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Winding Up of Autism West Cork 

Clonakilty Autism Awareness Day 2019 

Exciting day coming up…….Saturday the 6th of April Clonakilty Autism Friendly Town will celebrate autism awareness. The day starts at 11.15am with a sensory friendly screening of Film at the Park Cinema Clonakilty. Join us at the Model Railway Village at 2pm for the opening of Sensory Garden with a big thank you to Clonakilty Tidy Towns for their hard work on this. The Cafe at the model railway village will be autism friendly for the afternoon and the train will do a trip around town at 3.30pm which of course will be autism friendly. There will be an art exhibition from pupils and artists on the spectrum at Supervalu from the 6th to the 7th. Please see posters. Come enjoy the day with us. All welcome.

Community Support – Autism in the Home, University College Cork

ASiAM will host a number of events over the next 12 months and on Tuesday 4th December in University College Cork, in the Boole 1 lecture theatre on the theme ‘Autism in the Home‘. Topics discussed will include sensory processing and sensitivities, “autism-proofing” your home, and tips and tricks on managing a sensory environment for the family.

Please register your free place on our Eventbrite page here.

Speakers on the night will include:

Kirsten Hurley, an autism consultant, lecturer and speaker. Since her diagnosis in 2010, Kirsten has conducted research into autism and the experiences of people with autism. Kirsten led the team that developed the Diploma in Autism Studies and the online Certificate in Autism Studies in University College Cork and continues to lecture both in person and online on various topics around autism.

Diarmuid Heffernan, an autism consultant, lecturer and author with nearly a decade of experience providing support for people on the autism spectrum. He is co-author of ‘Living with Asperger Syndrome and Autism in Ireland’ and is sole author of the book ‘Sensory Issues for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders’ (published by Jessica Kingsley).

This programme is supported by SuperValu Ireland.

Clonakilty Launched as Ireland’s First Autism Friendly Town

Clonakilty is Ireland’s First Autism Friendly town in Ireland.  In order to acquire this designation Clonakilty had to go through a robust accreditation process. It had to engage and train 25% of businesses and voluntary organisations, train 50% of public services, 50% of school communities, 50% of healthcare professionals, 3 employers and reach and engage 25% of the town’s population and develop a three-year Autism Friendly town plan.

To date 212 organisations have been accredited with more organisations in the process of also being designated Autism Friendly Champions.The Autism Friendly Champions have done the following to receive their accreditation:
•    Followed autism friendly staff training
•    Developed a social story to help prepare the visit to the organisation
•    Are service dog friendly
•    A sensory activity specific to that organisation for example, host a weekly quiet time, make available a Relaxation Box for customers or dedicated quiet space
•    Committed to working with the Clonakilty Autism Friendly Town Committee on the implementation of the three-year town plan

More information head to the Clonakilty website.

Well done to all involved and to the town of Clonakilty.

Liss Ard Estate is Hosting Autism Friendly Event & Fundraiser 

Liss Ard Estate Skibbereen are hosting an autism friendly family event on Saturday 29 September for all families of boys who attend the ASD classes in St. Patrick’s Boys National School Skibbereen. Liss Ard staff have worked closely with the staff of St. Patrick’s to create an autism friendly environment for the boys and their families to enjoy. Added to this Liss Ard Estate are hosting a fundraising dinner on Sunday 30 September at 6pm with a five course tasting menu. If you would like to book please contact 028 40000 as numbers are limited to 60 lucky diners. Full article in County Section of Irish Examiner on Tuesday 25 September.

(Photo is courtesy of The Irish Examiner 25 September 2018)

Autism Experience Exhibition In Clonakilty

SuperValu and will host a unique exhibition which will enable the people of Clonakilty to experience what it is like for autistic people in day to day life. The exhibition, which is free to visit, will be hosted in the Clonakilty Parish Hall from 10am to 4pm on Thursday 27th September.

The exhibition represents the final part of the four month journey the town has been on to becoming Ireland’s first ever fully accredited Autism Friendly Town and guests are invited to join on a ‘pop-in’ basis.

The exhibition uses an engaging “questions and answers” format as well as a series of activities to answer people’s questions and enable visitors to step into the shoes of those with the condition. This includes using sound, smells, touch and sight experiments to bring neurotypical (those who are not autistic) people into the world of those with the condition.

Coffee Morning 

Our first coffee morning after the summer break is happening on Wednesday 19 September in the West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen from 10:30am. It will be nice to catch up with you all over a cuppa. See you all then.

Launch of Clonakilty’s Bid for Ireland’s First Autism Friendly Town 

On Monday 2 July Scally’s Supervalu in collaboration with Musgrave’s, AsIAm and Middletown Centre for Autism had a launch in the GAA building in Clonakilty for Clonakilty to become Ireland’s first autism friendly town. Autism West Cork were delighted and excited to be invited to speak at the event. There was tremendous support for locals and businesses in Clonakilty. Adam Harris, CEO of AsIAm spoke on the challenges and how a business can make small changes to help the autistic community locally. Adam and his AsIAm team are currently working with businesses in Clonakilty to achieve this by giving them the first hand knowledge they need. Looking forward to this and we will keep you posted.

Annual General Meeting 2018 (AGM)

Reminder of our Annual General Meeting 2018 on Wednesday 23 May in the Parkway Hotel, Dunmanway @ 10:30am. Please RSVP. See you all there. 

Notice of Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) 

The Chairperson and Directors of West Cork Families Supporting Autism CLG (“the Company”) hereby GIVE NOTICE that an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Company will be held at The Parkway Hotel, Dunmanway, Co. Cork  at  7  o’clock on the  23rd day of February 2018. 

All members are strongly urged to attend this very important meeting for us going forward and deciding what to do as a voluntary group. This is your chance to voice your opinion and have an input.

A Night of Comedy

We are delight to announce a unique fundraiser for Autism West Cork, a night a comedy and cabaret with Eileen and Marilyn- The Prequel, Saturday 23rd Sept, Skibbereen Town Hall @ 8pm.
Don’t miss this comedy & cabaret sensation, Eileen and Marilyn – The Prequel, with their recent attempts to stage a fabulous musical.

In this latest episode of their comedy/cabaret show, Eileen and Marilyn whisk you into their lives and the story of their recent attempts to stage a fabulous musical in the village whilst coping with the ongoing vagaries of their domestic lives and loves.

Will Marilyn finally get her simple wish to star in the show of her dreams? Will Eileen get to re-establish her iron-hold over friends and family?

All will be revealed, by writers and performers Terri Leiber, Marilyn, and Karen Minihan, Eileen. Featuring Norman Collins, Pat Joe Moriarty, monosyllabic heart-throb and musician.

We would encourage you to come out and support this event. Spread the word to Family and Friends for what I assure you is a most enjoyable evening.

Please print off the attached flyer and distribute in your local area/school. Like us on Facebook. Booking is essential on 083 035 6339 €10 per ticket. All proceeds to Autism West Cork.

Membership Cards 

For any members who haven’t yet received their memberships cards please contact Noeleen Murphy on or (083) 035 6339 and we will get it out to you asap. Please bring membership card with you for all the summer events and please book any event you wish to attend over the summer in due time. All details in our calendar.

Summer Events

After a committee meeting last Friday we are putting together a calendar of summer events for all of our children. This year we will be dividing the group into 2 age categories, under and over 10’s, (some events may vary)This should be completed over the next 2 weeks or so, with the massive increase in the cost of postage we will be emailing out the calendar which you can print off. As always these events need to be booked beforehand (these dates will be on the calendar) we will keep you posted. Looking forward to a fun filled summer.


We held our AGM in the West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen on Wednesday 24th May. Our chairperson Millie Preece gave a rundown on our activities over the last year, it’s been a busy year. We have officially become a Limited Company and are in the process of applying for charitable status. Millie informed us that our treasurer Tom Worden is stepping down from the committee, we were sad to hear but totally understand. Tom has been a valuable member of our group and was one of the founding members, Tom will be missed greatly. We thank Tom for all he has done for all the families over the last few years, Thank you Tom. We have 3 new members who were elected on to the committee, Bridget Mulvihill, Siobhan Geary & Ayna O’ Driscoll. This is great going forward as it was decided to divide the group into 2 age groups, under 10 and 10 and over so we can cater to the different age groups. As a committee we will be meeting over the next few weeks to organise our summer events. Keep on eye on our calendar. Zoe will be posting out a full list of events to all paid members in due course.

Cheque Presentation 

At our AGM this morning we had a cheque presentation from Patricia O’ Leary from Autism Friendly Shopping Cork. Patricia and the staff of Permanent TSB, Clonakilty held a coffee morning last month and the proceeds were divided between ourselves and My Canine Companion.  The sum of €325 was handed over to us by Patricia, thx so much again Patricia and the staff of Permanent TSB, Clonakilty.


Reminder our our AGM tomorrow morning (Wednesday 24th May) in the West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen @ 11a.m. We would be grateful of support, we as a committee work very hard during the year to keep Autism West Cork going as a support group for families in the West Cork area. Presently there are 5 committee members, who give of their time voluntarily in keeping you up to date with events organised and coffee mornings, also keeping families up to date with all the information that is needed to assist them in their daily lives. We would ask parents to support us where we would need a little help, e.g. our collection days. The monies collected is needed to heavily subsides our events that we organise for families to enjoy over the year, it would only take 2 hours of your time, if you can’t attend other family members or can attend in your absence. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Thx.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Bill 2017

Yesterday in the Seanad Doctor James O’ Reilly introduced the Autism Spectrum Disorder Bill 2017 and successfully passed the second stage last night. It was given huge support from all parties, which was encouraging but we need to get behind this bill to ensure it passes the next stage and so on. Please contact your local TD’s and Councillors to get behind this bill and give it their full support, copy of bill, Autism Spectrum Bill 2017. The next stage is happening next Tuesday at 2:30pm at the Committee Stage. Dr. James O’ Reilly set up a petition in support for the ASD Bill 2017, please sign and share, link here. Let’s get this the support it needs to get passed. Keep sharing and get your local politicians behind it. Thx.

AsIAm Conference 2017

Tickets also sold for the AsIAm Conference 2017. “This year, our theme is “Expectations”. In the course of our work we are promoting a society where every Autistic person has the opportunity to participate in all aspects of Irish life and to hold the same expectations of reaching our personal potential as anyone else. We believe it is critical that we explore: what are reasonable expectations – in education, in community participation and in employment and adult life? Where are these expectations not being met presently and how can we meet them? How can we raise expectations and outlooks within our community?
These are important questions – how they are answered and what approaches are taken in response to these questions, will shape the outlook of every single Autistic person.
At “Expectations” we will challenges perceptions, highlight best practice and provide practical information on all aspects of life with Autism.” (AsIAm website 2017) Tickets available here.

Fundraiser Coffee Morning

Patricia O’ Leary from Autism Friendly Shopping Cork has once again organised a fundraising coffee morning in conjunction with the staff of Permanent TSB, Clonakilty on Friday 28th April from 10:30am – 12:30pm. As we were due to have our Clonakilty coffee morning on Wednesday 26th April, we have decided to combine the two events and have our coffee morning on the Friday. So why not pop in for a chat and a coffee. Spread the word and see you all there.  A massive thank you to Patricia and all the staff of Permanent TSB Clonakilty.

Clonakilty Gaelscoil Fundraiser

Aonad Uí Mhuirthile are hosting a coffee morning in their school on Thursday 16th March from 9a.m. till 3p.m. Baked goods and donations are welcome. All funds raised are going towards their autism unit. Please support. 


Cooking Classes

We have had a few enquires about starting up cooking lessons for members in Richies Restaurant, Clonakilty. Children will get to prepare, cook meals and get to sit down and eat afterwards. The cost is €20 per lesson which includes food. It is hoped to start end of February on Wednesdays around 4pm. If you child is interested please contact Tom 087/9806005.

Membership Fees Due

Membership fees for 2017 are now due. You can do this by clicking on members section and fill in the application form and pay your fee through Paypal. Fees are staying the same for this year, €30 for one child and €40 for two children. Any problems message us. We are currently organising events for mid-term and easter holidays. Events will be posted online and you will be notify through email or text. Looking forward to seeing you all throughout the year. Thanking you.

Assistive Technology 

A talk was given recently by Deirdre Madden from Disability Support Service UCC in Dunmanway and organised by West Cork Child Development Services. The talk was geared towards children in 5th & 6th Classes in mainstream schools. Deirdre went through the different options available to students to aid them in completing their homework more easily and more independently. Training is available to students and parents through UCC. Deirdre gives webinars regularly for a nominal fee of €5. For all the information on these click on the link or you can contact Deirdre directly on 021/4902784 or email

Lego Workshop 

Had lots of fun at our Lego Workshop in Dunmanway by Olive Anne & her team provided lots of fun & learning for all ages, having to find the right pieces, put them together & finally code them to get the pieces to work. The cost of the workshop was €300, the cost was minimal at €10 per member, the balance was subsided by Autism West Cork. Thanks to Millie for organising this event & thanks to Hazel in WCCDS for use of room. Head over to our gallery to view some of the photos from today’s workshop. 

Training for Parents 

Starting next February 2017, Middletown Centre for Autism will be hosting a 5 week training programme for parents with children with autism who will be coming into their teenage years. It will be in the West Cork Training Centre in Dunmanway, this programme is free of charge but must be booked in advance through their website. This is a great opportunity for parents in the West Cork area as the Middletown Centre for Autism is based in Northern Ireland. For a full list of courses check out their website for further details.

Pamper & Coffee Morning

After a hectic summer it’s time to take some time out to slow down, to relax and renew your body and mind. To that end we have organised a mini pamper to coincide with our coffee morning on the 29th September. Enjoy a 30 min Back Massage with Scalp Massage or a 30 min Taster Facial with Scalp Massage. Venue: Holistic Suite @ Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery, Co. Cork. Early booking is essential for this event, every effort will be made to accommodate the time most suitable for you. The first appointment is 9.30am.
Text Dearbhail – 087 757 7992 Relax and enjoy refreshments before and/or after your pamper. Cost is normally €30 but for fully paid members €10, the balance is subsided by autism west cork. Looking forward to meeting you all.

Rumley’s Open Farm, Cork 

On Wednesday 27th July, members travelled to Rumley’s open farm just outside of Cork City for a visit to view all the animals that are on the farm. It was a fabulous day out for all the children and families, the weather was beautiful. We even got a spin around the farm. There was lots of seating available so we could have our picnic’s. There was lots to do for all ages and lots of different animals to see. Photos in our gallery.

Munch Bunch, Bantry

On Wednesday 20th July, we hosted Munch Bunch in the Children’s Services Coaction Building in Bantry, thanks to CoAction for the use of the room. Aki gave the children facts about the food they were preparing and they also got to eat the food after. In terms of autism some children may have sensory issues around food, certain textures, smells or even the look of certain foods, it can be very different for each child so getting them to try new foods at their own pace is essential. The children has lots of fun. Photos in our gallery.

The Treehouse, Skibbereen

We want to say a huge Thank you to Nina and Co. for an absolutely fabulous morning in the Treehouse on Sunday. They opened early for us so it was quiet and peaceful for all our members to enjoy. Parents enjoyed coffee while our children enjoyed playing together, music was also turned off. Head over to our Gallery to see some photos. A great morning was had by all. The Treehouse 

Awesome Walls, Cork 

What a morning we had at Awesome Walls in Cork City. Mags & Mark the children’s instructors were very helpful and patient. All of the children gave it a go, even though they may have been a little scared. The children had an hour wall climbing and lots of time in the play area after. This is one of our very popular events we started last year and the children really look forward to it every year. Head over to our gallery to see all the wonderful children giving it their all and loving it. This event was subsided by 60% by Autism West Cork for all our members, this is possible by our collection days and any donations we receive from different events organised for us, we thank you all. Awesome Walls

Summer Events

By now all members should have received your summer event calendar with all the events planned for the summer. Booking is essential for all events, all information is on your calendar. We look forward to meeting you over the summer. (If you haven’t received a calendar by now message us)

Dunmanway Flag Day

A massive thank you to all who donated at our flag day in Dunmanway on Friday, a total of €594.90 was collected. Thank you to our volunteers who gave up their time and thank you to Supervalu and Eurospar.

Skibbereen Flag Day

A massive thank you to all who donated at our flag day in Skibbereen on Thursday, a total of €428.16 was collected. Thank you to our volunteers who gave up their time and thank you to Field’s Supervalu.

Annual General Meeting 2016 

Disappointing turnout for our AGM on Wednesday morning in Clonakilty.

Elections as follows:
Chairperson: Millie Preece
Secretary: Dearbhail Gildea
Treasurer: Tom Worden
Event Organiser: Zoe Kingston
Social Media Officer: Noeleen Murphy.
Summer events are almost finalised, same will be posted out to all members and uploaded to calendar on our website.

Clonakilty Flag Day

We would like to say a huge Thank you to all who donated to our Clonakilty Flag Day last Friday, total amount collected €352.55. Thank you also to the parents who donated their time, without which we could not have succeeded. 


We urgently need volunteers for our Flag Day on this Friday 20th May from 9am – 5pm, contact Tom to let him know when you can help out (087) 9806005. These flag days allows us to get members discounted rates for our events, we need your help. Thank you.

Upcoming Flag Days

Just to let you all know we have our upcoming 4 flags days in May & June this year. These flag days are our main source of fundraising and it allows up to offer members reduced rates on all of our events throughout the year, which we feel really benefits families. We would really appreciate families to give 2 hours of their time, as there are only 5 of us on the committee we are really stretched, please text Zoe on (086) 8571379 and let her know when you can help us out. Some families have replied already as to when they can help out. Our dates as follows:

Friday 20th May – Clonakilty 

Thursday 26th May – Skibbereen

Friday 27th May – Dunmanway

Friday 10th June – Bantry

Thanking you.

World Autism Day Clonakilty 

World Autism Awareness Day is Saturday 2nd April and Patricia O’ Leary is organising an Autism Friendly Day in Clonakilty with lots of autism friendly events throughout the day. First is an autism friendly movie in The Park Cinema ( time to be decided) shops and restaurants in town will be autism friendly with lights being turned down and music turned off. Autism West Cork committee members will be there on the day and also autism service dogs. There will also be an Art and Craft exhibition in O’ Donovan’s Hotel from 10am till 4pm. It will incorporate the Light it up Blue theme. More information contact Patricia O’ Leary on her Facebook page Autism Friendly Shopping Cork or website


Our Heartfelt Thanks

Autism West Cork thanks the West Cork Irish Trotting and Harness Racing Federation for its recent donation to AWC funds of the magnificent sum of €500 raised at a race-day organised by the Association and held at Manch, near Dunmanway on the 16th August 2015, in memory of the late John O’Donovan of Leap (known as Red John) – see flyer below for details of the event.

John, who was a keen and well-respected participant of the sport of harness racing, died as a result of a tragic accident on the 25th January 2015. His friends and family made a very generous contribution to AWC funds in Spring of 2015, following a collection in lieu of flowers at the funeral. John had expressed a desire during his lifetime to do something to help children on the autistic spectrum after getting to know a friend’s autistic child, and it was felt that a contribution to AWC funds would provide fulfilment of John’s wish.

The donations received will be very useful in allowing us to continue and to extend the activities we have been able to provide to date for the children of our members. Those activities include the funding of horse-riding lessons, cookery lessons, cinema trips at which special sensory arrangements can be made, various outings, play-dates and barbecues.

Many thanks again to both Red John’s family and friends, and to West Cork section of the Irish Trotting and Harness Racing Federation for your very valuable support.

Red John

New Membership for 2016 

AWC’s new website is up and running and we would invite all members to have a look.

Membership fee has increased from €25 to €30 for one child with ASD and from €30 to €40 for two or more. We are currently in the process of finalising our charitable status and this increase in membership will contribute to the cost of audited accounts that are required to be done by charities. Membership renewal can now be completed on-line through the website. If you have a preference to pay by cheque please forward to: Tom Worden, Book End, Inchinattin, Clonakilty Co. Cork.

The membership gives you free entry for the child(ren) with ASD plus a carer for our cinema mornings and regular holiday events. Extra family members are always welcome for these events and will be charged at subsidised rates as explained in email and text message before the ­event. We will continue to organize extra outings as and when funds allow, like our Lego workshop last October. These usually will have a small subsidised fee but are focused on social integration and tend to be much enjoyed by the kids. When we organize activities like horse riding, cookery or yoga, these too will be charged at a reduced rate.

All of our coffee mornings are paid for by AWC. We have one a month in different locations throughout West Cork. Check the calendar on the website for upcoming dates and come and enjoy a cuppa and a scone with us. These occasions are well attended and parents always have a chance to share ideas, opinions and thoughts about Autism. Committee members often come away with something to think about or pursue at local or departmental level!

Last but not least, all that we do as committee members is done voluntarily and all our events are mainly funded by our annual bucket collections. These collections are planned for Bantry, Skibbereen, Clonakilty and Dunmanway on a designated Friday in May and June. We really would appreciate all the help we can get for these days so if you have an hour to spare in your own locality, please let us know so we can fit you in!

We hope you continue to enjoy the benefits of AWC membership, attending events and coffee mornings and by sharing your ideas! See you all soon!
AWC committee

ASD Friendly Shopping

Starting from next Tuesday 24th November, Eugene Scally owner of Supervalu in Clonakilty will be hosting Autism Friendly shopping from 7-9pm, this will be a weekly event. Music & announcer will be turned off and lights turned down. This was organised by UCC student Patricia O’ Leary who is currently studying her Diploma in Autism Studies. Please spread the word.

ASD Friendly Panto

ASD-friendly Panto 2015! Cork Opera House, Beauty & the Beast, Wednesday 9th December 7pm. For full details & to book, please contact this Facebook page:

Please be sure to like our Facebook page to keep regularly updated with our relevant posts and information.

For all upcoming events including coffee mornings and information nights please check our online Event Calendar.