting one of the cheques to Sandra Schmid and Henry of Hairy Henry. (Photo: Anne Minihane)

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A €20,000 fund has brought some early Christmas cheer to 12 West Cork organisations.

Save our Skibbereen (SOS) was in funds to the tune of €30,000, as part of its campaign to stop the construction of a plastics factory in the town.

Because the money was raised locally, through donations, SOS chairman Brendan McCarthy explained they decided to reinvest it back into the community.

Given that the organisation’s legal costs were refunded after they won their case, SOS still had €30,000 at its disposal – €10,000 of which will be allocated at a later date.

They went public and urged local charities, community groups, and those seeking to protect the environment, to submit applications for funding ranging from €500 to €5,000.

‘We received applications in excess of €50,000, so it was a huge challenge to select the final 12 recipients,’ said Brendan.

Those in receipt of funds include the West Cork Choral Singers; Wave Makers, who are looking to establish an arts hub in Skibbereen town centre; Sustainable Skibbereen, who are hoping to enhance the town centre car park with additional planting; Skibbereen Historical Society (for their poem project about the River Ilen); Bantry Bay Protect Our Native Kelp Forest,  and the Ocean Plastics Project, which is collecting and analysing plastics from the ocean with the assistance of students attending three secondary schools in West Cork.

Both the Baltimore and Skibbereen Tidy Towns committees have received an allocation for specific projects; the West Cork Kayaking Club has also received an allocation towards the cost of storage; and Growing Together in conjunction with 49 North Street were given financial support for their food production project in the grounds of Skibbereen Hospital.

Another project that received funding is the Baltimore Sea Memorial, which aims to honour those lost at sea; while Cycle Sense was given a grant to develop more safe cycling routes in the town. The Hairy Henry Care Farm in Ballylickey was also successful.

Earlier in the year, SOS made a contribution to The Skibbereen Geriatric Society’s Luncheon Club and Green Skibbereen, a new organisation seeking to establish a sustainable energy hub in Skibbereen.

‘At the end of a long road, and a particularly difficult year,’ Brendan said, ‘this has been a very positive thing to do. It’s not only a way of giving back to a range of voluntary and progressive organisations, it also shows the diverse projects that are happening in our community.’

He added: ‘It sends a positive message that people do care about the future of Skibbereen and its sustainable development.’

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