Newmarket Leads the Way on Swift Nest Boxes

by Joan Ann Brosnan

Swifts are rapidly disappearing from towns and villages all over Cork City and County. The larger towns still have perhaps tens of pairs, but numbers everywhere are dropping fast.   Smaller towns such as Newmarket have precious few left, and at the rate of decline, might well have none in years to come.

Flock of Swifts

Flock of Swifts

Special thanks mainly to the hard work of Dr. Brin McDonnell and Stephan deBeer, the town of Newmarket can boast 6 Swift nest boxes now in place, in theory capable of hosting up to 14 Swift nests and also to the people who contributed towards the costs and gave permission to put up the boxes on the eves of their roofs. There are now three sites around town and one outside town where the boxes have been located. It is hopeful that by playing recordings of the sounds of Swifts in early Summer, with the possibility of drawing in curious young Swifts to investigate and hopefully nest. The two Swift Boxes in place at the St. Mary’s Church are ideally situated with room for expansion and each box
can hold three nests.

Swift Boxes at St. Mary's Church Newmarket

Swift Boxes at St. Mary’s Church Newmarket

Last year, at the old Protestant Church, near the centre of Newmarket town, while works were being carried out on the building the provision for 43 nest holes were implemented and it is also hoped that there will be success with nesting here as well.

Potential Swift Nests

Artificial Swift Nests in the eaves of the Cultúrlann

Check out Birdwatch Ireland website ( for information on the

Swift Conservation Project.

A great project for Tidy Towns or interested individuals.

Cultúrlann MacAmhlaoibh Website Launched.

A new website has been launched for the Cultúrlann MacAmhlaoibh, the McAulliffee Heritage Centre.  It can be found at

The site is full of information about the building – including it’s history and plenty of pictures and plans of the ongoing restoration project.

Work on the Cultúrlann is underway again in the past few months.  The foundations for the extension have been completed, as can be seen in the pictures below.  For more information on the project and the plans for building check out the website.

Extension Extension Extension Extension

Newmarket Parish Website Launched

Newmarket & Taur Parish website is now live and can be viewed on

The main objectives of the new parish website are to provide a) online access to almost all parish information, b) improved communication with parishioners and c) opportunities for greater engagement by all in the parish.

Main website features

  • Times of all regular services and key dates for the coming year.

  • Information and contacts for all parish groups.

  • Information on all seven sacraments.

  • All rosters for both churches.

  • Availability dates for booking Baptisms, Weddings or Mass Intentions.

  • Upcoming Events.

  • Recent news blog and news archive.

  • Latest newsletter and newsletter archive.

  • Photo galleries.

  • Thought of the day feature.

  • All content such as photos, news etc. can be shared especially via social media.

  • Plus a lot more.

ScullysFest 2015

Niamh and Siobhain O'Sullivan - Photo by Sheila Fitzgerald.

Niamh and Siobhain O’Sullivan – Photo by Sheila Fitzgerald.

Scullysfest 2015 kicks off in Newmarket on the 7th of August, running for 4 nights until the 10th of August.  The festival began back in 2004 as a celebration of the fact that an open session has been running in Scully’s Bar since 1974.   The session began when local musicians decided to get together on a regular night to share and practice their music. Over the years a unique repertoire of music has grown from the session and many tunes from local players such as Timmy O’Connor and John Walsh have been popularised by Jackie Daly and others and are now standards in the Sliabh Luachra canon.

There’ll be events for all ages such as music workshops on the Saturday and a Books, CDs and instruments Market with BBQ on Sunday afternoon.   There’s two early mini concerts featuring Sliabh Luachra young Musician of the year Bryan O’Leary, Lisa & Mike O’Sullivan, Brendan McCarthy and the mighty Tim Browne with a splash of recitation and drama. There’ll be open session in the Bar every night.  The Festival is also growing a fringe with all the music Friday night taking place in Dan Hourigan’s Bar.

You can find the full program of events here:

Scullys Fest is seeking to add to the wealth of genuine tradition in Duhallow and Sliabh Luachra and anyone interested should see or facebook or call Eoin on 087 9100087.

Newmarket Summer Festival 2015

Newmarket Summer Festival

Newmarket Summer Festival. Photo by Eileen O’Connor

One week to go until Newmarket Summer Festival 2015 kicks off with it’s annual opening parade.  The two schools will be closing their doors next Friday the 26th and what better way to celebrate than to head into town to take part in (or watch) the parade and head back to Turbett’s funfair for the evening.  This years festival will be opened by this years young scientists.

The week is jam packed with different events: the ever popular walk about quiz and car treasure hunt; the family day in the Island wood followed by the enchanted evening (pack a picnic and a nice bottle of wine and enjoy some soothing live classical music), the poc fada, the ladies of the rings nights, american tea party, a father Ted night,  along with many other events throughout the week.

The local pubs along with Safari’s niteclub will be hosting live music and other events throughout the week.  Don’t miss the Mayoral ‘Election’ which is being run by the development association.  The last few weeks have seen a hotly tested campaign between our two mayoral candidates, Maura Sheahan and Daniel O’Doherty in this Mock Mayoral election.  The candidate with the highest amount of money raised will be crowned ‘Mayor of Newmarket’ for the next two years.  The electoral night is sure to be a fantatsic night out in the Rock Bar.  All money raised will be spent on new Christmas Lights for the town.

If you’d like to get the full programme of events you can find it on the festival committee website below:

Newmarket Drama Group Web Site

Newmarket Drama group have launched a fantastic new website, created for them by new local web design company Tosnú.

The site contains a vast array of photographs, posters and information about past productions.  The aim of the site is to provide an archive and history of the Newmarket Drama  Group.  We have a rich history of drama in our community, dating back to the early part of the last century.  If you want to send in an article or any photos for the site their email address is

You can find the Drama Group website at the following link:

The drama group are also on Facebook, if you want to follow them there also.

Newmarket Mayoral Elections 2015

Newmarket Mayoral Campaign 2015 kicks off this weekend (May 9th 2015). This year there are two candidates Maura Sheahan and Daniel O’Doherty. The candidate who raises the most funds through sponsorship cards will be declared Mayor of Newmarket for the following 12 months. The inauguration will be held during Newmarket Summer Festival on Saturday the 27th of June – venue to be decided. All funds raised will be invested in local projects by the Community Development Association.

How can you get involved?

Each candidate will have sponsorship forms and you can buy a line for €2.  There will be a draw the night of the ‘inauguration’ with the following prizes:

1st prize €200

2nd prize €100

3rd prize €50

4th prize €50

You can follow the candidates on their Facebook pages as well to keep up with their campaigns:

Daniel’s facebook page address is and his campaign manager is Ollie Dugdale

Maura’s facebook page address is and her campaign manager is Liz O’Connor

What happens to the money raised?

First off funds raised will pay for running this event (including the prize money) and all profits after that will go the Newmarket Community Development Association.  At the beginning of each year this group starts with bills for insurance in the town and town park along with the bills for the Christmas Lights.  This year they would like to be able to get some new Christmas lights as well as invest some money in plants, paint and other items for Tidy Towns.  The more money they raise the more they can do around our community.

Where to get more information?

There will be regular updates on this site and the Newmarket Notes in the Corkman as well as the development assocation facebook page:

We will keep an ongoing tally of funds raised on the main page of this website – once completed sponsorship cards are submitted to the development association treasurer.  Whoever has raised the most funds by the 27th of June will be declared Mayor of Newmarket for the following 12 months.

Sponsorship cards will be available from all development association committee members and some local businesses.

Centenary Celebrations Taur

Spring Time in Newmarket

Spring has arrived in Newmarket, Snow drops and Daffodils are starting to peak out of the ground, there’s a bit of a stretch in the evenings and today the center of town is packed full of stalls, horses and many other animals for the February Horse Fair.  There is something timeless about the biannual Newmarket horse fairs, similar fairs have been run here for hundreds of years.

Spring also brings the AGM for the Newmarket Community Development Association.  This was held in the meeting room in Scanlon’s bar on Tuesday night (17th of February) and saw the election of this years committee:

Chairman: Ollie Dugdale, Secretary: Linda Walker, Treasurer: Lisa O’Donoghue, PRO: Mary O’Sullivan.

The first big job of the year for the committee is the coordination of the St. Patrick’s day parade.  The Newmarket Parade has grown year on year and is always a great day in town.  Plenty of traditional music, dancing and craic.  Followed by the Coffee Morning in Hourigan’s High Street lounge which has run for many years now and is part and parcel of the Newmarket Paddy’s day experience.  Other events on in town over the few days will be viewable on the events section of this site.  If you’d like to get involved in the parade this year all are welcome.

This years Tidy Towns competition was also a topic for discussion at the AGM and the committee are determined to make a really big effort this year.  Some really great ideas suggested at the meeting.  There will be a kick off meeting for Tidy Towns 2015 in April.

A collection of handmade bird and butterfly boxes will be distributed around town over the coming days and weeks.  According to Joan Ann Brosnan, who is the wildlife officer in the Development Association “after valentine’s weekend is the correct time to put up bird boxes – love is in the air – at this time bids look for territories, mates and homes – they will not make the nest for another few months and lay eggs but will be in pairing mode and need to stake out territory and find the best nesting places. ”

The boxes will last for a number of years and will need to be cleared out each year of nest material to prevent bacteria spreading in September. Bluetits, great tits, coaltits, robins or sparrows could use them.  Also wrens would use them in winter to roost.

We’re hoping to add a lot of content to the site this year and are really interested in any photos new or old that people may have that they would like to share.  We’d also love to get some articles from people, anything that relates to Newmarket: maybe your own childhood memories, a bit of history or an anecdote, a song or a poem.  We’re hoping to do a few interviews also so if you’d be interested in taking part get in touch:


Newmarket Christmas Fair 2014

Newmarket Christmas Fair will take place this Sunday at Safari’s Nite Club (the Hiland) between 12 and 5pm.  This is our fourth year running this highly successful fair and it has gone from strength to strength each year.  This year we have even more on offer, 55 stands showcasing the best of local produce, crafts and businesses: food, clothes, plants, gifts, decorations, cosmetics, and a huge range of crafts to name but a few.  It’s a great opportunity to get your Christmas Shopping done whilst shopping local!   And here are 10 important reasons why you should shop local this Christmas and indeed all year round. Ní neart go cur le chéile (in unity is our strength) – Áth Trasna Abú!

  1. Shopping local creates jobs.
    Shops in our town create local employment and self-employment. These people in turn spend in the local community.
  2. Local independent shops invest more in our communities.
    Local businesses are proportionately more generous in their support of local charities, schools and community events. Supporting local shops means a financial impact on your community.  Our local businesses continuously contribute to our voluntary organisations, our schools, they contribute towards the decoration of the town over Christmas, the St. Patrick’s day parade and much more besides.
  3. Local shops sell a wide range of great products at affordable prices.
    Many people fall out of the habit of shopping locally and are then surprised by the range of products and gifts available.
  4. Shopping local saves you money.
    Out of town shops have done a good job of convincing us that local business equals expensive. If you add travel, fees to transfer items and your time, the overall cost is often much higher.
  5. Shopping local retains our communities.
    People don’t like losing shops and services in small towns but don’t equate this to how they spend their money.
  6. Shopping local retains our distinctiveness.
    Independent shops create distinctive shopping experiences and stock different products. Local businesses respond quickly to the needs of local customers, stocking products to meet the changing population needs.  If you don’t see it all you have to do is ask!
  7. Shopping local saves the environment.
    Local shops often stock a high percentage of local sourced goods which do not require long car and bus journeys, helping reduce our global footprint.
  8. Local shops are for everyone.
    Most people can get to their local shops easily and this is especially important for the elderly and young generations and those without transportation.
  9. Local shops value you more.
    Evidence from numerous surveys show people receive better customer care and service locally. These businesses survive by their reputation and repeat business, which means you get a higher standard of service.
  10. Shopping local saves services.
    Private and public sector services tend to cluster around shops. As shops disappear so do hairdressers, banks, restaurants, etc.