Hands off our community, says West Cork alliance

Hands off rural communities — that’s the message the West Cork Communities Alliance wants to deliver to Government.

The alliance, a watchdog voluntary body, insists the Government cannot continue to asset-strip local amenities.

Plans to restructure locally run rural bus services and post offices, along with the withdrawal of nighttime A&E services at the region’s only acute hospital, do not augur well for the future of West Cork, organisers of a public meeting say.

In advance of the meeting in Skibbereen in the West Cork Hotel at 8.30pm on Monday night, alliance spokesperson Margaret Peters said: “Planned changes at Bantry General Hospital and post offices are causing concerns to many people in West Cork. The meeting will seek to explore fully the implications and consequences of the proposed changes and the likely impact on rural communities.”

West Cork’s three TDs — all members of the government parties — have been invited.

“The meeting will be an open forum,” said Ms Peters, who lives in Kealkil. “We feel any changes could be the death knell for West Cork where, in many areas, population ageing statistics show higher-than-national-average figures for people over 65 years.

“It can frighten people who have been used to dealing with cash all their lives to be asked to do their business online in post offices.”

Meanwhile, plans to restrict A&E services at Bantry Hospital to daytime hours will have serious consequences, Ms Peters said.

“Many peninsula families in West Cork are over 100 miles from Cork City. We all respect Bantry Hospital as a centre of excellence. Everyone you speak to has availed of the hospital’s emergency department, it’s second to none.”


Audrey's been sorting out Cork people for ages.Ask Audrey: C’mere, what’s the story with Chris O’Dowd thinking he’s better than Cork people

So, I put a link to a short story up for my students the other day. The story was by Michael Morpurgo and I was delighted to find an online copy. It can be challenging when you are relying on non-paper texts to teach.Secret diary of an Irish teacher: I love physical books and always will

Celebrated actress Siobhán McSweeney may have found fame starring in a TV series set at the other end of the country, but Cork is never far from her thoughts, writes Ciara McDonnellHome is where the art is for Derry Girls actress

There are literally hundreds of free events on offer this evening for kids and adults on Culture Night. Marjorie Brennan selects the best of them, in Cork and beyondCulture Night: Get out and make the most of it

More From The Irish Examiner