April 26 – May 30, 2024

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might be ‘small’, collectively we create a large impact. If we were all to fall, would the local economy fall with it? There’s a domino effect that would see the market tumble. Aside from the negative im- pact all these closures will have on the economy, can we take a moment to consider the effect it will have on the community? Where is the last place you met your friend for a catch up, to share how your life has been lately. Was it at a coffee shop? What about the people that ordinarily wouldn’t meet some- one from one end of the day to the other? For some, popping

down town is their only social interaction. Loneliness can be crippling and a breaking point for mental health. Other than the economic support small businesses offer, we also provide great support to the local community. Forbes and I have always said we want everyone who walks through our doors to feel welcomed and appreciated. All our customers bring something to the table and we love each and every one of them for it. We all lift each other up. Now let’s see that same level of support from our very own Government.

“The Field Kitchen Restaurant, Clonakilty opened in 2020 offering an authentic field-to-table experience with most of the food served produced on Camus Farm. Whilst we are open for nine months of the year, the business is very seasonal with most of the service taking place in Summer, providing employment for over 20 staff in the Restaurant and on the Farm. Now in our fourth year of trading, the rising costs over the last year, particularly VAT, power and wages, have had significant impact on the profitability of the business. This combination of elements is threatening the survival of many of our independent coffee shops, cafes and restau- rants. To date, we have absorbed these cost increases but, if nothing changes, we will have to increase our prices for this Summer. The Government is complacent to this situation and ap- pears prepared to see many more small businesses close. Camus Farm Field Kitchen supports the campaign to re- duce the VAT rate to nine per cent to help our independent coffee shops, cafes and restaurants to weather this storm.” Vic Sprake and Deborah Ni Chaoimhe of Camus Farm Field Kitchen

‘Spirit of Discovery’ arrives into Bantry

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Bay to kick off cruise season

B antry Bay Port Compa- ny marked the begin- ning of a busy cruise season in April with the arrival of the ‘Spirit of Discovery’. This kickstarted a re- cord-breaking cruise season for Bantry Bay Port Company with 22 cruise ships due to arrive in 2024 – marking a 144 per cent increase from the 2023 season. Over the coming months, these liners will bring more than 15,000 passengers and crew from all over the world to Bantry Bay providing a major boost for tourism in the surrounding area. Operated by SAGA Cruises, the ‘Spirit of Discovery’ is one of the largest liners that can be accommodated in Bantry Bay and was anchored just off Whiddy Island for the duration of its stay. With a passenger and crew capacity of 1,527, just shy of half the population of Bantry, the cruise liner alone brings a huge increase

of footfall to the town and surrounding area during its 24 hour stay. Speaking about the cruise season ahead, Michael Murphy, Assistant Harbour Master at the Port of Bantry stated, “We are delighted to welcome 22 cruise liners to Bantry Bay Port this year. We know that they will have a positive impact on local trade and tourism and hope all passengers and crew enjoy all that this part of the country has to offer. Seeing this figure jump from nine cruises in 2023 is incredible and shows how much of a popular destination the Port has become. We have a very busy season ahead of us and we look forward to welcoming so many passengers and crew from all over the world to the Port.” Conor Mowlds, Chairperson of Cruise Ireland and Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Cork Company, of which Bantry Bay Port is a subsidiary,

and we look forward to seeing the positive impact this has on the local economy, trade and tourism sectors.” The Spirit of Discovery spent one night anchored off Whiddy Island before heading for Cobh and returning again to Portsmouth completing its ‘Spring in Southern Ireland’ round-trip.

stated, “We are set to wel- come 125 cruise ships to Cork this year and are delighted to have 22 of those stopping off in Bantry Bay Port, allow- ing passengers and crew to discover even more of Cork during their stay. The Port of Cork and Bantry Bay Port have been working collaboratively to increase cruise calls and opportunities for the county

At your side every step of the way

Christopher O’Sullivan TD



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