Update from Ballineaspaig Parish, Dennehy’s Cross, Co Cork, May 2017

Ballinaspeig climate justice candle march 2017The following is an update on the environmental work carried out by Ballineaspaig Parish, Co Cork.

Climate Justice Candle

We felt privileged to host the Climate Justice Candle during the last week of March.   We had requested it for that week to coincide with earth Hour on 25th March.  The candle was present in the Sanctuary for all the weekend Masses, during each of which the candle was lit and special prayers for the environment were said.  We estimate that up to 2,000 parishioners participated over the course of the weekend.

The final in our series of Lenten talks on “Wonders of Creation; Our Response” was held on 28th March, led by Fr. Declan Mansfield, Parish Priest of Ballinora parish.  In the spirit of Pope Francis’ letter ‘Laudato Si’, and with the aid of Biblical passages, poetry, music and reflections, Fr. Declan drew together the themes of wonder, awe and reverence for the work of God, and led us into prayer.   The session concluded with the lighting of the Climate Justice Candle.  Each of those present lit a small candle from that.  We prayed together “A Prayer for our Earth” (Laudato Si’) while holding our candles, then each of us brought home our candle so we could pass on the light to family and friends.

Ballinaspeig 1

Gardening Demonstration

Ballinaspeig 2During March we also organized a free gardening demonstration in Atkins Garden Centre, Carrigrohane Road, Cork, facilitated by Sheila Crean.  Sheila’s knowledge and enthusiasm were infectious!


  1. Flowers: Preparation and planting of seeds and bulbs
  2. Vegetables: Lettuces, Seed Potatoes, Tomatoes
  3. Lawns: Treatment and Feeding
  4. Plants: Pruning
  5. Question and Answer session

We intend to follow up with 2 further sessions, in June and September.

Vegetarian Cookery Demonstration

How can we respond to the threats of global warming and climate change contributed to by rising level of atmospheric carbon dioxide?  Burning of fossil fuels and agricultural animal production are two of the major sources of carbon dioxide worldwide.  It takes on average ten times as much energy to produce animal meat as to produce an equivalent amount of plant food.  We can do our bit, for our health as well as for our climate, by cutting back on the quantities of meat we eat.  To encourage people to think about this, we organised a free vegetarian cookery demonstration on Thursday, 6th April.   The evening was a huge success.  Two of the lecturers from the Department of Tourism and Hospitality in the Cork Institute of Technology, supported by some of the Culinary Studies students, gave us a demonstration of tasty vegetarian dishes both savoury and sweet. And we got to taste them all!

Ballinaspeig 3“Seed Sunday”

After all the Masses on Saturday/Sunday 7th/8th May, we distributed free seeds of vegetables, herbs and flowering plants which are easy to grow at home.  As a follow up to this, parishioners will be invited to celebrate a special Harvest Thanksgiving Mass and Festival and to bring some of their homegrown produce to a Bring and Buy event on Sunday, 25th September. All the proceeds from this will go to our sister parish in Turkwell.

Draft National Mitigation Plan

The Draft National Mitigation Plan to transition Ireland to a low carbon economy by 2050 was the subject of a public consultation which was open until 26 April 2017.  In response to an invitation for written submissions, we submitted this response.  Following the consultation process, a National Mitigation Plan must be submitted to Government no later than 10 June 2017.