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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

West Cork Schools Gardens visited by Judges

Today was day three of the judging of our schools Garden Competition which promotes gardening in schools. The competition includes elements such as food production, biodiversity and upcycling as well as fun and play, Colour and Art.

 First up was a trip to to  St Patrick's Boys National School in Skibbereen who have developed a wonderful garden on what was once a grassy slope. Features include an amphitheatre, A geodome, a Sensory path and many more elements and every class takes part.

Next up was a trip to Rath NS near Baltimore where they have created a wonderful garden on an exposed site. New elements include some excellent local wildlife painted on recycled slates. They have also begun some work on a wildflower garden to attract butterflies and bees.

Next stop on this trip to west Cork was to the Mizen Peninsula and Scoil Naomh Mhuire. The children here were so friendly and welcoming as they described their garden and all its elements. New features include the addition of a water butt for rainwater harvesting and upgrades to the existing garden.

 Then it was onto Glandore National School who have made great strides forward from last year. Upcoming building work means they have concentrated on container gardening for this year. They have also erected some Bird Boxes that have already attracted nesting Blue Tits.

 Next it was on to the beautiful village of who Rosscarbery where the the pupils of Scoil Naomh Mhuire continue to get great satisfaction from their garden. The pupils here were very welcoming  and took us on a very informative tour of their Garden.
 Our final destination was Ballymoney NS in Enniskeane. The parents teachers and pupils of this school have made great progress in this their first year of gardening. The percussion wall made from recycled material is a novel and colourful addittion to the Garden.
Tomorrow we go to the beautiful Lee Valley area where we are expecting to see many more wonderful gardens

Cork Community Health Network


is an informal network is and is open to colleagues in community and voluntary sector organisations.

We take a very broad view of Community Health! – this is a network not just for Health Projects: you’ re very welcome to attend if you feel your organisation is contributing to  health and well-being. Please feel free to forward this who may be interested or to other community and voluntary organisations.

Date:             Tuesday, 13th June 2017
Time:             12.15 tea/coffee/light lunch: for 12.45 (sharp) Presentations

Hosted by:  Mayfield Community Arts & Newbury House, Mayfield
Venue:          Mayfield Community Arts Old Youghal Rd, Mayfield, Cork

RSVP     or phone: (021) 453 0434

Presentation 1              Arts and Inclusion  (Lisa & Rosella, Mayfield Arts/Newbury House)
Presentation 2              ‘Traveller Ethnicity  - what this means for us all?’  (Caroline, Liz and NoraTVG)
Presentation 3              To be confirmed

Discussion & Updates:                           
Annual Evaluation & Feedback

Looking forward to seeing you.


Jim Sheehan, SHEP.
Katherine Harford,  Young Knocknaheeny ABC Project
Siobhan O’Dowd, Ballyphehane Togher CDP
Deirdre Seery, The Sexual Health Centre

PechaKucha 20x20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images forward automatically and you talk along to the images. It comes from the Japanese term for the sound of conversation ("chit chat"). It's a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace

Jim Sheehan

Description: Description: Description: shep-40

The Social and Health Education Project
Village Centre, Station Road, Ballincollig, Co. Cork.
(021) 4666180

Monday, 29 May 2017

West Cork School Gardens Blooming Great

Today is the second day of the Cork School Garden Judging and the judges visited five schools from West Cork. First up was an early call to Ardfield National School who once had Sam Maguire as a pupil. The school has done great work since we were there last year. A new themed playground with a replica Galley Head Lighthouse at its centre makes this garden a very fun place for all its pupils.

Next up was a visit to Scoil na Buachaillí in Clonakilty where the boys were very knowledgeable about all aspects of their garden and gardening. They had lots of vegetables herbs and Flowers growing in various locations around the school.

Then it was on to Timoleague National School where they make great use of a limited space  to create a wonderful garden and where children learn to garden in school and grow at home. They also have strong links in the Community and have developed  a community Garden in conjunction with the local tidy towns group.

Bandon Town  was our next destination where we visited Scoil Naomh Phádraig where the boys have been working hard on improving their garden. New pathways and a seat made from a tree trunk are very impressive and really add to this garden. A bumble bee made from plastic bottles overlooks some very impressive raised beds.

Our final destination for the day was to Ballyheada National school who are new to the competition. The amount of work they have done in such short period of time amazing. Each class now has its own raised bed where they grow a variety of vegetables in their courtyard garden

Friday, 26 May 2017

School Garden Judging in North West Cork

Yes its that time of year again when the School Garden Judges visit the  various schools around to look at their garden and offer them some help and guidance. Yesterday was day one of judging and we went to the beautiful area of North West Cork to visit five schools during school hours.

First port of call was to Vicarstown National School. This is their first year in the competition and they have recently moved their garden to a new location. We received a great welcome from the school and they took us on a tour of their new Garden.

Then it was on to Scoil Chroí Iosa in Blarney where we met some very enthusiastic teachers and pupils who were very knowledgeable about their garden and gardening. Blarney are lucky to have a polytunnel which enables them to get plants started earlier in the year. Thanks again for the wonderful welcome at both the senior and junior schools. Next up was the short trip to Rathduff National School who despite lack of space and proposed building work had managed to grow onions, peas, lettuce and much more. The students were also very knowledgeable about the plants they had grown from seed.

Next we visited the town of Mallow and a visit to Gaelscoil Thomais Daibhis who have managed to create two beautiful gardens in two very small Courtyards. Again we met some great children who knew so much about gardening
Our final visit of the day took us to Banteer National School who were last years overall winners. Banteer are just crazy about bees this year and they have set about making their school more bee friendly and colorful. Well done to all the schools we visited in north west Cork and next up is a visit to West Cork next Monday and Tuesday.


Are you interested in actively building good relationships, having the skills to prevent conflicts escalating to damaging levels, and being able to resolve conflict positively?
 If your answer is YES, then Restorative Practices (RP) training is for you!
The Restorative Practice approach is to prevent serious problems by being consistent in building and maintaining relationships and in resolving conflicts easily and effectively when they do arise.  Since 2010, the Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) has been working to develop Tallaght West as  a restorative community.
An independent evaluation of CDI's Restorative Practice Programme from 2010 - 2012 found that it had been successful in improving people's ability to handle conflict; in reducing the occurrence of conflict (particularly workplace conflict), in increasing collaboration between agencies, in improving relationships between service providers and service users, between work colleagues and between family members, and in supporting people to become more willing to report crime and anti-social behaviour.  The report is available at

Getting Started with RP Training
The training session takes place over two mornings and provides an overview of RP, as well as practical tools for using a restorative approach in your daily life.  Getting Started with Restorative Practices is available at the following location:
Where?  Fermoy Resource Centre, McCurtain Street, Fermoy
When?  Wednesday 13th September
& Wednesday 20th September
Time?  9.30am - 1pm
This training course is being fully funded by the Fermoy Community Network.
Places are strictly limited and Priority will be given to those working in the Fermoy area.
If you are interested, please book your place before Friday 25th August 2017.

To book your place contact:
Brendan Scahill: 086 7871123 /
Jacinta McCormack: 085 8742320 /

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

News from GIY Ireland

Comfrey Tea

As I keep my eye on the lush growth of the tomato plants, my thoughts turn to feeding these hungry plants.  This is something that I will be doing every two weeks or so as soon as the plants start to produce fruit.  Rather than buying liquid feeds, for some years now I have been making my own organic version by soaking the leaves of the comfrey plant.  Comfrey is a perennial herb with big, broad hairy leaves that produce small purple flowers. It has long been used as a feed by organic gardeners, particularly the variety “Bocking 14”, named after the town of Bocking in Essex which was the original home of the organic gardening research association, Garden Organic.
Comfrey is a remarkably fast-growing plant and is one of nature’s great ‘miners’ – that is, it sends its roots deep in to the soil and brings up nutrients, most notably potassium, from deep in the subsoil. It is this nutrient in particular which will be of benefit to the tomato plants, and in fact all fruiting vegetables in the garden (for e.g. pumpkins, courgettes, squash etc).  The basic idea of making a comfrey tea is to harvest leaves and soak them in water for about a month.  This potassium-rich ‘tea’ is then applied as a feed to fruiting plants.  I use a shears and literally cut the plant down to about 2 inches from the surface of the soil. Use a pair of gloves, as the leaves are a little prickly. You can harvest mature comfrey plants 3-4 times each year.  It grows back quickly and can be cut again about a month later.
You should be able to source the plants from a good garden centre and then plant them out about 2ft apart.  They will tolerate a shady, even damp spot in the garden.  Mine are thriving in a corner of the garden behind the tunnel.  Keep the bed well watered until the plants get established and don’t harvest leaves from it in the first year.  Strangely, comfrey doesn’t seem to be able to mine the nitrogen very well that it needs for itself, being a fast-growing leafy plant (similar to a brassica).  I generally mulch the plants when they die back in the autumn with lawn clippings.
In addition to making a comfrey tea (see below) you can also add comfrey leaves to the compost heap where they will accelerate the de-composition of your heap and add potassium.  You can also use the leaves as a mulch, putting a layer of leaves around a plant where they will break down and release their nutrients more slowly.  I’ve heard of people putting comfrey leaves in a trench when planting potatoes and also planting comfrey underneath fruit trees as a companion plant. 
The Basics – Comfrey Tea
There are two ways to make a comfrey tea.  You can either make a concentrated tea that will have to be diluted, or a ready-to-use version.
  1. Concentrate — Harvest comfrey leaves and shove them in a bucket with a lid.  Weigh the leaves down with a brick or something else heavy.  Drill a hole in the base of the bucket and place a container underneath.  As the leaves rot down a black liquid will start to drip down from the bucket in to the container.  This is your comfrey feed.  Dilute one part comfrey liquid to 15 parts water.
  2. Ready to Use — Harvest your leaves and put them in a bucket.  Fill the bucket with water until the leaves are covered.  Cover with a lid and leave for 3-4 weeks.  This type of tea is ready to use without diluting.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Proposed Amendments to the 8 Municipal District Local Area Plans

Cork County Council has published the Proposed Amendments to the 8 Municipal District Local Area Plans today (Tuesday 2nd May 2017) and is inviting submissions from groups and individuals up to 4.30pm on Tuesday 30th May 2017.  

Full details of the proposed amendments and how to make a submission are available at 

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Pride in our Community Entry Form

Hi all please see below a Pride in Our Community Entry Form Which you can fill in and post or email back to us. Alternatively you can enter on line Here

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

News From SECAD

Dear all

Please see below information on SECAD’s next free Community Training session which will be held at Blarney Castle Hotel on Monday 29thMay.  Any volunteers or staff involved in local community groups are very welcome to attend, however, we ask that you register beforehand by contacting me on this email address or by phoning 021 4613432.  If your community group is interested in attending training closer to you, please contact me and we will endeavour to provide training at a location which is more convenient for you


Strengthening your
Local Community Group
·       Governance issues for community groups
·       Recruiting members and volunteers
·       Funding for community groups

Blarney Castle Hotel, Blarney
Monday 29th May 2017 7.30-9.30pm

To book a place or for further information please contact SECAD on 021 4613432 or

Kind regards

Nuala O’Connell
South & East Cork Area Development Ltd.,
Midleton Community Enterprise Centre,
Owennacurra Business Park,
Co. Cork.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2017 Closing Date May 19th

            Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2017

The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is an initiative under the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development, Realising our Rural Potential, and is part of a package of national and local support measures to rejuvenate rural towns and villages throughout Ireland.

The Town and Village Renewal Scheme for County Cork will be funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and will be administered through Cork County Council.

Selection of projects under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme for 2017 will be by means of a competitive process.

Expressions of Interest are now being sought for projects to be considered to be put forward for funding. There are 2 documents (listed below) relating to this scheme which can be accessed on the Cork County Council website

1.      T&V 2017 – Scheme Outline
2.      T&V 2017 - Expression of Interest Form  

The closing date for completed Expression of Interest forms is Friday May 19th 2017 @ 4pm and should be emailed to

Expressions of Interest forms received after this date and time will not be accepted. 

Pride in our Community Enter now before Closing date

Deputy County Mayor Frank O'Flynn Officially launches the Muintir na Tire Pride in our Community competition 2017 

Enter online at or contact 0214500688 and request a Brochure / entry form.

The Deputy Mayor of County Cork Councillor Frank O’Flynn launched the Pride in our Community Competition at the County Hall yesterday in front of a large crowd which included many County Councillors and representatives of Community groups from all over county Cork. The Pride in Our Community Competition is now celebrating its 13th year and continues to encourage communities to display the best of their area by developing sustainable amenities that benefit the entire community. The competition which is organised by Cork County Federation Muintir na Tire in conjunction with Cork County Council continues to go from strength to strength each year.
Back row LtoR Michael White Mitchelstown, Dr Mary Stack, Cllr Kevin Murphy, Louis Duffy Cork Co Co, Nuala Lynch Carrignavar, Finbarr Motherway Killeagh. Front L to R Sean Finn Mitchelstown, Sean Holland Ballymore, Deputy Mayor Frank O'Flynn, Mary Ryan Cork Co Co and Annette Lane Carrigtwohill.
Over the years, the competition has developed from a small idea to the very successful and popular competition that it is today with a prize fund of over €10,000, and over 50 groups are expected to take part again this year. Through this competition, Muintir na Tire recognises and acknowledges the hard work of all the community organisations involved around the County and this in turn supports the work of development work of Cork County Council. The competition also seeks to make people aware of their environment, to continue the overall development of their areas and to encourage litter free communities.

Deputy Mayor O’Flynn praised the competition and promised continued support from Cork County Council to the voluntary sector in County Cork and he congratulated last year’s overall winners Castlelyons Bridebridge. Deputising for Cork County Council CEO Mr Tim Lucey, Ms. Mary Ryan, Director of Services – Municipal District Operations & Rural Development praised Muintir na Tire for its commitment to rural development and also for their help with the Mayors awards. In a message to the launch, Mr Brendan Scahill Community Worker HSE Cork North said they were also delighted to be working closely with Muintir on many projects and he outlined the health benefits of some community projects.
County Council Officials and Staff at the Pride in our Community 2017 Launch
Mr Sean Holland Chairman of the organising committee was keen to point out that competition now has many new amenity categories including The special Youth Award for Youth groups is a new initiative to encourage young people to help out with improving and developing amenities. There is also a Small Village Award, a Best Large Town in Each Division, Best Heritage Project, Most Eco Friendly Project,
Social Inclusion Award, Best New Entry, Best Tourism Project, Best Maintained Existing Project, Healthy Town/Village Award and Innovation and Creativity.
Annette Lane Chairperson of Cork County Federation Muintir ná Tíre said amenities highlight the important link between our surroundings and our quality of life. She said these projects brighten up communities and enhance the natural beauty of the surroundings in which we live as well as attracting tourists.
She thanked the County council especially Louis Duffy and his staff at the Cork County Council Environment Directorate for providing support for the organising, judging and funding of the competition.
She said tha Muintir na Tire hopes to see all of our communities continue to support our work by partaking in the competition this year and we encourage all groups past and present to continue to develop their projects and ideas in the future. We really hope to see past groups coming back to work on projects in the future. Lisa Murphy County Council Co-ordinator said it was now easier than ever to enter the competition. She urged groups to enter online at
 or to contact 0214500688 and request a Brochure / entry form.

Full competition details and photos of Launch are available from Cork County Federation Muintir ná Tíre 8 Sidney Place, Wellington Road, Cork City
Tel: 021-4500688 Mobile 0872034876   Email:


Social and Health Education Project (SHEP)
Tuesday 30th May 11.30 am – 1.30 pm
Nano Nagle Place, Evergreen Street, Cork
Entry only from Evergreen Street (back of “South Pres”)
No entry from Douglas Street. On-street parking only

DONATIONS in aid of SHEP’s Partner in Nepal, Sahakarmi Samaj
Sahakarmi Samaj works to help marginalized people in Nepal to empower themselves and build a just and sustainable community. They need support.
If you can’t be there, donations accepted in SHEP office.

Thank you!
The SHEP Nepal Fund-raising Committee

Composting and Turning Waste Into Garden Gold. Griffins Garden Centre Sunday May 28th - 3pm

Hi all at Muintir na Tire

I would really appreciate it if you could forward this to any group or individual who may be interested . 
Griffins Garden Centre 
Sunday May 28th - 3pm 

In association with Cork County Council and National Composting Awareness , 
Learn all about Composting and Turning Waste Into Garden Gold.

Top tips to Composting and Recycling water for your garden. 
free demonstration, No booking Required

All attending will automatically enter a draw to win one of the compost bins and water butts. Sponsored By Cork County Council

Griffins Garden Centre Ltd.
Co. Cork
Tel: +353 (0)21 7334286
Fax: +353 (0)21 7334508

Vibrant Colour from Summer Fuchsia Plants

We all love The Fuchsia for strong colour  from now till late autumn 


Fuchsia ……Bells of Colour
We all love the bright colours of the beautiful wild fuchsia on the roadways in West Cork and Kerry. Bells of vibrant colour right through summer and autumn. Gardeners love planting the elegant summer fuchsia plants in their patio pot and hanging basket because of their vibrant long lasting display of colour. Making them one of Ireland favourites plants.

Fuchsia plants are one of the best plants to brighten up that dull corner. They thrive in both full sun and shade. Perfect for our summer this year. A hanging baskets or patio pot of Fuchsia will reward you till first frost (often this could mean flowering till late November).

Here are some of the best Patio Fuchsia plants

Fuchsia Amelie: this a beautiful vibrant proven winner
A frilly, light pink and intense purple double flowering Fuchsia. The foliage creates a neat bushy plant with flowers that appear all over in an explosion of colour.

Fuchsia Anna : A really big double flowering Fuchsia with red sepals and double white corollas.

The summer fuchsia love free draining soil and when we get a spell of dry weather, try not leave them dry out. A lot of these plants will come back if our winters are mild like the last few years, but you need to be patient. They are slow to show growth in the spring. We usually think they have not survived the winter, Leave them be and they can mushroom into the most beautiful healthy plant over a few days and thrive through out the summer again.

How are all your bee?  

Have you been keeping an eye on which plants the bees are attracted to in your school garden this summer?
Which plants do they like the most?
Are they using your bee bath in the warm summer weather we had last week.

Happy Gardening .  

Monday, 15 May 2017

Kanturk/Mallow Municipal District Towns & Villages Garden & Floral Display Competition 2017 – €4,400 in Prize Money

Kanturk/Mallow Municipal District Towns & Villages Garden & Floral Display Competition 2017 – €4,400 in Prize Money

Kanturk/Mallow Municipal District Towns & Villages Garden & Floral Display Competition 2017 – €4,400 in Prize Money
The very popular Kanturk/Mallow Municipal District Towns and Villages Garden and Floral Display Competition is back for 2017 with over €4,400 in prize money to be won.
The Kanturk/Mallow Municipal District have best in District prizes of €200 each for:
  • Best Housing Estate
  • Best Front Garden Display
  • Best Commercial Display
And in addition to the overall Best in District Prizes each town and village has the opportunity chance to win again in their own area.
Prize categories of for the Towns of Mallow, Millstreet, Kanturk, Newmarket and Buttevant
  • Best overall display in a housing estate, (in each town) €300
  • Best front garden display (in each town) €100
  • Best commercial floral display (in each town) €100
Villages in the district have been grouped by the three Engineering areas i.e Mallow/Buttevant, Kanturk/Newmarket and Millstreet with the following prize categories of €100 each:
  • Best Overall display in a housing estate in each engineering area €300
  • Best Front garden display in each engineering area €100
  • Best Commercial display in each engineering area €100
Entries cost €5.00 per entry and application forms are available at your local Cork County Council Area Office. All completed entry forms are to be returned to:
  • Millstreet: Carnegie Hall.
  • Kanturk: Kanturk Area Office,
  • Newmarket: Newmarket Area Office
  • Mallow: Municipal District Office, Annabella

Closing date is Friday, 16th June 2017. Details also available on
For queries, please contact 022 21123 or email