SOS UPDATE : March 2019 – Spring has Sprung!

SOS UPDATE : March 2019 – Spring has Sprung!

Our running total of donations has been updated to include €2000 raised in Schull at the launch of the Save Our Skibbereen CD – we have raised €34,904 as of today. Our thanks to everyone involved in achieving this remarkable amount in a short few months.

Our CD is on sale throughout Skibbereen and Ballydehob. If anyone would like to stock it, please get in touch. It can also be purchased online at Save Our Skibbereen CD

Morning Rowers on the River Ilen

Our Judicial Review is underway in the courts as our application was granted. There will be more court dates, the next is early April, that will involve legalities on either side in preparation for a full hearing of the case. A full hearing might not happen for another 6-9 months. We will update you all as we find out ourselves. We leave legal matter to the experts and rely on their advice for how to communicate.

Our campaign’s focus will be on raising awareness, raising funds and publicizing any fund-raisers that are happening through us or through the generosity of volunteers.
If you would like to help raise money but don’t know how – do get in touch and we can help.
The next events are:
1. Hungry Hill Climb, March 31st – The Skibbereen Luncheon Club have generously decided to share the proceeds of this sponsored climb with us. You can contact us for details on how to sponsor climbers.
2. Darina Allen & Rory O’Connell’s Cookery Demonstration at The West Cork Hotel on Thursday, May 23rd.
See our website for tickets or purchase them directly at our stall in the Skibbereen Market or at The Riverside Café on North Street. All proceeds from that event will go to the campaign. Darina & Rory are incredibly supportive, and we hope to get a huge crowd that night.

We expect the plastic factory to be an important issue in the upcoming Local and European Elections. This factory is symptomatic of long-term decisions being rushed through without thought, without proper public consultation and without due consideration of the democratic responsibilities that all public bodies and politicians should adhere to. We hope that people think long and hard about who they want representing West Cork’s future.

To put a paltry number of jobs over and above the health of the local population is beyond irresponsible.
To prioritize the income of a privately-owned US Plastic Company over the income of all the local jobs dependent on our environment is beyond belief.
To stain the brand of ‘West Cork’ & ‘Skibbereen’ with a Plastic Factory currently is a form of negative and destructive advertising. The importance of the environment in news coverage is only going to increase. The media attention on plastic is only going to increase. We cannot be known as a destination that chose a Plastic Factory in 2018, 2019 or 2020. Our environment is what sells our food, our drink, and our tourism. It is our most valuable resource and any damage we do to it is just damage done to ourselves.
The environment is not some fashionable cause, it is the cause of life – it is the air we breathe – it is the food we eat – it is the water we drink. That this is not obvious is perhaps the greatest illusion of these times.

Ilen River – Home to Olympians & Otters

To see school-children strike, both locally, nationally and internationally, is to know that we are faced with existential choices that will have a deep and lasting effect on the health of all generations, now and in the future. That our politicians in power are slow to see the challenges ahead is deeply disappointing and points to a need for new voices or for old ones to change completely their current direction. It is why it has fallen on all of us to fight this ourselves and you all have risen to that challenge. You have donated to, supported, and made this campaign what it is today.

We face decades of pollution, decades of environmental degradation – lost decades – if this factory goes ahead. Our campaign is a long and difficult and costly process. But if we do not fight this in the courts, we will lose much more, and it will be lost until another generation takes up this challenge. That should not happen.

We know enough to do better, and we are educated enough to know better.

We need your continued support, your fundraising help and your donations if you can make them. This is an investment in all our futures. It is a long road. We’ve come a long way to get here and we have a long way still to go.
Spring has sprung and so must we all so that Summer is not far behind.


Save Our Skibbereen CD – 17 Brilliant Songs

Save Our Skibbereen CD – 17 Brilliant Songs

posted in: Fundraising, Skibbereen | 0

Local musicians in West Cork have come together to voice their concern and support the SOS campaign to stop the proposed plastics factory in Skibbereen. The musicians involved are Camilla Grieshel, Bean Dolan, Lauren Guillery, Shanti, Miranda McCarthy, Simon Blewhouse, Anna Murray, Ghost Planes, Steve Park, Max Jones, Chris McDonald, Alyanya, Mick O’Callaghan, Rik Appleby, Catherine Cunningham, Polly Barret & Jake Stanley.

Local artist, Donagh Carey, provided the beautiful painting of the Ilen River for the cover.

You can buy the CD, €7.00 per copy, at the following outlets throughout West Cork :

 – O’Neil’s Coffee
 – Antiquity Bookshop
 – Riverside Cafe
 – Budds Restuarant
 – Hudson’s Wholefoods
 – Annie B’s Bookshop
 – Organico
 – Forest & Flock
 – Redstrand Coffee
Skibbereen Farmers Market
– SOS Stand
The CD, well on it’s way to worldwide fame also has it’s own Facebook page where international orders can be placed.
If you can’t purchase it at any of these outlets, let us know by emailing SOS at and we’ll arrange it one way or another.
The official launch of the CD will take place on Sunday, March 10th, at The Harbour Hotel, Schull, from 5pm.
Thanks to everyone who helped to make this brilliant work of art and music!

Album Co-ordination: Bradley Putze
Sleeve Artwork & Design: Donagh Carey
Additional Mastering: Rik Appleby

Track Listing & Credits :

1.Plactory – Simon Blewhouse
Written by Simon Blewhouse (Copyright Control)

Vocals & Instruments: Simon Blewhouse
Harmony Vocals: Charli Greenhouse

Produced, Recorded & Mixed By: Simon Blewhouse
Recorded by Myself in My Room
Mastered at
© 2019 Simon Blewhouse

2.Child – Anna Murray
Written by Anna Murray (Copyright Control)

Vocals, Guitar, Piano & Electric Piano: Anna Murray
Bass & Drum Programming: Rik Appleby

Produced by Anna Murray & Rik Appleby
Recorded,Mixed & Mastered by Rik Appleby
Recorded, Mixed & Mastered at
© 2019 Anna Murray
ISRC: IEPZI1900001

3.Vaj Vaj – Camilla Griehsel
Written by O’Farrell/MacClancy (Warner/Chappell/Copyright Control)

Vocal: Camilla Griehsel
Guitars and Backing vocals: Niwel Tsumbu
Keyboards and Bass: Maurice Seezer
Guitar: John Fitzgerald
Percussion: Éamonn Cagney

Produced by Maurice Seezer
Recorded by John FitzGerald and Maurice Seezer
Mixed by John Fitzgerald
Recorded at Dunbeacon Studio and Lettercollum Recording Studio
Mixed at Lettercollum Recording Studio
ISRC: GBBCX1800001

4.Not So Ordinary – Ghost Planes
Written by Ghost Planes (Copyright Control)

Vocals, Guitar, Piano – Jon Carroll
Drums – James O’Sullivan
Bass – Fred O’Brien
Backing Vocals – Kate Koppinger
Fiddle – Karen O’Doherty

Produced & Recorded by Ghost Planes
Mixed by Karl Odlum
Mastered by Hans DeKline
© 2018 Ghost Planes

5.Love This Life – Lauren Guillery
Written by Lauren Guillery (Copyright Control)

Vocal & Guitars: Lauren Guillery
Bass: Phil Daly
Drums: Brian O’Higgins
Synths: Stephen Shannon

Produced by Lauren Guillery
© 2017 Lauren Guillery
ISRC: IEPNB1800003

6.You & Me – Steve Park
Written by Steve Park (Copyright Control)

Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Steve Park
Backing Vocal: Alyanya
Electric Guitar: Kevin Stokes

Recorded & Mixed by: Bradley Putze
Mastered By Rik Appleby
Mastered at
© 2019 Steve Park

7.Gaoh – Max Jones
Written by Max Jones (Copyright Control)

Guitars: Max Jones

Produced, Recorded & Mixed by Max Jones
Recorded & Mixed at A House Somewhere in Wales
Mastered by Rik Appleby
Mastered at
© 2019 Max Jones

8.Winter Dawn – Bean
Written by Bean Dolan (Copyright Control)

Vocal, Guitar & Percussion: Bean Dolan
Keys: Brian Casey
Bass: Alan Brooks
Drums: Darragh Coakley
Guitar: Issac Tabor
Backing Vocals: Irene Dunne, Eve Clague & Deirdre Archbold

Produced by Bean Dolan
Mixed by Brian Casey
Mastered by Aiden Foley

Mixed at Wavefield Recording Studios
Mastered at Masterlabs
© 2017 Bean Dolan

9.Out Here On The Island – Miranda McCarthy
Written by Miranda McCarthy (Copyright Control)

Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Miranda McCarthy
Nylon String Guitar: Kenny Dread
Cello: Lea Miklody
Backing Vocals: Alyana
Piano: Susan McManamon
Tin Whistle: John Lynch

Produced by Kenny Dread
Recorded & Mixed by Tony O’Flaherty, Rik Appleby & Kenny Dread
Mastered by Ruairi O’Flaherty
© 2018 Miranda McCarthy
ISRC: QMEU31821811

10.Long Journey Home – Shanti
Written by Simon Crockett/Neisha Azzopardi (Copyright Control)

Guitars: Simon Crockett & Neisha Azzopardi

Produced, Recorded & Mixed by Steve Pawsey at
Mastered by Rik Appleby
Recorded at High Nelly Studio, Clonakilty
Mastered at
© 2018 Shanti
ISRC: IEPZC1900001

11.To The Shore – Alyanya
Written by Alyanya Massey (Copyright Control)

Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Alyanya
Guitars & Backing Vocals: Jenny Lindfors
Djembe: Alyanya

Produced by Alyanya
Recorded & Mixed by Andy Knightley
Mastered by Aidan Foley
© 2008 Alyanya Massey

12.Goodbye Love – Mick O’Callaghan
Written by Mick O’Callaghan (Copyright Control)

Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Mick O’Callaghan

Recorded & Mixed by Bradley Putze
Mastered by Rik Appleby
Mastered at
© 2019 Mick O’Callaghan

13.For Love – Rik Appleby
Written by Rik Appleby (Copyright Control)

Vocals, Guitar, Organ & Piano: Rik Appleby

Produced, Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Rik Appleby
Recorded, Mixed & Mastered at
© 2019 Rik Appleby
ISRC: IENYY1900001

14.Déjà Vu – Catherine Cunningham
Written by Catherine Cunningham (Copyright Control)

Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Catherine Cunningham
Bass: Dan Thornhill
Percussion: Andy Patterson
Backing Vocals: Shivana

Produced by Catherine Cunningham
Recorded & Mixed by Andy Patterson
Mastered by RikAppleby
Mastered at
© 2013 Catherine Cunningham

15.Sunday’s Well – Polly Barrett
Written by Polly Barrett (Copyright Control)

Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Polly Barrett
Banjo, Backing Vocals: Michael Daly

Produced by Polly Barrett & Tomás Mulchy
Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Tomás Mulchy
Recorded, Mixed & Mastered at Madtheory Studios
© 2011 Polly Barrett

16.Prayer For The Earth – Jake Stanley
Written by Jake Stanley (Copyright Control)

Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Jake Stanley

Recorded & Mixed by Chris McDonald
Mastered by Rik Appleby
Mastered at
© 2017 Jake Stanley

17.This City’s Eyes – Chris McDonald
Written by Chris McDonald (Copyright Control)

Vocal, Guitars & Keys: Chris McDonald
Lead guitar: Stephen Goulden
Bass: Stuart Hall, Lester Troughton & Chris McDonald.
Drums: Karl Penney
Violin – Flora Curzon
Viola – Danyal Dhondy
Cello – George Shilling
Banjo – Joe Auckland
Backing Vocals – Katerina Kyrris/Ali Hazeldene/Chris McDonald
Guitar Case Percussion – George Shilling

Produced by George Shilling & Chris McDonald
String arrangements by Danyal Dhondy & Chris McDonald
Mixed, Mastered and Engineered by George Shilling at Bank Cottage Studios
© 2012 Chris McDonald

SOS – Our First Day in Court

SOS – Our First Day in Court

posted in: Environment | 0

The SOS ex-parte application against An Bord Pleanala was being made on Monday 21st January within the eight week period of the decision of the board to uphold the Cork County Council Decision to Grant RTP Permission for the awful and shocking development on the Baltimore Road.

I ascertain from SOS lawyers that the business would be done in High Court 6 before Judge Seamus Noonan. This is not one of the “Four Courts” within the Dome area of the Four Courts building but rather a slightly less grandiose venue on the ground floor to the left hand side as you look at it from the River Liffey.

On arrival some minutes before the 10.30 start, there is a scrum of students and activists noisily trying to get into the court and a court usher in his finest Dublinese at the top of his voice admonishing all to “Ciúnas”. White headed and looking not to be a threat, I slip in ahead of the queue and behind his back to join the assembling standing crush at the back of the Court. Packed with the great and the good and the not so great and good. Hardly room to exhale and not a window open. Air conditioning? Forgeddaboudid!

Solicitors, Barristers, Court Registrars, a stenographer to listen to everything and type the spoken words into a machine for the purpose of an audio transcript. For the record. Or in case anyone wants to appeal. Excited chatter and enthusiastic anticipation of what was going to happen.

At 10.37 a cry of “all stand!” For his lordship. This older form of address is now gone and it’s merely “Judge”. And none of the barristers are wearing wigs. Another sign of change.

There is a list of cases which has been published on line at about 5pm the previous day and there is what is known as a call-over to establish the status and readiness of each case. “Are you ready to go on?” is a frequent question. As cases are called and dealt with, numbers in the court room dwindle and the crush eases.

This court was dealing with the very tough end of the Celtic Tiger period i.e. people being put out of their homes. Applications by banks and vulture funds for orders for possession and sale were being resisted by lay litigants not able to afford legal fees. Levels of anxiety and emotion were very high. Many cases were adjourned for technical reasons but principally because the formal aspects of the sale of loan books by banks to vulture funds had not been completed in time.

These cases took until about 11.30 to deal with. The court went into a short recess probably for the purposes of Judges and administrators communicating among themselves to see how the lists were going and the number of judges who might become free sooner than later to take cases which were ready to go to full hearing.

The Judicial Review cases were called when the Judge returned after about 10 minutes. All of the these cases would have had their papers lodged with the Central Office of the High Court the previous Friday but despite this short notice, the judge had read them and was fully au fait with the facts of each case. Four out of the five cases before the SOS case were applications against ABP. A barrister would “open” the case and start reading the Statement of Grounds and almost uniformly the Judge would interject after 5 to 7 minutes to confirm that he was satisfied from what he had heard and read that the particular cases should be admitted to Judicial Review and ordered certain formalities be observed.

The SOS case was called at about 12.40pm and the barrister followed the same procedure opening the Statement of grounds of Brendan McCarthy. After reading much of the statement and listening to the allegations of failure in process on the part of the Board, the Judge interjects and says “Yes. I am satisfied that a case has been made and I will admit to Judicial review” and orders the service of documents and other formalities.

The 12th of March is fixed as being the date the case will be listed again “For Mention”. Meaning that lawyers for An Bord Pleanála (as respondent), Cork County Council and RTP (as notice parties) will appear for the purpose of letting the Court know whether the case was going to be defended and fought or not.

So all the months and weeks and days and hours of effort and sweat on the part of so many all come down to one ten minutes and SUCCESS at the first hurdle.

Courts are like a theatre, a living portrayal of life itself, the human condition in conflict managed by a system and determined by law and the application of law. A great experience for the not so faint hearted and specifically any young person with an inkling of an idea that they would like to be part of this a career should come along on the 12th of March.

For anyone interested I’m at

Irish Country Furniture & Furnishings 1700-1950, Recycling Our Past

Irish Country Furniture & Furnishings 1700-1950, Recycling Our Past

posted in: Fundraising, Uncategorized | 0

Speaker : Claudia Kinmonth MRIA

Date & Time : 6.30pm,  Saturday 26th January 2019

Venue : The West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen, Co. Cork

Admission : €10 – all proceeds to ‘Save Our Skibbereen’


This richly illustrated talk explores how rural people lived before running water and electricity changed their homes. Chairs with renewable legs, built-in dressers, and dual-purpose settle beds, were contrived for small spaces using the minimum of materials. Based on her fieldwork in the late 1980’s, the speaker will spotlight local furniture: the Ballydehob Chair and the Carbery Settle. Our resourceful ancestors utilised driftwood, timber from shipwrecks, plaited straw, turf, wicker and even cow horn to make functional yet stylish items. When individual objects served many functions, householders managed with fewer, better things.

The speaker will bring a range of objects to handle and examine afterwards. People are encouraged to bring along items (or photographs of things) for identification and discussion, but not valuation, after the talk.

Introduction and question session kindly hosted by Peter Murray, former Director of Cork’s Crawford Art Gallery.


A limited number of copies of the author’s book IRISH COUNTRY FURNITURE 1700-1950 ( Yale University Press, 1993 ), now rare and out of print, will be available via ‘silent auction’, followed by signing/inscribing after the talk.

If you cannot attend and wish to bid on a copy of Claudia’s book, please enter your Name, Email Address & Bid Amount in the form below.


The highest bid will be the winner of a hardback copy of the book. The next three highest bids will each receive paperback copies of the book.

IRISH COUNTRY FURNITURE 1700-1950 won awards and has been described as a seminal work by the Royal Irish Academy.

Reserve Price is €160.00

Winning bids will be declared on the night of the talk at 8pm and all participants via email will be notified by email if their bid is successful.

‘Save Our Skibbereen’ is raising funds to apply for a Judicial Review of An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant permission to RTP Company to build a Thermoplastic Compounds Facility in Skibbereen, Co. Cork.



Listen here to Claudia talking on Irish Countryfile on RTE Radio One in 2018.

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