Skerries Cycling Festival 2021: How it turned out

Skerries Cycling Festival 2021: How it turned out

By Michael McKenna

Skerries Cycling Initiative’s first cycling festival took place on 22 August. It was a lot of fun and definitely something to build on it, going forward. We started off the day – a lovely one weatherwise – with a 5km and a 25 km cycles from Skerries Mills carpark. People of all ages and abilities, just as we hoped for, took part. This was to be a day for celebrating cycling as a healthy normal way of getting around, whether by you chose a simple one speed bicycle or something sleeker.  

Undoubtedly the most eye catching and eyewatering entrant was Robin of Donabate’s  Alpha-7 Velomobile, seen below as he chats with Brendan Grimes and Dermot Higgins.

 To quote Robin:

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Skerries Cycling Festival 2021: On Yer Bike!

Let’s celebrate cycling!
Skerries Cycling Festival 22nd August

A festival to celebrate the Freedom Machine! 

Fingal County Council logo

The good news: There will be a one-day Skerries Cycling Festival, even though the four-weekend Skerries Summer Festival had to be cancelled for 2021.
Skerries Cycling Initiative (SCI), part of Skerries Community Association, with support from Fingal County Council and Skerries Mills, is holding its first ever cycling festival and invites you invites you to come along.

The Skerries Cycling Festival will be all about encouraging people to integrate more active travel into their daily lives so that they can enjoy the fun and other benefits of cycling. 

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Rowing Club Proposal – SCA Observations

The following observations have been made by Skerries Community Association on the recent planning application made by Skerries Rowing Club for the erection of a club house at Skerries Harbour.

RE: Application F20A/0558 Skerries Rowing Club

Planning Department, Fingal County Council

Skerries Community Association welcomes the opportunity to make observations on Planning Application F20A/0558 from Skerries Rowing Club.

The Association’s purpose is to develop and improve generally the town and its neighbourhood for the benefit of the people of Skerries and to increase its attractiveness for residents and visitors to Skerries. Having sustainable water based activities which enhance the cultural and economic life of the area is to be encouraged. Such activities entail having adequate land based ancillary facilities.

However, with regard to the planning application from Skerries Rowing Club the Association notes that the proposal would entail a valuable, substantial and uniquely positioned piece of public open space in the harbour area passing from public amenity space, into the de facto possession of a small private group for their exclusive use.

The site being proposed for this development is located directly by the sea in the busy harbour area of the town. As Skerries grows in population and people seek to enjoy the amenity value of walking and socialising in this coastal town there is growing pressure for more open space, not less.

The Association supports the enhancement of watersports amenities in Skerries as these bring a valuable dimension to the town. However, given the broad community demand for such facilities (scouting, kayaking, sailing, rowing, swimming, motor-boating, etc) as well as the constrained space available in the protected harbour area, the Association feels that the allocation of Council land for this purpose should follow broader consultation on a more integrated plan to deliver the capacity to store and safely launch  sports boats as well as to deliver shore-side facilities to benefit the maximum number of water uses in the community, while minimising impacts on land-based recreational use of the harbour area. The association feels that the proposal has fallen short in this respect.

The Association notes too, that the only building that currently stands on the seaward side of the road (from the harbour pier around to the Red Island carpark) is one used by people who risk their lives to rescue those in distress at sea. It is entirely appropriate that this RNLI building continue to be located directly beside the Sea Pole Memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives at sea. The insertion of a large building between the two would be a physical barrier undermining the powerful and poignant relationship that exists between the two structures. 

In conclusion the Association is strongly of the view that the current proposed development on this site would be an infringement of the general public’s access to and enjoyment of the area and would take from the unique spatial relationship between two of Skerries iconic structures.  Neither would it do anything to meet the needs of other water based activity groups.

Michael McKenna

Chairperson

Skerries Community Association

08 December 2020

The 2020 Jim Quigley Award

Michael McKenna, Chair of the Skerries Community Association, writes: Last Monday, 19 October, on the day of the 2020 Skerries Community Association AGM, I had the pleasure of presenting Ronan O’ Callaghan with the Jim Quigley Volunteer of the year award for 2020, on behalf of the Association. Ronan was given the award for “his exemplary initiative and proactivity in starting the community response in our town” in setting up a volunteer group response group here in Skerries at the beginning of the Covid Pandemic.

After considerable arm-twisting Ronan accepted the award with the words ”All I’ll say is  I just hope I’m making it clear how the Skerries Volunteer Group was in every way a team effort that literally couldn’t have been done without many volunteers, and you can kick me if I ever say it wasn’t. I want to specifically say that others did the same share of work, especially in getting the concept out there. It’s an example of how people are willing to do to help when needed.”

Well said and fair enough Ronan, but you were the one that kicked it off.

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So who was this Jim Quigley guy anyway?

Jim Quigley came to live in Skerries with his wife Brigid in the late 1970s, purchasing their home in the newly built Hillside Estate. He joined the local residents association and was drawn to the Skerries Development and Community Association where his involvement lasted 22 years. Jim was Chairperson of the SDCA (now SCA) for ten of those years and worked on many, many projects.  Perhaps the most visible legacy of his work in Skerries is the Community Centre. His skills in community building came to be recognised further afield and he became the first full-time President of Muintir na Tíre in 1994. He was proud to be named Tipperary Man of the Year in 1999. Jim died on the 29 August 2001. We remember him and celebrate his life’s work with an annual award. You can read more about him here.

Skerries Covid Community Response Group

When Ronan started the Response Group last March, he was quickly joined by other individuals and groups and together with voluntary services such as Meals on Wheels, they delivered a valuable service to those confined to their homes. 

Leaflets were printed (with the contact numbers for the group) and delivered widely in Skerries. Volunteers were registered and many of them Garda vetted. Google groups and WhatsApp made it possible to respond rapidly to requests in a way that kept personal information private. As local businesses geared up to meet the demand for home deliveries, the need for the volunteer service lessened and the group was able to wind down operations after some months.

It is great to know that there is a reservoir of people out there who are ready and willing to give their time and energy to making life better for others.

SCA Accounts 2019

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For information about the AGM on Monday 19 September, and the report for 2019/20, go to AGM 2020: The 2019/20 Report.

AGM 2020: The 2019/20 Report

This year, the annual report about the work of the Skerries Community Association and its committees will not be distributed to every household in Skerries. A limited number of printed copies will be available from 10/10/2020 in the Community Centre, in local shops, and on request by email to chair@skerriesca.com.

Click on the thumbnail below to see the full report with turnable pages.

SCA and Committees: Our 2019/20 Report

And if you’d like the links to be clickable, open the PDF here: