10th Annual Sheep’s Head Hike in Cork, Cloyne and Ross for Christian Aid

The first weekend in September signifies a lot, the All-Ireland final, the kids are back at school, Electric Picnic and the start of Autumn. But for one part of the world, just off the west coast of Ireland in County Cork, Kilcrohane to be exact, it means only one thing, Christian Aid Ireland’s Sheep’s Head hike.

Some of the walkers in this stunningly beautiful part of Ireland.

For the last ten years, this has been a staple in Christian Aid’s calendar, creating awareness and fundraising for those in great need. Rain, hail or shine the walk never fails to deliver. On Saturday, 1st September, over 200 walkers from all over the county and beyond took part.

More than 200 walkers took part in this year’s Shepp’s Head Hike.

Before heading off, the local community of St. James Church in Durras, welcomed trekkers with tea and coffee before Canon Paul Willoughby, the local rector, officially set everyone on their way.

Canon Paul Willoughby, rector of Kilmocomogue Union – a parish of peninsulas including the Sheep’s Head

There were clear skies and sunny weather this year with views for days.  This year the hikers raised on the day over €4,500, with more donations still coming in. The money raised goes towards projects in the developing world and helps those in most need to break the cycle of poverty. By empowering people and villages to create better lives for themselves and standing together as one community, a real difference is being made.

On the Sheep’s Head Hike 2018

An unexpected last hint of summer arrived at the weekend in Cork leading to a few sunburnt but happy faces after the hike, as everyone arrived back to Kilcrohane for a well-earned BBQ.

A thank you from Christian Aid:

Christian Aid Ireland can’t thank everyone enough for all their support of the hike on the day itself and in the time leading up to the event. We had 23 hike leaders this year from all around the locality. A big thanks to James O’Mahoney and the Sheep’s Head Way Committee. The Gourmet Grill for the food on the day, especially Ulla and Kurt Zepperzitz. All the volunteers who assisted with registration, thanks to Jim, Denis and Andrew for driving the buses from Bantry and bringing more walkers to the peninsula. Thanks to The Red Cross and to all the photographers who joined us. We captured some amazing shots of everyone so keep your eyes peeled for these. A special thanks to the local community of Kilcrohane and Durrus who’s support we could not do without.

Andrew Coleman, Christian Aid’s representative in Cork, would like to also thank David Hayward, Caroline Coleman and Margaret Skuce.

See you all again next year for the 11th annual Sheep’s Head hike on the 7th September 2019.

On the Sheep’s Head Hike, 2018

Posted in Charity Work, Christian Aid, Church in Society, Community Involvement, Contemporary Issues, Five Marks of Mission, Parish News, People from Cork, People from the Diocese, Voluntary Work, World Aid and Development

Speech by Bishop Paul Colton at the Official Opening of the Trevor West Sports Hall at Midleton College

Speech of the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton,

Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

at the Official Opening by the Provost of Trinity College, Dublin,

Dr Patrick Prendergast,

of a new sports hall at Midleton College

dedicated to the memory of Professor Trevor West

Friday, 14th September 2018

Mr Chairman, Dr Gash, Dr Prendergast, Maura Lee West and Members of the West Family, Minister, My Lords, ladies and gentlemen.  

Dr Prendergast, you are not the first Provost to visit Midleton College to perform an official opening.  Your predecessor, Provost Leland Lyons, visited on 14th November 1974 to open a new room as a memorial to Timothy West, father of Professor Trevor West.  It cost £13,000, of which £12,000 was donated directly by individuals.

As we each ‘do our bit’ in our own time, it is important to acknowledge all the very significant ‘bits’ done by previous generations, and from which, during our time have benefitted. So many strands of that past are represented here today – former students and staff members, a former principal (Simon Thompson), Mrs Kay Cairns, former chairpersons, former Governors, and members of the Midleton College Association.

Indeed, what we are doing here today was started in the time of students and parents who are no longer here, but who wanted to help leave their mark, as we now will leave ours in the hope of inspiring future generations to continue to build and to move Midleton College forwards.  Professor Trevor West was a church-going man with a strong Christian faith, and therefore, as we mark and remember his legacy today I am mindful of the words of Saint John’s Gospel – ‘Others have laboured, and you have entered into their labour.’ (John 4.38)

On behalf of our three boards, therefore – the Governors (who are the trustees of the school and its patron), the Board of Directors, and the Board of Management – I welcome you here today.  I feel like the parent who sat beside me at a wedding reception once. His son had had an inordinately long courtship of nearly 12 years before marrying his new bride that day; the father of the groom turned me to and said  ‘We thought today would never come.’

But here we are today in phase one of this magnificent new Trevor West Sports Hall at Midleton College.  Everything has been beautifully prepared for today including the siteworks undertaken over the summer, campus improvements of recent years, and it is all truly splendid.  It’s a credit to you Dr Gash and to all your team – management and staff – here at the College to whom our thanks are especially due.

Along with many other improvements to this campus, this is the second entirely new building project here at the College to be opened in the last six years – a new academic building in 2012, and now this sports hall today.  This all stems from the major strategic plan – an overall campus development plan – drawn up by the Boards in 2007, a process initiated when Professor Trevor West was chairman, and adopted by the Board of Governors when Ken Brookes was chairman, and when Simon Thompson was Principal.  It is important also to acknowledge their leadership in all this today.

I told Dr Gash recently that, in the light of the ubiquitous menace of GDPR, I was reviewing all my old College files over the summer, and I came across that very 2007 strategic plan, and indeed also, the project timeline devised by the architect for the completion of every single aspect of it: September 2011!

We all know what intervened; the economic crash in 2008, and a radical shift in Government policy towards funding for schools in our sector,  both of which tilted our cosmos, and many people’s world, on its axis. A piecemeal, phased implementation, and further adaptation and change to what was originally envisaged, became the only option.  Indeed, it is probably true to say that a complete review of that plan now and a new strategic vision and plan is needed 11 years on. But that’s next week’s work; it’s not for today.

I have to say that I feel a bit of a fraud being the one pushed forward to speak on behalf of the boards today, because it was only when I stepped down from the boards two years ago that this project actually began to take off and get going.  Perhaps that absence of two years from involvement gives me the independence, however, that permits me to ask you to acknowledge here today the work of my successor chairpersons, Noel Ryall, first and more recently Ken McIlreavy, of all the Board members, of Dr Gash, as Principal, and everyone on his management and administrative team, and everyone in the school community – parents, staff and students – who have rowed in behind this project and brought it about.  I am sure that Dr Gash and others will be setting out all these thanks in detail.

That said, I have been around Midleton College for long enough now to describe the beginnings of all this, as I have just done.  Moreover, I didn’t entirely escape the project, for fund-raising was never far away in our house as in many others. In a memo to us all in January 2014, Simon Thompson recorded that the first meeting of the fund-raising sub-committee commenced its work on 4th February 2011.  They had started with nothing, and with donations, pledges and specific events and activities had by the time of that memo (January 2014) raised €404,054. That work has continued, and combined with sound in-house management of finances, we are here thankfully today.

As I look down I see many of you who have longed for this date.  I know from my 35 years of community leadership that projects like this are loved and hated in equal measure, but with tenacity and vision this point has been reached, and the work will continue into the future.  

The College community over the years since the project started, the businesses and people of the town and region of Midleton and further afield have all responded generously, as have, in particular, all the major donors – many anonymously or in memory of loved ones, such as the donation of The Buckley Foundation in memory of Brian Coomber.  In terms of fundraising, things have been knitted, baked, made, and sold; auctions dreamt; scrap gathered; dinners eaten; walks walked; Christmasses ‘faired’; umbrellas sold, cookbooks printed, marathons run, and ramps strutted at fashion shows.

Apart from the Viscount Midleton (who does not attend meetings but appoints a representative, at moment, Noel Ryall) I am one of only two Governors who had the privilege of serving with Professor Trevor West: the other being Daphne Spillane.  The Boards, I know, were greatly honoured when Maura Lee West, and the West family, agreed to allow Trevor West’s name to be given to this building. And this brings me to my main point: Trevor West.

Professor West had many strands to his immense personality – mathematics, politics, Midleton, Midleton College, Trinity College Dublin, sport, the Church of Ireland, and, of course, Maura Lee, and his family circle.  Many of us are thrilled that our endeavours here overlapped with Trevor’s leadership. I recall his humour, his wit, his commitment, his intellect, and his succinctness. In the short history he wrote about Midleton College  the chapters have very succinct headings which, nonetheless say all that needs to be said. For example, for the period 1882 to 1928, covering the College in late 19th century – Ireland with further famine, land league, gaelic revival, home rule debates, coming to terms with disestablishment in the Church of Ireland, the Titanic, the Ulster Covenant, 1916, the First World War, women’s suffrage, the Spanish flu,  the War of Independence and the Civil war – all just, ‘for starters’, Trevor gave this chapter the two-word heading ‘Political readjustment’: ‘Readjustment’ indeed!

The West family have been intrinsic to 82 years of the 322 years since Midleton College received its charter.  If my mathematics are right that’s just over one quarter of the school’s history. This project embodies so many of those strands in Professor West’s life and interests, as does your presence here today, Dr Prendergast, and, in particular, Trevor’s huge commitment to and personal interest in students, especially those from Midleton College when they went up to Trinity, as well as in the sporting life of this College, and that of Trinity.  

The last occasion on which I was out and about with Trevor was on 14th March 2012 at the side of the Presentation Brothers rugby pitch at Dennehy’s Cross, watching Midleton College playing Bandon Grammar School in a final.  Trevor died later that year. Just three days before he died he sat on the College steps chatting with Simon Thompson. Even in his latter days, in retirement and in illness, his interest and fidelity to the students of this school never waned.  

This new sports hall further adorns Midleton College.  Huge credit is due to all of you who have brought about this adornment.  Rightly, it is named after one who, in his time, adorned this place and left his mark: Professor Trevor West.

At the official opening of the Trevor West Sports Hall at Midleton College were (r-l) Dr Edward Gash (Principal), Lord Donoughue, Ian Mulvihill, Mrs Maura Lee West, Dr Patrick Prendergast (Provost of Trinity College, Dublin), John West, the Reverend Cecily West, and the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton. (Erich Stack Photography)

Posted in Church in Society, Diocese, Education, Midleton College, Schools in the Diocese

Holiday Club in Blarney Church of Ireland Parish

Another parish in the Diocese which hosted a holiday club during this past summer was the Church of the Resurrection, Blarney in the Parish of Carrigrohane Union.

The local secondary school  – Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál – was the venue in July with nearly 80 young people taking part.  The theme was ‘Teambuilders.’

The team of leaders and assistant leaders who ran Teambuilders in Blarney.

Posted in Parish News, Summer, Voluntary Work, Youth Work

County Cork Church of Ireland Parish On RTE Nationwide on Monday 3rd September

Dunmanway, the hometown of Sam Maguire, together with the Sam Maguire Bells project based at Saint Mary’s Church of Ireland Church in the town, will feature on RTE’s Nationwide program this evening at 7pm. The programme will look at the life of this famous name and what is being done to remember his story and bring healing to his community.

A preview of the programme is HERE

Sam Maguire statue, Dunmanway, County Cork


Posted in Announcements, Bells, Centenaries in Ireland, Church in Society, Community Involvement, Contemporary Issues, Diocese, GAA, Parish News, RTE Broadcast

Royal School of Church Music awards for choristers of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork

Three senior choristers of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork were presented with the Royal School of Church Music Bronze Award following the Eucharist at the Cathedral on Sunday 2nd September.

The girls travelled to Dublin in June to be assessed on their singing and associated musical skills such as sight reading and aural tests. In addition they were required to give a short presentation on several aspects of church liturgy and how it links to the music which they sing. They all achieved the highest possible grade and this reflects the hard work which they put in to the examination and also the commitment and dedication which they have given to the cathedral choir over the years.

Three choristers of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral Cork who recently received the RSCM bronze award with the Director of Music, Mr Peter Stobart.

Posted in Cathedral, Cathedral Choir, Church Music, People from the Diocese, Royal School of Church Music, Youth Work

New Editor of the Cork, Cloyne and Ross Diocesan Magazine

The appointment of a new editor of the Diocesan Magazine of the Church of Ireland United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross has been announced.

The new editor is Isobel Dunne.

Isobel Dunne

Commenting on her appointment, Isobel said:

I am delighted to be taking on the role of editor of the Diocesan Magazine. I am looking forward to working alongside the Diocesan Magazine committee as well as building a warm and professional rapport with all contributors to the Magazine.

Bishop Colton, welcoming Mrs Dunne’s appointment, said:

I am delighted that Isobel is taking on this role in relation to our Diocesan Magazine, which is still an important and popular element in our diocesan communications work.

Posted in Announcements, Appointments, Diocesan Magazine, Diocese, Media and Communications

Holy Trinity Church Crosshaven ~ 150th Celebratory Concert with Iarla O’ Lionáird and Steve Cooney

Holy Trinity Church Crosshaven is celebrating its 150th Anniversary this year, 1868- 2018. This concert was one of a number of events happening as part of the celebration this year.

The proceeds from this Concert go to the Crosshaven Community Consolidation project ‘Save Our Spire’ (SOS Project) for the old Templebreedy Church on the hill.

St Matthew’s on the Hill was the place of worship for the ninety years preceding Holy Trinity church and it is timely in this year of celebration to connect the old history of Templebreedy Church with the newer history of Holy Trinity Church.

150th Anniversary Concert in Holy Trinity Church, Crosshaven, Co Cork

Over the past 150 years, Holy Trinity Church has become a well-known and loved place within the village and it is fitting that this event was a gathering of the wider community in music, song and celebration.

150th Anniversary Concert in Holy Trinity Church, Crosshaven, Co Cork

At the concert the highly acclaimed traditional Irish vocalist Iarla Ó Lionáird, was accompanied by renowned musician Steve Cooney, and the Crosshaven Community Choir and other musicians.  Dr. Eva McMullan, directed this concert and it was a fabulous event, enjoyed by all.

150th Anniversary Concert in Holy Trinity Church, Crosshaven, Co Cork

150th Anniversary Concert in Holy Trinity Church, Crosshaven, Co Cork

5 Attachments

Posted in Anniversaries, Church in Society, Community Involvement, Concert, Diocese, Festivals, Sesquicentenary, Special Events