New Bridge over the River Ilen
Location in Ireland
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Skibbereen (//; Irish: An Sciobairín) is a town in County Cork, Ireland. It is located in West Cork on the N71 national secondary road. The name "Skibbereen" (sometimes shortened to "Skibb") means "little boat harbour". The River Ilen runs through the town; it reaches the sea about 12 kilometers away, at the seaside village of Baltimore. As of the Census of Ireland 2011, the population of the town (not including the rural hinterland) was 2,568. Skibbereen is in the Cork South-West (Dáil Éireann) constituency, and has three seats.
Prior to 1600, most of the land in the area belonged to the native MacCarthy Reagh dynasty - today McCarthy remains the town's most common surname. The town charter dates back to 1657 and a copy can be seen in the town council chambers. In 1631, Skibbereen received an influx of refugees fleeing from the Sack of Baltimore. The "Phoenix Society" was founded in Skibbereen in 1856 and was a precursor to the Fenian movement.
A statue, the 'Maid of Erin' erected in 1904, sits on top of a memorial to commemorate four failed uprisings against British rule, the dates of which are engraved on each side of the plinth: 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867.
Skibbereen was once a stop on the West Cork Railway, which scheduled trains from West Cork to Cork City. The construction of the railways took place between 1851 and 1893 and by 1961, all West Cork railway lines were closed. The original railway bridge is still visible by the West Cork Hotel.. Skibbereen also had a separate terminus station on the narrow-gauge Schull and Skibbereen Tramway and Light Railway.
The region around Skibbereen experienced a significant famine in the years 1845–52, a time referred to as The Great Hunger or Great Famine (Irish: an Gorta Mór). The Skibbereen Heritage Centre estimates that 8,000 to 10,000 victims of the Famine are buried in the famine burial pits of Abbeystrewery cemetery close to the town. While there is some question on the accuracy of census data from the famine era, records indicate a drop of population from 58,335 in 1841 to 32,412 in 1861.
Skibbereen is also the name of a song about the Famine, and the impact it and the British Government had on the people of Ireland. The song, known as Dear Old Skibbereen, takes the form of a conversation between a father and a son, in which the son asks his father why he fled the land he loved so well.
A permanent exhibition to commemorate the memory of the victims of the Great Famine is sited at the Skibbereen Heritage Centre. Skibbereen was also the focal point of Ireland's first National Famine Memorial Day on 17 May 2009. The town was selected as it was in one of the areas worst affected by the Great Famine. The National Famine Commemoration Committee agreed that the centrepiece of the memorial day would rotate between the Four Provinces on an annual basis.
The Skibbereen Eagle, a newspaper founded in 1857 was unusual in having an international perspective. For example, it published an editorial that "told Lord Palmerston that it had 'got its eye both upon him and on the Emperor of Russia'." And a 1914 article said "We give this solemn warning to Kaiser Wilhelm: The Skibbereen Eagle has its eye on you." This newspaper was superseded by the Southern Star, which was founded in 1889. Its first editor was D.D. Sheehan and Michael Collins was among its shareholders.
O'Donovan Rossa GAA is the local Gaelic Athletic Association club. The local secondary school St. Fachtna's was a finalist in 1982 and a winner in 1991 of the Hogan Cup for Gaelic football.
Skibereen Rowing Club is situated on the outskirts of the town, and is one of the most successful clubs in Ireland. Club members Paul and Gary O'Donovan won silver at the 2016 summer Olympics in the men's lightweight double sculls, the first Olympic medal won by Irish rowers.
A.F.C.Skibbereen is the local association football (soccer) club, with other sports clubs including Skibbereen Golf Club, Skibbereen Rugby Club, and Skibbereen Athletics Club.
There are four primary schools located in the town, including Abbeystrewry National School (a mixed school), Gaelscoil Dr O'Suilleabhain (a mixed Irish-speaking school), St. Patrick's Primary School (boys), and Scoil Naomh Seosamh (girls)
Up until 2016, there were three secondary schools, including Rossa College (mixed), St Fachtna's de la Salle (boys), and Mercy Heights (girls). As of September 2016, the three secondary schools have merged into one school called Skibbereen Community School.
As of the 2016 census, in terms of ethnicity, the Skibbereen Urban and Skibbereen Rural electoral divisions were 75.6% white Irish, 18.8% other white ethnicities, 0.6% black, 1.2% Asian, 1% of other ethnicity, and 2.9% with no stated ethnicity. As of 2016, 5.4% of Skibbereen's urban population identified with a UK nationality, compared to an average of 2.6% for the county as a whole.
In terms of religion, the 2011 census returns recorded the population as being 79% Catholic, 11.5% other stated religion, 7% with no religion, and 1.5% not stated.
The Skibbereen Arts Festival occurs annually, taking place at the end of July and including community based projects as well as a mix of national and international films, theatre, visual art and music acts.
The Carbery Show takes place on the third Thursday of July each year. The show includes agricultural, horticultural, livestock, craft, bakery and other competitions, as well as a pet show, and trade exhibition. The first Carbery Show took place in 1836.
A number of different music events are held each year, with several bars and venues in town (including "Baby Hannah's") hosting musical acts. Skibbereen has also hosted the Cork X Southwest Music & Arts Festival over several years. The 2011 festival was held at Liss Ard Estate and featured Patti Smith, Echo & the Bunnymen, Balkan Beat Box, Fred and others across a two-day lineup.
Just outside Skibbereen is Tragumna beach, and the town's location near the coast means that sea fishing, scuba diving, sailing, and kayaking are possible locally.
[...] Paul, who trains with his brother at Skibbereen Rowing Club, agreed [...]
It is the first ever Olympic medal for Irish rowing
Of 2,663 Skib Urban residents, 143 indicated a UK nationality. Or 5.37%
Of 412,826 Cork County residents, 10,774 indicated a UK nationality. Or 2.61%