Goleen is the last parish in Ireland's southwest before America. The most southwesterly point in Ireland is Mizen Head. Goleen village was established in the last 19th century as a permanent development of an old cattle fair - all the houses were built with shop fronts. St. Patrick's Church had its 150th anniversary in 2005.
The village of Crookhaven has been in existence for much longer. Its heyday was at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century as a major port victualling and fueling the transAtlantic sailing and then steam cargo ships; Marconi came to establish a radio station to try to get a message across the Atlantic. He set up a telegraph station on the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse to send and receive messages from the great liners and cargo ships passing by on their way to and from America.
Lowertown is at the east of the parish. It is the collective name for many townlands round there. Besides many other amenities, it has a church and a branch of Drinagh Co-op. Recently it has been designated a village nucleus by Cork County Council. Toormore is between Lowertown and Goleen at the junction of the R591 from Bantry and R592 from Schull. There is a Post Office and the Protestant Church 'The Altar'. It has also been designated a village nucleus. Dunbeacon is at the northern boundary of the parish. It is the collective term for townlands like Drishane, Cashelfean and Derryfunshion.
Goleen Parish is a beautiful haven of hills, cliffs, beaches and wild flowers. The main activities are farming and tourism. There are good services, facilities and amenities for everyday living and vacations.
Goleen & District Community Council is elected by all residents over 18 years old every three years to represent the Community of Goleen Parish. There are five main areas of population: Goleen, Crookhaven, Lowertown, Toormore and Dunbeacon. For the election of members of the Community Council, the parish is divided into eight areas. Each of which elects two members of the Community Council. Anyone can be proposed for membership. The Community Council was first formed in 1999 under the auspices of Muintir na Tire.
In the eight years since its inception the Community Council has worked on many Community Projects. The greatest achievement to date in 2006 is the purchase and development of a new Community Centre incorporating a Community Sports Field and Sports Hall. Thanks have to be given to the people of West Cork who rose magnificently to the challenge and gave huge sponsorship for this project. The field is in use now and the hall is nearly finished. The Community Council has worked to get funding for its projects from the National Lottery (through the Dept. of Arts, Sports and Tourism), Clar, West Cork LEADER, Cork County Council. Many projects have been expedited by the Council's willingness to give voluntary work or funding to match external funding. The weekly LOTTO, supported locally, has raised funds for this purpose.
Other activities include a weekly LOTTO, which has funded many projects in the area. Anyone is welcome to take a chance! An annual Festival week is organised in August. A new tradition started last year is the 8KM walk Route to Crook starting in Goleen and endiong in Crookhaven; entries were excellent for the first year and it looks as if it will be even more popular in 2006. Dunbeacon, Lowertown and Toormore have set up committees to work for their entry to the Tidy Towns Competition.
Goleen & District Community Council is the Community working together to achieve community goals.