The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr John Paul O’Shea, officially launched the Cork County Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme to a packed audience from the top floor of County Hall this week.
Featuring over 300 events across 70 locations, Ireland 2016 Cork County is a programme packed with a variety of events, including two State Ceremonies, re-enactments, workshops and a number of Diaspora celebrations with some of Cork’s twinned towns bringing Ireland 2016 overseas.
Cork County has the largest number of events planned in the Country, highlighting both the importance and level of enthusiasm in this highly anticipated year of celebration. Evident from the onset with some 200 people attending workshops at six locations throughout the County, over one hundred submissions received together with the oversight of Cork County Council’s All Party 1916 Commemorative Committee have contributed to a wonderfully diverse and engaging programme offering something for all. Particular credit is also given to the Cork County Local Ireland 2016 Co-coordinator, Conor Nelligan.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey outlined the significance of the Cork County programme, both in terms of the centenary programme but also remarking on Ireland 2016 as a build up to the 1921 commemoration. He also outlined how at Full Council Meeting held earlier that day, budget allocation for Centenary related Commemorative Events and Projects within the County of Cork amounted to €304,000, with €124,000 received from Government and €180,000 from Cork County Council.
Mayor of Coutny Cork Cllr. John Paul O’ Shea said “The County Cork 2016 commemorations, events and initiatives embody the very heart of the Proclamation. We commemorate the fallen together with the ideals and values of the Irish people. We are in keeping with the National Centenary Programme with of course a focus on County Cork. The rebel county was a key player in the Rising and this forms a key feature of our celebrations”.
Chair of Cork County Council’s all party 1916 Commemorative Committee, Cllr Frank O’Flynn reiterated the significant role of County Cork in Irish Independence and its subsequent influence on other Countries in their own struggle for Independence. He also announced the renaming of Fermoy Bridge to Kent Bridge.
The extent of the Cork County programme was reiterated by Michael O’Reilly, 2016 Office Dublin, who highlighted that the Cork County programme wasn’t just the biggest, it was five times bigger than any other programme with the extent of interest beyond what could have been imagined and it was especially memorable to see the eagerness of the under 25s in celebrating this year.
Highlights of the launch included the reading of the Proclamation by Nora O’Riordan, grandniece of Thomas Kent together with Cobh Re-enactment Group and the Irish Military Group with music courtesy of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eochaill.