The News...

Archive - all the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

Mahon Point
Cork's splendiferous Mahon Point Market has a new contact number: 086 1685312 and the email address is
Food lovers should check out the gorgeous site created by Lydia Hugh-Jones for the market:

Wales and GM
Wales has a bit of a lumbering reputation hen it comes to food, but maybe that is changing with the announcement yesterday by their Agriculture Minister, Elin Jones. Read this carefully: it is of major importance in the ongoing GM process:

“Following our public consultation on the environmental liability directive last year, the proposals that we have made in relation to the GM aspects of the directive will shortly be put into effect through domestic legislation. This will give added protection to our environment in Wales by making the growers and biotechnology companies, namely the permit holders, responsible for any unforeseeable damage to the environment that a GM crop might cause.

The intention is for co-existence to be tightly regulated in Wales. Our proposed measures will be more restrictive than those proposed in England and Northern Ireland. I would like to take a few moments to outline some of the key features of our co-existence proposals.

On seed thresholds, we will seek views on whether the present 0.1 per cent default seed threshold should be retained, as in many EU member states, where separation distances have been established on that basis.

On liability, we will include options for imposing strict liability on GM crop growers and introducing a voluntary industry-funded compensation scheme. Consideration may also be given to an option for a statutory redress mechanism.

On GM-free zones, we will seek views on the desirability of a statutory prohibition on GM crop cultivation in all statutory conservation areas. On a GM crop register, we will propose a statutory national register with public access. To grow GM crops will require registration with the Welsh Assembly Government three months prior to planting. In addition to the implicit need for consultation with neighbours, in order to ensure compliance with separation distances, it is also proposed that there will be a statutory requirement to inform people living in the vicinity and neighbouring landowners. It is proposed that record keeping should be a statutory requirement for GM producers, as will training for all on-farm handlers who have any intent to grow GM crops.

The field measures that I will be proposing are based on our average arable field size in Wales of fewer than 3 ha. I will also propose significant isolation distances between GM and non-GM crops and buffer zones, incorporating pollen barriers or traps. I am conscious that a growing world population, climate change and increasing food costs have given rise to concerns regarding future food security. The debate on the potential role that GM crops have to play in meeting food security has increased. I do not believe that there is any clear evidence that GM crops do have a role to play”

Strict liability, and an industry-funded compensation scheme. Can you see the GM industry rushing to fund such a scheme?... Ms Jones is our new heroine round about here..

Slow Food Meat
Slow Food Heritage Series has announced an inspiring series of discussion with those meat masters of Bandon, Martin Carey and Dan Moloney...

Discover more about the meat that you eat, how to identify different cuts of meat, know which cuts to use for which type of cooking, how to find and recognise the best quality and value meat.
Join us for four evening Master Classes all about meat.
Slow Food West Cork Convivium, Urru Culinary Store, Dan Maloney Meat Centre and Martin Carey Butchers all of Bandon have joined together to provide a unique opportunity to give a masterclass by meat and culinary experts.
The evening will start in Urru, Bandon and move around to the butchers for butchering demonstrations, instruction on identifying cuts, characteristics, matching cuts to cooking methods and budgeting.
We then move back to Urru for refreshments and discussion on meat issues, traceability, food chain, organic, free range, freezing and recipes. Refreshments, Recipes and Special Offers are included.
Practicalities: Tuesdays 3rd March, 10th March, 24th March and 31st March
7.30pm – 9pm. Maximum 25 people. €25 per night (€20 Slow Food Members) or €80 for all four Master Classes.
Reserve your place by registering and paying in Urru, Bandon
Tel: 023 8854731 or email to
West Cork Slow Food Convivium
Co. Cork
Web Site:

Lavistown, Kilkenny
The Food Anniversaries are coming thick and fast these days. Lavistown House celebrates thirty years of its courses this year, so congrats to Olivia and Roger, and smart folk should get their hands on a brochure or take a look at the site for details of this years courses, which range from vegetable cookery to nature photography and butterflies and moths.

Ballyvolane, Cork
Justin and Jenny Green have some delightful yoga and meditation courses planned for April, with Marianne Gabriel and Charlie Stevens. Check out the website, or contact them on t : +353 25 36349 f: +353 25 36781 e :
w: That could be you lounging in the bath above...