A little piece of heaven in Derrynane

The history of Coolisk in Derrynane.

When someone sees a lovely house in a gorgeous location, they may wonder who lives there and how it came to be. Over the years, many people no doubt admired the house perched on the promontory overlooking Derrynane Bay. So, what is the story?

We can start by telling you that the house was comissioned in 1958.  Declan Dwyer. and his wife, Dodo (nee Horgan), had a great affinity with the area. They met each other in Waterville in the early 1930’s and got engaged in 1936. Both their families had been going on holidays to Waterville for many many years.

The couple’s romance blossomed in Derrynane, and they were photographed picnicking overlooking Derrynane Harbour. No one was to know that 22 years later, Derrynane was where they would build their dream home.
Declan Dwyer’s family came from Clogheen in Co. Tipperary. Declan’s father Billy Dwyer started Sunbeam Knitwear in 1928. After Billy’s death in 1951, Declan expanded the company to the point that it employed 4,500 by the 1960’s

Dodo Dwyer’s family came from Macroom, and it is from here that the connection with Derrynane came. Her great-grandfather, John Horgan (1780-1874), was a personal friend of Daniel O’Connell who sometimes stayed with him when he was traveling through Macroom en route to and from his Kerry home in Derrynane.

Dodo’s father James Bowring Horgan was a renowned surgeon in Cork. He was an avid botanist and fisherman and loved to fly fish in Waterville. Summer holidays were spent at the Butler Arms with Dodo and her sister, Gwen, exploring the outdoors and picnicking on the beach at Derrynane. Dodo used to recount how she was dared by her sister to cross the roof of the hotel between the two towers – which she did!

James was second of the six sons of Michael J Horgan, who was Coroner of Cork County and a personal friend of Charles Stewart Parnell. All the Horgan brothers had careers practicing either medicine or law. His youngest brother, Francis Aubyn Horgan also had a strong connection with Derrynane.

Aubyn Horgan, was a Justice of the Peace for the County of Cork and lived in Firville, Macroom. Aubyn had an immense love of Derrynane and used to caravan with his wife, Ros, on Lambs Head.  It is fair to say that Aubyn was a bit of a character. When he decided to build a holiday home no ordinary design would do. No, instead he built his house in the shape of a boat.

Ship House Derrynane
St. Anne, M.O.B.Y.C.


The result was the fantastic ship house, St. Anne, M.O.B.Y.C. (My Own Bloody Yacht Club).  Declan recalled that when he announced that he was going to build a house, Aubyn sent over plans for him to build one that looked like an airplane!

Up until the early 1950’s, Declan and Dodo spent their holidays with their children in Ardmore, Co. Waterford. However, in 1954 they bought a caravan and decided to bring the family west to Derrynane.

Derrynane Circa 1956
Caravanning in Derrynane
The Dwyer family caravanning in Derrynane

At the time, Tom Doran was the caretaker for the O’Connell family and lived in the East Lodge at Derrynane. Tom was very accommodating and allowed the family camp along the dunes of Derrynane Bay each summer for the next four years. A great fisherman, Tom also educated the family on all the joys of Derrynane.

Tom Doran on Deenish Island

It was Tom Doran who suggested to Declan and Dodo that they should approach the O’Connell family in Derrynane House to see if they could buy a piece of land to build a holiday home. They were duly invited to present themselves for inspection and afternoon tea. The visit was successful.

The house was designed by the architect, John Wilkinson, with many suggestions and valuable input from Declan.

Design of Kerry home
The original blueprint, it remains the same today

While it was partly assembled in Cork, the final build was by local labour, many of whom stayed in Keating’s Hotel, now known as Bridies Pub. Bridie recalls a lovely story about when the workmen were laying the patio stone, while her brother, Father Michael, was visiting. The stone was unusual and had been exclusively sourced from Ardmore. Father Michael, who would divest himself of his dog collar while enjoying his holidays, had heard about the stone and he called over one day to see how work was progressing. There was trouble. The lads were having difficulties putting the patio together as it was random sized stones. The Lord’s name was taken in vain by all and sundry. However, it was not until the workmen went to have their supper that they realised that the man who had watched them was a man of the cloth!

One of the main features in the house is the breath-taking views from all the rooms. Unlike most houses of the day that were built to keep mother nature away, Coolisk embraces the elements and brings them right into the living room with massive plate glass windows.

A room with a view
The view from the living room

The kitchen, below, was built by a local carpenter, Tom Fenton. It still looks good to this day, despite the many years of wear and tear.
The outside of the house is clad in Burmese Teak. The upkeep of the hardwood proved to be difficult to maintain. It was decided to remove the layers of yacht varnish that had built up over the years and re-coat the hardwood with more modern products. It was slow, painstaking work that took over two years to complete.

Although only a bungalow, the house could sleep 11 people. Even the attic space was home to smaller family members under four feet in height! When the house was first built there was no mains electricity, and the cooker and fridge were run off bottled gas. Declan installed two Lister diesel engines with generators to provide electricity literally at the click of a switch. A battery- operated system called ‘Start O Matic’ would start up the generator when a light switch was turned on, bulbs would glow dimly and then reach full brightness!

Ahead of its time, a back boiler was installed behind the open fireplace to heat the water. Water itself was an issue. There was no fresh water or a well on-site.  Declan was resourceful and went about the task of providing the house with an ample water supply. Firstly, he collected rainwater from the gutters into a large holding tank. Then he constructed a dam with a holding tank and filtering system in a stream at  Derrynanebeg and ran a pipe all the way down the hill and along the bog to Coolisk.

With approximately 5 acres, the property is extensive. Local man, Thady Galvin, maintained the grounds for many years, upkeeping and clearing where necessary and creating pathways with steps to access the beach. Thady built a nine hole pitch and putt course around the house under Declan’s direction, where many enjoyable times were spent with friends and family, losing more balls than sinking putts! After Declan died in 1982, the greens and tee’s reverted back to nature.

In 1961 Coolisk house featured in an Irish magazine called ‘Creation.’ As you can see, very little has changed over the years.

Declan and Dodo’s family, Peter, Robin, Daphne, Kevin, Ginny and Margot all loved Derrynane. It was a perfect place to grow up in. Summers were filled with all kind of activities, both on the sea and onshore. Everyone has happy memories of those days.

There was so much to do. Declan loved boating and he owned a motor cruiser called the Minihaha. The Mini, as she was known, was used for fishing trips, visits to Parknasilla or picnics on Deenish Island. There was also a speedboat for water-skiing, and a little sailing boat called a Superior Pram.

Skellig Lighhthouse
Lighthouse Keeper on the Skelligs Circa 1958

Weather permitting, visits to the Skelligs were also often undertaken. The lighthouse on the Skellig Michael was still manned in those early days and the  keepers were always delighted to have visitors, especially if you bought out all of the previous week’s newspapers!

Golfing was also a favorite pastime. Dooks (where Declan’s mother, Agnes Dwyer, had a holiday home) and Parknasilla were frequently visited. There was plenty of opportunities to hone the short game around the house too! In the 1970’s, Waterville Golf Links was an additional bonus on the list.

Declan loved cinematography and took many films over the years of the family on boating trips, visiting the Skellig’s or enjoying water sports. Like her father, Dodo was a keen fisherwoman and did a lot of bass fishing off the rocks of Derrynane Bay. There was, and still is, a family tradition for shrimping in the harbour, followed by laborious hours of peeling then potting the scrumptious little crustaceans.

Coolisk remains in the family ownership by Declan and Dodo’s daughter, Ginny Darrer.  Ginny and her family are lovingly maintaining the property and upgrading it to make it more of a year-round retreat.

If you have noticed a number of Fairy Houses springing up around Derrynane House recently, that is the handy work of Ginny. In 2013, Ginny approached the Head Gardner, James O’Shea, with the idea of erecting little houses in the woods for the delight of young and old alike. However, the houses are not just a frivolous whim, they serve a very worthwhile purpose in that the revenue raised from donations and map sales go to worthy local causes, such as the the Inshore Rescue Boat.

Coolisk is an exceptional home and will always be close to the hearts of everyone in the extended Dwyer family.

This article was coordinated by Ginny Darrer for the  Caherdaniel Annual Community Magazine, published in January, 2018. She  would like to acknowledge the following family members for their help  Kevin Dwyer,  Margot Mulcahy (nee Dwyer)  and Margot’s husband, Kevin Mulcahy.

RNLI Fundraiser & some FUN entertainment!

The Irish Fivers

RNLI Fundraiser – The Irish Fivers are coming to Cork on March 4th to help RNLI raise much needed funds. 

The Irish Fivers began as a very casual singsong meeting up of North Clare friends Padraig, Peter and John in O’Loghlins Whiskey Bar, Ballyvaughan village in 2015. They were spotted in 2017 by the Clare RNLI Fundraising supremo, Joe Quelly, who  twisted their arms to record a cd for RNLI.  The Irish Fivers armed with their “Singsong Favourites” cd are on now a mission to promote Old Style Singsong Pub Nights and raise funds for the RNLI Lifeboats  with their “2018 World Tour of Clare and Other Interesting Places”.

Their singsong nights are regularly enjoyed by young and old patrons, locals and visitors alike at O’Lochlainn’s.  There’s is not a stage act – instead The Fivers sit with patrons encouraging them to sing along with their acoustic programme of early pop classics and Irish ballads. On a good night, for example last month in the East Clare village of Feakle, up to 16   patrons contributed their own party pieces plus visiting musician friends- all part of the night’s fun and raised €500 with the house raffle and CD sales for RNLI!

The Irish Fivers

The Irish Fivers have linked up with RNLI in Cork and are bringing their fundraising party night to The Blackrock Inn, Mahon Golf Course on Sunday March 4th. Sunday night is singsong time at The Blackrock Inn, so with a 7.30pm start it should make for an enjoyable evening and profitable for RNLI in Cork.

To date the Irish Fivers project has raised €8,800 for RNLI.

Before getting to Cork the Irish Fivers head to Wales to link up with Port Talbot RNLI for 2 party nights coinciding with the Ireland-Wales Rugby International on February 24th.

Pádraig Cleary, John Hogan & Peter Fitzgerald are The Irish Fivers,

Tel Pádraig on 00-353-872583325      email: padraig@maydaymanagement.ie

Community supports Community

In a real spirit of giving, the Cobh Community Centre held a fund-raising concert on the 9th December, which is now helping two worthy local causes, Cobh Tidy Towns and the Cobh Lourdes Fund.

John Colman and Mary Byrne

On Friday, 19th January, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Cobh Community Centre, John Colman, presented cheques to Mary Byrne, representing the Cobh Lourdes Fund, and to Hendrick Verwey, who attended on behalf of Cobh Tidy Towns with Ruth Ring. John noted that the Centre was delighted to be able to support these hard-working community groups to help them in their worthwhile volunteering endeavours.

Event organiser, Wendy Bradshaw, was thrilled with the outcome and the massive amount of support for the concert. She recounted, “We had a full house with over 250 attending the event. It was a brilliant evening, full of seasonal goodwill and Christmas melodies.” Wendy went on to note. ”Under the musical direction of Alan Carney, well-known Welsh tenor, Ryan Morgan, gave a tremendous performance, supported by The Carrigaline Singers. Other musicians on the night included Patrick O’Donoghue and the young gifted star of the future, Sean Hurley.”

Hendrick Verwey , John Colman and Ruth Ring

The event ran for approximately two hours, commencing 7.30 pm with wine, refreshments and delicious mince pies. The concert was sponsored by the entire community, who provided a terrific range of prizes for the raffle, which took place at the Interval.  The staff at the Centre did a fantastic job of setting up the venue, and sincere thanks must go to Wendy, Martha, Harriet, Nuala, Jan and all Cobh Community Centre staff and volunteers who gave of their time so willingly to run such a successful fund-raiser.  The primary sponsors were the Cobh Credit Union, Frank Kowalski, of Safe Haven Marine, the Port of Cork and Doyle Shipping.

The concert was a real example of what a community can do together with benefits for all. A most enjoyable evening’s entertainment, that also raised much-needed funds.

Cork’s a Winner in the YourDaysOut Awards!

Revealed: Cork comes out on top in YourDaysOut Awards

We always knew that Cork is one of Ireland’s top destinations for family breaks and fun days out.

Now we have the proof!

Thousands of people recently voted in the YourDaysOut Awards and they recently announced the winners of the top things to do in Ireland.

The winners were selected following thousands of votes spread across 161 entries in 9 different categories.

Cork collected two GOLD awards with the Quality Hotel & Leisure Centre in Youghal picking up top prize for Best Family Break and Fota Wildlife Park winning the Best Zoo/Aquarium category.

Cork also picked up four Silver awards with Leisureplex, Clonakilty Park Adventure Centre, Perks Entertainment Centre and Cork Harbour Boat Tours proving the county really is the perfect choice for a family get-away.

Ciaran Dunne, co-founder of YourDaysOut said, “Ireland has some amazing things to do all over the island and YourDaysOut gives people an easier way to find information and businesses a simple, cost-effective way to reach them.”

“The competition was exciting to run. Being only a new company, but one that is growing very fast, it provided us with a great opportunity to ask our audience about their favourite days out.”

Research shows that one out of every five domestic holiday trips is families travelling with children (850,000 per annum) while one in ten overseas visitors are travelling with their family.

Tourists don’t make decisions in isolation and research nearby attractions when considering hotels, while the latest tourism barometer from Failte Ireland shows that marketing campaigns have helped business performance in 2017. *

YourDaysOut – recently nominated for an Eir Spider for Digital Start-Up – is a great place to start researching your next trip, birthday party or family break.

Winners Quotes

General Manager of the Quality Hotel & Leisure Centre in Cork, Allen McEnery said:

‘We are delighted and grateful to be a Gold Winner in the Your Days Out Awards. This honour acknowledges the hard work of all at the hotel in delivering first-rate family breaks. We thank all who voted for us. The team at Your Days Out have created a brilliant resource for people looking for fun things to do in Ireland and we wish them every success in their nomination for Best Digital Start-Up 2017 in the eir Spiders awards next week.’


Each category has an overall Gold Winner and three Silver Runner-Ups.

Adventure Venues

  • Gold:  The Zone Extreme Activity Centre
  • Silver: Carlingford Adventure Centre
  • Silver: ODD, Cavan
  • Silver: Clonakilty Park Adventure Centre

Family Breaks

  • Gold:  Quality Hotel & Leisure Centre, Youghal
  • Silver: Hidden Valley Holiday Park, Wicklow
  • Silver: Delphi Lodge, Connemara
  • Silver: Shamrock Lodge Hotel

Indoor Venues

  • Gold:  Jump Zone, Sandyford & Santry
  • Silver: National Museums of Ireland
  • Silver: Jumplanes Adventure Centre, Galway
  • Silver: W5 Belfast

Party Venues

  • Gold:  Airbound, Louth
  • Silver: Leisureplex Dublin & Cork
  • Silver: FitZone Clontarf & Leopardstown
  • Silver: Perks Entertainment Centre, Youghal

Pet Farms

  • Gold:  Kia Ora Mini Farm, Wexford
  • Silver: Clonfert Pet Farm, Kildare
  • Silver: Barrontop Farm, Strabane
  • Silver: Ardmore Open Farm, Waterford

Play Centres

  • Gold:  The Playcentre, Cavan
  • Silver: Base Entertainment Centre, Kildare
  • Silver: Puddenhill Activity Centre, Meath
  • Silver: Funky Monkeys Clare Hall & Dundrum

School Tours

  • Gold:  Castlecomer Discovery Park
  • Silver: SkyPark, Carlingford
  • Silver: Delphi Lodge, Connemara
  • Silver: Tayto Park

Water Activities

  • Gold:  Funtasia, Drogheda
  • Silver: Aquazone, Dublin
  • Silver: Cork Harbour Boat Tours
  • Silver: AquaDome, Kerry

Zoos & Aquariums

  • Gold:  Fota Wildlife Park, Cork
  • Silver: Dublin Zoo
  • Silver: Secret Valley Wildlife Park, Wexford
  • Silver: National Reptile Zoo

*Failte Ireland Tourism Barometer September 2017

For more information visit www.YourDaysOut.ie, like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/yourdaysoutireland/ follow us on Twitter @yourdaysout_ire


Hot Scoring for CUH Charity at the Old Head of Kinsale

Dunnes Stores team at the CUH CHarity event at the Old Head

Successful Fundraising Event for CUH Charity

The Cork University Hospital Cardiac Unit was the big winner with approximately €14,000 raised at the 20th Annual Charity Golf Classic held at the Old Head of Kinsale Golf Links last week.

Despite the very blustery conditions, the scoring was red hot.  With two best scores to count on each hole, the winning team from Dunnes Stores with Philip Ward, Dave Barrett, Phil Barrett and Darren O’Brien returned an impressive Stableford score of 89 points. Professor Molloy’s team were narrowly beaten on a match of cards on the back nine. Fergus Shanahan with Michael Bennett, Barry Kiely, and Pat Shanahan also put in a fantastic score of 89 to come in at second place. In hot pursuit, the Cavanagh’s of Fermoy team with Michael O’Sullivan, John Byrne, Sean Cuff, and Kevin Byrne came third with 87 Points. The highlight of the day must be the problematic 17th par 5, Michael O’Sullivan sank a birdie putt, only to be out-done by teammate, John Byrne who had an eagle – giving the team a whopping 9 points!

Dunnes Stores team at the CUH CHarity  event at the  Old Head The Winning Team

Former Irish Rugby International and Chairman of Cork University Hospital Charity, Prof. Michael Molloy was on hand to welcome the players. Prof. Molloy noted, “This Classic is a marvelous way to spread the word concerning the Hospital, itself. Many people don’t realize that CUH is the largest hospital in Ireland, serving a population of 1.5 million. CUH is also the only Level 1 Trauma hospital in the country, North and South and Ireland’s only hospital with cardiac surgeons providing full 24/7 coverage.


Miriam Forde, Head of CUH Charity said, ‘We are hugely grateful to all our supporters and golfers who contributed to making this event a huge success. I would like to thank the many Cork and Munster Golf Clubs who donated green fees, as well as the many local businesses and companies including East Cork Oil, Danone, Dunnes Stores, Cavanagh’s, Money Markets International, The Curragh, Keanes Jewellers, the Cliff House Hotel, Celtic Ross Hotel and The Europe Hotel. I would also particularly like to acknowledge Cummins Sports and the Old Head of Kinsale Golf Club who have supported this event year after year. Finally, a very, very special thank you to Dr Will Fennell, Cardiologist, who has worked tirelessly for 20 years to organise this Golf Classic to benefit cardiac patient services at CUH.”

The final word went to Dr. Will Fennell, “Because of the generosity of all our supporters, we continue to make our patients’ journey a little easier at CUH and deliver the best care that they deserve, every day of the year.”

If you would like more information concerning CUH Charity or make a donation, please contact Miriam Forde, miriam@cuhcharity.ie

Runners Up Below:

Winning Team

Sunset after golf classic

3rd place Team

Michael O'Sullivan's Team Kevin Ryan, Sean Cuff, Michael O'Sullivan and John Byrne

Walking the coast of Ireland for the Irish Heart & Lung Transplant Association

A Champion for the Irish Heart & Lung Transplant Association!

A Heart Transplant recipient of seventeen years, Ron Cummins, spent Monday night in Youghal on his attempt to walk Ireland’s coastline. This endeavour is to raise donor awareness and funds for the Irish Heart & Lung Transplant Association.

Ron has already completed over 1,700km of this epic 2,500km journey that commenced on the 20th June from the Circle of Life Garden in Salthill in Galway. General Manager of the Quality Hotel in Youghal, Allen McEnery, noted. “We were delighted to welcome Ron to the hotel for an oveIrish Heart & Lung Transplant Association.rnight rest and breakfast on his voyage. What an incredible journey Ron is undertaking, and for such a worthy cause. We all hope that it will be hugely successful initiative.”

Ron is now well over half way to completing this heroic undertaking with a walk of 800km remaining. During his stay-over in Youghal, Ron remarked that. “The walk should take me 93 days so that I finish back in the Circle of Life Garden in Salthill Galway on the 20th of September marking the 18th year of my transplant.” Wishing Ron every success.

People can donate via: http://www.mycharity.ie/event/ron_cumminss_walk_around_ireland.



















Cork ARC House Flower Festival in aid of Cork ARC House

Cork ARC House Cancer support flower festival

A FESTIVAL OF FLOWERS in aid of Cork ARC Cancer Support

A Festival of Flowers will be held at St Mary’s Church, Passage West, on May 29th  30th and 31st to raise funds for the Cork ARC Cancer Support House. Cork ARC is a specialised centre for people with cancer and where you can find information, practical help and emotional support for those suffering from cancer. The centre is a safe haven and helps to reduce the distressing impact and challenges that cancer can have on both patient and their families.

The festival is the first ever to take place in St. Mary’s Church. An appropriate theme of the Festival is “The Journey through Life” which is a reflection of the great voluntary work carried out by Cork ARC. The exhibits will cover a wide range of topics: ‘Where it all began’ will display a kitchen fireplace of long ago and the equipment that was used to prepare family meals. Other exhibits will include: ‘Bringing in the Catch’, ‘Will my Anchor Hold’, ‘Journey through the Woods’, ‘Hats from the Past’, ‘School Around the Corner’ and ‘Fisherman’s Journey’. There will be a few surprises too with many pieces reminding us of the bygone days. Also included in the Festival will be plant sales and bric-a-brac.


A preview of the Festival of Flowers will be held on Friday the 29th May, with a wine and cheese reception at 7.30 pm. at St Mary’s. Well known Cork soprano, Fiona O Reilly, will be opening the festival prior to performing with the local folk choir. The concert will be conducted by Jackie O Cornell in what promises to be a memorable evening’s entertainment. On Saturday, the festival will be open to the public from 11.00 am to 5.30 pm and on Sunday, from 12 noon, until 5 pm.


Cork ARC Cancer Support House is located at Cliffdale, 5 O’Donovan Rossa Road, Cork, close to the main gates at UCC. It is a lifeline for cancer patients and their families on their difficult journey. The house depends on voluntary donations, and this important event will hopefully bring in much-needed funds to continue the good work.


Tickets for the opening concert cost €10 are available at Cork ARC House and from both Chriss Bailey and Maeve McManamon, They will also be on sale at the door.

Contact numbers:
Chriss Bailey 086 3943156
Maeve McManamon 086 8832389
Cork ARC Cancer Support House 021 4275050


For further information, please contact
Maeve McManamon
Passage West Flower Festival
086 8832389

Festival of F


Ring of Cork Networking Event @ The Jameson Experience

Gathering of Cork’s Newest Tourism Brand in the home of

The World’s Fastest Growing Whiskey brand

Award-winning travel writer, editor, and author, Pól Ó Conghaile, was the keynote speaker at a unique gathering of tourism businesses from the Ring of Cork on Friday evening. Hosted by The Jameson Experience in Midleton, the event was a culmination of several local area meetings that have been taking place throughout the region recently.

Pól immediately dispelled the title of his presentation,  “The 10 Truths in Travel”, by stating that there are, in fact, “ No truths in travel.” The audience was captivated by Pol’s insights into Irish tourism, speaking of the need for creativity, working together, providing good value and, above all, the importance of the people and the local experience.

Keynote speaker, travel writer Pol O Conghaile; and Margot Dwyer Mulcahy, MDM PR;
Keynote speaker, travel writer Pol O Conghaile and Margot Dwyer Mulcahy, MDM PR;

Pol noted, “Tourism is an increasingly crowded and noisy space, and it’s harder than ever for businesses to cut through. To attract visitors, destinations need to pull together, to get creative and unified with their messages. That’s why it’s so encouraging to see Ring of Cork members pulling a new focus today. That they are meeting at the Jameson Experience, the heart of the world’s fastest growing whiskey brand, is very appropriate.”

He ended his presentation with a  call to action that created quite a positive and enthusiastic response from the attendees. He invited the audience to network together and to send him ‘10 great reasons to visit East Cork’, which he would use as the basis of an online article and gallery on Independent.ie.

Pol later explained, “ This is a great exercise for people to come together and get motivated.  I will decide the final 10, and I know that people will inevitable be disappointed if they are left out. However, it’s a good exercise, showing the power of destination marketing, and why it is worth working together rather than individually on a media piece.”

The Ring of Cork

Ring of Cork
Ring of Cork Directors Ryan Howard, JJ Harty, Sal Tivy, Jack Walsh and Seamus Cunningham; at the Ring of Cork / SECAD regional tourism networking event at the Old Midleton Distillery, Midleton,

Ring of Cork Chairman, Ryan Howard, also spoke at the event, “The Ring of Cork is a vibrant network of tourism related business who believe that by working together, they will grow together. Sharing information, referring business and embracing the challenges of worldwide competition will ensure a sustainable future for tourism in the region and create much-needed employment for future generations.”

Ignacio Peregrina, General Manager of the Jameson Experience at the Old Midleton Distillery, said afterward, “We were delighted to host this Regional Networking Tourism Event. It is great to see that members of SECAD and the Ring of Cork are pulling together in an organized and cohesive fashion. This event offers an opportunity for us to showcase everything that Cork and East Cork has to offer, from world-class accommodation and hospitality venues to heritage, cultural attractions and outdoor activities. There’s no doubt that the tourist industry has shown signs of strong economic recovery, with visitors numbers continuously increasing. It is very appropriate that tourist operators are meeting at the Jameson Experience, home to an iconic and world renowned Irish product.” Ignacio provided their specialty Jameson Cocktail for the networkers – a shot of Jameson whiskey, ginger ale plus a good squeeze of lime. They also served something a little different, titled ‘A Taste of Cork’ – it consisted of slaw marinated in Jameson, ginger and lime and local oak barrel smoked peppered mackerel served with Clonakilty black pudding soda bread.

MC at the event was the well-known Cork broadcaster and corporate entertainer, PJ Coogan. PJ ensured that the program for the evening ran smoothly. Included in the proceedings was a short speed networking session which proved to be a great success. Among those in present were the Directors of the Board of the Ring of Cork, Seamus Cunningham (Wallis’s Bar), Sal Tivy (Perks), Jack Walsh (The Cobh Heritage Centre) and JJ Harty. With over eighty in attendance, the turnout included Gillen Joyce (Titanic Experience), Wendy Whelan and Fern Allen (Ballymaloe), David and Gaye Fitzgibbon (Aherne’s), Stephen Belton (Bayview and Garryvoe Hotel’s), Deirdre Mannion (Trabolgan), Nick Ryan ( Walter Raleigh Hotel), Vincent Bartley (Fota House, Irish Heritage Trust), Stephen Ryan and Sean McKeown (Fota Wildlife Park) Breffne Costello (Castlemartyr Resort) Miro Jezovica (Quality Hotel Youghal) and Mark Golden (The Old Imperial Hotel).

Jack Walsh, Cobh Heritage Centre; and Deirdre Cole, Failte Ireland;
Jack Walsh, Cobh Heritage Centre; and Deirdre Cole, Failte Ireland;
Ring of Cork
Elga Ryan, Ring of Cork / SECAD; and Gillen Joyce, Titanic Experience, Cobh;
Ring of Cork
Siobhan Sheehan, Youghal Tourism; and Deirdre Mannion, Trabolgan; at the Ring of Cork / SECAD



For further information, please contact Margot Mulcahy info@mdmpr.com  or mobile 086 8045468

Tourism businesses in Cork pull together in a new sphere

Tourism Business Networking – a forum for the  future

With sales up 30% at the recent Holiday World Show, an upbeat atmosphere for tourism management is set to develop in Cork. This also is a direct result of a series of innovative local gatherings that took place recently throughout the region for Ring of Cork members and SME businesses in the food, retail and craft sector.

Vibrant networking meetings have taken place to share information, refer business and plan for the future in the Cobh/ Fota area, Youghal, Midleton, Glanmire, Carrigaline/Crosshaven and Ballincollig. “Networking and working together plus knowing that competition is good. This is what will grow our business” were just some of the comments evolving from these proactive gatherings. The culmination will be a Regional Networking Event, for those who attended the local area meetings, planned for the 6th February at the Jameson Experience at the Old Midleton Distillery. Award-winning travel writer, editor, and author, Pól Ó Conghaile will be the keynote speaker at the event.

Ring of Cork Chairman, Ryan Howard noted, “Following our recent AGM, we have taken on board the feedback from members in instigating more networking meetings to help grow business.  The response from the local meetings ‘Forum on the Future’ has been amazing, with great attendance and very positive input”. Ryan went on to note. “Unlike most plans that stay on a shelf, our New Strategy for the Ring of Cork will be based on the direct feedback from those who are in a position to implement the necessary action – our members”.

The Regional Tourism Networking Event is taking place at the Jameson Experience at the Old Midleton Distillery, on Friday, 6th February at 4.30 pm. The keynote speaker, Pól Ó Conghaile, is Travel Editor for Independent.ie and regularly contributes on travel to National Geographic Traveller UK, Cara Magazine, and the Irish Independent. He also features widely on national TV and radio, including the RTE Today Show and the Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk. Currently, he is Ireland’s Travel Writer of the Year. Pól will speak specifically about East Cork and Cork Harbour area, but will also broaden it out to include several examples of best practise tourism and trends (from both Ireland and overseas).

Active speed networking and a presentation from the Ring of Cork Chairman, Ryan Howard, will also be on the agenda at the regional event. This will focus on the outcomes of the local area meetings to be included in the new strategy for the Ring of Cork region. Ryan noted. “It is hoped that this process will encourage an ethos of cooperation and referral business between tourism interests, with regular networking meetings between product providers evolving.

This event is being restricted to business participants; registration in advance is essential.

For further information, Please contact Margot Dwyer Mulcahy at info @ mdmpr.com

Tourism Networking event for Midleton on Monday

Building for the future of tourism in the Cork  area   

The benefits of tourism to the East Cork area are immense and working together to build a strong network of tourism related business in high on the agenda for SECAD and the Ring of Cork.

Three local area meetings, one in Cobh, one in Midleton and one in Youghal have been planned for Ring of Cork members, as well as other businesses with a tourism related interest. These are being co-ordinated for SECAD by Margot Dwyer Mulcahy, MDMpr. The primary aim is to encourage product providers to work  together, for them to understand that competition is good and to develop a stronger tourism network. Non-members of the Ring of Cork are encouraged to attend these networking to help grow the Brand so that it becomes internationally recognised. In addition to the local forums, a regional event  has also been planned to bring all areas together for a major networking occasion. This will be taking place in Midleton and will be the culmination of the process, also having  a major draw.

The Events
The  local events have already commenced, with the first taking place at Fota Wildlife Park for the Cobh/Fota and Carrigtwohill based product providers.  This proved most successful, with over 35 tourism businesses attending. The outcome was very positive, with good suggestions coming from the floor. The Youghal based   event took place at Clancy’s, with great feedback which will  be included in a new strategy for the region. .

Midleton & Area Networking event
Seamus Cunningham,  Director of the Ring of Cork and Chairman of the Midleton Chamber, is hosting the  Midleton event next Monday, commencing at approx. 6 p.m at Wallis’s Bar. Finger foods and beverages are included for those attending.

The local meetings incorporated:

  • Informal networking
  • Round-table discussion format,
  • Familiarization – A short presentation on local product
  • Q&A – Questions about other businesses in their area – and answers from the product providers attending
  • Forum on the Future: The final part of the  local  meetings is a Forum to discuss their vision for ROC and where they feel it should be going.

 The Regional Event

Award-winning travel writer, editor, and author, Pól Ó Conghaile will be the keynote speaker at the Regional event. This will take place on the 6th February.   Pol is Travel Editor for Independent.ie, and regularly contributes  on travel to National Geographic Traveller UK, Cara Magazine, and The Irish Independent. He features widely on national TV and radio, including the RTE Today Show and the Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk. Currently, he is Ireland’s Travel Writer of the Year. At the event, he will:

“ Speak specifically about East Cork, but would like to broaden it out to include several examples of best practise tourism and trends (from both Ireland and overseas), that I think, would be very instructive for your audience”.

The Regional Event will include Failte Ireland participation. Full details of this event will be circularized shortly.

It is hoped that this process will encourage an ethos of cooperation and referral business between tourism interests, with regular networking meetings between product providers evolving.

If you have a tourism related business in the Midleton/ Castlemartyr/ Ballycotton area and would like to come along on Monday, please email me at info@mdmprdotcom


TheCobh and Fota
The Cobh and Fota tourism networking event