Fuchsia News

Issue Seven

  2005 Events


Following on from the exhibitions of John Minihan's photo essays of individuals prominent in the local food and tourism industries in West Cork - "Impression" A West Cork Welcome & "Expression" An Exploration of People, Place and Produce, West Cork LEADER have produced "Impression" and "Expression" 2006 Calendars. John Minihan's intimate and informal portraits explore the theme that West Cork's acclaimed food & tourism products reflects the personality of the individual as well as the influences of tradition and environment.

The Calendars are available for €12 each including postage and packaging. Contact the West Cork Regional Branding Initiative on 00353 23 34035, or email

Impression - A West Cork Welcome        Expression - An Exploration of People, Place & Produce
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The West Cork Regional Branding Initiative were finalists for an HSMAI Sales & Marketing Award in the Category of Best Marketing Innovation 2005. The Awards took place in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin on Tuesday October 25th.

Among the winners were:

Best Hotel Brochure 2005
Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa

Best Domestic Marketing Campaign 2005
Ireland West Tourism

Best Festival or Sporting Event Marketing Campaign 2005
The Tall Ships Race

Best Website 2005
O'Callaghan Hotels

Best Sales and Marketing Strategy 2005
Radisson SAS Galway

Best Sales and Marketing Team 2005
Westin Dublin

Lifetime Achievement Award
Park Hotel Kenmare

For further information visit

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Click on the images below to view the West Cork LEADER Stand at the 2005 Ploughing Championships in Mogeely, Midleton, Co Cork, September 27th - 29th.

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'A Taste of West Cork' Food Festival took place in Skibbereen for the first time ever on September 16th to September 19th 2004. The Festival is organised by Skibbereen Business Association in association with West Cork Regional Branding Initiative/Fuchsia Brands. The West Cork Regional Brand is an initiative to build on the achievements of local food producers and tourism providers in establishing the region's reputation. It is designed to emphasise excellence and environmental quality and to reflect positive local characteristics such as the richness of the area's heritage, culture and landscape.

Following on from the success of 2004, the Festival once again took place from September 14th - 18th 2005. The Festival encompassed a wide variety of events including "A Taste of West Cork Banquet" on Thursday 15th September in the magnificent mystic surroundings of the Church Restaurant. The menu for the Banquet comprised of all West Cork food produce which was prepared by the chefs of the local restaurants.

A new event for this year was the Mystery Dine Out Night, which took place on Saturday 17th September. The idea being that participants would meet for drinks at the Eldon Hotel and find out which of Skibbereen's best restaurants would be their particular dining spot for the night. The restaurants included Kalbo's Bistro, The Church Restaurant, The Eldon Hotel, the West Cork Hotel and Thai @ Ty ar Mor.

The Final of the Schools Cookery Competition which was won by Mercy Heights Secondary School, Skibbereen took place on Friday 16th. First prize was a Microwave oven for the winning school, sponsored by Thornhill Electrical, Skibbereen. The winning team also received a cheque to the value of €200.

One of the highlights of this years festival was the launch of by RTE's Aoileann Garavaglia at the Co-Action Centre in Skibbereen on Wednesday 14th. The website gives 6-11 year olds the opportunity to explore the quality food that is available to them from the West Cork region. Click here for further information.

The official opening of "Impression" - A West Cork Welcome, took place in the Abbeystrewery Church of Ireland, Skibbereen on Thursday 15th. Following on from last year's successful launch of the Cork 2005 "Expression" Photography Exhibition of local food producers, West Cork LEADER commissioned acclaimed local photographer John Minihan to compile a photo essay of individuals prominent in local tourism. The exhibition which runs for the duration of the festival captures the diversity, character and unique personalities that are cornerstone of West Cork's tourism industry.

Banquet   Storytelling   Impression   Download Impression Flyer   Food Market

Food Market   Cookery Competion   Cookery Competion   Cheese & Wine Evening   Cheese & Wine Evening

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On Wednesday 14th September West Cork LEADER Co-op launched an exciting new initiative for primary schools to encourage healthy eating among children. is an interactive website and CD Rom that takes a fun approach to a topic that has come to weigh heavily on the minds of parents throughout the western world. The package was developed in collaboration with 3 West Cork primary schools and one in Cork city and was launched by Aoileann Garavaglia, from RTE series Yumee. stimulates children's natural curiosity to investigate, explore and experiment with the world around them. "By opening up for kids the culture of food and food production that is all around them, particularly here in West Cork, their sense of wonder will lead naturally to an active interest in what they eat, where it comes from and how it is made," says Kevin Santry of West Cork LEADER Co-op. presents food in a fun and interactive manner with a simple what, who, where and how approach to discovery.

The "What?" section empowers children to find out for themselves about healthy eating and food ingredients, helping them to take a more active role in choosing healthier foods. Food choices have become a major battleground between many parents and their children, played out not just around the table but also in the supermarket aisles. teaches kids to explore and understand food labels, looking beyond packaging colour and catchy advertising.

"Who?" places food very much in the context of local community and kids click on buildings in a typical coastal village to find out who is working within. It profiles the people that bring us our food - farmers, fishermen and chefs, and presents information on local markets. As Shane Cronin of Digital Roots, the software developers explains, "these are rich topics for further exploration and can give rise to a host of follow-up discovery activities for primary schools inside or outside the classroom".

"Where?" presents a map of the world with fun food facts from exotic locations and quick quiz to challenge the users knowledge. "How?" will truly fascinate as it takes users on guided video tours of a number of food producer's premises, showing the smoking of fish, vegetable preparation and cheese making. The tours are superbly narrated by Shane's younger sister and overlaid with a catchy tune that will have you humming all day long.

"This is phase one of the project", says Ian Dempsey of West Cork LEADER Co-op, "we have loads more ideas and would love to hear back from schools. Log on to and let us know what you think!"

Click on images to view:
Aioleann Garavaglia launching      Aioleann Garavaglia      Aoileann picutred with the  Digital Roots team, staff of Kilcoe NS, WCLC & Skibb Promotions      Aoileann with students of Kilcoe NS
Launch night at the Co-Action Centre, Skibbereen. Click on images to view.

Aoileann with students of Kilcoe NS      Aoileann with students of Kilcoe NS   Students of Kilcoe NS
Launch day at Kilcoe National School, Skibbereen.

Go to
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The Taste of West Cork Garden Party and Craft Exhibition took place at Clonakilty Agricultural College, Darrara, on Saturday August 27. The college celebrated 100 years of agricultural education, training and development.

Hosted by the Taste of West Cork food producers, the event centres on great food from our award winning producers who are now the vanguard of Ireland's culinary revolution. The Fuchsia brand initiative presents high quality, distinctive, traditional and speciality food products ranging from smoked salmon, preserves, farmhouse cheeses, confectionery, grilled butchers sausages to mention but a few.

This is the Garden Party's third year after many enthusiastic requests from last two years for a repeat event. The garden party is a great way for the regional brand to showcase what the region has to offer, bringing together its renowned food and crafts, as well as traditional music by the Owenabue Valley Traditional Group in a unique setting.

Garden Party   Carey's Butchers   Skeaghanore Duck   Kinsale Pottery

O'Conaill Chocolates   Baking Emporium   Mo the Clown   Owenabue Traditional Music Group
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The following feature appeared in the Autumn/Winter 2005 edition of the Discover Ireland Publication as part of a joint marketing initiative for tourism members under the West Cork Regional Branding Initiative.

Download Feature
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The following is a feature which appeared in the September edition of the Irish Entrepreneur - Ireland's Top Business Magazine. Click on the image below to view the article.

Click here to view article

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The "Surviving or Thriving?" seminar took place in the Buswells Hotel, Molesworth St. Dublin 2 on Thursday 9th June 2005. The seminar was based on a study of quality of life in four rural development areas, which found that West Cork has come out more than 10 points clear of the national average. In the study, which was carried out by economists Chris Johns and Jim Power, Waterford and Cavan were marginally above the national benchmark while Monaghan was marginally below.

The study set out to identify a number of criteria that could be applied at a local level in order to gauge quality of life. It identified six factors: census, health, technology, crime, income and housing which they applied to the West Cork, Monaghan, Waterford and Cavan LEADER rural development areas. Within these, 54 criteria were identified and measured. Based on the criteria chosen, the study shows that in terms of quality of life, West Cork was 10 points above the national benchmark of 100.

The final score showed that West Cork has scored a total of 110.3 on the index, Cavan 103; Waterford 101.6 and Monaghan scored 99.3.

The findings of the study were presented at the seminar by Jim Power and Chris Johns. Mr Alan Dukes, Director General, Institute of European Affairs, chaired the event which included speakers such as Mr Noel Ahern, TD, Mr Trutz Haase, Independent Social & Economic Consultant and Prof. Finbarr Bradley, Economics Department, NUI Maynooth.

Click here to download Survey Findings. Click here to download Seminar Brochure.

Speakers     Chris Johns     Jim Power

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New road signs are to replace the existing signage on the N71 route from Innishannon to Glengarriff. The project will be carried out by West Cork LEADER Co-op in conjunction with the Cork County Council. Approximately 13 signs will be required and each of the towns will be written in both Irish and English to comply with NRA regulations.

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Click here to view a sample of the signage

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Glorious sunshine greeted the third year of the now popular Baltimore Seafood Festival which took place on Sunday 29th of May 2005. Large crowds descended on the picturesque village from early morning to sample the finest of food from over thirty food producers from the West Cork region and beyond. Fuchsia Brand food producers once again tempted the public to sample their culinary delights with a diverse range of products such as confectionary from the Baking Emporium, Farmhouse Cheeses from Milleens, Gallan, Gubbeen, and the West Cork Natural Cheese Company, smoked and wild Salmon from Ummera, Unionhall Smoked Fish and the Woodcock Smokery. Jamaican Pickles were provided by Sonia Bowyer and Farmhouse Smoked Products from the Gubbeen range. For the first time two of our craft producers, Mary Kelleher and Hillary Hale now affiliated to use the Fuchsia Logo, showcased their products with great interest from the public.

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Saturday 28th May saw the Grand Opening of the new Supermarket extension and Off-Licence at Barryroe Co-op. The store now has additional aisles as well as an expanded Deli section. West Cork Fuchsia food producers exhibited their produce for tasting in the marquee, ranging from smoked salmon, farmhouse cheeses, preserves and confectionary etc. Dianne Curtin of the Evening Echo/103FM presented cookery demonstrations, using locally produced food products, all under the Fuchsia Brand.

Click here to download brochure
Download Brochure

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Walk Week West Cork - The CoAction Challenge was a fundraising hike around the hills of Sheeps Head and Beara. Participants walked 77 km and climbed over 1,800 meters from Monday 23rd to Friday 27th of May 2005. Based in the luxurious Westlodge Hotel nestled in Bantry Bay.

Walkers were taken on walks over the magnificent Sheeps Head and along the Beara Way with all their eating and entertainment requirements catered for.

For further information go to or phone 00353 07 54027. Click here to download TV advertisement!

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Trident Hotel, Kinsale, Co Cork, Ireland. May 18th - 20th 2005.

Press Release - Look to the Fuchsia

There is an inseparable bond between rural life and food production, but will this always be so? At Europe's first ever regional branding seminar held in Kinsale in May, West Cork's Fuchsia brand was held up as a shining example of a rural area with a vision of where it is going. "This vision is encompassed by the Fuchsia brand, which sets out a clear future for rural areas as thriving and productive communities, based around valuable natural resources such as food and tourism and offering a superior quality of life", said Brian Crowley, the Munster MEP, who opened the conference.

120 delegates from Europe and as far away as Australia, gathered in Kinsale to discuss how areas can use their own regional identities to take a strategic approach to their development. "We would be naïve to take for granted the place rural areas have at the negotiating table at national and European level", said Mr Crowley, "Eight European governments no longer have a Department of Agriculture and most Departments of Food are simply fire fighting outfits to deal with food scares. Even in Ireland we export more Viagra than food! No-one will put rural development and rural food production on the agenda if we do not first do it ourselves."

Over three days at the conference delegates thrashed out the role of a strong regional identity in firstly bringing people together and secondly adding to the character and appeal of an area's products. Excursions to local entrepreneurs included a visit to Anthony Creswell at Ummera Smoked Products near Timoleague. Ummera uses only wild or organic salmon and the production process causes minimum impact on the local landscape through the innovative use of worm composting and a constructed wetland system for waste water. Anthony's use of West Cork's appeal goes hand in hand with the care and responsibility he shows for the local environment.

"Using West Cork's identity through the Fuchsia brand puts an obligation on producers to make the best quality product they can", was the message from Casey Ó Conaill, the Carrigaline chocolatier, whose shop in Cork was also on the itinerary, "We can only share in this tremendous asset if we also add to it through our product quality". With new food, tourism and craft members joining the regional brand each year and raising standards and expectations ever higher, the fuchsia looks bright for West Cork.

Project Partners & Guest Speaker Brian Crowley MEP   Martin Beaton, Rob Maessen & Robert Deane   Michelle Ryan & Nadege Jaouen, West Cork LEADER Co-op   Display of West Cork Produce   Conference Room
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A cd compiling the speakers presentations, as well as photographs from the event and a delegate list is available. Contact 00353 23 34035 for further information, or email

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The 8th West Cork Tourism Walking Festival took place from 13th to 15th May 2005 and was based in the historic village of Rosscarbery midway between the towns of Clonakilty and Skibbereen. All of the walks were in the general area of the village (except the Cape Clear Island walk) on some of the most interesting landscapes for walking in, using green roads and coastal paths with views of lighthouses, castles, ringforts and stone circles. Every walk on the programme was packed with history both manmade and natural. For further information on the event go to or click here to download brochure (pdf format).

Download Brochure in PDF

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Ireland's largest tourism fair, organised by Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland took place at the RDS, Dublin on May 9th & 10th 2005. "Meitheal" is an entirely new concept for presenting the Irish tourism proposition - incorporating the traditional Travel Trade Workshop, and introducing for the first time the Ireland Showcase - allowing travel operators from 33 countries around the globe sample the best of Ireland in one location.

Fuchsia Brands for the first time were represented under the Cork/Kerry Tourism Stand and also had a food display in the showcase hall.

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A Taste of West Cork Food & Wine Evening and Cookery Demonstration in association with Murphy's Supervalu Castletownbere was held in the Cametringane Hotel, Castletownbere on Thursday 14th of April at 8 pm. West Cork's 103fm Celebrity Chef & Food Critic, Dianne Curtin demonstrated easy and quick ways to cook locally produced products, all from Fuchsia Brand Food producers. Throughout the evening those in attendance sampled and purchased the delightful food products. All proceeds went to local charities.

Dianne Curtin, 103fm Chef & Food Critic   Representatives of Shell Fish de la Mer displaying product  
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The following feature appeared in the May 2005 edition of the Irish Homes publication on the "Taste of West Cork" Culinary Guide, a West Cork LEADER Cooperative initiative. Click here to download the feature in PDF format.

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The Westlodge Hotel, Bantry, West Cork placed the following advert in the Irish Examiner Feelgood Supplement on March 18th 2005. Click here to download the advert in PDF format.

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As part of the ongoing promotion of the Fuchsia Brand, a joint marketing initiative of 8 tourism establishments under the Fuchsia Brand appeared in this years Ireland At Your Leisure Guide. The annual publication is distributed via 7 car hire companies in Ireland.

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Thursday the 17th of March, St. Patrick's day, Oliver Plunkett Street Cork was turned into a haven for food lovers. Fuchsia Brands in association with the Capital City of Culture 2005 held one of the biggest food fairs ever seen in Cork City with up to sixty food stalls. Over twenty food producers representing the West Cork Regional Branding Initiative showcased what they have to offer from farmhouse cheese, smoked salmon, confectionary and preserves to mention a few.

With up to 100,000 people in attendance in the city for the annual St. Patrick's Day parade, this was once again a great opportunity for our renowned food producers to further promote their products and given the reputation that they enjoy, many were sold out very quickly.

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Commissioned and co-ordinated by West Cork LEADER Co-op as a project for Cork City European Capital of Culture 2005, Expression was launched at the Farmgate Restaurant on March 2nd at 6pm.

A selection of the portraits will be on continuous display throughout the year of Cork's European Capital of Culture at the Farmgate Restaurant, located in the English Market, which is very much the heart of the City's vibrant food culture

John Minihan's intimate and informal portraits explore the theme that West Cork's acclaimed food produce reflects the personality of the individual as well as the influences of tradition and environment. John tells stories full of meaning, humour and pathos, with masterful portraits evoking a tender complicity between photographer and the brooding, contemplative subject. Each reveals a depth and reflective quality and captures something of the photographer's own irreverence.

Ian Dempsey, West Cork LEADER Co-op & Kay Harte, Farmgate Restaurant   Pat O'Farrell, Carrigaline Farmhouse Cheese, Barry Cogan, West Cork LEADER & Cllr Tony Fitzgearld     
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The following is a feature which appeared in the March/April 05 edition of "Ireland of the Welcomes", a bi-monthly publication by Failte Ireland. The extract is based on the Culinary Guide which was produced by the West Cork Regional Branding Initiative. Click here to view large version.

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Fuchsia Brands, for the first time, took a stand at Holiday World Dublin from 27th to 30th January. The stand was staffed by Ian Dempsey, Kevin Santry, Jean O’Sullivan and Michelle Ryan. Fiona, Baltimore Harbour Hotel, also participated. The show was very well attended and there was a lot of interest in West Cork, particularly priced packaged holidays and activity holidays such as angling and walking. There was also a high awareness of the tourism product within the region with repeated references to Clonakilty, Bantry, Rosscarbery, Timoleague, Courtmacsherry, Kinsale, Skibbereen, Baltimore, Beara, Glengarriff and the islands.

Jean O'Sullivan & Michelle Ryan of West Cork LEADER with Eamon O Cuiv, Minister for Community Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs     
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