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Sunday, 5 April 2020

Sean Murphy, Killeagh RIP. An Appreciation John Arnold

It was with a sense of sadness and regret that we heard yesterday of the death of Sean Murphy of  Killeagh. Though the word is often misused we have no hesitation in saying that Sean was truly a legend. Sean devoted his life to working for the good of others. Though nominally a farmer -and Sean loved the land, it can be truthfully said that Sean Murphy was in reality an unpaid community and social worker. He had poor eyesight all his life but in no way did this hinder his zest for helping others. 
His name is as synonymous with Killeagh as is Glenbower Wood but his but his sphere of influence went far, far beyond his beloved native village. In Macra na Feirme, the GAA, Politics, Point to Point Racing and the Pioneer Association Sean was an influential, respected and valued member. It was however in Muintir na Tire that that Sean Murphy was known literally nationwide. He espoused the vision of Muintir's founder, Canon Hayes, and immersed himself in everything that was positive about Community Development. He promoted the idea of Muintir na Tire Guilds in local parishes and then in later years the concept of Community Councils.
 In his days in Macra na Feirme Sean honed his debating skills and was a gifted orator. He was a firm believer in correct protocol at meetings and his opinions and views were widely sought. A man of immense intellect his ability to retain and recall incidents of fifty or sixty years ago was uncanny. He loved a good debate, even bordering on an argument!- but whatever the outcome of such verbal sparring Sean remained a friend.
 It was indeed fitting that in 2018 Sean was the recipient of the Overall Individual Community Award presented by the Mayor of Cork County, it was an award that was richly deserved after over 60 years of Community endeavour. 

He loved the GAA and proudly represented his Club Killeagh at the East Cork Board. He told me years ago that he first ventured to the Board in the late 1950's and, as he said himself, 'got a permanent job there in the early 1960's. He was so happy when Killeagh won Junior and Intermediate hurling titles, when Mark Landers captained Cork to All Ireland victory in 1999 along with Bernard Rochford and Joe Deane and of course when Tracey Kennedy became Cathaoirleach of the Cork GAA Board three years ago.

 Despite poor health in the last decade Sean' kept right on 'til the end of the road'. Sean you were a great friend to so many, for years yourself and Junior Scully were to be seen everywhere together -at games, Board Meetings, Conventions, Scor and anywhere Gaels gathered.

 We will all miss you Sean, thanks for everything you did for so many for so long. You came in in troubled times in 1939 and now in this troubled year of 2020 you have bade farewell. God bless you and keep you. 

Gan dabht ní bheidh do leithéad arís ann, slán a chara dilis. John Arnold

Wednesday, 1 April 2020


Cork businessman helps fund free transport for frontline health staff

“A flash of genius” is how Pat Phelan described his brainwave to set up a partnership with car rental company GoCar to offer free transport to frontline staff working in hospitals across the country. The entrepreneur has stepped up to support the healthcare staff that are fighting for lives every day in hospitals across Cork and beyond.

Pat, a co-founder of the SISU doctor-led aesthetic clinics, explained how the idea come to fruition.
“Sisu clinic is already involved in the Covid-19 marketing and messaging campaign nationwide and my partners James and Brian have returned to general hospitals to help out.” 
Mr Phelan saw a tweet from a nurse in Dublin who said that due to a change of schedule on the Luas, she would be spending a €100 travelling to and from work in taxis from now on.
“I just wondered how we could fix that,” Pat said, 
“So I reached out to GoCar, I tweeted them and they direct messaged me and the whole thing went faster than the speed of light.” 
Mr Phelan said he offered to pay the cost of the insurance for 100 of the GoCars if the company covered the cost of the car.
The car rental company agreed and within 24 hours the scheme was up and running offering free transport to all frontline staff working in hospitals nationwide.
“The offer is valid to anyone with a Hospital ID or an IMNO ID totally free of charge. All they have to do is email with their Driving Licence details and their Medical ID.” 
Pat said he was glad to be able to help out in this small way to make life that little bit easier for frontline staff who are working around the clock to save lives.
The businessman also said he was working on securing the entire Go-Car fleet of 300 cars for the purposes of frontline transport.
Pat Phelan
Pat Phelan

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Muintir na Tire Partnership with Volunteer Centres


Partnership with Volunteer Centres

We are happy to be partnering with Volunteer Centres throughout the country to provide a co-ordinated community response to COVID-19.

We are encouraging our groups (Community Alert and Community Councils) to register with their local Volunteer Centre to provide two benefits:
- groups who are organising their own local response may wish to get additional volunteers to assist their efforts.
- groups who are not providing a response directly, may have volunteers available to help other responders.

At this stage it is all about working together to help our communities.

Monday, 30 March 2020


The Creativity Tonic

As we search for hope during this challenging time, I believe that within the arts we have unique resources at our disposal to support our own wellbeing and enable others to support theirs. There is no end of news and information that will drag us down and fill us with fear.  Equally there has been a proliferation of social media initiatives from #WeWillDraw #SongsofComfort #OperationStorytime to name a few, and many websites offering mindful support, virtual gallery tours, free online classes, etc. We have all been sent to our computers/smart phones to explore how we can continue to communicate and educate, so a web page seems like an obvious place to bring our creative perspective and offer an alternative narrative.

The CIT Crawford Department of Arts in Health & Education have developed a shared space that offers words, images and tools to support and cultivate hope. It also provides links to other websites and spaces to support and nourish our psychological wellbeing at this time, acting as a hub for many of the online initiatives. It launches today and can be accessed at  There will also be a link to it through Please use it as a resource for yourselves and share it widely with others. Contributions are welcome from staff, students and our broader creative community (that includes you our friends overseas)

SECAD Social Enterprise Grant Fund 2020 for organisations supporting vulnerable people during COVID 19 crisis

Dear all

I hope this finds you and yours in good health.  Please see below information on SECAD Social Enterprise grants scheme which is currently open with a focus on those providing supports to those must vulnerable in response to the COVID 19 pandemic.  Application form and information is attached and my colleague Donna Cleary ( or 086 8893490) is happy to discuss any queries. 

Kind regards
Nuala O Connell

Cork Schools Garden Project Cancelled for 2020

Cork County Federation of Muintir na Tire is sad to announce that due to current government guidelines the Cork School Garden Competition is cancelled for 2020.

We will be back bigger and better next year

Friday, 13 March 2020

Message from Covid-19 Health Communications Stakeholder Support Friday 13th March 2020

Dear Member Groups,

We’ve been asked by the Department of Community and Rural Development to help them make sure that all our groups receive certain information notices from them during this current COVID-19 outbreak. Please find below an email with some important information.
Dear Stakeholder

As part of the national response to Covid-19, the Department of Health, the Department of Rural and Community Development and the HSE are working closely to support stakeholders and community groups. We will be in regular contact with you to support you and the communities you represent over the weeks ahead.

Today we are writing to you in the first instance to ask for your help in sharing important information in relation to COVID-19.
Below is information on the Government announcement today, the partner pack in development and key social media accounts.

Today's Government Announcement:
Today the Government announced additional measures to protect citizens by delaying the spread of COVID-19.

The general public is asked to follow this advice and keep informed of this ongoing outbreak. Details of these updated measures can be found here:

Partner Pack:
We are currently developing online partner packs with materials for your organisation to use in your own communications and across your network.
We will forward the link to this new material very soon.
The partner pack will contain:
·         The most up to date posters for COVID-19
·         Videos that you can share and display

In the meantime, you can find information at:
We are also working on content for a variety of needs, and we will include new content in the online partner pack as materials are developed.

Social Media Accounts:
If your organisation is not already doing so, please follow the following sources on twitter and re-tweet messages relating to COVID-19:


Our collective efforts are critical, we need to do this together, as one community. We will be asking everyone to play their part, to help each other and we're here to help you.

This phase requires a community effort, every citizen acting responsibly in order to protect our vulnerable and elderly members of society.
Thank you in advance for your support at this important time.
Yours sincerely,
Covid-19 Health Communications Stakeholder Support
Email Disclaimer and; Legal Notice:

Changes to Cork County Council’s services as a result of Coronavirus

Cork County Council can confirm that in line with the statement from An Taoiseach with regard to Covid-19 there will be a number of changes to Council operations.
All Cork County Council libraries, swimming pools and tourism offices will be closed with immediate effect until Sunday March 29th.
Cork Motor Tax Office will also close with immediate effect.  The online service,, will continue to operate, as will the postal service: Motor Tax Postal, Model Business Park, Model Farm Road, Cork.  Queries will also continue to be taken by phone at 021-4544566 or by email at
Cork County Council Payments Office in Mallow, Clonakilty and Cork County Hall will be open while access to other services will be restricted to appointment only with effect from Monday March 16th.
Over 120 Council services can be accessed on line and Cork County Council is asking members of the public to avail of these services in the interests of public health.
General information Cork County Council services can be found by visiting or visit to access on line services.  Queries will continue to be taken by telephone on 021 4276891, by post and by email.  A full list of contact details can be found online at  Further updates will issue across the Council’s social media accounts.
Cork County Council will endeavour to facilitate appointments if the query cannot be dealt with through the alternative service delivery channels, however members of the public are encouraged to use the various online and telephone services.
Tourist Attractions closed from immediate effect
  • Camden Fort Meagher
  • Spike Island
  • Kinsale Museum
  • Youghal Lighthouse
  • Youghal Clock Gate Tower
  • Cobh Heritage Centre
  • St Mary’s Collegiate Church
  • Bridgetown Abbey, Castletownroche
  • Mallow Castle
  • Michael Collins House
  • Dursey Island Cable Car (local access only)
  • Skibbereen Heritage Centre

Council Operated Pools closed with immediate effect
  • Mallow
  • Fermoy
  • Dunmanway

Church Live Streaming

Fermoy parish are live streaming mass on their Fermoy Parish Catholic Church Facebook page click on this link 

Image result for Church Live Streaming

If you click the link below it will take you into MCN media who are providing live streaming in churches in other areas. 

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Bank of Ireland Begin Together Fund.

The Begin Together fund will support new and existing project-based activities with grants of up to €5,000 (or the sterling equivalent) for local, not for profit groups working to improve the financial physical and/or mental wellbeing of the communities they serve across all counties on the island of Ireland.

ALONE COVID-19 Support Line for older people

ALONE, the organisation that supports older people, has announced the launch of a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. 

On Tuesday 3 March, the National Public Health Emergency, chaired by Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer in the Department of Health, announced the establishment of a Vulnerable People Subgroup.
As a member organisation of the National Public Health Emergency COVID-19 Subgroup for Vulnerable People, ALONE is working in collaboration with the Department of Health and the HSE on a coordinated national response to support older people who have concerns, may be at risk or who have contracted COVID-19. 

“The outbreak of COVID-19 will pose additional challenges for older people who may already be vulnerable and particularly those who struggle with health difficulties, loneliness, and other issues,” concluded Moynihan. “To the friends and family of older people who may have concerns, we are encouraging them to continue to support older people in the community as they have always done, while ensuring they are taking the same protective measures.”

ALONE has 2,000 volunteers who provide visitation and telephone Support and Befriending, and professional staff who offer coordinated supports to older people experiencing loneliness, financial and housing difficulties, and any other challenges they may face. 45% of the older people ALONE supports are over the age of 80.

ALONE advises that older people practice the following protective measures as outlined by the HSE:
·       Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.
·       Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing/sneezing.
·       Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
·       Practice cough and sneeze hygiene – covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough/sneeze. Then dispose of the tissue immediately.
·               Stay informed: keep up to date on latest Covid-19 information on

Contact ALONE on 0818 222 024 if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know. Further information can be found on

Cork County Council to Celebrate Natural Heritage for Tree Week

Children planting trees
Cork County Council to Celebrate Natural Heritage for Tree Week
Cork County Council is supporting this year’s National Tree Week by gifting native trees to local schools, community groups and organisations. National Tree Week, an initiative organised by the Tree Council of Ireland in partnership with Coillte and supported by participating local authorities like Cork County Council, takes place from 21st to 27th of March.  The initiative gives communities across Ireland the chance to learn about the folklore of trees, their practical applications and to appreciate how important a healthy and diverse tree stock is in mitigating the impacts of Climate Change and biodiversity loss.
Community groups and organizations looking to take part in National Tree Week are invited to organize or participate in events throughout the week. These can include tree planting ceremonies, forest and woodland walks, nature trails, workshops, woodturning displays or studies of the lives of the trees and their inhabitants. Talks, broadcasts, launches, poetry readings, exhibitions and dramas and other similar ideas and events are all welcome.
Speaking of National Tree Week, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Ian Doyle noted
“Cork County Council takes pride in the County’s natural environment, with great work being undertaken in this area by communities throughout the county, as well as the Council’s Environment Directorate and Heritage Unit. I encourage each and every community to get involved in Tree Week. Let’s be proud of our natural heritage and do all we can for the environment in which we live”.
In 2019, Cork County Council allocated trees to over 30 groups and interest for 2020 suggests it will be the benchmark for years going forward. Trees for planting during tree week are available from the Council, supported by the Tree Council, on a first come first serve basis.
For groups looking to avail of trees for planting and or to simply find out more, contact or phone 021 4285905. To join in the conversation, tag @CorkCoCo on Twitter and Facebook and use #treeweek2020

AOSTA Conference 25th Deferred

With the likelihood that "Coronavirus" situation will worsen in the coming weeks, the AOSTA committee have decided to defer this year's conference until the autumn - They will monitor the situation and will send out a new date over the summer.

In relation to the order you placed for tickets - AOSTA will hold your order for the time being in lieu of rescheduling the conference for the autumn.  If alternatively, you would prefer to have your cheque returned, please revert to AOSTA and they will oblige.

In addition, the AOSTA Jamboree at the Hazel Tree planned for May 28th is also cancelled.

AOSTA Contacts

Mary McNamara (Secretary) Tel. No. 025/38525

Ruth Daunt (Chairperson) Tel. No. 086 8759437

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Whale Tales Cork: Encounters with Humpback Whales in Cork

Humpback Whale
Date/Time: Saturday 28th March 2020 from 10:00
Whale Tales Cork: Encounters with Humpback Whales in Cork 
Location: Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery, Co. Cork
Additional Information:  Are you interested in large whales, or curious about their conservation and research into these magnificent mammals that are returning each year to Cork’s inshore waters?  If so, the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group is delighted to announce Whale Tales Cork on Saturday 28th March, between 10:00am and 16:00, at the Celtic Ross Hotel (Warren Suite), Rosscarbery, with an optional land-based Whalewatch at nearby Cloghna Head, 16:00-17:00 (weather permitting). This unique one day event, will bring together a diverse mix of citizen scientists, researchers, operators and marine wildlife enthusiasts, all passionate about whales, to share their stories and experiences.  It will be an opportunity for the IWDG to present its findings with members of the public who have supported the Irish Cetacean Recording Schemes over the past 25 years and to encourage participation in these biological recording schemes.  It will also be an opportunity to look ahead to the next 20 years, to explore the challenges facing our visiting giants and possible management implications. Bookings: through Eventbrite. Cost: IWDG members €25, Non members €50 (includes 1 year membership). Enquiries to email:, Ph. 353 (0) 86 3850568.

Coronavirus COVID-19, Protect yourself and others from getting sick

“Alternatives to CAO” Information Evening

 Information afternoon/evening by Avondhu Blackwater in relation to your “Alternatives to CAO” in Fermoy Community Youth Centre on Wed March 25th next from 3.00pm to 7.00pm.  All welcome.

Workshop "Men in the Middle" Engaging middle-aged men in mental health and wellbeing

You are invited to apply for a place on a Workshop on

Date:     Thursday 23rd April 
Time:     9:30 – 16:00
Venue:  Gay Project, 4 South Terrace, Cork City.

Background to Workshop
Over the past ten years, the suicide rate among middle-aged men in Ireland has been the highest of all age cohorts. The self-harm rate among these men has also increased. 

During 2017, the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI) received funding from the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention to undertake a three year initiative to support service providers to address the needs of middle-aged men. In early 2018, the research conducted during Year 1 was refined and collated into a comprehensive report titled ‘Middle-Aged Men and Suicide in Ireland’ (see: 

To meet the need from practitioners to develop meaningful relationships with this target group, the Engage National Men’s Health Training Programme developed a new workshop titled ‘Men in the Middle’

Aim of Workshop
The workshop primarily focus on the engagement process (i.e. WHY and HOW to build relationships with middle-aged men), rather than offering a new or revised mental health programme (i.e. WHAT to offer them).  

Objectives for Workshop

The key objectives for this Unit are to: 

Look at how to create a ‘safe space’ for middle-aged men 

Demonstrate why we need to work with middle-aged men to improve their mental health 

Empathise with the world of middle-aged men, the key issues that they face, and the specific pressures upon / difficulties facing them 

Help participants to reflect on their own value base, experience, attitudes towards and expectations of men, generally, and middle-aged men specifically and how this impacts upon their interactions 

Examine the protective factors for good mental health and wellbeing in middle-age 

Explore examples of what works in practice / what a male-friendly service looks like 

Signpost participants to further sources of help, advice, guidance and support 

Who Should Attend?

The aim of these workshops is to assist a broad range of practitioners and service providers to develop practical strategies for effectively engaging with middle-aged men around mental health and wellbeing issues. 


The Workshop will be delivered by Lorcan Brennan and Kevin Mooney. These facilitators have successfully completed an Engage National Men’s Health Programme Training for Trainers course.


The ‘Men in the Middle’ Workshop is free for all participants.

Further Information

To book a place or to obtain further information, please contact:

Name:  Michael O Donnell
Tel:      0873647901

Friday, 6 March 2020

Leadership for Life

 Leadership for Life Module 1 course for young people aged 15-17 over the mid-term break in April.

Muintir na Tire Launch Cork School Garden Competition 2020 at Griffins Garden Centre.

After all the wet and windy weather we had in February, memories of Storms Ciara, Jorge and Denis were forgotten and there was an air of spring in Griffins Garden Centre in Dripsey   The team at Griffins had pulled out all the stops to get everything ready for the official Launch of the Muintir na Tire Cork School garden Competition.  Muintir na Tire, Cork County Council Environment and Heritage Sections. Cork City Council and Griffins Garden Centre have all come together to organise this exciting competition and the eight annual competition is now officially open and many primary schools across the City and County of Cork have already entered.

Speaking at the Launch County Mayor Michael Looney praised this great initiative that helps children to learn the importance of nature while staying active. He said he had been an active gardener since he was at school in Coachford. The Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr John Sheehan said that Cork City Council was delighted to be on board with this great initiative and that he was delighted that all primary schools in the City could now enter and showcase their school gardens and learn from the other entrants in the competition.
Special guests included the children and teachers of Conna National School Overall winner in 2019, School of the Divine Child Ballintemple Cork City and Dripsey National School. These schools also got the opportunity to meet and chat with local beekeepers and learn the importance of Bee friendly Gardening. 
Margaret Griffins, the Irish Bee Conservation Society and Local beekeepers are asking schools to help protect our bees and to plant Bee friendly gardens. Margaret’s message is simple. ‘Plant flowers and bees will follow’. This year Griffins  and The Irish Bee Conservation Society are awarding  special awards for the most Bee friendly Gardens.
Margaret and her team also gave the children and teachers lots of invaluable advice on recycling and potting up old wellies, old handbags and even using their new compostable coffee cups, which can be planted directly into the soil.
Sean Holland Of Cork County Federation Muintir na Tire  encouraged schools to rethink, repair, refurbish along with reusing & recycling items in their garden, as this is very important for the environment.  Conor Nelligan Heritage Officer Cork County Council urged schools to think Biodiversity when gardening. He particularly suggested the use of native flora. Conor also urged schools to use Irish in their school garden, maybe highlighting the names of trees and plants as Gaeilge.  He also suggested that schools be creative as there is Creative Ireland award for the most Creative Garden this year. The main theme for this year is again Climate Change and the Garden. Categories include Edible Gardens, Biodiversity/Wildlife Garden, Up-Cycling,  Art and colour Garden, Mixed Garden,   Small Garden, Best New Garden , Creative Ireland Innovation and Creativity, use of Irish in gardening and the overall best  Pride of Cork Garden  All  schools all automatically judged for this Award.

Log on now to to register your school for The 2020 School Gardens competition. 

   Our Schools Blog               Enter Schools Garden Competition

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Cork County Council Supporting Age Friendly

Age Friendly Staff and community activists outside County Hall, emulating the statues of Cha & Mia by looking up into the sky with the statues behind them.
Cork County Council, through its Age Friendly County Programme is now accepting applications for funding from groups interested in developing AgeFriendly initiatives in their town.
Kinsale, Bandon, Cobh and Mitchelstown have succeeded in securing this funding in the past and continue to work with the council’s AgeFriendly County Programme to build on their achievements. This round of funding will offer communities throughout the county the opportunity to emulate their success. Examples of age friendly initiatives implemented in participating towns include accessible public seating, promotion of agefriendly businesses, social inclusion events and public realm enhancements.
The Cork County Age Friendly programme aims to support the development of a network of AgeFriendly towns across County Cork and the current fund cycle from 2020 - 2021 will provide financial assistance to additional groups seeking to designate their town as AgeFriendly.
Announcing the opening of fund, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Ian Doyle said
“Our needs in life change over time and can be different from place to place. This is why it is so important to engage with local communities throughout Cork, as they are best placed to identify opportunities that will make the most difference to the elderly in their towns and villages. We are very proud to support them through our Age Friendly County Programme.”
Cork County Council’s Chief Executive Tim Lucey added
“Providing for our ageing population is essential to developing sustainable communities. Our support of age friendly initiatives sends a strong message that Cork County is a great place to live for all.”
The guidelines and application forms are available below. For further information, contact 021-4285557 or 021-4285161.
The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday March 27th 2020 at 4pm.