Thursday, 25 February 2010


The Cork College of Commerce, which has provided a second chance for many over the years, was established in 1908 and is now the largest post-leaving certificate college in Ireland. In my days, it was known as the School of Commerce.
Now under the watchful eye of the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC), the aims are still much the same: to help leaving cert students make the jump from second to third level and to help other adults continue their further education.
It is highly regarded by the third level colleges and institutions of technology and has a long time close relationship with most of the professional bodies in business. Running both full time day courses, and a night school, the College offers hundreds of courses across computing, business studies, office administration, applied languages, health studies, beauty therapy, complementary therapy, childcare, fashion, travel, tourism, adult Leaving Certificate, professional courses, leisure courses, repeat for honours, and general interest courses.
Tel: +353 214 222 10
There is a lively social scene in the college and you can see more at:

Check out my review of College of Commerce Cork - I am cork - on Qype

Sunday, 21 February 2010



Another crisp morning as the fog and frost fade away. Drove down to Shandon Boat Club, left the car and walked the “ancient” Marina Walk to Blackrock and its Sunday morning market.

It is a lovely walk under the old trees and there is much activity on the river as the various rowing clubs go though their training routines. Besides, you can have fun working out the identity of the buildings on the other side of the river as you have quite a view from Tivoli back to the western side of Montenotte.

True, the Tivoli docks are also on the other side but in the foggy blue the big cranes take on a lifelike appearance, long legged animals prowling the banks.

Then, if you feel you need nourishment for the return walk, you can always enjoy a hot chocolate from O’Connaill's or a crêpe from a nearby stall or indeed anything you like from quite an array of food on display at the Sunday morning Blackrock Farmers’ Market.

Check out my review of Marina Walk - I am cork - on Qype

Saturday, 20 February 2010


Walked out from the Lake Hotel, the one where the deer pass by on the lawn as you settle down to dinner, through the national park, past Muckross House, and ended up at Torc Waterfall on a crisp morning.

You may of course drive to the car park, very close to the falls. Either way, you will hear the roar of the waterfall – certainly at this time of year – before you see it. It is not the biggest of waterfalls but is easily accessible and popular (great spot for photos, with the falls as centre or as backdrop) and there are some nice walks in the immediate area, just four or five miles from Killarney on the road to Kenmare.

Check out my review of Torc Waterfall - I am cork - on Qype


An exciting weeklong programme that reveals the unpredictable vitality of the 7th Art, bringing you a selection of superb screenings, cine-concerts, educational programmes, master-classes, conferences, speakers and competitions.

Guest star this year is the famed French actor Christophe LAMBERT, best known in these parts for his role as the Highlander.  Also attending will be
the celebrated French screenwriter Guillaume LAURANT (Amelie), the 
fascinating traditional Irish Fiddle player Caoimhin O' RAGHALLAIGH and Marc COLLIN of French band Nouvelle Vague. The fascinating New Wave period of French cinema will be celebrated in the presence of New Wave actor Pierre-Henri DELEAU, founder of Director's Fortnight, Cannes.

Alliance Française
36 Mary Street
Phone: +353 21 431 0677 

Friday, 19 February 2010


The Betelgeuse oil tanker, built in St Nazaire in 1968 and named after a distant star, exploded at the Whiddy Oil Terminal in Bantry on 8 January 1979. The explosion and fire that followed resulted in the death of some 50 people, including 42 French nationals from the crew.

It was 12 hours after the explosion before the shattered French tanker sank but, because of the toxic and inflammable gases in the immediate area, it was two weeks before the bodies of the dead could be recovered.

This dramatic and tragic event is commemorated in the Abbey Graveyard which overlooks the bay. The ship's bell which was recovered from the wreck is part of a hillside memorial sculpture.

Check out my review of Whiddy Island Disaster - I am cork - on Qype

Thursday, 18 February 2010



St Finbarr’s Cemetery on the Glasheen Road is one of the oldest and largest in the region. First opened in the middle of the 19th century, it numbers among its graves the final resting places of former Taoiseach Jack Lynch and the rebel Lord Mayors Tomas McCurtain and Terence McSwiney.

McCurtain and McSwiney are buried in the Republican plot and other groups to have plots of their own include some religious orders and there is also a baby corner, perhaps the saddest spot of all.

Called there today to check some stonework being done on a family grave and had a walk around, taking in the different types of monuments and memorial stones. The graveyard, which has two chapels (no longer used) onsite, had been well laid out from the start and the newer area graves are now devoid of surrounding kerbstones, making it easier to maintain them.

You will see different spellings for it but the Cork City Council site uses St. Finbarr’s. The site also informs you that there are no longer plots available. For further information on records and so on you may ring the Glasheen Road facility on 021- 4545997 or email, rather ironically, to

Check out my review of St Finbarr's Cemetery - I am cork - on Qype


Air India Memorial Garden
On June 23rd 1985, an Air India Jumbo jet flying from Canada to India and carrying 329 people - most of them Canadian citizens of Indian origin - was approaching the southwest coast of Ireland when it was blown apart by a bomb.
Shortly afterwards, many relatives of the dead flew from India and Canada and travelled by bus along the coast in order to be near to the place where their loved ones died. At Ahakista, they stopped and threw wreaths into the sea.
And it is at the small village, on the beautiful Sheeps Head peninsula, where a memorial garden stands today and where, each June, the local community and relatives of the dead, join to remember the victims.
A sundial, designed by Cork sculptor Ken Thompson, is the focal point of the garden and the sun hits the dial at the exact minute of the explosion. Behind the sun-dial, there is a wall where the names of the dead are listed. It is a list you read with sadness.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


Down river from St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, on the opposite bank, stands the Capuchins’ Holy Trinity Church, classified architecturally as Regency Gothic-style with Gothic-Revival portico. Its location makes it one of the most viewed, not necessarily the best known, of the many churches in the city.

The river side site was selected by Fr Matthew and the foundation stone was laid in October 1832 but lack of funds and other practical difficulties meant that the church was unfinished when consecrated 18 years later.

In the early 1890s, Dominic Coakley's successful design reduced the scale of G.R. Pain's original plan; the Holy Trinity, now boasting a spire and facade, was finally completed.

The church contains stained glass panels by the Harry Clarke studios and the stained glass window memorial to Daniel O'Connell behind the high altar. The Capuchins themselves are proud of replica of the Damiano Crucifix.

Check out my review of Holy Trinity Church - I am cork - on Qype

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Trinity, Cork Presbyterian Church

Trinity, Cork Presbyterian Church

Little William Street off York Street is the current (and long term) situation of the Trinity, the Cork Presbyterian Church. It is on an eye catching site at the junction of McCurtain Street and Brian Boru Street.

The congregation was founded, mainly by Scottish settlers, in the 1830s and eventually a building was erected in Queen Street (now Father Matthew Street). The present Gothic-style building at Summerhill North dates from 1861 and has three distinctive stained glass windows to represent the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (the Trinity).

About 30 families are now linked to the church and there has been a recent boost thanks to immigrants from places as diverse as South Korea, Hungary, Brazil, Cameroun, Nigeria and the USA.

Check out my review of Trinity Presbyterian Church - I am cork - on Qype

The phone number is (021) 4891437 and you can find out more about the congregation and its activities at the website 

Monday, 15 February 2010


If you visit West Cork, then one of the places you have to see is Mizen Head. Even without the sightseeing at the head, Ireland’s most south westerly point, you will enjoy a smashing trip as you make your way out the Mizen Peninsula from either the Bantry side or from the Skibbereen area. Beautiful places such as Durrus (and its Good Things Cafe), Schull and Crookhaven are themselves worth a visit.
The scenery at Mizen is spectacular, much more rugged than Cap St Vincent in Portugal (Europe’s most south westerly point), and the walk out to the visitor centre at the lighthouse is breath-taking. You may even see dolphins and whales and you have an even better chance of seeing, like we did, seals under the footbridge.
The signal station is now converted to a visitor centre and tells you all you need to know, via charts, photos and memorabilia, about the history of the lighthouse and the nearby Fastnet Rock, the ships that passed and those that got into trouble at the bottom of the steep cliffs.
The walk out and back presents many opportunities for beautiful photographs. Having made your way back, you can enjoy some well deserved refreshments in the well sited cafe, nicely well made reasonably priced light food and drinks dished out by the friendly staff.

Check out my review and contact details of Mizen Head - I am cork - on Qype

Glen Resource and Sports Centre

The Resource centre (top left) overlooks the soccer pitch
Walked down yesterday morning to see Shandon Celtic and Grangevale play an AUL 1 game in the Glen Park, part of the Glen Resource and Sports centre.
Grange hadn't played there in over ten years and were pleasantly surprised at the improvements in facilities; besides, they won the game 2-1.
The Centre is owned by Cork City Council and is managed by a voluntary Board of Directors, comprised mainly of local community representatives and tenants.
Outdoor Facilities:
• Soccer: 6 x 5 –A side floodlit ‘ caged’ pitches.
• 2 x synthetic grass tennis courts
• 1 x floodlit outdoor basketball court
• Extended car-park
Indoor Facilities:
• Conference Room
• Meeting Room
• Activity Hall (activities avail throughout the year)
For further details contact:
The Manager, Glen Resource & Sports Centre, Glen Avenue, The Glen, Cork.
Tel: 021 4550511

Check out my review of Glen Resource & Sports Centre - I am cork - on Qype

Thursday, 11 February 2010



There is something different about walking near water.

I tried it out today in Cobh and enjoyed it. Here you may start by the Heritage Centre and stroll about a mile or so out to Whitepoint from where there is a fine view of the town.

If coming from the city make for the well signposted free Town Car Park and go east as far as you can before parking. There is a good path, with plenty of seats, most of the way.

When your reach the point, it is probably best to turn back and take in the view of the town and cathedral. On your right you can see the Naval base at Haulbowline and further to the east the stacks of the generating station in Aghada.

On returning to the starting point, there is much more to see and do and Cobh, including the Heritage Centre and its cafe, the famous cathedral, a couple of art galleries, numerous restaurants and cafes and, every Friday, there is a Farmers Market. We’ll be filling in on these in due course.

Check out my review and map of Cobh Quay Walk - I am cork - on Qype

Monday, 8 February 2010


Have attended a few funerals recently in the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne (better known as the North Cathedral). The harsh stone of the outside indicates a similar interior but that, at least nowadays, is not the case, the inside being bright and airy.

The church itself was commenced in 1808 but a later fire meant the interior had to be re-modelled in 1828 and GR Pain’s work has been described as “one of the country’s finest examples of a Florid Gothic Style of architecture”.

It is the chief Catholic church of the city and Bishop Cornelius Lucey, one of its most famous bishops, is buried in the grounds. The church holds records of baptisms and marriages going back to 1748.

It is close to St Anne’s of Shandon and on most bus tours and may also be found by following the very interesting Shandon Walk (available in the tourist office in Grand Parade).

Check out my review and of Cathedral of St Mary & St Anne - I am cork - on Qype

Sunday, 7 February 2010


Want to get away from it all. Then head to Sherkin Island, which is situated a short distance from Baltimore, Co. Cork. It is in Roaring Water Bay and well worth a visit. Sherkin is just ten minutes from the pier in Baltimore.
It is a relaxing visit and not one to be rushed on a day trip – remember distances in Cork, especially from the city to the western peninsulas, are long. There are a couple of excellent places to stay and eat in the Baltimore area and you may also choose to stay on the island at The Islander’s Rest (
During my visit, I had a couple of drinks and some decent grub at the Rest and enjoyed my walks around the quiet island (pop. About 100). Here, you may enjoy the picturesque lanes. Sea side flowers, including of course, the fuchsia (the emblem of West Cork), abound and we had the beaches to ourselves.
When you land at the island pier, you’ll see the ruins of the Franciscan Abbey. It was built in 1460 but destroyed in a raid in 1537. Climbers are also attracted to the rocky cliff faces and divers to the clear waters. You will also find art exhibitions there from time to time.
And if you want to go to Sunday mass, get there early as it takes place on Saturdays, according to a local website!
So go there and relax. Don't worry about time or schedules. In any case, the ferry service is quite frequent in summer.

Check out my review of 
Sherkin Island - I am cork - on Qype

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Church of St Anne (Shandon) in Cork


St Anne’s Church, high on a northside hill, is one of the most familiar landmarks in Cork City, visited by many tourists but generally ignored as a visit by the locals.

I walked up there recently and enjoyed my stroll. The historic church has eight bells 8 which weigh 6 tons and first rang out over the city in 1752. The patients in the nearby (now closed) North Infirmary would often have been disturbed from their slumber by the bells’ vibrations (lessened in modern times by improvements in placement).

But it is the clocks on the sides of the church tower that have most engaged Corkonians over the years who jokingly called them the Four Liars as it was reckoned that the four clocks never agreed on the time! Not that I’ve heard that joke recently!

The “Goldie Fish” mounted high on the church has entered the local literature and indeed Shandon comes up regularly in the songs and poems of the city. Fr Prout’s nostalgic lines below are probably the most famous

"With deep affection and recollection,

I oft times think of those Shandon Bells"

Nowadays, after your visit to the church, where you can get to ring the bells and enjoy the view over the city, you may take a rest on the seats in the adjoining St Anne’s Park before walking back down to the city centre.

Check out my review (including map and contact details) of Church of St Anne (Shandon) - I am cork - on Qype

Wednesday, 3 February 2010



The picturesque Kerry village has a lot going for it besides being on the Ring of Kerry.

It has pyramids (well, small ones), a garden of the senses, sculptures all over the place (including one of Steve Casey who lived in Boston and earned the name "Crusher" by becoming World Champion Wrestling in 1938 – 1947) art galleries, a beer tasting festival, a community barbecue and more, including the nearby bronze age Staigue Fort.

I have never stayed there but have been close by on a few occasions and a I regularly make a point of calling when I’m in the area as it is a very lovely spot indeed, well supplied with accommodation (B & Bs and Hotels), pubs and green and pleasant areas within the village.

Check out my review of Sneem Village - I am cork - on Qype

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


Angels invade Cork - Lucey Park taken over. Some quare ones: Jedward, Hector O'hEtc...even a Cork one. Good cause
What? Why?
Fifty-two angels landed in Dublin in October 2009 and will be in Cork's Bishop Lucey Park until Feb 14th.
Each musician, sports person, celebrity and international guest that agreed to participate will be presented with one angel and will be given two weeks to decorate its surface.At the end of two weeks the angels will be stored at a secure location and individually weather-proofed.
The official launch of Angels - Beacons of Hope is planned for November 2009. The angels will be exhibited in Dublin until the end of December and will then begin an 8 week tour visiting Co. Waterford, Co. Cork, Co. Kerry, Co. Limerick, Co. Kilkenny, Co. Galway, Co. Donegal and Belfast City.
Angels - Beacons of Hope concludes March 2010 when the angels will be auctioned.
Who will benefit?
Gaisce Gaisce - The President's Award is Ireland's National Challenge Award,
First Step Georgia First Step Georgia (FSG) was established in 1998 in response to the horrendous living condition of disabled orphans in Georgia.
Right to Sight Right to Sight is driven by the desire to empower local people through clinical and management training, which will result in long term sustainability and success. Right to Sight works alongside charities, hospitals, clinics, and governments.