Friday 20 April 2018

Cork day of celebration at first annual Crinniú na Cásca

Conor Nelligan, County Heritage Officer

The month of April promises to be exciting in County Cork and indeed across the country with the recent announcement of 'Crinniú na Cásca' - a new national day of cultural celebration that will take place on Easter Monday, April 17th this year, and every Easter Monday henceforth as part of the National Creative Ireland Initiative.

For Crinniú na Cásca 2017 Cork County Council will be supporting a whole range of activities in each of the eight municipal districts in Cork. Numerous community groups have already been in touch with a range of proposed events and activities and Cork County Council would be delighted for any and all local groups to get involved, be it a cultural commemoration of 1916 or an event that recognises the importance of Irish culture to our everyday lives, ranging from art and creativity to local history, language and folklore right through to our natural heritage and archaeological/architectural heritage.

The main aim is that the events will be creative in nature, free and fully inclusive, inspired by the wonderful culture and heritage that surrounds and connects us all.

Groups are still welcome to submit their proposals for promotion of Crinniú na Cásca - please send details by email to by Monday 3rd April.

Creative Ireland is a project that will have tremendous benefit for the County of Cork and one very much to look forward to. Details of the National Creative Ireland Programme are available at and for further queries on how to get involved in County Cork, email

The last weekend in March/first in April is one of significant commemorative significance this year, representing the 150th anniversary of the death of Cork Fenian Peter O'Neill Crowley who was killed by British Forces on 31st March 1867, due to his role in the Fenian Rising that year.

Cork County Council's Commemorations Committee is supporting a Peter O'Neill Crowley Commemorative Weekend, which will commence with a talk on Peter O'Neill Crowley and the Fenian Rising of 1867 by Martin Millerick of Cork County Council's Heritage Unit (talk takes place at 17:30 on March 30th in the Council Chamber, County Hall).

With the support of Cork County Council Commemorations Committee, large commemorative events will also be taking place in Ballymacoda on Friday 31st March, and in Kilclooney, near Mitchelstown, on Sunday April 2nd.

Things kick off in Ballymacoda at 19:30 with a ceremonial event, featuring wreath laying by present-day descendants and the raising of the Tricolour and playing of Amhrán na bhFiann by a piper. An oration will be given by Siobhán Shanahan and the MC for the event is John Colbert. The Peter O'Neill Crowley monument has been beautifully restored with the support of Cork County Council and refreshments will be served afterwards in Ballymacoda Hall.

On Sunday 2nd April in Kilclooney the day will see a continuation in the commemoration of Peter O'Neill Crowley. At 12:30 it is expected that a large group will visit the Peter O'Neill Crowley site in Kilclooney Wood itself. At 13:30 a Parade will then commence at Knockanevin Church, leading those gathered to the O'Neill Crowley viewing station, which was built for this 150th Anniversary Commemoration. The Thomas Kent Pipe Band will lead the parade, followed by a Wexford re-enactment group in period dress. At the viewing station, a monument will be unveiled, followed by songs and music, weather permitting, and all in attendance will then be welcome back to T. O. Park clubhouse for refreshments.

On Monday 3rd of April the 14th Cork Lifelong Learning Festival commences, running up until Friday April 7th. The festival, which takes place in University College Cork will feature close to 20 talks and lectures over the course of the week, both during the day and in the evenings. On Monday 3rd April there will be a talk about useful free family history sources by Lorna Moloney from 2pm - 3pm in room 102, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, followed by a talk by Tony McCarthy on how to be a successful family historian.

Tuesday sees a wonderful talk on prehistoric colours (looking at the many hues of fossil bugs, birds and dinosaurs) and a further talk on 18th Century ornamental gardens.

The week will also see talks on Ireland's Great War, Aspects of Women's Studies; the Songs of Bob Dylan; the Honan Chapel and even a talk entitled 'The Election of Donald Trump and What it Means for the World' - this last event taking place in the Brookfield Health Sciences Complex on Thursday 6th April from 16:00 to 17:00 by Mr. Mark Kernan.

The Thursday evening will also see a performance by Cór Cúil Aodha in the Honan Chapel. The full list of events is available to see on the events section of Cork County Council's Heritage Website It promises to be a fascinating week.

Later in the week - on Thursday 6th April - a talk will take place at 20:00 in Blarney Secondary School, organised by the Blarney and District Historical Society. The speaker is historian Richard Forrest, who will talk about the history of the River Martin, which rises at Lyradane Mountain approximately half way between Mallow and Blarney. Richard will examine the river's geography, bridges, industry, wildlife folklore, accidents and its tributaries. It promises to be a most enjoyable evening and all are welcome to attend.

On Saturday, 8th April, Griffin's Garden Centre, Dripsey, is hosting an open day for Tidy Town and residential groups, where those present will have the opportunity to learn how to earn extra points in the Tidy Towns Competition. Local groups will be able to 'enjoy both presentations and inspirational demonstations full of planting combinations, easy gardening techniques and practical advice that can be adapted to suit their town, village or estate.

On the day, which sees two sessions, one from 10:30 to 13:00 and the second from 13:30 to 16:00, groups will learn about wildlife habitats and natural amenities, landscaping and open spaces and approach roads, streets and lanes, amongst other aspects including pollinator friendly planting.

Two people per group can attend this worthwhile event and for booking (tickets are free), email or phone 021 7334286.