Wednesday 24 January 2018

Culture centre stage in drive to give more meaning to our lives

Conor Nelligan, County Heritage Officer

The Centenary Commemoration of 1916 was a tremendous success in the County of Cork, as it was across the entire nation. In response to the heightened sense of shared identity that was established in 2016, and in respect of the breadth of cultural activity and public engagement that took place, the Government has embarked on an insightful legacy project that sets out to harness the country's culture, arts and heritage over the next five years with the purpose of ensuring 'that Ireland offers a meaningful, value-driven quality of life'.

This initiative is called Creative Ireland and covers five key strands: Children; Community; Cultural Infrastructure; the Creative Industries and Internationalisation. 

The Community Participation Strand (Strand 2) is being led by local authorities across the country and Cork County Council has recently undertaken an action plan (County Cork Culture and Creativity Plan 2017) for implementing Creative Ireland in the County of Cork this year. In support of this plan and the Creative Ireland Programme as a whole (both available to view online at, a grant scheme was announced in June 2017.

A number of wonderful applications were submitted for consideration under the scheme and Cork County Council has approved 30 projects and events based on an overall allocation of €35,000.

Mayor of County Cork, Cllr. Declan Hurley has noted that "these applications, covering culture in its widest sense, including multiculturalism, highlight the breadth of creativity and culture that exists within the County of Cork".

Speaking more on the Creative Ireland Programme he noted that "Cork County has proved itself time and time again as one of the leading cultural counties in Ireland, and the projects being supported under this grant scheme will enhance this wonderful culture even further".

The 30 applications cover each of the five Creative Ireland Strands and will see projects in every municipal district. From projects supporting Irish language and culture to projects focusing on youthful educational projects and performances and inter-generational projects, there is a great variety of activities set to take place.

Cork County Council will shortly be holding Creative Ireland workshops in each municipal district over the coming months as they prepare a five-year cultural strategy and for further information on this and Creative Ireland as a whole visit or email

In addition to the recent announcement of grants for the Creative Ireland County Cork Grant Scheme 2017, Cork County Council has also launched for sale, a publication entitled '1916-2016 Commemorating the Centenary in the County of Cork'. Launched by Mayor of County Cork, Cllr. Declan Hurley, it is a fascinating book that encapsulates in the one source, the vast range of events, projects and undertakings that took place in 2016 for the Centenary Commemoration of 1916 in County Cork.

The publication, a compendium as such, documents the approach taken in commemorating the year including photographs and descriptions of the hundreds of events that took place right throughout the county. Speaking in relation to the publication Mayor Hurley noted that in 2016 '"we have honoured those men and women of 1916 through creativity, through reflection, through ceremonies and most importantly, through community participation. This publication shines a light on the pride that the County of Cork has for its Irish heritage".

The book itself documents the more than 500 events organised by more than 200 different community groups and organisations Cork County Council's Chief Executive Tim Lucey has commended the groups involved. The publication is now available for purchase in a number of local outlets throughout the county including Liam Ruiséals in Cork City, Philip's Bookshop in Mallow, Fitzgerald's Bookshop in Macroom, Gadaí Dubh Books in Baile Bhúirne and Kanturk Bookshop. A number of other outlets will be stocking the book in the coming days and it will also be available to purchase online via

In relation to upcoming events and with the month of August upon us, many heritage enthusiasts will be 'ar muin na muice' with Heritage Week commencing in little over two weeks' time (August 19th to 27th). So far close to 160 events have been scheduled for the county in close to 60 different locations.

The Cork County Heritage Week Guide will be available next week and is already available online at The Heritage Council website also contains wonderful up to date information on all that is happening and next week's column will take a detailed look at what Heritage Week 2017 has in store for the County of Cork.

One event to note, taking place prior to Heritage Week, will be in Griffins Garden Centre, Dripsey, on Friday 11th August. Commencing at 19:30, the Inniscarra Historical Society presents 'Summer Concert in an Enchanted Garden', which will feature a range of great music including a performance by the High Hopes Choir. Admission is €10 (with a share of the proceeds going to Cork Penny Dinners). For more information on this event email or phone 086 0621947.


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