THE CHRISTMAS themed Foróige Family FUNdraiser held at the AURA leisure centre last Sunday (December 2nd 2012), was a huge success and greatly supported by the people and youth of youghal. Thank you to all those that helped to make the day so special.
As part of the fundraiser Aura kindly provided the popular local group with free use of the facilities including the gym and fitness room. The local Foróige Project and cafe ran a number of family fun activities on the day such as youth team challenges in the gym whereby three teams of young people competed with each other to cover the most distance on the treadmills and cycling bikes in the time it takes to fly from Cork to the North Pole.
There was a Christmas arts and crafts workshop and cake sale in the fitness studio, as well as face-painting and a visit from Santa in the entrance foyer. A Santa race involving nominees from local businesses took place at Claycastle beach followed by the release of ‘make a Christmas wish’ Chinese lanterns. All funds raised from the family fun day at Aura will go towards developing services within the Foróige Youth Centre and Cafe that will benefit the young people of Youghal.
AT the monthly Board Meeting of the Youghal Chamber of Tourism and Development, the Board members were bitterly disappointed with the recent decision by An Bord Pleanala to refuse planning permission for the redevelopment of the former Seafield Technical Textiles Factory in the Stand Area of the town. The redevelopment would have included the much anticipated Aldi Foodstore along with modern offices and other community facilities. In recent years, considerable investment has been put into this area of the town, including the Aura Leisure Centre, Youghal Greyhound Track and Perks Amusement Centre. The former factory is a huge eyesore at the entrance to the town and every effort must be made to help Seafield Partnership develop the site in the near future.
On Sunday December 2nd The Foróige Youth Centre and Cafe will run a one day fundraising event at AURA leisure centre from 12pm-5pm. The fundraiser will be Christmas themed.
As part of the fundraiser Aura are kindly providing us with free use of the facilities including the gym and fitness room. The local Foróige Project and cafe will run a number of family fun friendly activities on the day such as youth team challenges in the gym whereby three teams of young people will be in competition with each other to cover the most distance on the treadmills and cycling bikes in the time it takes to fly from Cork to the North Pole.
In addition to this there will be a Christmas arts and crafts workshop and cake sale in the fitness studio, as well as face-painting and a visit from Santa in the entrance foyer. Finally a Santa race involving nominees from local businesses will take place at Claycastle beach followed by the release of ‘make a Christmas wish’ Chinese lanterns. All funds raised from the family fun day at Aura will go towards developing services within the Foróige Youth Centre and Cafe that will benefit the young people of Youghal. If you would like to find out more about how to get involved in the fundraising day then please contact Nicola on 086 1702347. Please support this great cause and we look forward to seeing you on the day. Thank you to AURA leisure centre for providing us with this great opportunity.
Aura Of Expectation Surrounds Youghal Leisure Centre’s New Wind Turbine. – By Christy Parker
A NEW WIND TURBINE is expected to reduce Youghal’s Aura Leisure Centre’s electricity cost by up to two-thirds when it is connected up next month. The structure has just been fully assembled some 70 metres from the centre adjacent to Claycastle beach and is awaiting completion of its technical programme before commencing operations. “We’re just waiting for the ESB to inspect the fixture and, all going well, we will make it live,” says Gary McCormack, managing director of Bandon-based WindTurbines.ie, who installed the structure.
Purchased from Vestas, Denmark, who are the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers, the turbine was transported in three sections before being assembled by WindTurbines.ie. Thereafter it took three days to install fully. The groundwork was conducted by Youghal’s Barry Walsh Civil Engineering Ltd. in an intense, three-week operation last December. Due to the bog like conditions of the soil, the company had to dig an 8.5 sq metre trench, five metres deep to secure the base.
The turbine is the first such installation in the seaside town and as well as being highly functional, it makes an eye-catching addition to the landscape. A 75 kilowatt structure, it stands 25 metres tall, with 8.5 metre blades measuring 17 metres in circumference when turning. Its uppermost regions can be accessed through an internal ladder running the length of the tower.
Purchase of the turbine has been facilitated by a €400,000 granted secured by Youghal Town Council –who own Aura Leisure centre- from the Department of Tourism and Sport last year. The grant has also enabled the centre to upgrade its disability facilities.
Aura Leisure centre Manager Tracy Kenneally says the turbine system will “make a huge difference” to the company’s running costs. “As you can imagine, heating bills are high when you are running three heated swimming pools, a sauna and a steam room, as well as a gymnasium,” smiles the manager. “So we are thrilled that the council secured us the money to acquire this turbine. We are also proud to be using an environmentally-friendly system,” she adds.
Christy Parker talks to Barry Walsh on the groundwork preparations for Aura Leisure Centre wind turbine.
The eye-catching new wind turbine standing proud against the skyline at Aura Leisure Centre is a landmark of unprecedented presence in the town. However for local company Barry Walsh Civil Engineering Ltd, it is was a familiar undertaking when landed the groundwork contract for the structure’s installation.
The Youghal firm four out-of-town competitors to the tender from Bandon-based installation company windturbines.ie, last November. “I think our experience with wind turbine installation probably swung it for us, “says Barry. “We’ve worked on several wind turbine schemes in recent times, such as the Boggerah Mountain wind farm in north Cork and a similar one in Kerry in Castleisland.”
The Aura turbine was funded through a €400,000 grant acquired by Youghal Town Council from the Department of Tourism and Sport last year. Purchased in Denmark and transported in three sections, it is expected to meet up to two-thirds of the centre’s electricity requirements.
The project contrasted starkly with previous work undertaken by Barry’s firm in the sphere, being considerably smaller in scale and function. However it presented its own, unique challenge to the five-man crew of Youghal craftsmen who set foot on site last December. “It was quite complex for a couple of reasons,” Barry explains. “Firstly the schedule was tight as we only had about three weeks to do the job. Secondly, the ground is basically peat and water so we had to dig very deep to facilitate the base work.”
Having constructed the road into the site, the workers then excavated a base 8½ square metres to a depth of five metres. “We lined it with a terram lining and back filled and compacted it with stone,” Barry details. “Then we undertook the steel and concrete work for the base, having completed the shuttering. That also involved the fixing of the holding down bolts to the column section of the base. We also ran the ducting into the leisure centre,” he adds.
Barry, 32, was educated in Gortaroo NS and CBS Youghal, before undertaking a three year course in quantity surveying at Cork Institute of Technology, followed by a graduation year at Limerick’s equivalent, which brought him an honours degree in 2002. “That gave me a background in pricing and so on,” he explains.
Then, seven years ago he established Barry Walsh Civil Engineering Ltd, which currently employs three full time workers. The company undertakes a wide variety of projects, from the aforementioned wind farms to road bypasses, drainage schemes and onto simpler, residential tasks. “At the moment we are also diversifying into septic tank renovation,” Barry reveals.
Living in Ballyclamsy, recessionary times mean he has to travel quite a bit to fulfil contracts. It’s as well that he loves his work. “Yeah I do,” he smiles. “Every day is a fresh challenge. I always try to better myself,” he proceeds. “And it’s a great feeling to walk away from a successful job, knowing that we have completed it to the very best of our ability and that the client is happy.”
Meanwhile in recent weeks, windurbines.ie has attached the 75 kilowatt turbine itself to the base secured by Barry’s team. It stands, some 70 metres from the centre, an impressive 25 metres tall, with blades measuring 17 metres. Aura Leisure Centre manager Tracy Kenneally says it will commence operating next month. Thanks to Barry Walsh’s help, it should be more than a breeze…
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