Calendar News

Coming Soon……Skibbereen Arts Festival!

Skibbereen Arts Festival takes place this year between

July 22nd – 30th 2016

with Music, Theatre, Film, Poetry, Visual Arts Trail, Sound Art, Walks, Talks and much much more.

The detailed programme of events will be up on the festival website on 13th June… but you can check their Facebook and Twitter between now and then for updates so ……. stay tuned!

Skibbereen Arts Festival


New School Garden planned for St Patrick’s BNS, Skibbereen

St. Patrick’s BNS Parents’ Association are currently fundraising for a new school garden project and are holding a Monster Bingo Night on March 22 in the Parkway Hotel, Dunmanway with a free bus leaving Skibbereen at 7.45pm

The new garden will consist of Geodome, Willow Tunnel and Dome, Amphitheatre, Raised Beds, Wormery, Composting Area, Insect Hotel, Observation Areas of Orchards, Mixed Native Hedge, Mini Forest and a Wild Nature Trial.

School Garden Plan

In St. Patrick’s Boy’s National School there are 3 Autism (ASD) Classrooms and in the garden we are incorporating a Sensory Garden which includes a Sensory Path, Planted Areas based on our five senses, a Zen Garden and a Herb Wheel.  Everyone is so excited for this project to be completed so that all of the children in the school can enjoy their Garden.

Other fundraising events are also planned in the near future so please check out their Facebook page – Skibbereen St. Patrick’s BNS Parents’ Association which has all the information about the project and fundraising events.


Run for Cycle Against Suicide – Wed 8 April and Thu 9 April

 Cycle Against Suicide Skibbereen

Jim Breen, founder of Cycle Against Suicide is on his mammoth run of 50k each day for 28 days consecutively and is expected to arrive in Skibbereen next Wed April 8 at approx 3pm so please come out and support Jim on this leg of his journey!

The Skibbereen Stage of the Run takes place on April 9th, Jim Breen will speak beforehand with a 9am START TIME for ALL RUNS

RUN 1 – 1K Fun Run – West Cork Hotel to New Bridge – ALL WELCOME! (children must be supervised at all times)

RUN 2 – 5K FUN RUN – West Cork Hotel to Aughadown Community Playschool (GAA pitch) (Bus transport back to town provided)

RUN 3 – 50K RELAY – from West Cork Hotel to Mizen Head

Optional Legs – 1) Skibbereen – Ballydehob; 2) Ballydehob – Schull; 3) Schull – Goleen; 4) Goleen – Mizen.

Registration for RUN2 & RUN3 8 – 8.45am in the West Cork Hotel.

Further details available from

The Forecast is good so looking forward to seeing you all there!


Celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Skibbereen!

This year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade in Skibbereen is themed – “The Wild Atlantic Way” and schools, clubs and businesses throughout the community are encouraged to participate in this ever popular family event.  Businesses can get involved straight away by dressing their windows and turning Skibbereen “green” for the festival of events.

Festivities in Skibbereen get underway with the Comhaltas Féile Cheoil weekend from Friday March 13-15 with a full programme of music and cultural events to suit all – please find full details here

St Patrick’s Day Church services take place in Abbestrewery at 10 am and in St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 9 am and 11:30 am.

singing at paradeThe annual parade then starts at 2:30pm, from the playground in Skibbereen and follows its traditional route before finishing at the Old Mart Car Park on Bridge St.  The Julia Hickey Memorial Shield will once again be presented to the overall winner on the day and there will be runner up prizes too, as well as a special prize for the best little leprechaun!

The fun doesn’t stop there as between 4 and 6pm in Abbeystrewery Hall the Gaelscoil are holding a fundraiser with teas and coffees, face painting and many more fun activities for all.



Comhaltas Féile Cheoil programme for St Patrick’s Weekend 2015

Festivities for St Patrick’s weekend in Skibbereen get underway with the Comhaltas Féile Cheoil from Friday March 13-15 with a programme of Irish traditional music and cultural events to suit all.

Feile Cheoil 2015

On Friday, March 13th at 8pm a Concert/Irish Night takes place in the West Cork Hotel and on the next day, Saturday, March 14th workshops will be held in brush dancing, whistling and lilting in the GAA Pavilion, followed that evening by an Aifreann Tradisiúnta in the Cathedral at 6.30pm.  Sunday, March 15th sees Féile Cheoil day of competitions in Rossa College.

Please download a brochure for the full programme of events here : Feile Cheoil Brochure (1)



Santa’s Secret Garden

Santa’s Secret Garden will be running daily at the Eldon Hotel from December 5th to 23rd and aims to be a feature attraction in Skibbereen over the Christmas period, with already over 200 people booked in!

albxmas2On Saturday December 13th and 20th there will be an opportunity to ‘Breakfast with Santa’ from 10am to 11.30am in Albergo Restaurant.  Parents can bring their kids along where breakfast: pancakes, hot porridge, cakes, scones, hot chocolate etc. all freshly home made, will be served.  They will also meet Santa for games, activities and story telling. This is fully supervised by qualified child minders so parents can (if they wish) leave and do some Christmas shopping in Skibbereen.

Bookings now being taking for Christmas parties in ‘Santa’s Kitchen’, part of Santa’s Secret Garden in a specially set up dining area for private parties with a Christmas theme. 2/3 Course meal options available including mulled wine & a tour of Santa’s Secret Garden from €25 per person. Santa’s Kitchen is available from November 21st (Nov 29th & Dec 7th are booked out) so Book Now at 028-51782

So why  not make Skibbereen your West Cork shopping destination this year?


Countdown to SCAR!

The countdown is on!  

Only 3 days to go to SCAR, which takes place this Saturday 18 October in and around the breathtaking beauty and rugged environs of Skibbereen, Castletownshend, Lough Hyne and the wild Atlantic coastline that defines this stunning part of West Cork and Ireland.

SCAR offers beginners, intermediates and expert racers a serious challenge that will test and push you to compete and complete a professionally organised and truly memorable course in this unique part of south west Ireland, and remember ALL race entry fees will be donated 100% TO LOCAL CHARITIES and good causes in the area.

So welcome to Skibbereen and the very best of luck to all competitors!

Keep an eye on for updates and details.

Chamber of Commerce News News

Kids’ Passport for Skibbereen & surrounding area

If you need something to do with the kids before they go back to school, or if you have family and friends visiting West Cork over the last few weeks of the season why not pop in to the tourist office for your free copy of the ‘West Cork Passport for Kids’?

The Passports have a full list of things to do in Skibbereen and surrounding areas and you can even get your passport stamped when you visit different venues! The Passports also have pages for colouring, as well as information on beaches and places to visit.

Pop into the Skibbereen Tourist Office for your copy (but be quick there are only a limited number of Passports left)!

Thanks also to Inspire Design for their help in producing the Passports



Backstage Performing Arts Academy begins a second year in Skibbereen

Backstage is based at St. Josephs National School in Skibbereen and it runs every Friday from 6pm-8.30pm.It is open to 7-18 year olds, grouped by age, and subjects range from Drama, Mime and Musical Theatre to Stand-Up Comedy, Dance and Performance.

Backstage, nationally recognised for its Performing Arts work with young people over the past fifteen years, teaches performing and production skills and a number of their students have now gone on to be recognisable faces in Film, TV and Stage but that is only part of what they do. The Academy also uses these performance skills to develop self-confidence, communication skills and critical thinking.




Entry to Open Day is free of charge but you must arrive in time for a 6pm start and be prepared to stay for the full session.

Further information from Backstage-Ireland on 091-590706 or e-mail


Skibbereen Arts Festival draws inspiration from its river and the coast

Skibbereen’s own River Day will be held on Wednesday 30th July. The River Day will be held in celebration of one of Skibbereen’s dearest treasures, the Ilen River. The day will begin with a trip to the Fastnet, leaving from the Ilen River. Attendees will be joined by Ger Butler, one of Ireland’s last lightkeepers. Now an attendant at the Galley Head Lighthouse, Butler was previously an assistant keeper at the Fastnet, Bull Rock, The Old Head of Kinsale and Mizen Head Lighthouse. The Lightkeeper was an attendant at the Fastnet during the tragic 1979 Fastnet Yacht Race, which resulted in the loss of 18 lives.

A kayaking trip will be available for those wanting to see Skibbereen from a different view, and a river dance will take place at the Steam Mill Quay. Skibbereen musicians from Comhaltas Óg will be performing on a boat as they travel through the town, and will stop at the Quay at 7pm to provide music for the dance. Later at 9pm, a Séisiún will be held in the West Cork Hotel. The Séisiún will give a real taste of Irish traditions, providing Irish song, dance and stories.

Mark Boyden and Stephanie O’ Toole will be presenting ‘Streamscape Ilen’. ‘Streamscape Ilen’ will be a presentation on the innovative Streamscapes Ilen Enviromental Education Project. Those who attend will learn about Biodiversity and Socio-economics benefits of a healthy river, and will get the chance to be involved in an open discussion afterwards.

Finally, the river will be a source of  inspiration for participants of Toma McCullim’s outdoor painting workshop, on Wednesday 30th, so people can paint their version of the Ilen River.

For more information please check out the Skibbereen Arts Festival website at, or for ticket information please phone 087 1260327.


A little bit of Broadway in the heart of West Cork!

On Tuesday 29th July, the Skibbereen Arts Festival is presenting a selection of performances at four landmark locations in ‘4 Plays in a Day’.

To start the day, Wild Productions will wake us up with their comedic play ‘Mrs. Shakespeare’.  Performing at the stately Liss Ard House, Irene Kelleher will play a female patient in a mental hospital, who thinks she is the reincarnation of writer, William Shakespeare. Back to set right her mistitled ‘Hamlet’, she is set on a rewrite for a new play with a more feminine perspective called ‘Ophelia’.

Following on from there, Karen Minihan of Playacting Theatre will present her one-woman play, ‘Eileen’ at West Cork Arts Centre. The story of a middle-aged country woman facing the divorce from her farmer husband. The play deals with the stigma of being a divorcee in a traditional, rural town.

Schull Drama Group will present five revue sketched by Harold Pinter. Written in the late 1950s, these are all early works by Pinter. They all focus on an aspect of an incident which may or may not have happened. The five sketches are ‘Special Offer’, ‘Request Stop’, ‘Last to Go’, ‘The Black and White’ and ‘Trouble in the Works’.

To finish off this rather dramatic day, the award-winning Kilmeen Drama Group will present their production of JM Synge’s ‘The Playboy of the Western World’. Winner of the 2013 RTE All-Ireland Drama Finals, and performed at the Abbey Theatre, Kilmeen are now bound for America where they will tread the boards in October. Make sure you see it here first!

Each performance is individually priced but for the hardcore theatre buff there is a special day ticket for all of the performances at €20.

For more information and booking please check out the Skibbereen Arts Festival website at , or phone the box office at 087 126 0327 for ticket information.


West Cork Crafts hosts new exhibition by local artist Martin Stone

West Cork Crafts in Townshend Street, Skibbereen is hosting a show of new work by well-known local artist Martin Stone. The show is now open from 11am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday (including the Arts Festival), and Martin will be in residence to demonstrate his painting style and talk about his work. All work is for sale, at significant reductions over normal gallery prices. During August, Martin will be joined by local watercolourist Peter Mabey, for a joint exhibition.

Adrian Brentnall, Secretary of West Cork Crafts – the popular arts and crafts co-operative, said ‘We’re delighted to host Martin’s exhibition again this year. West Cork Crafts is dedicated to promoting the work of local artists and craftspeople – and we currently feature some 18 individuals, with everything from Art to Woodcraft – and lots in-between. Because we work as a not-for-profit co-operative, we don’t charge any mark-up on anything we sell – so customers can purchase unique, locally-produced art & crafts at very affordable prices.”

Adrian continued – “We’re finding that more and more customers (visitors and locals alike) are wanting to buy gifts that have been hand-made in the local area, in preference to items manufactured overseas. We are lucky in West Cork to have such a vast array of local talent – and it seems pointless to import items, when higher-quality work is available from local artisans.

Although our shop currently has a full complement of artists and craftspeople, we’re always happy to talk to new people who might be interested in joining us later in the year – for full details of what we do and how we work – take a look at our website – West Cork Crafts is open at 61 Townshend Street, Skibbereen from Tuesday to Saturday – 10:30 to 5:30 – call in & prepare to be amazed!


Séisiún Summer Irish Nights in Skibbereen!

Skibbereen Comhaltas summer Irish nights return to the West Cork Hotel this summer on each Wednesday night starting Wednesday, July 9th at 9pm.

Séisiún presents an authentic show of Irish traditional music, song, dance, stories and more, bringing our Irish cultural traditions to life. Each Seisiún show offers a unique audience experience for Irish locals and visitors – a real taste of our cultural talent.  The first part of the night promises a show with depth but variety as the various aspects of Irish dancing, solo and group instrumental music and singing in both Irish and English are illustrated by the talented Skibbereen Séisiún group. The evening concludes with an informal session where we welcome our audiences to take to the floor for a Seige of Ennis or The Walls of Limerick.  Join in a song or if you play an instrument please bring it along! Refreshments are served during the interval.

A special welcome is extended to all overseas visitors and you are promised an evening of traditional Irish entertainment and an opportunity for you to join in the night’s events.

Tickets are €10 for adults. Children are free when accompanied by an adult. €5 tickets are available when you dine in the hotel restaurant or bar before the show and to hotel guests. Group concessions also available.

For more information on the Skibbereen Seisiún show,  Contact (028) 22739 or email



60+ Discount Card Scheme for Skibbereen

[photo courtesy Anne Minihane]

The Skibbereen 60+ Discount Card Scheme was launched this week by Skibbereen & District Chamber of Commerce to a very enthusiastic audience at Cara House, Skibbereen.  Already over 30 people have signed up to avail of a 10% discount, exclusively for the over 60s,  in participating Chamber retailers in Skibbereen every Tuesday (Terms and Conditions apply and are printed on the reverse of the card).

Eligible persons can sign up for a membership card at O’Sullivan’s Toymaster in Skibbereen or alternatively the form  can be downloaded here, printed, completed  and returned to Eileen O’Sullivan and the membership card collected (a €2 annual administration fee applies).

Participating retailers will display a sign on their door/window, including solicitors Wolfe & Co. who are offering 10% off the drawing up of wills for the over 60s on Tuesdays.

Download Form Here

Skibbereen Over 60s Discount Application Form v1.1


Shiny Happy Skibbereen :-)

Check out the Shiny Happy Skibbereen video below, created by Sana Govender, which showcases the brilliant community effort and hard work undertaken by an energetic group of locals to “ spruce up” Bridge St in Skibbereen.

Congratulations to all the organisers and volunteers involved in the makeover which makes Skibbereen even more attractive and a better place to do business for both tourists and locals alike.

The Group are still looking for volunteers with some free time to participate in a rota so that the flower baskes on Bridge St can be maintained.  If you are interested in getting involved please contact Rita O’Connell, Debbie @ Hair Heaven, Colin @ Cahalanes or Gina @ Clara’s Closet.


Shiny Happy Skibbereen!

Skibbereen & District Chamber of Commerce and Skibbereen Tidy Towns are delighted to support the “SHINY HAPPY SKIBBEREEN” project which takes place this May

Bridge St will be getting a “Spring Clean” on Sunday 25th May as part of a  pilot project, with more areas to follow, all helping Skibbereen look its best for visitors and locals alike

Preparations for the event will start on Saturday evening the 24th and the project would love your help over the 2 days!

Don’t worry all work and no play can be very dull so there will be music, street entertainment, balloons and face painters to help brighten the day.

The premises to be painted & “spruced up” include The Favourite, ACC Bank, Old Health Shop, Patrick McCarthy’s, Donal O’Donovan’s and Marie Walsh (Bus Stop)

Let’s get together and see what we can do!

Chamber of Commerce News News

County Fleadh Cheoil comes to Skibbereen

The Skibbereen & District Chamber of Commerce are celebrating the County Fleadh Cheoil coming to Skibbereen over the weekend May 8th – 11th, with their sponsorship of prizes for a “Shop Window Competition” in the town.  This is your chance to get those creative juices flowing and show off the best of Skibbereen to our visitors and remember this is a great way to promote your own business too!  Judging will take place over the Fleadh weekend.

The full programme of events is available at


Cork County Fleadh Cheoil 2014 – UPDATE

There is now just over a week to go to the Cork County Fleadh Cheoil here in Skibbereen.

A  new competition has been included at the last minute. It will be the Sean Nós Dancing Competition (newly included in the Fleadhanna) and it will take place on Sunday 11th May from 1pm on the stage in Skibbereen Town Hall. Everyone is very welcome to come to see this very exciting and entertaining competition, entry is free so please come along.

This competition will be followed later in the day by the Open Air Céilí on Sunday afternoon at the Bridge from 3-6pm.

And finally the winners of the Senior Céilí Band Competition will perform their winning tunes on the Gig Rig between 5 and 6pm, followed by the Official Closing of the weekend.


2014 County Cork Fleadh Cheoil comes to Skibbereen

Officers of the Cork County Board of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann met last autumn with the organisation’s Skibbereen branch, Craobh an Sciobairín, which is to host the Cork County Fleadh Cheoil next May 8th to 11th.  The annual festival of music, song and Irish language is to take place in Skibbereen with up to 1,500 competitors set to take part in more than 40 categories and thousands more visitors expected to throng the town over the Fleadh weekend.

The Fleadh Cheoil is a weekend festival comprised of céilí dancing, music sessions, street entertainment and competitions in music, singing, comhrá and storytelling. Under 12 and 12/15 competitions will take place on Saturday May 10th, while 15/18 and Senior competitions will take place in Sunday, May 11th. Two qualifiers from each competition will go forward to represent Cork in the Munster Fleadh Cheoil in Killarney in July 2014.

The local branch aims to promote the Irish language and our traditions during the Fleadh and lectures, sessions and Céilí planned, as well as an outdoor traditional music ‘gig rig’ with an Open Air Céilí on Sunday afternoon at the Bridge in the centre of town.
Con McCarthy, chairman of the Cork County Board of Comhaltas and vice-chairman of the Skibbereen branch, warmly welcomes the decision to hold the Fleadh in Skibbereen for the 8th time. Skibbereen Branch is an extremely active Branch, with over 400 members, with a great tradition of song, music and dance and of course the Irish language. There is a growing interest in all aspects of our tradition.  Nuala Ní Bhriain, chairperson of Skibbereen’s Fleadh committee, says that this will be a shop window for Skibbereen and for our culture. A lot of hard work will be involved but it is a golden opportunity to showcase the locality. As a Branch it’s also an opportunity to promote what is done, and hopefully it will inspire local people to get involved in Comhaltas.

County Fleadh Skibbereen



Skibbereen Heritage Centre Opens for 2014 Season

Skibbereen Heritage Centre is pleased to open its doors for the 2014 season and its current opening hours are Tuesday to Saturday inclusive 10am to 6pm

The Skibbereen Heritage Centre grew from strength to strength in 2013, with a significant increase in visitor numbers and a high level of satisfaction and hopes to build on this again in 2014.

NEW FOR 2014 – ‘Atlas of the Great Irish Famine’ panels, based on the best-selling book by UCC.

An all indoor activity that has a comprehensive Famine and Lough Hyne exhibitions, a genealogy service and much more and always with a great welcome for visitors to Skibbereen!

Heritage Centre4


Skibbereen Comhaltas

Skibbereen Comhaltas Annual Branch Féile Cheoil will take place on Sunday, March 16th in Rossa College.  Our competitions are open to everyone Under 16 so please spread the word to all your music friends!

As Skibbereen Comhaltas are also hosting the County Fleadh in Skibbereen from May 8-11th this year, our Féile Cheoil is the perfect place to get some competition practice in ahead of the competition.

Download information brochure with full details of the different competitions/age groups and entry details below.

Best of luck to everyone!




Join us and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Skibbereen!

Plans are well underway for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day in Skibbereen.

Events start on Sunday 16th March when Skibbereen Comhaltas host their Annual Branch Féile Cheoil in Rossa College.  Competitions are open to everyone Under 16 and what a great way to start our annual feast day with traditional music, song and dance.  Please see the seperate Féile Cheoil post for further details.

St Patrick’s Day Church services take place in Abbestrewery at 10 am and in St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 9 am and 11:30 am.

The Parade in Skibbereen will start at 2:30pm on Monday March 17 from the Children’s Playground on the Cork Road.  It will continue along North St, turning right at the Square into Main St, past the viewing stage at the Bridge and finishing in the Fairfield.

Local Clubs, Schools and Businesses will be taking part and it promises to be a fun-filled afternoon for all the family!

All are welcome and we look forward to seeing you there.St.-Patricks-Day



Memoir Writing Workshop – Lis Ard Country Estate 21st – 23rd March

Irene Graham Creativ#2CB72EIrene Graham, Author of The Memoir Writing Workbook, facilitates a Memoir Writing Workshop at Lis Ard Estate Fri 21 to Sun 23 March. Her workshops, renowned internationally, use right-brain/left-brain learning techniques that show the writer how to translate their life experiences into engaging stories.

Starting with dinner at 6pm Fri evening, this workshop provides exercises that tap into creativity and trigger life experiences. Participants also learn how to weave family history into memoir and story.  The workshop also provides writer with a bedrock of material that can be used in fiction writing.

Throughout the weekend participant’s focus, develop and structure a short memoir. Workshops participants are also welcome to develop a memoir they are currently working on.

Open to writers at any stage of the writing process.

Enjoy this special space in the heart of Lis Ard County Estate, Skibbereen and write your memoirs overlooking the serenity of the lake!

Weekend includes:

  • Workshop – Fri to Sun
  • Non-Residential: €325 includes Dinner Fri to Lunch Sun
  • Residential: 2 x nights private room en suite: €200




Tel: 353 (0)86 2523428


Skibb’s Monster Free Draw, 1st- 14th Dec – The Winners!

Drum roll please……the winners are in!  14 hamper winners & 5 Finalists to be entered into the €5,000 draw which will take place Thurs 19th, 6.30pm at Apple Betty’s, The Square, all welcome!

Congratulations to our hamper winners & finalists! 

The 5 finalists for the €5,000 in Skibbereen vouchers are:
Kathleen Courtney (Skibb), Catherine (Kitty) Hourihane (Skibb), Mary O’Sullivan, Tim O’Donovan (Leap), Nora Fahy (Skibb)
The winner will be drawn next Thursday 19th Dec, 6.30pm at Apple Bettys, The Square, everyone welcome!

The 14 Hamper winners are: Fiona Claffey (Co. Offaly), Rose Hurley (Drinagh), John Quin (Co. Wicklow), John Burchill (Gortbrack), Sheila Pearce (Union Hall), Hannah O’Driscoll (Goleen), Sheila O’Connor (Drinagh), Margaret Waring (Skibb), Eileen Hourihane (Skibb), Mark Ronan (Leap), Caroline Duggan (Dunmanway), Rena Hayes (Skibb), Valerie O’Brien (Skibb), Kay O’Sullivan (Skibb)

Photo: Drum roll please......our hamper winners & finalists are in!<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
The 5 finalists for the €5,000 in Skibbereen vouchers are:<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Kathleen Courtney (Skibb), Catherine (Kitty) Hourihane (Skibb), Mary O'Sullivan, Tim O'Donovan (Leap), Nora Fahy (Skibb)<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
The winner will be drawn next Thursday 19th Dec, 6.30pm at Apple Bettys, The Square, everyone welcome!</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>The 14 Hamper winners are:  Fional Claffey (Co. Offaly), Rose Hurley (Drinagh), John Gunn, John Burchill (Gortbrack), Sheila Pearce (Union Hall), Hannah O'Driscoll (Goleen), Sheila O'Connor (Drinagh), Margaret Waring (Skibb), Eileen Hourihane (Skibb), Mark Ronan (Leap), Caroline Duggan (Dunmanway), Rena Hayes (Skibb), Valerie O'Brien (Skibb), Kay O'Sullivan (Skibb)

WIN €5,000 in shopping vouchers AND be in with a chance to win a hamper everyday! Visit Santa, Shop, Eat & Stay in Skibbereen this Christmas.