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

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

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Men singing all around West Cork

The Ballydehob Mens' Singing Group, the 'Roaring Water Boys' will be resuming weekly sessions again beginning on Wednesday 11th April. This informal and fun group meet above Rosies Bar on Wednesdays from 8-10pm and is open to all men regardless of experience. It is a chance to enjoy finding your own voice and singing harmonies with other men, led by experienced facilitator Caz Jeffreys. Contact Caz on or 083 142 55 99 for more info.
If you would like a mens singing group in your parish in West Cork please contact Caz on or 083 142 55 99
Push the boat out, have fun, and a night out every week!
No experience needed, no pressure!

FREE Traveller Culture Awareness Training Taster Sessions in Cork city during Lifelong learning week:

Dear colleagues, 
Please find enclosed details of FREE Traveller Culture Awareness Training Taster Sessions in Cork city for Lifelong learning week:
A) On Tuesday March 20th at 11 am, the Cork Traveller Women's Network based at the second floor of The Triskel Arts Centre, South Main Street, are running a Traveller Culture Awareness Training Taster Session. The session is one hour in duration.
Places are limited. To book a place ring or text the Traveller Health Development Worker on   086 385 0136..

B) The Traveller Visibility Group, 25 Lower St. John's Street are running hour long Traveller Culture Awareness Training Taster sessions on Friday 23rd March. The first session starts at 10.45 and the second commences at 12 noon.
Places are limited.To book a place text  Bridget Horgan on 087 114 6585. Alternatively


Bridget Horgan,
Traveller Culture Awareness Training Development Worker,
The Traveller Culture Awareness Training Initiative

Mob. 087 114 65

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Active Retirement Ireland Trade & Tourism Show 2018

Please see below details of the upcoming Active Retirement Ireland Trade and Tourism Show that may of interest to you.
Active Retirement Ireland
Trade & Tourism Show 201811th May 2018, RDS Industries Hall, 10.30am to 5.00pm
The Largest one-day Extravaganza for the Active Retirement Market
For the last 7 years, Active Retirement Ireland has organised Ireland’s largest one-day event for its members and the public. Each year the event has been run in a different location, be it Galway, Kerry, or Wexford, but with the show’s ever-increasing popularity has merited a larger venue with easier access from all regions.
In 2017 for the first time ARI Trade & Tourism Show was held in the RDS, Dublin, with an attendance of8,000 on the day. ARI has grown into the largest community based organisation for retired or semi-retired people with over 550 locally based groups with almost 25,000 members.  This year we are returning to the RDS for an even bigger event than last year.
The ARI Trade & Tourism Show, like Active Retirement Ireland, celebrates all that is good about ageing and will focus on areas such as Health, Activity, Financial Security, Travel, Holidays, Lifelong Learning, Social Connections, Sports, Cooking, Fashion, Investments, and Legal Advice.
The ARI Trade & Tourism Show will be vibrant, informative, and most of all fun. Each year we enlist the support of one of Ireland’s well known personalities, who always help make the show that extra bit special. 
Again this year Guerin Media are taking on the role of organisers for the Show and we would love to talk to you about opportunities to promote your business to this very important demographic. 

Exhibit Hubs
  1. Holiday & Travel Hub
  2. Health & Wellbeing Hub
  3. Overseas Property Show Hub
  4. Fashion Hub
  5. Information Hub
?         Financial Planning
?         Technology & you
?         Rights & Entitlements….. and much more
  1. Workshops & Demos Hub

Friday, 16 March 2018

‘Historic Map of Kinsale’ latest in Series

Kinsale Historic Map
The ‘Historic Map of Kinsale’ is part of an initiative by Cork County Council to produce a series of maps for the 8 historic towns in the West Cork region.  It is hoped also to encourage appreciation of the Heritage of the Towns in the Region both for locals and visitors and to provide linkages between the existing attractions and the Towns in the region.
The maps are designed to be a self guided tour of the town’s key heritage sites.  Each one contains beautiful illustrations of the key sites and buildings, and a brief history.  They are part of a strategy by Cork County Council to highlight the rich heritage resource to be seen in our towns and villages in West Cork. 
The idea for creating the maps originated from a well known tourism attraction in Clonakilty ie; The Clonakilty Model Railway Village.  Initially the towns on display at the Model Railway Village were selected to encourage people to visit the actual towns themselves and see the wonderful buildings and heritage features in real life.  The production of maps, is taking that idea one step further, and providing visitors and tourists alike, with a brief history of the towns in a compact map format that one can refer to when visiting the towns.
Cork County Council commissioned Ms. Rhoda Cronin-Allanic, Artist to prepare the maps.  Rhoda is a very talented artist in her own right and has a deep understanding of archaeology and history.  The Mayor of the County of Cork praised the project “The uniquely illustrated designs are self evident and are the culmination of many hours spent identifying and researching the wealth of history in our West Cork towns and subsequently portraying this knowledge in a user friendly and interesting fashion.”  Assistance was also provided by the local towns’ History Societies, Heritage Centers/Tourist Offices.
The Kinsale map was launched on Tuesday, 13th March at 11am in Kinsale.  It is intended to launch two further west cork town maps ie; Skibbereen & Bantry.  Work is already underway on the remaining three west cork town maps.  It is envisaged, these maps will be ready by end of 2018. 
The first 5 maps published, are available to view/download online below

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