Reading the information, I was even more impressed with the community spirit that was generated.
It seems that the more one experiences and reads of the ‘me, myself, I’ attitude, the more one appreciates the 'all for one' attitude.
It is worth a visit – and a donation.
On the 15th January 2009 a fin whale beached itself on the beach in Burren Kilbrittain. It was an enormous animal and nothing of its size had ever been seen in the locality before. People came from far and wide to see it. Unfortunately it did not survive and subsequently the removal of its body from the beach became a matter of huge concern. In freezing cold conditions Professor Joy Reidenberg from Mount Sinai Medical Centre in New York began an autopsy which was filmed by Channel 4. Cork County Council was facing the prospect of disposing of this 40-ton hulk. Their solution was to dig a huge hole and bury it in the bay.
A group of local people decided that it would be a good idea to have a skeleton of this huge mammal displayed in Kilbrittain as surely an animal of this size would not pass this way again any time soon. After deliberations between this group, the Council, The Department of Agriculture and The Department of The Environment permission was given. And so, when Prof Reidenberg had completed her work, began the massive task of cutting off the blubber, which could not have been done without the expertise of the workers from the local meat factory, AIBP in Bandon.
The weather was deteriorating and time was of the essence. There was only a small window each day while the tide was low when work could be carried out. With the help of locals who provided tractors, trailers, Hi-Macs etc the skeleton of the animal began to reveal itself. Two lorry loads of offal were transported to be rendered.
Over the next 18 months many different methods were experimented with to clean the bones. The skeleton was displayed in its temporary home during the Festival in 2010. No funding was available from any of the Government agencies so this became a totally voluntary project. A permanent home has now been provided for her.
The project was the brainchild of a few brave men and with a lot of hard work and the help also of Fa workers, Kevin Madden and Joe Swanton and Patrick Madden; the project has come to fruition. The main working group was Vincent Hickey, Paul Butler, Joe Lynch, John Hickey, Michael O’Mahony, Finbarr O’Mahony, John Lordan and David Nixon.
Many others too numerous to mention have helped along the way and we thank these people who all gave their time, materials and expertise voluntarily. We would also particularly like to acknowledge the contribution which the Kilbrittain Festival Committee made without which this would not have happened.
We would appreciate any donation you can give us towards the maintenance of this fine display.