Cork will be a Republic – for one day
IT'S been a long time coming but Cork is finally being granted its much sought after Republic status - albeit for one day only.
Next Wednesday the memory of the man many believe to be the Cork's greatest hero will be recalled in a fascinating series of event taking place across the county as part of Cork Rebel Week.
Cork Independence Day will honour the legacy of General Michael Collins on the 123rd anniversary of his birth, recalling the pivotal role he played during arguably the most turbulent period in Irish history.
Given his reputation as a brilliant military strategist, it is perhaps fitting that the Cork city army barracks named in his honour will host an open day celebrating his outstanding life and achievements.
The day will include guided tours of the military museum, allowing the public to see an array of items that once belonged to 'The Big Fella'. People will also get a rare opportunity to see first-hand a range of both modern and historic armoured fighting vehicles from - including the Sleive na mBan, which accompanied Collins' convoy on the day he was fatally wounded at Béal na mBláth in 1922.
Military personal will also be on hand to talk visitors through a series of specially commissioned exhibitions on subjects including the Franco Irish and the Irish Volunteers.
Lt Col Pat Coleman of Collins Barracks said General Collins still holds an exalted place in Irish history.
"No celebration of Cork would be complete without honouring its greatest military hero and this most iconic of Irishmen," he said.
"The open day is an event that will strike pride in the hearts of Corkonians young and old."
The town of Clonakilty will also host an impressive programme of events to honour its favourite son on Cork IndependenceDay, the highlight being a re-enactment of one of his famous speeches in the town centre at 7pm.
For a full programme of Cork Independence Day events visit www.corkrebelweek2013.com.