Writes Ciaran Dineen
It has been an incredibly busy year for many people in our local towns and villages and the same can be said for us here at The Carrigdhoun Newspaper. Over the last 12 months we have covered lots of stories across the area thanks to the efforts of all of our writers and staff. Of course you too, our readers, have helped massively too with many of you getting in contact with us about an issue you feel merited covering.
Here is our 2019 Review Of The Year, highlighting some of the biggest stories that have come your way this year, with a dash of trivia and humour thrown in for good measure! If you’ve forgotten about one of the articles mentioned below don’t worry, just click on the links provided and that will take you to them!
Well, the year certainly kicked off with a big bang after it was announced that the much maligned 220 bus service would be the first route in Ireland to go 24 Hours. An improvement to the frequency was also announced with further details emerging about potential routes to Ballygarvan and Cork Airport (we’ll come back to this later). The news was welcomed by many, particularly those in Carrigaline and by County Councillors, who had been fighting for significant changes to the bus service for some time. The decision by Bus Eireann and the National Transport Authority has been vindicated, with reports and studies showing that numbers travelling on the bus have increased by over 60%! January also saw the arrival of the much-loved Ramen to the streets of Carrigaline!
The second month of the year proved to be an extremely busy one for many in the Carrigdhoun area. Raffeen’s Grace McKenzie kicked things off after she incredibly broke the Irish Pentathlon record. Grace, who is studying at McNeese State University, broke the record in Alabama after amassing a total of 4,211 points. Passage West went ‘green’ in February for their U18s Women’s team after they reached the final of the FAI National Cup. It was the biggest achievement for the club in its 47 year history, and while the girls unfortunately didn’t win, they were praised for their efforts throughout the campaign and were later honoured at a reception in Cork County Council. Spike Island was named as one of the top 5 tourist attractions in Ireland’s Ancient East, while we also informed our readers about the move of the toilet from the Owenabue Carpark. As one of our clever clogs in the office put it, “Ballinspittle had the moving statue but Carrigaline has the moving toilet” (It may have been a slow news day). In other news, local resident Arun Mathur appeared on the famous ‘Countdown’ programme on Channel 4, while Carrigaline’s Alex Newenham was chosen to represent John Deere at the famous TPC Sawgrass golf event in the United States!
In March, Shanbally Church celebrated its 200 year anniversary, while just a bit further down the road at the port, 8 Albanian stowaways were found trying to get into the country. One person on Facebook suggested that they had a look around Ringaskiddy and hopped back on the boat to go back. We’re almost sure this wasn’t the case. In more serious news there was the terrible story of a well-known man in Crosshaven who’s house was ransacked. Fortunately the community rallied together in support. March also saw both Aaron Drinan and Eva Mangan called up to different Irish soccer squads for some upcoming fixtures. Towards the very end of the month we also started the first in our series of Local Election profiles, with the Green Party candidate, Catriona Reid coming first!
We had our annual bit of fun with many of our readers on April 1st with our April Fools Day joke, if only we weren’t messing and it was actually true :(. We also discussed insurance hikes with the owner of Kool Kidz Korner and how it’s affecting people in their line of business. One of our writers sat down with Ballygarvan’s Aaron Buckley, who was elected to become President of the CIT Students’ Union for the second year in a row. A very popular piece in April was the announcement that Ballea Castle would be holding a 2-day auction, while on Easter Sunday we put up some brilliant photos on our Facebook page of the newly unveiled wooden sculptures in the centenary garden!
At the beginning of the month of May we reported on the granting of approval for a solar farm which will be located across from St John’s Cemetery. With Rod Stewart performing in Pairc Ui Chaoimh, one keen eyed spotter saw him in Crosshaven at the RCYC! Without doubt May was all about the elections, both Local and European. Over the course of two days counting in Cork County Council we brought you the latest up-to-date news. Seamus McGrath was elected with the largest surplus in the country, while Marcia D’Alton and Aidan Lombard were all elected on the first count. Audrey Buckley and Liam O’Connor followed in later counts but it was Ben Dalton O’Sullivan who stole the show, with the 19 year-old UCC student becoming the youngest councillor to be elected in the country! Election results and analysis for the Carrigaline LEA can be found here, while results for the Kinsale LEA can also be viewed here.
In one of the more unusual and interesting stories of the year, we saw the visit of the Dutch Monarchy to Crosshaven, in what truly was a royal welcome! June also saw the first discussions around the changes to the Shannonpark Roundabout at the first meeting of the new Carrigaline LEA Municipal District. Tempers flared at the meeting but since then the Council has justified their decisions in a report and in the proceeding months little complaint has been made. In lighter news, Carrigaline’s Barry Cogan wrote a short funny note about the German Invasion of Carrigaline from a group of tourists one weekend morning! Rita and her dog Coco had a lucky escape on the Carrigaline-Crosshaven walk, thanks to the quick thinking of a young passer-by! The Carrigdhoun then broke the news on June 20th of the latest development in the Indaver-Incinerator debacle. We also got some funny responses to the news that Carrigaline was top of the list for highest earners in Munster! Who’s got all this money and where do we find him? At the very end of the month we reported on local golf star, Jack Howard, who was just inches away from qualifying for the Irish Open.
In July it was announced that significant improvements would be made to the frequency of the Passage West bus service, while further updates were given on the commencement of a route for Ballygarvan. We also managed to get a peak at the brand new cafe, Carpe Diem, which opened on Main Street in early July! In sporting news, Rachel Thompson won a Connacht Title in golf, while Ballygarvan resident Frank Kelleher was appointed interim-manager of Cork City. The Carrigdhoun also saw the launch of their Summer Supplement in July, highlighting many of the great local people and businesses that we have in Carrigaline. At the July meeting of the Carrigaline LEA, calls were made for the overhaul of the transport system in Crosshaven. We also pointed out that Love Island were seeking recruits from the Carrigaline area, many names were suggested but we’ll have to wait and see if they got a text!
Sport kicks us off for August after Jack McCarthy and Ian Giltinan, both Carrigaline, were part of the Cork U20 side that made a stunning comeback in Portlaoise to defeat Dublin in the All-Ireland U20 Football Final. Just after we reported on Jim Shalloo’s fantastic channel swim, for which he raised over €7,000 for charity. August also saw further announcements in relation to the public realm strategy which has been in the pipeline for Carrigaline for some time. Over the years different contributors have highlighted the need to grasp the opportunity sooner rather than later. As one of our writers put it, “it’s now or never”. Finally, it was of course the ‘Debs season’ and the classes of 2019 all celebrated with delight across the Carrigdhoun area!
It wasn’t a good start to the month for Douglas Shopping Centre and many local residents and businesses after a car fire spread throughout the carpark and building, largely destroying the infrastructure. A large clean-up job has been underway since but it will unfortunately remain closed for the foreseeable future. The Carrigaline hurlers pulled off a brilliant win over Aghada to set up a clash with Kilworth, while the people of Passage West rallied together in response to the vile theft of Fr Con’s wallet. In better news coming out of Passage, the brilliant Francis McEveney was inducted into the All-Ireland Hall of Fame for his incredible commitment to Passage West GAA and the annual Ladies Football Blitz. By the middle of the month, Team Carrigdhoun were doing their lunges and stretches in preparation for the Annual Centra Crosshaven Challenge Triathlon, which once again was a huge success. There was also some great news for the much sought-after ‘running track‘ for the Carrigaline park. After some early complications, the September meeting of the Carrigaline LEA brought clarity and news that the track would be going ahead!
October saw the official launch of the ‘Carrigaline App‘, which encourages people both locally and further afield, to shop local and be attracted to south Cork and the Carrigdhoun area. In keeping with that tourist-style trend, Carrigaline welcomed 40 visitors from Kirchseeon, Bavaria as part of their twinning connection. The group was led by the Mayor of Kirchseeon, Udo Ockel, with some families staying with their counterparts from Carrigaline! We also informed readers that the tender went out for the development of the Carrigaline Western Relief Road, with work set to commence in the first quarter of 2020. We were thrilled when Anne Maverley of Crosshaven scooped up €34,000 on Winning Streak, while everyone at Shamrocks GAA and the wider Harbour area celebrated their own Sean Andrews, who was part of the Cork Football Minor Team that won the All-Ireland Final. It was also announced at the end of the month that the Cork Airport – Ballygarvan – Carrigaline 225 bus service would commence at the beginning of November.
Carrigaline’s Niamh McCarthy hit the headlines once again in 2019 after she secured a bronze medal at the World Para Athletics Championships. In other sporting related activities, there was some great news for local clubs in the area following the announcement of a funding boost. The November meeting of the Carrigaline LEA saw the report for a proposal on major road developments announcements for Ashgrove Roundabout and the Ballinrea Road. Last but by no means least, our own JJ Hurley wrote a beautiful tribute to the late Sean ‘Seanie’ Allen, Belgooly’s entrepreneurial son.
The last month of the year was a busy one for us at The Carrigdhoun. For the first edition of the month we launched our Christmas supplement, which was full of local news, highlighting everything good about the people and businesses of Carrigaline. Local lads, Alec Byrne and Rob Slevin signed contracts with Cork City FC, with the season ahead commencing in just a couple of months. Alec also featured in an interview for our Christmas supplement after he sat down with reporter, Ciaran Dineen. Passage West GAA celebrated their 50th anniversary of the winning junior team, while Niamh McCarthy was a worthy winner of the December edition of the Southside and District Sports Awards.
So there you have it, 2019 done and dusted! It’s been a great year and once again we want to thank all of you, our readers. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!