Some of the trees along Main Street had their branches cut back by members of Cork City Council this week. This has given lots of light to the various shops and makes the place look tidier.


Despite the ongoing pandemic and restrictions, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media is getting behind this year’s St Patrick’s Festival.
Work is ongoing with Festival Organisers to bring six virtual days and nights of events to Ireland and the world while also showcasing Ireland, its heritage, culture and wider tourist attractions.
In addition to €400,000 in business continuity funding through Fáilte Ireland, Minister Catherine Martin has committed up to €1m in programme funding from her Department.
St Patrick’s Festival 2021 will provide employment and commission funding for artists, creators and live entertainment. Performers, creators, artists, freelance crew, and technical workers, who are normally engaged in paid work during the St Patrick’s Day celebrations, are set to be employed as a result of the promised government support.
A packed itinerary is to be unveiled by the St. Patrick’s Festival team this week. The Festival will run from March 12 to 17 online on St Patrick’s Festival TV (SPF TV) at It will offer more than 100 events for people to enjoy.
This year’s Festival message calls on all Irish, at home and abroad, to cherish our ancient traditions alongside our contemporary culture and celebrate them in safety. It positions Ireland firmly in the mind of the world with a message of hope for brighter days ahead for people here at home while reassuring tourists that, when it is safe for them to do so, they will be welcomed to celebrate with us once more. I am particularly pleased that this dynamic programme will provide some employment for our arts and entertainment community and a rare opportunity for them to perform at a time when they need both most,” said Minister Martin.
The St Patrick’s Festival week is a highlight of the calendar for creativity and tourism,” she added. “Without support, a vital part of our identity wouldn’t be marked in the way that we want. The Department is determined that this year, despite all the difficulties of COVID-19, Ireland can celebrate its culture.”
The Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, Sport and Defence, Jack Chambers TD announced €22,000 in funding for Irish language elements of the programmes went on to say:
I am pleased that my Department will be supporting Nathanna Cainte, a series of Irish language events as part of this year’s St Patrick’s Festival. The Irish language is central to our identity, and it is important that that we celebrate the language within the Festival’s programme of events in a manner that maximises its exposure to our domestic and international audiences. With Irish language events taking place online this year, including a reading workshop for young people and a bilingual poetry event, I hope that people at home and abroad enjoy the Festival.
The Department has been working with relevant stakeholders, including Roinn an Taoisigh and the Department of Foreign Affairs, to promote the work and boost the impact of this year’s St Patrick’s Festival in a show of cross-government support for the nation’s national day.
The Festival is Ireland’s leading multi-disciplinary arts festival and civic celebration around Ireland’s national day. With St Patrick’s Festival going online there is an incredible opportunity for the nation and the world to take a front row seat at all of this year’s events. The iconic festival has become a valuable national asset showcasing Irish cultural and creative talent to a worldwide-audience and promoting in a unique way Ireland’s tourism, cultural, diplomatic and trade links with the world.
Initiatives that have supported key sectors including arts, culture and tourism include:
  • The €5m Live Performance Support Scheme.
  • The €1.7m Music Industry Stimulus Package.
  • The €55m Tourism Business Continuity Scheme.
St Patrick’s Festival 2021 will be accessible globally to international audiences. RTÉ’s traditional St Patrick’s Day broadcast will also be reinvented.
These events will then be complemented by Seoda, the Culture Ireland Global Online Programme, which will present some of Ireland’s finest artists. It is aimed to ensure our Irish arts and culture community reach a worldwide audience at a time when cultural connections are more critical than ever.
For details of the St Patrick’s Festival programme, which will be announced this week by the Festival team, visit
Ballincollig Tidy Towns wishes to thank the Murphy Family at R&R Tyres for their continued generous support. Last week the Ballincollig Tidy Towns trailer was needed for a job. It had not been in use for a number of weeks due to lockdown. However, when a Volunteer took the trailer out it had a flat tyre. R&R Tyres kindly repaired it for us free of charge.
R&R Tyres very kindly repair/replace tyres on the Tidy Towns Van, trailer and even wheelbarrows. We are indebted to them.


Despite the dreadful stormy weather we experienced this week, several of our Volunteers were out collecting Litter.
On Sunday morning, Kitty collected two bags of Litter, one bag of Glass and a broken umbrella.
Ferghal collected one bag of Litter.
Denis also collected one bag of Litter. 
Five further bags of Litter were collected by some more Volunteers.




Cork County Council Library & Arts Service have teamed up with libraries nationwide, publishers, booksellers, authors and others for the ‘Ireland Reads’ campaign, part of the government’s Keep Well initiative.
Ireland Reads aims to celebrate reading and all the benefits it can have for wellbeing and enjoyment and to get the whole country reading this month in the lead up to a national day of reading on Thursday, February 25th. A new website has been set up where people can pledge to ‘squeeze in a read’ on the day and see how much time has been pledged by the Irish public so far.
The website offers book recommendations suited to a person’s interests and the time they have available. There are more than 800 recommendations from librarians all around the country. By entering their favourite type of book and how long they would like to read each day, users of the website will be offered a suitable book suggestion and advise on how long it will take to complete.
Campaign partners and libraries all over the country will be running Ireland Reads initiatives and events throughout February in the build up to Thursday, February 25th.
Cork County Council Library & Arts Service have been sharing information on their social media channels (Facebook @corkcocolibrary, Twitter @corkcolibrary) throughout the month to help and encourage people in their pledge to “squeeze in a read” and provide tips and advice on encouraging reluctant readers of all ages, alongside top picks and recommendations from Council Library book clubs, from light reads to literary reads and advice on how to cultivate your reading habit.
As part of the campaign, the Council will also provide ‘Story Times’ in Irish and English for younger children. Cork author and primary school teacher Siobhán Ní Mhuimhneacháin will talk about her book An Gadaí Dubh and the ancient folk tale which inspired it. Travel writer Manchán Magan will discuss his travels and experiences in South American, India and Africa.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley welcomed the Ireland Reads initiative, particularly at a time when finding ways to Keep Well is so important:
There really is something for everyone, whether you wish to stay informed, broaden your horizons, take a break from day to day life or deepen your understanding of your pastimes or interests. Taking part in Ireland Reads is a great way to find what works for you, and I would also encourage everyone to take advantage of Cork County Council’s online library services. By becoming a member, you can access many newspapers, books, magazines and so much more. There is no better way to switch off than by getting lost in a good book.
It doesn’t matter how long you read for or what you read, whether you’re an avid, reluctant, lapsed or new reader, this campaign is for you, says Cork County Librarian, Emer O’Brien:
Right now, many of the activities we used to take for granted are not available to us, but you can always enjoy a good book, newspaper or magazine. These are all available free online and any time to library members. Libraries and library staff are waiting to welcome people back whenever that’s possible, but until then we always have books to remind us of other people, other places, and better days.
There are now over 18,000 individuals who have pledged to protect the environment and recycle more.
Team Green for Schools recycling quiz and word search competition has just been launched on our Facebook and Instagram channels. Enter now and you could be in with the chance to win a €100 Smyths gift voucher.
Entering is easy. Children should complete either a recycling quiz or word search activity sheet and submit their entry under the competition post on our Facebook or Instagram channels. The closing date is the 24 February, so be sure to get those entries in!  
Team Green for Schools 
Did you know that there is a dedicated primary school programme called Team Green for Schools?  A range of educational resources such as lesson plans, colouring sheets, recycling quizzes, fun facts and projects relating to best recycling practices for glass, cardboard, plastic, aluminium and waste contamination have been developed.
The resources cater for students from first – sixth class and are available in both English and Irish. All of the resources are free and can be downloaded from their site. 
Bring the programme to life through video and introduce your students to Repaks recycling enthusiasts Bobby the boxJenny the jam jarCormac the can and Bridget the bottle.


SOMETHING FISHY                       
Get creative at home and learn about fish and their environment while being in with a chance to win some lovely prizes. This is the second year Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Blackrock Education Centre are running the national ‘Something Fishy’ poetry competition aimed at fifth and sixth class primary school students in Cork and nationwide.
You must write an acrostic poem, where the first letter of each line spells out a word. Each student is to write their own acrostic poem and must spell out the word ‘STREAM’.  They are also encouraged to illustrate their poems with their own artwork. Only one entry is permitted per student and it is to be original work.
Closing date for entries is Friday, 28 of May 2021. Parents/ Guardians are being asked to email the entry to and to include the student’s name, class (fifth or sixth class), school name and address. The entries will be divided into three categories: fifth class, sixth class and a category for entries in Irish. The winning illustrated poems will be chosen by a panel of judges.
Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development at Inland Fisheries Ireland said:
We are delighted to launch this competition for the second year in a row and we are looking forward to seeing the imaginative works the young poets create. There are lots of fun and interactive resources available on, to help inspire budding poets.
Director of the Blackrock Education Centre Susan Gibney said:
We are looking forward to being involved in the second year of this competition. The poetry competition is a great way to inspire students to engage in learning in an innovative way. As an education centre it is great to be part of new ways to involve students in learning particularly during current times.
Winners will be announced on the 18 of June 2021. Prizes are as follows:
1st prize- Fishing kit (to the value of €100)


2nd prize- Outdoor field trip kit (to the value of €50)


3rd prize- Goody Bag (to the value of €30)  
Each category will have three prize-winners.