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Council taking action to address climate change

All About Cork - Heritage Highlights

Climate change is a very real concern, with the potential to have far-reaching consequences for our culture, heritage and our very way of life.

There has been a recent, yet long-overdue, rise in the understanding of the seriousness of climate change, and in the county of Cork, a Climate Adaptation Strategy is currently being undertaken.

The document is a five-year road map which aims to identify key climate-change risks for the county and to ensure climate-adaptation actions and considerations are mainstreamed into policy-making and all functions, operations and services of Cork County Council.

Submissions are now being invited for the period up until Monday, August 12.

Welcoming the draft strategy, Cork County Council Chief Executive Tim Lucey said local authorities were at the front line when it comes to climate adaptation.

"This document assesses our risks and vulnerabilities and is a result of extensive research and engagement with stakeholders. It will ultimately facilitate the council's ongoing commitment to ensuring sustainability and climate resilience in a strategic and proactive manner," said Mr Lucey.

"Cork County Council encourages members of the public to review the strategy and to submit relevant observations in writing."

The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Christopher O'Sullivan, further emphasised the importance of the strategy.

"Climate change presents real challenges but we have an opportunity here to take a proactive approach to strategically implement appropriate climate-adaptive actions and to actively protect biodiversity. Plans outlined in the draft to actively support native tree planting, for instance, are fundamental to promoting biodiversity," said Cllr O'Sullivan.

"This document is a significant step - we need to adapt to the changes that are already happening and take appropriate measures to protect our environment and our future."

Produced by the Environment Directorate of Cork County Council, the draft strategy has drawn on regional, national and international data and from local sources to establish an extreme-weather event baseline - predicting the challenges and risks that climate change will pose for the county in the future.

The draft strategy can be accessed on the council website, www.corkcoco.ie, and is also available to view at a number of Cork County Council Offices including Mallow, Inniscarra and all Municipal District Offices and Libraries. More information can also be obtained by emailing climatereadycork@corkcoco.ie.

Exploring Ireland's maritime culture

Ireland over its many years has witnessed many changes in climate, from cold to hot and back to cold again.

Notwithstanding the prevailing climate, people always needed to be able to move from place to place and in so many locations around Ireland, particularly here in the County of Cork, travel by water was a very useful option.

Whether along its rivers or around its coastal waters, the Irish were skilled in boat making and one of the most-known boat types from a heritage perspective is the currach.

In August a currach-building workshop will take place at the shores of Lough Allua in Cork's Muskerry Gaeltacht.

A new group called 'Currach as Gaeilge' will run the workshop primarily through the Irish language in the local community centre in Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh (Ballingeary) village, running from Saturday to Sunday, August 10 to 18.

Pádraig Ó Duinnín, Paul Lynch and Eoin Ó Leidhin will facilitate the workshop. Pádraig is a well-known currach expert and presenter of TG4's 'Muintir na Mara'.

Paul and Eoin first collaborated with Pádraig on a currach build in the Iorras Gaeltacht in Mayo in 2015.

Pádraig said: "If you love our language, join us in Béal Átha, creating a beautiful currach with a comfortable mix of different levels of Gaoluinn and woodworking ability."

Group member Paul Lynch said: "Currach-making has been recently recognised for its significance in Irish cultural heritage, and what could be a deeper cultural experience than building a currach in the language it was developed through over thousands of years?"

Each afternoon from 2.30pm there will also be a section of the hall open free to the public with a currach display, tea station and sitting area.

"We thank Comharchumann Forbartha Mhuscraí, Creative Ireland, Cork County Council and Údaras na Gaeltachta for their financial support in making the course possible," said Paul.

For more information and bookings visit http://currach.ie or email info@curach.ie.

Launch of new Spike Island ferry service

 A very popular spot in the county of Cork, and only accessible by boat, is Spike Island in Cork Harbour.

The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Christopher O'Sullivan, recently launched a new ferry service for Spike Island.

The 126-person capacity ferry was secured by Doyle Shipping Company, who have been servicing Spike Island since the 1950s and have seen the service change from military to prison to tourism during these years. 

The ferry will complement the existing service by increasing capacity and allowing visitors a longer stay on the 104-acre island.

"We are delighted to see the new ferry launched, which will address any capacity issues the island might face in the coming years. As well as enabling longer stays for day trippers, the extra capacity also opens up the potential for Spike Island to hold large-scale events in the near future, offering an even greater economic benefit to Cork County," said Cork County Council chief executive.

Cork gearing up for Heritage Week 2019

As we turn our attention to upcoming events, this month is a key one on the calendar with National Heritage Week taking place from Saturday to Sunday, August 17 to 25.

Next week's column will take a look at many of the events planned.

In terms of events this weekend, many will be looking forward to the 13th Youghal Medieval Festival on Sunday.

Highlights will includes The White Horses Living Society and their 30 'medieval warriors' who will set up their tented medieval village in the gardens; a child-friendly 'archaeological dig' and a range of other activities including a number of history talks in St Mary's Collegiate Church on the preceding Saturday.

Full details can be found on www.youghal.ie.

On the Sunday Kilmurry will also be in the spotlight as a wonderful new exhibition gets under way.

Entitled 'It Wasn't All Work You Know', it looks at what people did for leisure during the past 150 years. The exhibition, which is supported by Cork County Council through the Creative Ireland Programme, will run up until Sunday, September 1, and people are encouraged to pop in and take a look.

Corkman