Posts Tagged ‘clonakilty market’

This in from Cionnaith O Suilleabhain:
A Cháirde,
FYI below is the text of the motion submitted to Clonakilty Town Council for next Tuesdays Council Meeting agenda. It was agreed at the public meeting last week that this would be circulated as soon as it has been sent in to place on the agenda
The motion was co-signed by Cllrs. Robert Walsh, Paul Hayes, Anthony McDermott and myself, and the remaining five councillors will be contacted today (Tuesday) inviting them to avail of the option (if they wish) to go into the Town Hall to also sign it before 5.00pm which is the deadline for submission of motions.


“That this council amends it’s Casual Trading byelaws to designate the “Credit Union Car Park” for the purposes of Casual Trading under the Casual Trading Act of 1995″


Also, as per the public meeting last week, a deputation of three people who support the market idea, has been arranged. They will be received at the start of the council meeting (7.00pm sharp). As per Standing Orders, two of the three will be given a maximum of 5 minutes each to address the council on why it should allow the market to be held and in the location that’s being suggested. After they have spoken, they will be thanked by the Mayor, and the council may discuss what has been said, but will not be allowed interact with the speakers, or the speakers will not be allowed to make any further comments.

(The Mayor may use his discretion to be a bit more flexible in relation to how rigidly he wishes to implement the Standing Orders – e.g. he may invite the third member of the deputation to also speak, and may not “blow the whistle” when the 5 minutes are up for each speaker)


The motion will then be discussed later as part of the agenda which is where things will be won or lost.


Important that those who are interested make every effort to attend the council meeting. You must be in the chamber and seated by 7.00pm and cannot interrupt the proceedings. Numbers might be curtailed if Health and Safety or Fire regulations are in danger of being breached, so first in first served, so to speak.


Those who favour the market should at this stage be working to influence the other councillors not mentioned above to either vote for the motion, or abstain. To be successful we only need a majority of one vote.

There are nine councillors. Four have signed the motion and therefore will be voting Yes. The remaining five could vote NO to defeat the proposal or if some abstained, to still allow a majority of one carry it.

The Mayor would only use his casting vote if there’s a tie (as happened in March).


Feel free to forward this to interested parties and individuals.


Meanwhile, the issue got an airing on TG4 Nuacht last Friday. Click on this link and go to 18.00 minutes on the programme (just after the ads!!)







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Just back from visiting the new Clonakilty Market at the Spillers Lane Car Park. It seems to have gone well, no major conflict. The traders had their names recorded by the town clerk but no more than that. A good crowd came along to shop and have a nose and Darina Allen gave a strong message of support for both markets. She told me that she has also invited the town councillors to visit Ballymaloe and Midleton to see how the market is working their and talk to their counterparts in the Midleton Town Council.
Following the successful launch of the market, the traders have decided to suspend it for the time being pending a public meeting. The meeting will be held on Tuesday August 19 at 8pm in O’Donovan’s Hotel. The meeting is hosted by the committee of the proposed market with invited speakers. All are welcome.
Here are my photos:

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The debate about Clonakilty Market continues on C103, but unfortunately only the pro side is being represented. Other than Cionnaith O Suilleabhain, the councillors have stayed off the airwaves. In the interests of presenting the other side of the argument I was glad to receive a copy of Peter Walsh’s letter to the local business community:

3 Pearse St




Dear Business Owner/Rate Payer

I feel compelled, as a Town Councillor and Town Centre trader, to issue a statement on The “Proposed Clonakilty Market” which is to be located in Kent St. Car Park and feel it necessary to point out my concerns and reservations about the threat it poses to businesses in Clonakilty Town Centre.

I wish to point out a few facts:

  • This is not a “farmers market”, in fact the main pro-poser markets “olives” and is using some local intersted parties to front this market when in fact, most of the marketers are not from the locality.
  • The proposed site being used is taking invaluable parking/access away from your business which you pay rates each year to maintain, and, on the busiest day of the week when it is most needed.
  • Although you may feel that it may not pose competition to your business directly, the precedent set today may encourage otheres to set up in the future.
  • The “Market” is in direct conflict with the by-laws of Clonakilty Town Council
  • Each and every Year!, when you pay your rent, rates, repak, refuse, water-in/water-out (and waster water license!!) energy bills, imro/ppi or whether its Christmas lights, summer flowers, community donations, remember who (and who does not!) pay the bills.
  • This market undermines the rate collection capacity of Clonakilty Town Council and threatens the capacity of the council to pay for essential projects. i.e. footpath upgrades, playground, housing etc…
  • This market poses a Health & Safety Issue to pedestrians and users of the Car Park. There has been no consultation with Clonakilty Town Council or the Gardai to this point.
  • Anyone who tells you that this Market will bring business to town is misleading you! People come to Clonakilty Town Cente to avail of essential services, some of which are provided 6/7 days a week by you and others and often at unsociable hours. TO undermine these services is to undermine the survival of the Town Centre.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinions on this matter and I wish you every success. If I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to call me.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Walsh (#phone number#)

If anyone would like to add their views here by way of support or challenge, please feel free to post a comment.

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Richard and Jane Graham-Leigh

Richard and Jane Graham-Leigh

West Cork

‘s enviable reputation for food is often traced back to pioneering producers that set up here in the late 70s/early 80s. These businesses are still going strong but in the meantime many more have joined them – often with a very different proposition. The success of the first generation was based on selling outside West Cork, in cities where their products found a critical mass of people with money and “sophisticated palates”. At the same time we have had food businesses in West Cork that catered for a more local market. A typical example is the small confectionary bakeries producing traditional buns, cakes, scones and soda breads. They compete on freshness and service. Many have developed from home baking operations and simply scaled up to offer local shoppers a taste of home.  For all its merits, however, it’s fair to say that this baking is not fancy and does not rely on developed palates. RGL Patisserie in Dunmanway, run by Richard and Jane Graham Leigh, is not one of these. True, they have also built a business that is based on a local market. But this is business that wouldn’t have been sustainable before now and their success is an encouraging sign for the culture of food in West Cork.


RGL Patisserie has been described by Darina Allen as “the best bought confectionary you are ever likely to find”. Richard and Jane produce classical French patisserie and biscuits using the finest ingredients, like couverture chocolate and free range eggs. Everything is made from scratch, there are no shortcuts. Richard told me that the critical ingredient that sets them apart is butter, which apart from adding an additional cost is also demanding to work with. Butter pastry doesn’t tolerate being warmed up or it will crumble, so it can only be worked by hand. This is time consuming and the skill level required makes it difficult to scale up easily. But it is worth it – “What we do is a blend of physics, chemistry and art,” says Richard, “fat is flavour, we have to whisper that but it’s true, butter melts at 15˚C degrees, which means an almost instant flavour release when you bit into it, literally melt in the mouth”.


Like with many others Richard and Jane were drawn to West Cork for lifestyle reasons. They left London in 1998 where Richard had been working as a chef entertaining clients for a posh firm of solicitors. They love West Cork, particularly their home in hills above Dunmanway but admit to being busier than they intended to be. They started the business in 2002 – “Like a lot of the people we know, the farmers market in Clonakilty was what made it possible for us.” says Jane, “We saw the start up notice looking for producers. Richard started baking in our own kitchen and I took it to the market to try it out. That is how we found out what worked and we also learned that people needed to be encouraged to try things out if they were going to pay the extra price. We don’t produce specifically for an Irish palate and I’m not sure that there is such a thing anyway. People’s tastes change all the time and with experience and exposure they become better able to detect the differences between foods. The market was brilliant for that because we could talk to people and if they liked pear and almond tart, for example, because they’d had it before, then we could suggest one with berries. Our biggest customer is Urru in Bandon and Mallow, they are very good at encouraging people to try new things and educating their customers about taste. When we first arrived I don’t think that there would have been enough demand for what we do, but the markets, fine food shops and restaurants are changing the appreciation of food.”


RGL Patisserie cakes and biscuits are probably not for everyday, they are a rewarding treat or a special occasion indulgence. However, that West Cork can sustain a fine confectionary business like this, which has plans for further growth, sends out a very positive message about our food culture.

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