Covid-19 and the accompanying restrictions and lockdowns have certainly taken their toll on us as a community. Many businesses have suffered greatly and some may never recover. The first lockdown back in March saw doors closing without a hint of hesitation. Because this was the unknown everyone was willing to wait it out and eventually listen to the advice on restrictions and safety precautions for reopening.
After a couple of months things began to change, virus numbers dropped and, in some form or other, many businesses opened up again. Pubs were dealt a severe blow and were kept closed for many months. To put it mildly many lost their jobs and many others struggled to pick up the pieces of what remained of their businesses and looked to making changes in order to keep going in the coming months.
However, with the second lockdown coming at the busiest time of year, people came up with innovative ideas to trade while adhering to government restrictions. Click and collect, phone and collect, online shopping, delivery service, are among some of these. Several pubs and restaurants are even managing to do a delivery, or take out/away service.
All going well the start of December will see the country come out of lockdown and more than likely be in Level 2 or 3 going forward towards Christmas.
So, with this in mind, we will all need to get out there in the community and SHOP LOCAL ‘cos without all our support, businesses won’t survive and many may close their doors for good. 
Ballincollig has an abundance of wonderful shops, bars and restaurants. From clothing shops to flower shops, gyms, beauty salons and hairdressers the choice is plentiful.
For this year’s gifts and with shopping local in mind why not purchase vouchers from gyms, bars, restaurants and hotels, gifts that people can look forward to using in the coming year. Think vouchers for hair and beauty or pharmacies for gift baskets, potions and lotions. Clothing shops for the latest fashion. Books and cards and bags and toys. Everything that you could need is available in Ballincollig. Your support will help keep businesses in your community open and will keep people in employment. Remember to SHOP LOCAL.
Sunday morning was very busy with twenty-two Volunteers and sixteen Transition Year Students out for the weekly Litter Pick.
Two further Transition Year Students joined us to work on their Gaisce Award so a big welcome to Stacey and Maro.
All of the Cigarette Butt and Gum Bins were emptied by two Transition Year Students.
Eleven bags of litter were collected. 
During the week four of our Volunteers, Nathan, Kitty, Xavier and Henry, collected fourteen bags of litter, one bag of glass, one bag of plastic and one bag of cans.
While the Volunteers were busy clearing the Litter, the Transition Year Students were busy clearing the leaves on Main Street from Tudor Rose Florists to Quish’s SuperValu and The Old Square. They gathered four-ton bags which is the equivalent of forty large black refuse bags. The place looks fantastic after their hard work.
Five bags of leaves were collected from Beech Road and three bags from Leo Murphy Terrace.
Twelve bags of leaves were collected from Carrigdene and around thirty-five bags from the entrance to Cranford Pines.                  
Six to eight bags of leaves were gathered by Residents of Beech Park.
Kitty collected nineteen bags of leaves.

We are now three weeks into the second lockdown and although it is more difficult for many this time round, we are anxiously waiting for December 1 and the hope of returning to a lower level of restrictions. Ballincollig Tidy Towns is excited at the prospect of the CE Workers and Volunteers being able to return and get stuck into the many projects that had to be put aside over the past number of weeks.
Another lovely Autumn sight – this one kindly sent in by Krl photography_irl
Bay 1 at the Allotment is almost full as a result of the huge volume of leaves that have been gathered from around Ballincollig in the past number of weeks. This will rot down and we will continue the process of adding to it and turning it as it decomposes. The entire thing is a slow but very worthwhile process and takes several months. But we are assured of some fabulous compost in the end. Bay 3 already has some similar compost ready for our upcoming planting.
Almost 7km of festive lights will light up Cork City and surrounding suburbs next week. For the past two weeks seventeen electricians have been working hard lining the streets and trees with pretty lights to brighten our spirits.
Over forty-five trees have been erected throughout the city and surrounding areas. They will be covered in low wattage energy efficient lights.
Due to the current government restrictions the annual Patrick Street ‘switch on’ event will not take place. And although the GLOW Festival will also not go ahead this year, a brand new festive windows installation will be popping up in the city centre. 
Still…….plenty of reasons to smile.