CBA looks forward to Feelgood Friday happening on 29th July

Feelgood Friday is returning to Cork City again on 29th July.

This exciting initiative, led by Cork Business Association in conjunction with Cork City Council, sees retailers and businesses in the city centre come together to host a series of free events on the last Friday of every month.

Yet again, there will be a festival-like atmosphere in the city, with live music, special offers and lots of family fun.

Cork City Samba Band will be performing on the streets of Cork.  Red FM will have lots of goodies to give away and there will be FREE parking from 6.30pm to 9pm in North Main Street Car Park.

For all of our events and special offers go to


CBA welcomes move to break deadlock over Cork to US flights

The European Commission has moved to break the deadlock with US authorities over new low-fares flights to the US from Cork.

Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc wrote to US transport secretary Anthony Foxx yesterday confirming that following consultation with EU member states, the commission is taking the unprecedented step of triggering arbitration.

The process relates to Norwegian Air’s Irish subsidiary, Norwegian Air International (NAI), which applied to the US authorities for a foreign carrier permit in 2013 to operate a Cork Boston route this year, and a Cork New York route next year. It has also flagged the possibility of US routes from Shannon.

But its application has faced stiff opposition from unions on both sides of the Atlantic, which have claimed NAI will undermine wages and working conditions.

While the US Department of Transportation (SoT) granted tentative approval for the licence in April,with three weeks for submissions, a final decision is still awaited. The arbitration is not linked to the low-fares giant’s British subsidiary, NAUK, which had its application for a foreign carrier permit delayed by US authorities last month.

A senior EU source said the Commission, and the EU member states, share the view that the failure of the US DoT to act on NAI’s 2013 permit request constitutes a breach of the EU-US Air Transport Agreement.

“The Commission informed the US authorities of its view in November 2014 and regrets that no suitable solution could be found despite intensive discussions at all levels,” the source said.

“The Commission acted in good faith during this process and still invites the US authorities to comply with the EU-US Air Transport Agreement in order to reach an amicable solution.”

A spokesman for Norwegian said they were pleased with the move to arbitration.

It is expected that the arbitration process will get underway within weeks, and could take several months.

However, the decision to trigger arbitration could compel the US authorities to make a decision sooner.

Cork Airport Launches Drone Awareness Campaign

Cork Airport has launched an awareness campaign aimed at drone users. The number of incidents involving drones and aircraft on approach or departure from aerodromes across Europe has increased in recent years. In response to these, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) introduced regulations in 2015.

 Cork Airport is now taking a leading role with a proactive approach to promoting drone usage awareness with this new campaign. 

 In conjunction with the IAA, the body responsible Safety Regulation and Air Traffic Control, Cork Airport is placing signage around the airport perimeter at various approach locations to runways. The “No Drone Zone” signage was designed by the airport and the IAA.

Ciaran Carton, General Manager Operations, at Cork Airport said: “While we haven’t had any issues with drones to date, we’ve decided to take a proactive approach and educate drone users and the wider community on responsible drone usage. Cork Airport is the first Irish airport to launch a campaign like this one and a similar approach is likely to be adopted in other airports”.

 Cathal MacCriostail, IAA Manager Airspace and Navigation commended Cork Airport for the initiative: “It is great to see Cork Airport take a proactive approach, given the increased usage of drones in Ireland. It is the responsibility of users to ensure the safety of the public when flying drones. It is also their responsibility to familiarise themselves with the regulations. There are a number of limitations on where users can fly their drones. This includes the airspace within 5 kilometres of an aerodrome, where the flying of drones could be hazardous to aircraft. 

“The main advice we would give anyone thinking of buying or flying a drone is to go to our website, and inform themselves of their responsibilities”.

 Drone user, Raymond Fogarty believes that there is a huge onus on other users to educate themselves: “I operate drones on a commercial basis with my company AirCam Ireland and I am approved by the IAA and also fully insured. From my experience, the majority of commercial users are up to speed. There has been a spike in the recreational use of drones and that’s fantastic but it does lead to problems. Drones are considered unmanned aircraft and there are strict regulations around their use. A simple example is making sure you have the permission of the landowner where you are taking off or landing the drone. Also, there have been dangerous situations where drones are being flown too close to people or built up areas”.

If anyone wishes to use a drone outside of the limitations set in the regulations, then they must seek permission from the IAA. Any drone over 1 kilogram must be registered with the IAA; this also applies to model aircraft over the same weight. 

 A good example of how drones can be used effectively and creatively is a recent collaboration by AirCam Ireland, Cork Airport and the IAA. Under strict safety conditions, Air Cam Ireland captured some fantastic drone footage of Cork Airport at sunrise as part of a promotional video used to secure an aviation conference for next year. 


CBA congratulates CAB Motor Company on winning prestigious Ford Chairman’s Award

It was a proud moment for all involved with Cork’s CAB Motor Company as Ford made the announcement that they have just been honoured with the prestigious Ford Chairman’s Award for Excellence in aftersales and customer service.

CAB Motor Company, Monaghan Road, beat off stiff competition from all over Europe to lay claim to the accolade, which is awarded on the basis of direct customer feedback.

Speaking on receipt of the award, Conor Cavanagh Dealer Principal of CAB Motors said “I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of the aftersales team here at CAB who work tirelessly to maintain the highest standard of service to our many customers. We pride ourselves on our reputation of delivering quality after sales service and it is very satisfying to now join the elite group of top-performing European Ford dealerships.”

Mr Cavanagh went onto say that “The award follows hot on the heels of what was an extremely big and busy year for us here at CAB Motor Company. We recently celebrated 90 years in business, we were appointed to open Ireland’s first FordStore and we also launched the Ford Mustang in Ireland for the first time in right hand drive.”

Despite such a hectic schedule of events throughout the year, the company never lost sight of their focus on customer service; a feat confirmed by their recent achievement, which recognised the level of excellence demonstrated by each individual dealer in the area of aftersales.

The Ford Chairman Award is awarded to those who score highly during a continuous process of customer surveying by Ford of its customers over the course of the year. The criteria for being honoured with this prestigious award is extremely thorough and demanding. Extensive research has been carried out by Ford in assessing these expectations and providing guidelines to dealers to satisfy them.

Conor Cavanagh, Dealer Principal of CAB, travelled to Paris in June with Ford Ireland Managing Director Ciarán McMahon in order to collect the award and bring it home to a wonderful welcome in Cork.

Oh! Naturelle ice cream moves into English Market start-up stall

The English Market in Cork has launched a start-up stall initiative to foster fledgling food businesses.

A once-vacant stall in the city council-owned market has been revamped to provide new businesses with a four- to six-week lease and a platform to sell their products. The stall can be adapted quickly to suit various businesses, ensuring the tenants avoid start-up costs.

Its first tenants, ice cream and sorbet business Oh! Naturelle, moved in yesterday.

Co-owners Louise Ryan and Aisling Murphy from Blarney, Cork, who have taken their diet-friendly and dairy-, gluten-, and soya-free products from their kitchen onto SuperValu shelves in January via the SuperValu Food Academy, said they were delighted with the opportunity.

“We use whole fresh fruit and the opportunity to sell directly to customers in a market that’s renowned for that commitment to food, and to be part of that culture, it’s really important for us, and fantastic exposure to show our product,” Louise said.

Aisling said it was an incredible opportunity, given they are only in business since the start of the year.

“We already sell out take-home tubs from the shops,” she said. “Using the start-up stall will really help us figure out if selling soft-serve scoops is viable. You get to test it for six weeks, see how sales go, and then evaluate if this is something the business can do.”

The initiative has been developed by the city council and Órla Lannin, the market manager with Arrowmark Property, and is backed by the market traders.

Pat O’Connell, chairman of the English Market Traders’ Association, said it would give food entrepreneurs an opportunity to trade in one of the best markets in Europe, with reduced start-up costs and risk.

“It’s very difficult to get into a food business today, with all the regulations,” he said. “You just can’t do what my mother did many years ago with a timber table, a bit of marble on top, and a drain pipe. That won’t cut it any more. There is a huge initial outlay and a big gamble starting out today.

“If it doesn’t work, not only do you lose your business, you lose your shirt as well. This start-up stall will give give somebody who has an idea and who wants to develop it, a chance to test the market in the real-world, and to tweak the product, develop a passion for it, and that is what this market is very much about.”

Council spokeswoman Alison O’Rourke said up to 10 producers will trade from the stall over the coming months, with Smokehouse Stall, owned by Conrad Howard, lined up as the next tenants.

Interested businesspeople can get more information at

CBA wishes Specsavers every success in their move to Opera Lane

Specsavers Cork recently relocated to a larger premises at 2 Opera Lane, creating three new jobs for the local community.  To celebrate the opening of the new state-of-the-art optical and hearing facility, customers were invited to a day of fun and festivities. The store kicked off the celebrations with a ribbon cutting ceremony, attended by Miss Cork 2016 Orla Clancy. Customers were then treated to light refreshments as a face painter and balloon artist entertained the little ones.

Since opening in Cork in 1991, Specsavers has expanded to a team of 40 experienced optometrists, audiologists and highly trained staff providing customers in Cork with unparalleled service and value for money.

Specsavers Cork now boasts an impressive five optical testing rooms and two dedicated hearing rooms complete with a soundproof booth to ensure the most accurate results when conducting hearing tests.  The store has also invested in sophisticated optical technology, boasting a Fundus Camera for early detection of diseases and recently introduced Digital Precision Eyecare, a cutting edge new way of selecting and fitting customers’ glasses using imaging software on tablet devices.

Speaking at the event Store Director Claire Morrin said, “At Specsavers, we are committed to developing and improving our stores so that customers in Cork have access to the latest technology as well as in-store expertise from knowledgeable optometrists and audiologists and outstanding standards of customer service.  We look forward to welcoming new and existing customers to our new and improved store.”

Specsavers Cork provides a professional and vital care service to the local community.  The store is equipped with digital retinal photography, which allows optometrists to take a detailed photo of the back of someone’s eye to monitor eye health, also uses Digital Precision Care, a cutting edge way of selecting and fitting customers’ glasses using imaging software on tablet devices.  Specsavers Cork also offers a comprehensive audiological service, with a clinic six days a week. The hearing clinic is overseen by highly skilled audiologist Rory Perry.  All hearing tests are free and there is no requirement to book an appointment in advance.

Bumper Summer Traffic Across Irish Skies

Figures released by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) today indicate that the amount of traffic safely handled by air traffic control climbed 8.1%% in June to 106,076 flights, compared to 98,085 during the same month in 2015. This brings total air traffic handled by the IAA in 2016 past the five hundred thousand mark to 528,043.

Eight of Ireland’s Top ten “Airport Pairs” grew in June. The most significant growth was for London Gatwick – Dublin (+24.6%), London Heathrow – Chicago O’Hare Intl (+19.2%), Edinburgh - Dublin (+13.5%).

Eamonn Brennan, Chief Executive of the IAA, said, “This is welcome news as we hit the mid-point of a bumper summer season for Irish aviation. Once again, our Air Traffic Controllers have safely handled record numbers of movements through Irish-controlled airspace. This continued growth points towards sustained development in the international aviation sector, and the ever-growing volume of movements in Irish-controlled airspace re-affirms our strategic importance to the European and US aviation markets.”

There was an increase of +10.2% in Ireland’s overflight traffic movements (flights, which do not land in Ireland) during June 2016, in comparison to June 2015, as well as a +7.9% increase in North Atlantic Communications flights (Europe /US Flights). There were 33,093 overflight traffic movements and 45,374 North Atlantic Communications flights during June 2016.

Individually, the June 2016 figures for the three State airports, when compared to the same month in the previous year are:

  • Commercial terminal flights at Dublin were up by 7.1% with an average of 646 daily movements at Dublin.
  • Commercial terminal flights at Cork were up by +19.1%, with an average of 71 daily movements at Cork.
  • Commercial terminal flights at Shannon were down by -6.4% with an average of 68 daily movements at Shannon.

Cruise ships brought 100,000 people to Cork last year

The number of passengers on cruise ships visiting Cork broke the 100,000 figure for the first time ever last year.

New figures on port traffic show a total of 102,217 tourists arrived at the cruise ship terminal in Cobh and deepwater berth at Ringaskiddy during 2015.

The 22% growth in number of cruise ship visitors helped Cork to overtake Dublin for the first time in terms of tourist numbers.

Figures published by the Central Statistics Office recorded 101,400 visitors on board 93 cruise ship stopovers in the capital last year.

It represented a 4% increase in passenger numbers for Dublin.

A total of 57 cruise liners docked in Cork last year — up five on 2014 figures.

The Port of Cork estimated it can increase its cruise business to 75 visits by liners each year over the next three years.

A major upgrading of the terminal for liners in Cobh is expected to provide a major boost for Cork as a destination for cruise ships.

The €1.5m refurbishment of the facilities in the harbour town will allow the terminal to accommodate even larger vessels.

Capt Michael McCarthy, the Port of Cork commercial manager, said larger liners or ‘Quantum’ class ships can now be accommodated without any restrictions.

A total of 58 liners are expected to have visited the port during 2016 with predictions that visitor numbers will again break through the six-figure barrier.

It is estimated the visits of such cruise liners contribute around €4m annually to the local economy.

The Caribbean Princess, with almost 3,600 passengers on board, is due to arrive in Cobh tomorrow evening. After Cork and Dublin, Waterford was the third most popular destination in Ireland for visiting cruise ships in 2015.

Over 15,500 visitors on board 18 vessels stopped off in Waterford last year — an annual increase in passenger numbers of 52%.

Overall across all ports, the number of passengers on cruise ships visiting Ireland reached almost 250,000 with other ports including Dún Laoghaire, Galway, Killybegs, Foynes and Bantry Bay.

A total of 241,872 tourists on such vessels were recorded last year — an annual increase of over 39,000 or 19% — and the highest level ever.

The number of cruise ships visiting Ireland in 2015 was 193 — up 16 on 2014.

Enda Kenny to raise issue of Cork-US flights with Barack Obama

Taoiseach Enda Kenny plans to raise the stalled Cork-US flights saga with President Barack Obama again.

Mr Kenny was responding to questions from Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, and Cork TDs Mick Barry and Jim Daly in the Dáil over the delay by the US Department of Transportation (DoT) in making a final decision on Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) application for a foreign carrier permit.

The DoT issued tentative approval in April for Dublin-based NAI’s licence, which would allow it to operate Cork to Boston flights under the terms of the EU-US Open Skies deal. The Irish subsidiary of low-fares giant Norwegian also plans to launch a Cork New York service.

But the services can’t start until the DoT sanctions its permit — an application which is facing strong opposition from labour unions on both sides of the Atlantic.

Mr Daly, who urged the Taoiseach to make further contact with Mr Obama on the issue, said: “All the obstacles have now been cleared and it is purely a political matter on the American side.”

Mr Kenny, who raised the issue with Mr Obama during his St Patrick’s Day visit to the White House, said he raised it again with vice-President Joe Biden in Government Buildings on June 21 during his visit to Ireland.

“I emphasised to the vice-president that we look forward to this decision being confirmed as soon as possible, so that Norwegian Air can launch new services between the US and Ireland, including a route from Cork,” said Mr Kenny.

“The vice-president expressed his hope that the issue could be resolved as soon as possible.”

Mr Kenny said Mr Biden promised to report back to Mr Obama on Irish concerns at the delay, and that he is happy to follow up with the President in due course.

Clarion Hotel to hold charity Spinathon in aid of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin

The Staff at the Clarion Hotel Cork are hosting a charity Spinathon on the Boardwalk in front of the hotel next Wednesday 13th July from 7am until 7pm all in aid of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. The hotel would appreciate any support you can give them on the day.

Please click on this link to see the event poster Clarion-charity spin marathon