My Weekend: So many gorgeous spots — beauty of living in West Cork

West Cork Music is currently presenting RESOUND, a programme of original music by locally based artists at westcorkmusic.ie We talk to West Cork Music’s Clodagh Whelan
My Weekend: So many gorgeous spots — beauty of living in West Cork

Clodagh Whelan, Project Manager West Cork Music.  Picture: Darragh Kane

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I moved to Bantry in 2015. I didn’t really know what to expect from west Cork, but I was very interested in a job with West Cork Music. At that point I was working on the Chamber Music Festival and Masters of Tradition. I was based between Cork city and Bantry, working in Bantry mid-week and spending my weekends in Cork. Over time though I felt that I wasn’t really living in either place so decided to move to Bantry full time. I guess that is when I really got to know the people and the place much more and became aware of the amazing music scene here, which is what has inspired Resound. It’s such a great place to live, beautiful landscape, amazing music, and a very warm and welcoming community.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

I love to do something to mark the start of the weekend, but usually something quiet. Generally I like a quiet catch up with friends, maybe meet for a dinner or play boardgames.

Lie ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

I am not a morning person. I need several cups of tea before I can formulate a coherent sentence.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Sometimes, yes. It can be part of it when you work for festivals. There is a very busy lead up to any of our festivals and the festivals run through the weekends as well. For the rest of the year I do try not to work at the weekends as it can become tricky to switch off if you let it become a habit.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

Barcelona. Anytime I’ve visited there I’ve always loved it. The weather, the food and the architecture. I would probably bring two of my friends who I lived close to in Cork. Since we all moved to different places we started to meet for a weekend somewhere once a year. We had to cancel our last one due to the lockdown so we’re long overdue a catch-up.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

That’s the beauty of living in west Cork. There are so many gorgeous spots very close to us here. 

I especially love the nature reserve in Glengarriff. I used to go there every week until lockdown started. It’s not far away, but out of my reach at the moment.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

Yes, weekends are a time for getting out and seeing people. Lots to do down here. Great cafes, restaurants to meet for lunch, dinner or drinks.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

The live music scene in Bantry is particularly good so I tend to go out to gigs with friends. There is amazing live music every weekend and in the summer, nearly every night.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

Both. If I’m entertaining I like making tapas — it’s an excuse to make lots of different dishes and tends to be a good way to make sure that everyone has something that suits them to eat. It’s also nice to keep nibbling away for the evening, rather than having a more formal meal.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork — where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

In Cork, Iyers. In Bantry, probably The Fish Kitchen — though it’s a hard choice. They are very different places but the thing they have in common is the attention to the quality of the ingredients and the care in preparation. Both leave you feeling uplifted as well as nourished. Like the food version of a hug.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

I like to have very quiet Sundays. When I can, I go for nice long walks, maybe take time preparing some good food, watch a movie and relax.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

Not too early. I work from home so I don’t have to go too far. Generally about 8am or 7am if I want to try and get in some exercise before I turn on the computer.

Bear Bojak in Bantry House. Picture: Joe Chapman
Bear Bojak in Bantry House. Picture: Joe Chapman

MORE ABOUT RESOUND

With so many missing the chance to share songs and stories, West Cork Music has announced Resound, a programme of original music by locally based artists. Filmed in Bantry House over four days in early December, the performances will be available on westcorkmusic.ie/ resound and social media, every Monday and Friday.

West Cork Music’s Clodagh Whelan says: “I think everyone this year has felt the void, not being able to connect with people, sit around and share songs and stories. Resound attempts in some small way to hold that space, to reassure that this is a temporary situation — that we’re still here, behind the mask, beyond the closed door and that we will be back together soon.

“It is more important than ever that we should acknowledge the importance of music in our day-to-day lives, promote those who are continuing to persevere in these trying time. 

"The creation and sharing of music is so very much at the core of our culture and society and is particularly so here in Bantry.”

Musicians who participated in Resound include Bean Dolan, Irene Dunne, Dolce Ross Keogh, Alan Brooks, Aoife Doolan, Brendan Connolly, Alan Mahn, Stuart Wilde, Beth Cummins, Bear Bojak (Chris McDonald, Gemma Greany, Gráinne McCarthy; Joe Bracken), Frank Wieler, Polly Barrett and Eoghan O’Keefe.

West Cork Music is generously supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Failte Ireland and Cork County Council.

See www.westcorkmusic.ie/

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