County Mayor's Diary

Cllr Frank O'Flynn

I hope everyone has had a lovely St Brigid's Day weekend and made the most of the bank holiday by getting out and about and keeping up with their New Year's resolutions.

Marking the beginning of spring, St Brigid's Day has long symbolised, renewal and the feminine. If you have not downloaded the Explore Cork App now is a good time to discover the vast amount of walking trails on offer in our beautiful county.

Since I wrote my last column, I have been busy around the county, and I have several Community initiatives that I would like to talk about this week.

Cork County Council is inviting applications from community and voluntary groups for funding under the new Local Enhancement Programme (LEP) and Women’s Groups Fund 2024. Funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development, the €254,559 LEP capital only fund will help groups, particularly in disadvantaged areas, with funding for small scale capital projects such as improvements to their facilities and purchase of equipment. Visit to apply.

Seven contracts for Cork county have been signed under the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2024 -2028 providing €13.9 million in funding to aid deprived and marginalised communities throughout Cork county.

The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme significantly reduces poverty and promotes social inclusion and equality. Through community development pathways, targeted supports, and interagency collaboration, SICAP will help us to enhance the lives of the most marginalised groups and individuals in our communities over the next five years.

There is still time to apply for the Community Climate Action Programme (CCAP) with a deadline date of 6 March. The CCAP aims to support and empower communities in shaping and building low carbon, sustainable communities which will contribute to national climate and energy targets. The CCAP is designed to provide targeted funding for community groups through a competitive application process to deliver community climate action. Do not forget to visit to apply.

Lastly, BirdWatch Ireland in partnership with Cork County Council and the National Parks and Wildlife Service have completed a survey of barn owls in the county, the results of which show that the fortunes of this iconic farmland bird are changing, as barn owls were recorded in numbers not seen in the county in the past 50 years. It is heartening to see that the barn owl population in Cork county is now on the increase.

The next phase of this work will see the continuation of a nest box project, with suitable sites identified throughout Cork county.

It is hoped that annual monitoring of barn owl nests in Cork will continue, which will contribute to an understanding of the local population trajectories and the pressures barn owls face. We must work to safeguard the future of this wonderful species.