Sherkin, Heir, Long, Cape Clear, Whiddy, Bere, and Dursey Islands
The West Cork Islands Community Council (WCICC) is made up of the seven inhabited islands of West Cork, comprising Sherkin, Heir, Long, Cape Clear, Whiddy, Bere, and Dursey. Every Island is unique in size, population, amenities, services and businesses, while all have their own beauty and magic, we find similar challenges and issues exist among the islands.
While some of these issues such as housing, aging populations and gentrification are common to many rural areas throughout Ireland, the fact that people from small offshore islands are experiencing them, mean purely from a logistical point of view, the issues create their own challenges. With the size of population on the islands, some being as low as under ten permanent inhabitants, their voice while as every bit as important as anyone else’s can sometimes be hard to hear.
It is for that reason the West Cork Islands grouped together, to have a stronger representative voice to help bring these issues to the relevant bodies and authorities in order to be addressed.
We are acutely aware of how small voices being heard over and over again can result in action, and we are lucky to be a member of the PPN and have an elected secretariat. The PPN is a great way to hear about schemes, funding opportunities and is another avenue for raising awareness and getting information on issues. The islands are like a microcosm of the wider world, with problems and challenges, but communities on these islands are unique and the government of Ireland thankfully is committed to not losing these communities to history. Small seeds grown in the right soil can yield fantastic things and like all things, the more we participate in the world the more we get back!!