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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Hoe Hoe Hoe News from GIY Ireland By Michael Kelly

Hoe Hoe Hoe

I got a much overdue clean up done on the polytunnel last weekend. Like most people that own a tunnel I am a borderline obsessed with mine – it’s been such a good friend to me over the years, bringing table loads of food, particularly at times of the year when there’s little happening in the veg patch outside. So, I contemplate it, consider it, and generally fuss over it, far more than I should.

As I worked to clear the detritus of this year’s tomato and cucumber crops, I was debating yet another winter restructuring inside the tunnel – some years ago, I changed the layout so that I have one wide bed up the centre, two paths on the outside of that bed, and then two narrow beds up the outside of the tunnel. That’s brilliant to maximize the usable space in the tunnel since you can plant right up to the edge of the plastic on each side (as you are able to reach in from the paths). It also means that I can grow tall plants (like tomatoes, cucumbers and runner beans) in the middle bed because they are growing in the centre where there is the maximum height in the tunnel.

The downside is that the paths are in a location where the roof of the tunnel is starting to slope down and so the ‘headspace’ isn’t great. I have to bend my head to one side when walking in the tunnel which is not so bad if you’re just popping in to grab a handful of tomatoes, but, is downright uncomfortable if you’re spending longer in there doing some work.

So, I am contemplating going back to the original layout I had when I bought the tunnel first, with just one path up the centre and two wide beds on either side. That’s a big job, and will complicate my tomato growing arrangements (and if I can’t grow toms right, I don’t see much point in having a tunnel) but it will make working in the tunnel an awful lot easier. Obviously in the grand scheme of things, this is not a major decision, but in the microcosm of my veg growing world, it’s something to be mulled over.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015


Become a Census Enumerator

Save the date

Applications open on January 5th.

Enumerators will earn approximately €2,400 for the ten week period.
Applications open on 5th January 2016 and will stay open for three days
The census forms will be delivered and collected by the enumerators over a 10-week period starting 21 March 2016

Information on becoming a census enumerator / or Google -

Sunday April 24th 2016 is census night in Ireland and we need census enumerators to help make sure it runs as smoothly and successfully as ever. By acting as an enumerator we will need you to distribute the census forms in advance of April 24th and then return to collect them once the census has taken place. You will also be required to answer questions that people might have. Successful candidates should be available to work at different times of day and also at weekends in order to ensure that all forms are distributed and collected in person.

4,700 part-time Enumerators

  • When we need you: 21st March 2016 – 27th May
  • When you can apply: 5th January – 8th January 2016
  • Your hours will be: Flexible – Min of 22 hours/week – mainly evenings and weekends.
Note that the competition will close on 8th January or when applications reach 15,000 whichever is the earlier. The closing date may vary from region to region given the geographical dimension of the census.

Main duties

Visual Survey

Each enumerator will be given a record book and a map which will contain the dwellings in their area. The enumerator must carry out a visual survey of their area and verify the location of all the dwellings listed in their record book; they must also locate and mark on the map any dwellings not already listed.


You will be trained in all aspects of the job and be provided with all the materials you require to do the work, including a mobile phone, calling cards, a high-visibility jacket, a satchel etc.

Delivery Stage

A census form must be delivered to each household and establishment where people may be residing before census day. Every person present in the household on census night must be enumerated on a census form.

Collection Stage

The collection of the census forms begins the morning after census day to ensure collection from transient populations in hotels, guesthouses etc. Repeated call-backs to private dwellings are often necessary as householders may be absent at the time of the first call. The enumerator is required to check the census form for completeness at the doorstep and enquire further regarding any obvious omissions. The collection stage usually takes 3 – 4 weeks to complete.

Summarisation Stage

Following the collection stage, the enumerator must compile a population summary for their assigned area and return the census forms via his/her field supervisor.

An Enumerator must…

  • Follow all instructions issued by the CSO.
  • Be able to read maps.
  • Be capable of doing both vertical & cross tots (required for summarisation).
  • Keep accurate records of the time spent on and the progress of the fieldwork.


  • Delivery & collection of Census forms in local areas.
  • Work involves direct contact with public.
  • Requires tact, consideration & patience to win the confidence & co-operation of householders


Remuneration will be on a fee / allowance basis. Enumerators can expect to typically earn €2,400 on average, for their work during this 10 week period, made up as follows:
  • Weekly advance: €100 (paid in arrears)
  • Training allowance: €200
  • Fees per forms delivered/collected: Variable
  • Summarisation: €230
  • Terminal Bonus: €445
  • Home storage allowance: €140
  • Sunday and bank holiday work allowance: €210
  • Travel Allowance: Variable
Enumeration Area usually comprises about 400 households

Cork Recycling Centres Christmas Opening Schedule and Christmas Tree Recycling

Kanturk – Wednesday 23rd, Wednesday 30th & Sat 2nd January
Millstreet – Open Monday 21st December, Thursday 31st & Sat 2nd January
Mallow – Open Tuesday 22nd, Wednesday 30th & Sat 2nd January
Macroom – Open Monday 21st , Tuesday 22nd, Wednesday 23rd, Wednesday 30th, Thursday 31st & Sat 2nd January
Click here for full county sites opening hours.
All sites will close between 12.30pm to 1.30pm as normal and all sites will work their standard operating hours when open.
In addition, Xmas trees will be taken in all Civic Amenity Sites from Monday January 4th 2016 through to Saturday January 31st at no cost to the depositor – thereafter a €3 charge will apply.
This year, we have arranged for Xmas tree recycling to take place in North Cork on the following dates, times and locations. These trees will be accepted free of charge from the general public. The details  are as follows:-
* Mitchelstown – Council Yard on the Thursday 21st January 10am to 4pm
* Fermoy – Mart Car Park on the Tuesday 26th January 10am to 4pm
* Charleville – Council Car Park on the Wednesday 27th January 10am to 4pm.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Cork County Council seeks views of public in preparing new Local Area Plans

Cork County Council seeks views of public in preparing new Local Area Plans
Today, Mr. Tim Lucey, Chief Executive of Cork County Council & Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. John Paul O’ Shea announced that the Council is preparing new Local Area Plans for the towns and villages of the county and invited the public, community groups and other stakeholders to get involved in the plan making process by making a submission to the Council outlining their views on the future development of their local town or village, before the closing date of the 25 January, 2016.
Both Mr. Lucey & Mayor O’ Shea called on communities to get involved now, at the start of the plan making process, to help shape the future development of their area. “The Local Areas Plans set out the blueprint for how the towns and villages of the County will develop over the coming years in terms where new houses / businesses / shops / schools / parks or roads etc will be provided so this is the ideal time for people to get involved and share their views about what is needed in their area.”
In order to help the public and explain some of the issues involved, the Council has prepared a Preliminary Consultation Document for each Municipal District highlighting key issues to be considered.  Mayor O’ Shea said that “The Council would like to get feedback from the public on the issues raised in these documents and any other issues of interest”.
In announcing the preparation of these Plans Mr Lucey indicated that “Cork County is divided into eight Municipal Districts and a new Local Area Plan will be prepared for each District, giving eight plans in total. 
The Municipal Districts are Ballincollig-Carrigaline, Bandon-Kinsale, Blarney-Macroom, Cobh, East Cork, Fermoy, Kanturk-Mallow and West Cork.  Subject to enabling legislation, it is also the Council’s intention that the new Local Area Plans will replace the current Town Development Plans adopted by the former Town Councils of Cobh, Clonakilty, Fermoy, Kinsale, Macroom, Mallow, Midleton, Skibbereen and Youghal’.
Further information on the preparation of the new Local Area Plans is available at  The Preliminary Consultation Documents are available to view on the Council website or may be inspected (between 9.30 a.m. and 4.00p.m) at the Council Offices, Floor 1, County Hall, Cork and at Council Offices at Norton House, Skibbereen and at Annabella, in Mallow.  Documents are also available at Public Libraries. CD copies of the documents may be requested by phone (Tel: 021-4285900) or collected from the Planning Department, Floor 1, County Hall.

Submissions can be made on-line via following the instructions provided or in written format to the Senior Planner, Planning Policy Unit, Cork County Council, Floor 13, County Hall, Cork, T12R2NC.   The deadline for submissions is 4pm on 25 January, 2016.

Draft Local Area Plans are expected to be published in November 2016, at which point people will have a further opportunity to comment and make submissions on the specific proposals contained in the Draft Plan.    It is intended that the plans will be completed in July 2017.

Further information available from Planning Policy Unit, Cork County Council – 021 4285900.


Further to our recent item on WHATS HAPPENING WITH LEADER 2014-2020 IN COUNTY CORK 

We have been sent an update on  the current position on North Cork Leader 

The North Cork Local Development Strategy has been submitted.  
The North LEADER LAG (comprising a partnership between the North Cork LCDC and the three Local Development Companies operating in the area i.e Avondhu Blackwater Partnership ltd, IRD Duhallow ltd and Ballyhoura Development ltd),  submitted the North Cork Local Development Strategy in mid-October.  

Public consultation meetings and other information events were held in throughout North Cork during the Summer/Autumn which afforded communities the opportunity to contribute to the Strategy’s local objectives and priorities.  
The Strategy is now being assessed by the Evaluation Committee and it is envisaged that funding will be made available as soon as possible after the decision of the Committee, which is hoped will be in March 2016.  

The North Cork LEADER LAG will be in contact with community groups as soon as more information becomes available.

Also, additional information regarding the position in West Cork LCDC:

Submissions on the West Cork (LCDC) LEADER Local Development Strategy can be made online at

Killeagh Parish through the Ages” Great Gift for Christmas

New Book, “Killeagh Parish through the Ages” 2nd edition and folklore DVD  

Killeagh parish through the Ages”  is a comprehensive history of the parish over the last 300 years and features recorded data allowing families to trace their family trees as well as important historical and social events in the parish. Comprising over 500 pages the book has many photos and stories readers will find amusing.
The DVD entitled “Killeagh Parish Folklore Through The Ages” comprises a set of 3 DVDs. A  rich tapestry of parish folklore is traced from the early mesolithic era to the present exposing it’s colourful characters, culture and often amusing past as told by the parishioners. The cast comprises over 600 characters and  loads of pictures from which parishioners are sure to recognize family members, friends or acquaintances.
Following on from  the above the Killeagh Inch Historical group in conjunction with film producer Willie O’Mahony have have launched this December another DVD entitled. “Down Memory Lane, 80’s and 90’s and More
The DVD which lasts for more than one and a half hours is filled with snippets from concerts, plays, folksongs  and special social occasions illustrating the abundant talent for creativity and humour that existed in the past and still exists today in the parish. Local well-known theatre personalities like Mary Flavin Colbert and Mary Peddar Daly feature prominently as well as entertainers Ger Byrne and Patsy Irwin a reminder of those wonderful days in the past when communities used to gather in the parish halls for socials and dancing.
The time, effort and hours of work that has gone into this project over the years is immeasurable and parishioners are virtually guarenteed to recognise many of their relations and acquaintances from the past. It’s a record of Killeagh’s local history, comfort existing in the knowledge that our parents and grandparents laughed at the same scenes and gigs shown in the DVD.
The DVDs and book can be purchased rorm Londis in Killeagh main street for €12 and  would make wonderful presents for family minded parishioners, diaspora and those who have an interest in local history. Thanks go the Willie O’Mahony for all the hard work he put in.
Issued by Neville Dent
Killeagh Inch Historical Group

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Cork County Council approves first ever walks and trails policy for Cork County

Cork County Council approves first ever walks and trails policy for Cork County
Members of Cork County Council recently adopted Draft Trails for Tourism, a policy to maximise the economic benefit to the County which was drafted by members of the Tourism Strategic Policy Committee. Through the promotion of trails, the policy aims to support rural regeneration, economic development and tourism in a sustainable manner.  The policy supports the linking of trails with existing attractions (heritage, historic, commemorative) with a focus on achieving the greatest economic benefit from the utilisation of existing routes.
Working through a partnership approach with other agencies while also coordinating with a number of existing different organisations, avoiding duplication and sharing responsibility, the focus is on maximizing the economic benefits of trails for tourism through a cooperative and collaborative approach from all stakeholders.  Sharing information to assist the promotion of trails in conjunction with local community groups will be critical to success. Local community investment is key in this policy.
The policy gives priority to walking and cycling trails and highlights the benefits for a variety of groups.  For local people, the trails offer opportunities for outdoor physical activity and the associated benefits of same.  For rural communities, the trails can create opportunities to develop new and innovative rural tourism initiatives contributing to economic sustainability.  Trails can be a very important niche tourism product, extending the tourism season.  Trails also connect all of these end users and provide a forum for socialization and interaction.
It is intended to establish a County Trails Register which will build on the existing National Trails Office Register and detail not only the trails and their degree of difficulty but also associated amenities, such as places to stay, places to eat, visitor attractions, car parking, retail outlets, etc maximizing the economic benefits.   The crucial element is in encouraging interaction between the trails and its environs.
A directional sign along the Blackwater Way in North Cork

It is considered that Cork is lacking in the promotion of its trails.  The policy seeks to establish a single website that promotes walking and cycling for the entire County, a trail one stop shop.  This unified brand will unite agencies in the promotion and marketing of the the activities available.  Cork’s unique features, such as the vast coastal landscape, the proximity of city to country life together with linking into such initiatives as the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East are all products that can be built upon and attached to our trails.
It is intended to pilot the actions set out in the policy on seven existing trails, including Sheep’s Head Way, Carrigaline/Crosshaven, A section of the Blackwater Way, Clonakilty Area Cycling experience, Ballincollig Gunpowder Trails, Ballyhoura Mountain Bikes Trails and Sli Gaeltacht Mhuscrai.

Cork County Council to open State of the Art Incubation Kitchens in Carrigaline

Cork County Council to open State of the Art Incubation Kitchens in Carrigaline

Contract for new state of the art Incubation Kitchens awarded to leading food safety consultant.
Mary Daly of the Food Safety Company has been awarded the contract to manage Cork Counties newest food incubation facility in Carrigaline Co. Cork. The contract was signed at County Hall on Monday the 14th of December by Mary Daly in the presence of Mayor John Paul O’Shea, Cork County Council and Tim Lucey, Chief Executive.
Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. John Paul O' Shea signs the contract foe the new food incubation kitchen in Co Hall in the presence of Mary Daly, Food Safety Company and the Chief Executive of Cork County Council. Also included in the photo are staff from the Economic Development Unit of Cork County Council.
The state of the art facility in Carrigaline Co. Cork was developed by Cork County Council and includes the most modern and up to date kitchen equipment. The facility is geared towards assisting emerging and existing food ventures to start, grow and develop their business in a space that meets the highest food safety requirements. The kitchens will be available to rent on an hourly rate eliminating the usual significant financial commitment needed to rent a kitchen space.
Cork Incubation Kitchens location in Carrigaline makes it easily accessible to Cork city and the Munster region.
Mary Daly says, “We are truly excited to be part of this new business venture on behalf of Cork County Council. We look forward to supporting food businesses in order that they can test their strength; validate their business operation before they commit to a major investment. It is the perfect place to manufacture and test food products in a safe and compliant manner.”
Mayor of County Cork, John Paul O’Shea said, “I am delighted to welcome this venture by Cork County Council and Mary Daly of the Food Safety Company. These food incubation units will provide food businesses and start-ups with a modern and safe facility in which to prepare food. The renting system will also eliminate the overheads often attached to establishing a food grade kitchen.”
Tim Lucey, Chief Executive, confirmed that Cork County Council had committed very significant funding for the provision of two fully equipped food grade commercial kitchens to facilitate a wide range of food producers, with flexible and affordable letting arrangements. Mr Lucey was delighted to confirm the appointment of Mary Daly of the Food Safety Company, as the facilities operator, following a competitive procurement process and predicted that this would be a very successful venture.

Mizen Community Safety project

The Mizen Community Safety Project is a Mizen Initiative that will incorporate all interested voluntary groups in the Mizen Peninsula. All elements of the community will work together to make the Mizen Peninsula a better and safer place for young and old.
Twenty six percent of the population on the Mizen Peninsula are over the age of 65 and this is one of the highest concentrations in Ireland. The aim of this project is to educate the population and make the community a safe place for all residents.
In the New Year a limited number of tablets/PC’s will be made available for Skype and Facetime which will allow people to contact family abroad.
Farm safety is a very important part of this project. In the New Year the project will roll out a farm safety initiative in the local national schools. This will involve the distribution of child friendly farm safety books.
Crime awareness and education are pivotal to the project. The project will include the distribution of community advice booklets on home safety and a safety audit checklist. Nominated neighbour cards will provide advice on how to deal with bogus callers visiting your home. A limited number of door chains and application forms for smoke alarms will also be available.
In the New Year, a community based property marking scheme will be introduced by the committee. The purpose of this will be to educate the public on the importance of security marking their property and maintaining a record of same. This information is invaluable in the event of a theft and or an insurance claim.
The Mizen Community Safety Project is currently fundraising - your support would be much appreciated by buying a line or two for €2 per line. There is a 1st prize of €500, 2nd prize of €300 and €200 of vouchers for 3rd, plus other hampers and vouchers. The draw will take place on 27th December 2015 at 8.30pm in the Bunratty Inn. Cards are available locally - local shops and businesses, Ballydehob Post Office, Schull Credit Union and Goleen Post Office.
If you have any queries in relation to the project or would like to get involved please contact Tommy Jermyn 086-272-5506 (Goleen), Nellie Cotter 086-408-7097 (Schull) or Janet Robertson 087-769-2947 (Ballydehob) 


News From GIY Ireland

Hard to believe it’s mid-December already, and yet here we are with just weeks left in the growing year.  Things are relatively quiet in the vegetable patch – apart from preparing beds for next year (which is almost finished), there’s very little to be done. The weather certainly hasn’t helped to create any enthusiasm for GIYing. 
I heard a guy on the radio saying that November was the dullest, wettest and windiest for decades – that certainly seems to sum it up.  I find I am literally craving light at the moment.  If it continues at this pace we will run out of alphabet letters to name the storms before the winter is over (will they go back to A and start again??).   So, really the only work I have been doing in the veg patch is putting the black plastic covers back in place when they blow off in the storms (they always blow off in the storms). 
On the other hand, I am glad to report that in the polytunnel, the oriental greens that I sowed back in September are doing well.  I sowed mizuna, mibuna, red mustard, komatsuna, salad rocket, texel greens, tatsoi and claytonia in two separate sowings – one ‘broadcast’ or spread liberally in thick bands direct in to the soil and the other in module trays in the potting shed (and transplanted later).  The latter are much further along now, since they got a boost from the warmth of the potting shed before having to contend with the colder soil in the tunnel. 
I have started harvesting a little from them at this stage, but only a little.  That’s ok, because (a) we’re not big in to salads at this time of the year and (b) amazingly we still have some lettuce that we can harvest outside in the veg patch – particularly the super hardy red variety Matador which seems impervious to the attentions of frost. 
Outside in the veg patch, I am still harvesting carrots, parsnips, celeriac, leeks, beetroot and white turnips.  If the weather was better I would probably lift and store the beetroot and carrots but I just can’t be bothered.  We also have a good bank of the always-reliable hardy perpetual spinach. From stores we still have plenty of pumpkins, squashes, onions and garlic but our spud crop is almost done.  We will, alas and alack, be back to buying spuds before Christmas. 

Tuesday, 15 December 2015


Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme SICAP 
The aim of the Social Inclusion Activation Programme, SICAP, is to reduce poverty and promote social inclusion and equality through local, regional and national engagement and collaboration.
 Its vision is to improve the life chances and opportunities of those who are marginalised in society, living in poverty or in unemployment through community development approaches, targeted supports and inter agency collaboration, where the values of equality and inclusion are promoted and human rights are respected.
The SICAP Programme has three goals:
  1. To support and resource disadvantaged communities and marginalised target groups to engage with relevant local and national stakeholders in identifying and addressing social exclusion and equality issues.
  2. To support individuals and marginalised target groups experiencing educational disadvantage so they can participate fully, engage with and progress through life-long learning opportunities through the use of community development approaches.
  3. To engage with marginalised target groups/individuals and residents of disadvantaged communities who are unemployed but who do not fall within mainstream employment service provision, or who are referred to SICAP, to move them closer to the labour market and improve work readiness, and support them in accessing employment and self-employment and creating social enterprise opportunities.


LCDC                      Area                                               Programme Implementer 
North Cork            Kanturk, Newmarket & Millstreet               IRD Duhallow Ltd
North Cork            Charleville & Mitchelstown                         Ballyhoura Development Ltd
North Cork            Mallow & Fermoy                                      Avondhu Blackwater Partnership Ltd
South Cork            South & East Cork                                     SECAD Partnership Ltd
West Cork             West Cork district                                      West Cork Development Partnership Ltd
West Cork             Bandon & Kinsale                                      West Cork Development Partnership.Ltd
West Cork             West Cork Islands (7)                                Comhar na nOileán Teo.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Whats Happening with LEADER 2014-2020 in County Cork

There is some concern in rural communities about LEADER. There has been an embargo imposed on all LEADER project approvals nationally since last January.
Rural Communities are anxiously awaiting news about the 2014 -2020 LEADER Programme and they want to know when funding will start to flow for much needed projects.

WHAT IS the LEADER 2014-2020 Programme ?
LEADER is a community led approach to the delivery of rural development interventions supported by a Local Development Strategy (LDS) and implemented by interested groups of people at a local level called Local Action Groups (LAGs).
In this process members of rural communities are to be given an opportunity to participate in decision making at a local level through the formation of Local Action Groups and they also are given a say in the design and implementation of Local development strategies.
Through these strategies the LAGS determine the needs in a local area and make decisions on what types of investment are best suited to address those needs.

LEADER is jointly funded by the EU and the Irish Government. The LEADER element of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 will provide financial resources to address poverty reduction, social inclusion and economic development of rural areas over the 2014-2020 programme period.

The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government will administer the LEADER element of the Rural Development Programme for the 2014-2020.


  • Government policy has changed. 

Up to now rural development interventions in Ireland were implemented by 36 local development companies operating as LAG's. The total number of LAG's is to be reduced down to 28 .
LAG's are now  to be based on administrative or county boundaries .
In view of the size of the Cork County Council area (excluding the city) and the fact that there are three administrative areas within the County there will be three LAG areas for County Cork.

These are North Cork, South Cork and West Cork (See Map)
There are currently five local development companies operating in County Cork.  These are:
  • Avondhu/Blackwater Partnership Ltd 
  • Ballyhoura Development Ltd 
  • I.R.D. Duhallow 
  • South & East Cork Area Development Ltd.(
  • West Cork Development Partnership 
 These Local development companies  have been very successful in accessing funding from Europe and  say their model  is highly successful in the delivery of funds on the ground,  They say they have attained status in the EU which allowed them to negotiate additional funding and access other sources of funding. They also say that   the Irish local development companies are seen as a model for other countries in Europe.

  • The amount of money available to LAG's is also greatly reduced.

The LEADER elements of Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 will provide €250 million over the lifetime of the programme. Of this €220 million of this is to be distributed between the 28 LAG  areas.


The 2007 to 2014 Leader programme for Cork county was allocated €49 million, but this has been cut to less than €14 million  for the new programme, a cut of more than 72%. County Cork is to receive €13,938,823.22 to be divided up between North Cork, South Cork and West Cork.
North Cork is to receive just over  €5. million over the lifetime of the programme
South Cork is to receive  €3.8 million over the lifetime of the programme
West Cork to receive just over 5.million over the lifetime of the programme

Who will be the LAG's in County Cork for 2014 - 2020?

In accordance with new legislation Cork County Council has established three Local Community Development Committees LCDCs - in North, South and West Cork. There are 17 - 19 no. members per LCDC with a mix of Public Sector representatives and Private representatives. Private representatives have the majority in each case. (The private representatives also include members (usually the CEO) of the development companies working in the area.)  
All three LCDC's have applied to be the LAG for their respective area. West Cork Development Partnership (West Cork) has also applied to be the LAG for the West Cork Area.

How can community groups and individuals have a say?

South Cork

South Cork LEADER LAG is currently undertaking a comprehensive consultation process, carried out through a variety of media which will invite priority actions, innovative plans and ideas, strategies or observations to be submitted. This is your opportunity to contribute to the development of new Local Development Strategy for the coming LEADER programme.

West Cork
West Cork LCDC
Future Analytics Consulting Ltd has been appointed on behalf of the West Cork (LCDC) LEADER LAG applicant to carry out consultation in relation to the preparation of a Local Development Strategy for West Cork for the period 2015-2020.
Submissions on the West Cork (LCDC) LEADER Local Development Strategy can be made online at

North Cork 

West Cork Development Partnership LEADER LAG applicant is also engaged in a comprehensive consultation process throughout the region. This is being carried out through a variety of media, which will invite priority actions, innovative plans and ideas, strategies or observations to be submitted for consideration for inclusion in the proposed Local Development Strategy.Also, additional information regarding the position in West Cork LCDC:
The following is the current position:
The North Cork Local Development Strategy has been submitted.  The North LEADER LAG (comprising a partnership between the North Cork LCDC and the three Local Development Companies operating in the area i.e Avondhu Blackwater Partnership ltd, IRD Duhallow ltd and Ballyhoura Development ltd),  submitted the North Cork Local Development Strategy in mid-October.  Public consultation meetings and other information events were held in throughout North Cork during the Summer/Autumn which afforded communities the opportunity to contribute to the Strategy’s local objectives and priorities.  The Strategy is now being assessed by the Evaluation Committee and it is envisaged that funding will be made available as soon as possible after the decision of the Committee, which is hoped will be in March 2016.  The North Cork LEADER LAG will be in contact with community groups as soon as more information becomes available.

When will funds be available to local groups?
We are not sure when this will happen or how it will be organised. All three LAG areas are progressing at a different pace and we look forward to hearing from the LAGS as soon as possible as to where how and when community groups can access funding.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Muintir na Tire on Insurance for Flood hit areas

Insurance in Flood Areas

This week we are seeing  many communities drastically affected by coastal and river flooding. As well as the trauma of the initial damage, this has ongoing effects on householders and business people as they become unable to obtain affordable, or even any, insurance cover. The Office of Public Works has carried out extensive flood relief works in many affected areas, spending over €500 million to date with over €200 million committed to. Despite this huge investment of taxpayers’ money to rectify problems, people are still being refused insurance cover in those areas. For example people in Mallow and Fermoy are still being refused cover, despite completed flood relief works costing €57 million in those areas.
This policy of adverse selection is allowed under the current Memorandum of Understanding with the Insurance industry and does not reflect the reduced risk resulting from the huge state investment.
The OPW is currently nearing completion of the CFRAM (Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management) mapping project. The reason for this mapping is three fold:
• To comply with EU directives;
• to help plan for and alleviate flooding in communities; and
• to highlight areas which should not be built on or developed.
300 communities have been identified as threatened by flooding under this programme. As this data is available to insurance companies, we are concerned it will be used to discriminate against homes and businesses in these communities, denying them access to affordable, or perhaps any, insurance.
Other countries employ various risk equalisation policies to ensure buildings insurance is available to all. This can be achieved for example through a community rating scheme (as used for health insurance) or a central fund (as used for uninsured drivers).
We request the Minister firstly to replace the current Memorandum of Understanding with the Insurance industry to reflect the huge state investment and subsequent lowering of risk. We also suggest the use of flood data to support a policy of adverse selection be limited. This will help to ensure people can continue to live in their homes and businesses can continue to operate. Otherwise communities with a history, or even a slight future risk, of flooding face extinction. This has obvious implications for homelessness, economic decline, and infrastructure planning.
Summary Solutions:
• Replace the current Memorandum of Understanding with an agreement which ensures that once flood prevention schemes have been completed by the OPW to the international standard of 1:100 year event ALL property owners in these areas can avail of competitive insurance

Heritage Updates from Conor Nelligan

Hi All,

The County of Cork has a lot to be proud of from a heritage and commemorative perspective and a few upcoming events in the County Hall will undoubtedly interest a number of people. 

Heritage Churches of County Cork (a Cork County Council publication) will be launched on Wednesday 9th December by County Mayor Cllr. John Paul O’ Shea.

County Mayor Cllr. John Paul O’ Shea will also on Monday 14th launch the Cork County 2016 Centenary Commemorative Programme. 

On Thursday 10th December there is a talk in the Council Chamber looking at the commemorations held with regard to the 50th Anniversary of the Rising, and the County of Cork will also be in the spotlight on RTÉ 1 television on Sunday 20th December at 20:30.

It would be wonderful to see many of the County’s heritage groups and societies present at one or even a few of these events, all welcome.

Heritage Churches Cover

Date/Time Wednesday 9th December 2015 at 10:30am 

Event: Official Launch of Cork County Council's publication "Heritage Churches of County Cork" 

Location: Vertigo, Floor 17, County Hall, Cork

Additional Information: Cork County Council's Heritage Unit has recently completed a publication entitled "Heritage Churches of County Cork". The book contains a wealth of information on the heritage churches surrounding us in County Cork and forms the 3rd in the Heritage of County Cork Series, a series which was shortlisted in 2015 for the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards. The publication will be officially launched on Wednesday 9th December at 10:30 with the Mayor of the County Cllr. John Paul O' Shea and the Chief Executive Tim Lucey in attendance. All welcome on the day and copies of the book will be available for sale.

Event: "1966 Remembered" - An illustrated talk on the Commemorations of 1966 by David Foley, with reflections from others also involved 

Date/Time Thursday 10th December 2015 from 13:30 to 14:30 

 Location: Council Chamber, County Hall, Cork

Additional Information: The 50th Anniversary of the Easter Rising saw a number of events throughout the Country in 1966 both on the ground and through the medium of television. David Foley will give an insight into some of these commemorations and a number of members of local community groups who have commemorative events proposed for 2016 will recap on their experience of 1966, giving a local flavor to the talk. All are welcome to attend what should be a fascinating lecture.

Date/Time Monday 14th December 2015 at 15:30
Event: Official Launch of Cork County's 2016 Commemorative Centenary Programme Location: Vertigo, Floor 17, County Hall, Cork

Additional Information: Of the 1800 plus undertakings scheduled for 2016 by way of commemorating the centenary of 1916 across the country, over 300 take place in the County of Cork. The Programme features events and undertakings as proposed by over 100 groups and physical copies of the plan will be available at the launch and thereafter. The Programme will be launched by Mayor of Cork County Cllr. John Paul O' Shea and Cork County Council's Chief Executive Tim Lucey will also be in attendance. If you are interested in attending this event please send an email to

ON TV -Sunday 20th December 2015 at 20:30  RTÉ Programme entitled 'Ireland's Rising' with a focus on County Cork Location: RTÉ1 television

Additional Information: Ireland's Rising has been on air the last few Sundays. "The series, which marks the start of RTÉ One's 1916 programming, sees Anne Doyle, Ryan Tubridy, Jim McGuinness and Fiona Shaw travel to Wexford, Galway, Donegal and Cork respectively to learn about their county's circumstances in 1916 and to discover how each county is planning to commemorate the centenary". On Sunday 20th December at 20:30 on RTÉ1, the focus will be on Fiona Shaw and the County of Cork. It promises to be a most enjoyable programme.

Growing your own herbs- GIY Ireland

If ever there was a great starting point on the GIY journey then it is surely growing your own herbs.  They are relatively easy to grow and low maintenance and will save you lots of money from day one.  Many a meal can feel homegrown if there are a few fresh herbs from your garden sprinkled on top! Here’s a guide to growing the most popular herbs:

Annuals and Biennials:
Basil: Sow it in pots of compost in March and plant out in the polytunnel or greenhouse in June.  Pinch growing tips regularly to produce bushy rather than leggy plants.
Parsley: Sow seed in spring for summer crop and again in autumn to have over winter – but beware, germination is painfully slow, so you might want to buy a little plant instead.  It will grow well indoors or out.
Dill: Sow in April, about 20cm apart, direct in the soil.  Harvest the leaves as soon as they start to appear.

Rosemary: It likes a sunny spot in the garden and once it takes off you will have a serious crop – so much so that many people use it as a border or hedge.  Prune in spring to keep it in check.  Probably easiest to buy a small plant of rosemary to plant out in spring.
Thyme: Once you get a crop going, you will never need to buy again, so it’s a good investment to buy a sturdy little plant to put out in spring. Every three years or so divide the plants and re-plant.
Sage: A beautiful shrub with grey-green leaves and blue flowers. A single plant will be enough for most people – plant it in the spring in a well-drained spot and harvest regularly.
Mint: It has really strong, invasive roots, so be careful where you put it or better still, grow it in containers.  It will thrive in all but the worst of soils.
Chives: an attractive plant with lovely pink/purple flowers.  You can grow from seed in early spring and plant out in early summer; divide the plants every four years or so to reinvigorate.