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Saturday, 31 March 2018


The Water Systems and Services Innovation Centre (WSSIC) at the Nimbus Research Centre in Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) is undertaking a project on the role of water reuse in Ireland in the context of the circular economy. One key aspect of the project is to conduct a national survey to assess public opinion regarding the potential for reuse of treated wastewater in Ireland.
Water is a valuable resource. Delivering clean water to households, offices, and industries, and treating it afterwards, is energy and cost intensive. Due to water scarcity and to avoid waste, many countries have adopted measures to reuse treated wastewater for applications like agricultural irrigation and street cleaning, or for household uses like toilet flushing and gardening. To date, Ireland has no such water reuse projects.
Who should take part?
This is a national public survey and we would like to invite you to participate.
The survey is web-based, and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. It asks about your awareness of, and attitudes towards, Water Reuse.
We would also be grateful if you could distribute the survey link to your network, friends and family. We want to gather as many responses as possible, and we will be publicising the survey intensively over the next 2 weeks.
How to take part?
To take the survey please follow the link

Survey participants will be in with a chance to win a luxury break at the 5* Cliff House Hotel.
The survey will be open until Saturday 31st March.

More information on the survey can be found at:

Thank you for participating in this national survey.

Kind regards,
The WSSIC Team

Dr Eoin Byrne
Water Systems & Services Innovation Centre,
Nimbus Centre, Cork Institute of Technology
Bishopstown, Cork, Ireland.

Work: +21 4335190
Mobile: +353 86 0719451 

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Tomatoes need a bit of TLC but they are so worth it.

GIY Weekly Column March 24th 2018

I’ve been taking some steps to sort out the big polytunnel and get it ready for the season ahead.  Regular readers might recall that two years ago we got a new, larger polytunnel to go in the field beside our house to supplement the smaller tunnel we have in the garden.  The acquisition of a commercial tunnel was ostensibly to satisfy my tomato growing fetish which is an increasingly alarming part of my overall growing obsession.
Last year I grew around 75 tomato plants there, but like most growers I was battling the twin evils of too much work and not enough time. Such problems are compounded considerably when you have a massive commercial polytunnel filled with tomato plants. We struggled with weeding and watering all season long (though I did seem to stay on top of the harvesting and sauce-making).  Thankfully we had some help from intrepid neighbours John and Bridget, who helped with watering and side-shooting duties in exchange for regular stashes of tomatoes, French beans and fresh eggs.
I have a cunning plan to try to reduce the workload somewhat for the season ahead.  Firstly, I am going to grow the tomato plants through Mypex (a tough weed control membrane that suppresses the growth of weeds by blocking the light but still allows water and nutrients to reach plants) which should eliminate the weed problem. 
Secondly, I am going to invest in a proper seep-hose watering system so that I don’t have to water each plant.  Tomatoes are thirsty plants requiring up to 11 litres of water per week (per plant).  Typically, I’ve done that watering every other day (a few litres to each plant), which is obviously tremendously time-consuming.  At HQ our Head Grower Richard turns on the seep hose system once a week instead.  This being Richard, he’s worked out how long it takes to deliver around 11 litres to each plant with the seep hose – it’s about 2 hours. 
Before I lay down the Mypex I have to sort out the fertility in the soil, adding some dried seaweed and poultry manure pellets to ensure the tomatoes have enough feed to see them through their 6 months in the soil.  Apart from an occasional comfrey tea feed during the summer, they shouldn’t require any other feeding. The dried seaweed and poultry pellets will be sprinkled on the surface, and raked in, before laying the seep hose and the Mypex on top.  Thankfully I have some time still to get this job done – the tomato plants were only sown in mid Feb and are still growing in the toasty warmth of the potting shed.  They will not be going out in to the polytunnel until May at the earliest.
I’ve also been sorting some other issues over the last few weeks.  I had a few tears in the plastic to fix (with an adhesive polytunnel tape – available from most good polytunnel suppliers) and a new door to put on (the old one blew off in storm Ophelia).  I also got a trench dug around the tunnel to fix a drainage problem due to really poor soil – after heavy rain the paths inside the tunnel would fill up with water.  I was always torn between feeling this was a terrible thing, and perhaps a good thing in terms of reducing the amount of watering needed!  All the work will be worth it when the first tomatoes start to make their way to the kitchen in around mid July..  It better be..
Things to Do This Week – Transplant Tomatoes
If you sowed tomatoes in pots in February they should have germinated and be ready to move on by now.  Though you can sow tomato seeds directly in to module trays, if I have the time I will generally start them off in pots (10 seeds to a 9cm pot) and then transplant them in to module trays about a month later.  The point of this is to effectively reset the clock on the soil fertility, bearing in mind that most potting compost only has 6-8 weeks of fertility in it. 
The best time to transplant a tomato seedling is just a few weeks after it has germinated, when it’s large enough to handle, but before the roots of the seedlings have started to tangle up in each other.  Half fill a module tray with potting compost.  Hold the seedling by the leaf, being careful not to touch or damage the root to stem, and ease it out of the pot from underneath using a plant label.  Pop the seedling in to a module in the module tray and then carefully add more compost around it, firming it in gently.  Don’t forget to label the module so you know what variety is in it.  Give it a gentle watering and leave it somewhere warm and sunny (a sunny windowsill indoors or a heated propagation bench).

Closing Date for Entries to Cork School Garden Competition is Friday 13th April

Cork School Gardens

It takes just two minutes to enter.

Closing Date for Entries Friday 13th April

Closing Date for Entries Friday 13th April

AIMS of the Competition

The aim of the 'Cork Schools Competition' is to support pupils, teachers in 
County Cork to bring nature, wildlife, plants and colour into their school garden/grounds,
to promote horticulture and biodiversity and to give students a chance to interact with 
the environment and nature in a positive way.

Climate Change and Gardening

Special Awards for the following elements

Up-Cycling Upcycling in the garden helps lessen the amount of waste going into landfills.
 Upcycling helps reduce CO2 emissions by using old materials instead of new ones. 
Schools are encouraged to rethink, repair, refurbish along with reusing & recycling items. 
E.g. Fairy Houses made from recycled materials, but don’t damage trees.

Food Production Being able to grow food without pesticides and eat it straight from the
 garden is superior in every way to produce that is pumped full of additives, packed to 
prevent it deteriorating, transported and then sold as ‘fresh’. Schools are asked to grow 
in raised beds and containers, Plant Fruit Trees, Fruit Bushes, Practice Rotation, 
Weeding, Labelling, Use of Composting, Rain Water Harvesting, Wormeries etc.

Biodiversity/Wildlife/ Native Flowers and Plants. It is now widely recognized that climate 
change and biodiversity are interconnected. Biodiversity is affected by climate change,
 with negative consequences for human well-being, but biodiversity, through the 
ecosystem services it supports, also makes an important contribution to both 
climate-change mitigation and adaptation. We are looking for Natural hedges,
 log piles, bird boxes, bird tables, wildflower meadows, nature trails,
 use of native flora, organic manures and natural pest control.

Bee Friendly Garden. Loss of natural and semi-natural habitats has been a key driver
 in pollinator declines. The availability of food plants and nesting sites has been 
drastically reduced through conversion of low-intensity farmland and semi-natural 
land to intensive farmland, forestry and urban/industrial use. Griffins Garden Centre 
will again be presenting a special award for the school which is most bee friendly 
 and encourages pollination

We are also looking for Gardens that include

Art and colour Using art and Colour in the garden to enhance its features and 
characteristics . Try using upcycled .materials

Imaginative use of limited space. For schools with very limited space ie. Small 
Courtyards, Limited Soil Space, Use of Tubs, Containers, Window Boxes, Paths, 
Borders, Walls etc.

Innovation and Creativity In recognition of the Creative Ireland Programme, 
this category encourages innovative garden elements, using new and unique 
features to inspire others

Fun and Play The degree to which the garden contributes to

opportunities for fun and play in the school

Learning experience The degree to which the garden is used as a learning tool 
within the school and the amount of children who participate.

Planning and Community Involvement The degree to which the wider community
 support the original design, construction and ongoing development of the school garden.

Use of Irish Language in Garden (New)

In recognition of 2018 being Bliain NA Gaeilge we are introducing a special
 element this year for the use of Irish of the garden . For example tree names in 
Irish, labelling and other signage in Irish..

The competition is open to all primary schools in Cork County Council administrative
 area who have a school garden or are in the process of developing one.
The school decides on the participants for the competition, this will consist 
of pupils and adults. The pupils can be members of one class or representatives 
from a few classes. The adults may be teachers, school gardener or parents).
The judges will include a horticulturist, an Environmental Awareness Officer,
 Heritage Officer and a member of Cork County Federation Muintir na Tíre.

PowerPoint Presentation

All schools must complete an entry form before Friday April 1th 2018 and submit a
PowerPoint Presentation before
the end of 5pm Friday 18th May 2018 in which they tell us what have done in their 

Submit Your Powerpoint Here

The PowerPoint presentation should describe your garden and what you do in it

Please note PowerPoints must be limited to TEN slides and should include lots of 
photographs. Please do not include animations or music.

Closing Date for submission of PowerPoint presentation is 5pm Friday 18th May 2018


All schools who confirm entry to the competition will be visited by members of the Judging Panel in Late May or Early June 2018.

The Judges will include a Horticulturist, experts in Environmental Awareness and Biodiversity and members of Muintir na Tire.

The Judges decision is Final.


All Schools who enter will be invited

To the Awards Ceremony at Cork County Hall in June 2018

Traveller Culture Awareness Training (TCT) for the Fermoy/Mitchelstown area.

Fermoy Community Network, as a Random Act of Kindness, during their Friendship Week, which runs from the 16th to the 21st April, have very kindly offered to fund a Traveller Culture Awareness Training (TCT)  for the Services in the Fermoy/Mitchelstown area.

 I am coordinating this training on behalf of the Network .The training in free and all participants have to do is to turn up on the morning of the 19th April.

If anyone wishes to participate they need to register with me, my contact details are at bottom of Email or they can ring Traveller of North Cork Office, Doneraile : 022-71035

I would be very grateful if you would circulate this message to your Networks in the Fermoy/Mitchelstown areas or mention it to any of your Office staff/Volunteers.

Please contact me if you have any further queries.

Thank you in anticipation of your help in this matter.

Kind Regards,


Pauline O'Grady-Noonan | Travellers North Cork(TNC) | Community Health Development Worker | Riverside, Doneraile, Cork, Ireland |
M: +353(0) 691 2440 T: 022 71035/022 71032

Health & Well Being Information Talks Fermoy

Good afternoon all

This Thursday 29th March - the next topic in our FREE monthly series of Health & Well Being Information talks will be given by Amy Murphy, North Cork Dementia Adviser with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland.  

Amy will be telling us about her role within the community and she will provide information on accessing local groups and support services.  Amy will also bring along a copy of Feathers in my Brain - a children's book created by The Crystal Project in Mallow.

The talk will take place on Thursday 29th March from 11am - 12noon in the HSE Saint Francis Day Centre, Rathealy Road, Fermoy, Co Cork.

Information flyer attached and if you require any further information about these monthly talks please contact Jacinta McCormack, Community Health Worker on 085 8742320

Feel free to circulate with colleague and network contact.

Kind regards

Monday, 26 March 2018

Open day for Tidy town Groups and Residential Associations

Enjoy presentations and inspirational demos, full of planting combinations,easy gardening techniques and practical advice that you can adapt to suit your town, village or estate. 

We would like to invite 2 members from each Club to either a morning or afternoon event.

 For details or To Book your FREE tickets for your Group, Email: or Ring Miriam on (021) 7334286
Morning Event :Registration at 10:30am... Event: 11 - 1pm

Afternoon Event: Registration at 2:00pm ...Event: 2:30 - 4:30pm

Very limited Tickets So Book Early

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Anam Cara West Cork Parent Evening Tue April 3rd 19:30 Maritime Hotel, Bantry

Anam Cara West Cork, the organisation that supports bereaved parents in your community, will hold its monthly parent evening on Tuesday 3rd of April from 19:30 to 21:00 in the Maritime Hotel, Bantry, West Cork.

You may be aware of bereaved families in your community, who you could pass this information on to. We would really appreciate any help you can give us to raise awareness of this free event for bereaved parents.

Please note that the meeting is open to bereaved parents only.

Anam Cara West Cork, an organisation that supports bereaved parents, will hold its next monthly Parent Evening on Tuesday 3rd of April from 19:30 to 21:00 in the Maritime Hotel, Bantry, West Cork. Anam Cara West Cork offers a safe and comfortable setting where you can ‘drop the mask’ and be yourself among people who understand. This event is open to all bereaved parents regardless of the age your child died, the circumstances of their death, or whether the death was recent or not.

The solidarity experienced by being among people who are bound together by a common feeling of appalling loss is a great help. None of us wanted to be in this group nor would wish it on others but the feeling of understanding - which doesn't need to be verbally expressed - is a support. We all understand.”

For more information see or ring their Information Line on 085 2888 888.

Take Care

Kind Regards,
Clodagh Dingle
On Behalf of

Anam Cara Parental and Sibling Bereavement Support
(View our videos with parent testimonies here)

HCL House,
Second Avenue,
Cookstown Industrial Estate,
Dublin 24
 Anam Cara Logo & Tag

Contact Number   Office 01 4045378 & NI 02895213120
Email Address
Web Address

Thursday, 22 March 2018

GIY Weekly Column March 17th 2018

St. Patrick's Day is traditional spud planting day in Ireland. Get the family out, get digging and start planting those gold nuggets.

One of my big food bugbears (at the moment) is why we seem to be so obsessed with sweet potatoes (always imported, usually from North America) when our own potatoes are just as nutritious and have the advantage of being local and almost always in-season.  Take away the copious quantities of fat that we often add through cooking (or post-cooking) of potatoes and you have an exceptionally healthful, naturally fat-free food that is a great source of fibre, potassium, salt free, low in sugar.  It is also generally speaking an entirely unprocessed food and let’s be honest, the same simply can’t be said for pasta.
Weather permitting, this St Patrick’s Day I will be out (as I am every year) sowing my spuds for the year.  Potatoes can be grown pretty much anywhere and will actually improve poor soil.  They produce a high yield from a relatively small space and store well.  No wonder they have been a staple diet for Irish families for centuries. 
Effectively there are two types of potatoes, earlies and maincrop.  Earlies grow quickly, have no skin worth speaking of, and are usually out of the soil before blight arrives in summer.  Maincrop develop later, produce a higher yield, develop a thick skin and can therefore be stored, they are, unfortunately, more vulnerable to blight as they are in the ground during the summer months when blight conditions prevail.
Potatoes are grown from “seed potatoes” which are potatoes saved from the previous year’s crop.  It was traditional for Irish GIYers to save their own seed potatoes, but this is generally out of favour now, better to buy certified seed potatoes each year, in case your own potatoes carry over a virus. 
They are a brilliantly easy veg to grow, blight aside, and harvesting your own spuds will be like Christmas morning.  Speaking of Christmas morning, I’ve heard of some GIYers who bury a biscuit tin of harvested spuds in the summer and go out and dig it up on Christmas morning.  What a cracking idea.
Did you see Michael complaining about sweet potatoes in the first episode of GROW COOK EAT,  the GIY  TV show on RTE 1? It started last Wednesday, March 14th 2018 and you can catch up, have a look behind the scenes and find out more about his hatred of sweet potatoes here at the GROW COOK EAT page. 
Things to Do This Week; Sow Spuds
The soil in which you are planting potatoes requires a generous application of well-rotted farmyard manure, compost or seaweed before planting (ideally a couple of weeks before). Sow first earlies in mid March (St Patrick’s Day traditionally) in single rows, 15cm deep, 25cm apart and 45cm between rows. Maincrop spuds are sown in mid to late April. Increase spacing to 35cm.
It is vitally important to include potatoes in your crop rotation as they are susceptible to disease if grown in the same ground year on year.  Check earlies in mid June to see how they are getting on. Earlies will be ready about 14 weeks after sowing. Maincrops take 18 weeks.
I typically leave my earlies in the ground and dig as required. They do fine in the ground until September at which point we move on to maincrop. Maincrop can stay in the ground until the first frosts, lift them then and store in hessian sacks.
Come and learn from the man the Irish Times accused of putting the "cult into cultivation" at GROW HQ in Waterford. Michael teaches a Beginners Guide to Growing full day course several times a year and the next one is March 24th

April-June 2018 Community Education Programme of SHEP

Venue -  The Lantern Community Project, NNP (Nano Nagle Place), Evergreen Street, Cork
Managing Stress in Our Daily Lives
·        Wednesday 10.30am to 1pm
·        25th April to 20th June 2018

Understanding the natural processes that give rise to stress, as well as how these can be damaging. Learning skills in the prevention of unnecessary stress and the management of unavoidable stress.                   
                                          No Charge (Mercy Solidarity)
Introduction to Personal Development?
·        Thursdays 10.30am to 1pm
·        26th April to 14th June 2018

Explore issues affecting emotional well-being and growth, including the management of feelings, stress, listening, communication and relationship  
                                                                      No Charge (CETB)                
VENUES – (Ballincollig or Basement City Centre to be confirmed)
Effective Communication for Better Relationships
·        Tuesdays 7.30am to 10pm
·        10th April to 29th May 2018

Build self-esteem and develop skills and awareness to improve communication in ways that help enhance the quality of life and relationships.       
                                          No Charge (Mercy Solidarity)
VENUES - SHEP Centre Ballincollig
Managing Stress in Our Daily Lives
·        Wednesday 7.00pm to 9.30pm
·        11th April to 6th June 2018

Understanding the natural processes that give rise to stress, as well as how these can be damaging. Learning skills in the prevention of unnecessary stress and the management of unavoidable stress.                      
                                                                No Charge CETB
Beyond Suicide
·        Tuesdays 10am to 12.30pm
·        10TH April to 29th May 2018
·        Enquire 087-6653600 Kay O’Mahony

Are you grieving following the suicide of a loved one? There is a moment after a suicide at which you realise the person is not coming back and that your original self is never going to be the same. It is supportive to know that the majority of people do experience a ‘turning point’ and are eventually able to say ‘even though I will never be the same, it is going to be ok’.  
VENUES:  Mallow (Le Cheile Family Centre)
Introduction to Pers. Dev.  (Mallow)
·        Tuesdays 7.00pm to 9.30pm
·        10th April to 29th May2018

Explore issues affecting emotional well-being and growth, including the management of feelings, stress, listening, communication and relationships
                                                 No Charge (Mercy Solidarity)

The Social & Health Education Project

Dear colleagues,

Attached please find the April-June 2018 Community Education Programme of SHEP short courses (20 hour) for Cork area, most of which are being organised collaboratively with the Lantern Community Project in Cork City Centre and Mallow PHC. An application form is also attached.  All of these courses are at No Charge. Please pass on the information to people you think might benefit from the opportunity and who might be interested to apply. SHEP can be contacted on 021 4666180 for enquiries or further information on direction to venues etc. or enquires can also be made directly to the Lantern on 086 1746374.

With thanks and best wishes

Application forms are available from SHEP on 021-4666180 or Lantern Project on
086 1746374. Also downloadable online at