New book celebrating Cork's many special links to Europe
In recognition of 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage and in continuation of the Heritage of County Cork Publication Series, Cork County Council, with the support of the Heritage Council, has just published 'Europe and the County of Cork: A Heritage Perspective'.
The book, which is over 200-pages in length, takes stock of Cork's special place in Europe by looking at a range of fascinating heritage connections and shared characteristics.
It draws on the expertise of a range of different authors - Elena Turk, Connie Kelleher, Denis Power, Cal McCarthy, Tomás MacConmara, John Hegarty and Clare Heardman - who each provided a chapter and a selection of sites for the publication.
The scope of the book is a wide one, covering archaeology, ecclesiastical heritage, maritime heritage, revolution, culture, architecture and natural heritage.
Community groups from around the county also submitted some wonderful examples of local connections with Europe, both through people and place, and one can easily glean from the pages how much of an influence Europe has had on Cork, but too, how Cork has had its influence on Europe over the many years.
The population of Europe presently stands at over 700 million people, 500 million of which are resident within the European's 28 Member States.
With the population of Ireland being close to 5 million and the County of Cork therefore constituting only .1 of 1% of the EU population, the extent of connectivity between County Cork and Europe can only be marvelled at.
'Europe and the County of Cork: A Heritage Perspective' will be hitting the bookshops in the coming days and are also available to purchase for €10 at on Floor 3 of the County Hall.
UNESCO enshrine Hurling as cultural gem
One aspect of Cork and indeed, Ireland's heritage, is its sporting traditions and not least amongst them, hurling.
It has this week been announced that the game of hurling has now been inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
At a meeting of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Mauritius on November 29, Ireland's nomination of Hurling was approved, thereby achieving international recognition of hurling as a key element of Ireland's living heritage to be safeguarded for future generations.
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, TD, said "I am delighted that Hurling has achieved international recognition by UNESCO. Hurling is a key element of Irish culture. For centuries, hurling has been an important part of the Irish identity, with men and women passing on this living tradition to each rising generation."
"I am grateful to the Camogie Association and the GAA for their work with my Department to achieve this UNESCO recognition'.
Ireland ratified the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2015.
The Convention was established to safeguard, appreciate, and raise awareness of cultural heritage locally, nationally, and internationally.
Intangible cultural heritage, or living heritage, refers to customs, traditions, crafts, games, and practices that are part of people's lives and identities both individually and as part of wider communities, and that are passed on from generation to generation.
Hurling, which is used to denote the entire game, including camogie, as played by men, women and children, is Ireland's second inscription on the Representative List.
Ireland's first nomination, Uilleann Piping, was officially inscribed last year.
Plenty to look forward to during December
The year of 2018 is now nearing to an end but with regards to heritage events and talks there is still plenty to look forward to over the month of December.
Tonight (Thursday) will see the launch of Journal No. 36 undertaken by the Mallow Field Club at the Hibernian Hotel in Mallow.
These are exceptional Journals and the latest volume will be launched by Frank Nyhan, State Solicitor at 8pm. All welcome.
Also this evening at Blarney Secondary School there will be an illustrated lecture titled 'Flora Sandes - Serbian Army Heroine WW1'.
Organised by the Blarney and District History Society, guest Speaker Ms Marie McCarthy will bring the story of Flora Sandes to life.
Flora was born a British woman in Yorkshire but always referred to herself as Irish, being the youngest daughter of a native Kerry family.
Her father was a former rector of Whitechurch, Co. Cork before moving to Sunday's Well and from there to England.
An excellent horse-woman and expert shooter, she saw service as a nursing assistant during the First Balkan War, was wounded, enlisted as a soldier, promoted and awarded Serbia's highest decoration and at the end of the war she was commissioned as an officer, making her simultaneously the Serbian army's first female and first foreign officer.
She was the only British woman to officially serve as a soldier in WWI. Everybody Welcome and for more information see www.blarneyhistory.ie.
A few days later on Monday, December 10 there will be a talk in Ballincollig Rugby Club commencing at 8pm. Organised by the Muskerry Local History Society, the talk, which will be given by Ann Twomey, will examine the importance of 'The MacSwiney Sisters'.