Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Marlogue Wood. And Wild Garlic.

Marlogue Wood. And Wild Garlic.

 Woodland Walk and a Little Foraging
 A walk in the woods will never again have quite the same meaning after yesterday’s outing to Marlogue (near Cobh). It started off innocently enough, just the two of us and the dog and, maybe, an eye for Wild Garlic. But it ended up being a long day, though with very pleasant meal at its end. Read more here

Monday, 27 May 2013

Bloom at Fota Gardens and Arboretum

Bloom at Fota Gardens and Arboretum
Visited Fota last week, with the camera (as usual!) The collage above is mainly from the arboretum
while the one below is mainly from the walled gardens.
Mrs Duck and kids!

Friday, 24 May 2013

North Cork. Towns, villages and sights.

North Cork. Towns, villages and sights.

A Paradise in Doneraile. Doneraile Wildlife Park

The Abbey at Castlelyons

Glanworth: Cork’s Oldest Bridge
Tea Rooms, Farmers Market at Doneraile Court
Kildorrery International Food Fair
Fred in Fermoy. Worth a Detour!
Walk to the top of Corrin Hill
Harvest Festival at Sli Eile, Churchtown
Killvaullen Market

Singing Nina: The Life and Music of Nina Simone Cork Opera House

Singing Nina: The Life and Music of Nina Simone
Cork Opera House

On Friday 31st May The Chicago Queen of Jazz, Karen Underwood brings, in narration and song, the engrossing life story of the great legend Miss Nina Simone to Cork Opera House for one night only.

The show will take you on Nina Simone’s journey through early struggles with racism, to the triumph and turmoil of her unprecedented success, to her enduring legacy as one of the greatest performers of the twentieth century. Karen will perform classic Nina Simone hits including; ‘Missisppi Goddamn’, to ‘Sinnerman’, and ‘I Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl’, backed by a live band with Erik Gullikson on piano, Eoghan Regan guitar, Peter Hennigan on bass and Bob Jackson on drums.

Nina Simone was a civil rights singer, who a lot of us are still very much familiar with, but the transformation from Eunice Kathleen Waymon, to the poor southern daughter, to Nina Simone the acclaimed performer, mother, and lover is a story many of us are less familiar. With music and narration, Karen and band trace the evolution of this musical legend for one night only. This is a show which is absolutely not to be missed, Karen Underwood singing Nina at Cork Opera House.

“Her rendition of Strange Fruit is worth the ticket price alone” - Evening Echo

“Wonderful interpretation of Black is the colour” - Vincent Woods, RTÉ Radio One

“Amazing” - Tom Dunne, Newstalk

“Incredible” - Pat Kenny, RTÉ Radio One

Singing Nina performs for one night on Friday May 31st, 8pm. Tickets €18/ €22 booking fees apply.

Booking and information on and 021 427 0022.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Knockraha: Sing Sing Prison

Knockraha: Sing Sing Prison

Kilquane Cemetery is a well kept small graveyard near the East Cork village of Knockraha. But it has a dark centre. For here there is a vault, known as Sing Sing as it was used as a prison during the War of Independence from 1916 to 1921. It was highlighted this year in a TV3 documentary called In the Name of the Republic. And, sadly, it seems the vault was more of a death row than a prison.
Update 2018: There is quite a lot of info online about this prison. You could start here with this History Ireland article. Or with this Examiner report here

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The Abbey at Castlelyons

The Abbey at Castlelyons
(founded early 14th century)
The cloisters
Information panel. Some more info here

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Glanworth: Cork’s Oldest Bridge

Cork’s Oldest Bridge

Glanworth, on the R512, is 8 km northwest of Fermoy in County Cork, and has the oldest bridge in the county. The 12 arched low stone bridge over the River Funcheon dates from 1446, at least according to an old guide by the Reader’s Digest! It is still carrying traffic but its one lane is nowadays regulated by traffic lights. 
The bridge is some 150 yards long and above it are the ruins of an ancient castle (13th century)  and alongside is an old woollen mill (1840s).

Monday, 20 May 2013

Ring Of Cork Festival Showcases Community Spirit

Ring Of Cork Festival Showcases Community Spirit

Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine Simon Coveney, T.D. Launches Ring of Cork Festival

More than one hundred local businesses from the craft, tourism, leisure and food sectors in South and East Cork came together at the weekend to celebrate the Ring of Cork.  There were dance flash mobs, a gathering of American travel and tourism writers, artisan food heroes and even surfing and bush-style survival demonstrations all happening in Midleton at the Ring of Cork Festival!
Lilly Higgins
Supported by SECAD, the South and East Cork Area Development company, the Ring of Cork brand endeavours to market the many splendours of the South East region from food, culture and stunning scenery to craft and adventure for people of all ages from all over Ireland and abroad.

Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine Simon Coveney, T.D. was on hand to launch the Ring of Cork Festival in Midleton at the weekend.

“I originally launched the Ring of Cork brand in 2012 and it is inspiring to see how the Ring of Cork community have pulled together to get the brand and festival up and running.  It is invaluable in the current climate to work together for the greater good of the region. Today’s festival is a testament to the community spirit and collaboration here and I applaud everyone involved for making this festival a success”.

Ryan Howard, Chair of South & East Tourism and CEO of SECAD said “This super festival saw in excess of 100 businesses join forces to celebrate the Ring of Cork brand. This unique event showcases all the region has to offer from the best food in Ireland, to a vibrant craft sector and the wildest family fun and adventure in our woodlands and coastline, at the pet farms and of course Fota Wildlife park.  The region has a rich cultural heritage showcased by the Titanic Experience in Cobh, the Gunpowder Mills in Ballincollig and the Jameson Experience in Midleton.  All this and a community spirit that is second to none!  We are very proud indeed to support the Ring of Cork brand and activities in this Region”.

The variety of activities on offer at the Ring of Cork festival drew from the region’s specialities – food, craft, family fun, adventure, culture and heritage. 

The international travel and food writers, currently staying at Ballymaloe House for the World Travel Writers Conference, also attended the Ring of Cork Festival, which is a gathering event also.  The writers absorbed the vibrant atmosphere of the festival, viewing the cookery demonstrations and tasting artisan food samples including Cronin’s Pub Mad Fish stew, Lilly Higgins Peanut & Sesame cookies and The Old Thatch (Youghal) Chicken and black pudding with glazed streaky bacon and lots more.

Mouse roulette, piglet petting, balloon modeling, pottery making, clay modeling, face painting and even surfing lessons and wilderness skills were just some of the fun things on offer for all the junior festival goers. 

Many children joined in the flash mob dancing routines while others petted the goats, puppies and mammals provided by Leahy’s Pet Farm.   Local dance company, Studio D School which is run by Diane O’ Sullivan left festival goers speechless as they performed a number of upbeat flash mobs during the course of the festival.  Live cooking demonstrations from local restaurants also provided wonderful tastings and samplings for festival goers, while talks on the region’s heritage took place in the Midleton Courthouse. 

The Ring of Cork includes the towns of Cobh, Midleton, Youghal, Carrigaline, and Ballincollig and their surrounding areas, and is supported by the South and East Cork Area Development organisation (SECAD) as well as the town councils of Cobh, Midleton and Youghal.  For further festival details, visit

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Music enthusiasts are in for a treat


St. Finbarre’s Cathedral to host Irish Chamber Orchestra Collaboration

Musicians and music enthusiasts are in for a treat as the Irish Chamber Orchestra joins forces with the National Chamber Choir of Ireland for the Steeplechase Tour. This musical tour which is kindly sponsored by Barry’s Tea will take place in iconic churches in Limerick (St. Mary’s Cathedral), Cork (St Fin Barres Cathedral) and Dublin (Monkstown Parish Church) on the 16, 17 and 18 May respectively.

“The Irish Chamber Orchestra is very excited about the upcoming tour which is also the ICO’s first tour of 2013. The programme offers a unique blend of choral and symphonic classic sounds by Mozart, Bach, Pärt and Piston. It is a great coup to have maestro Nicholas Kraemar leading this musical showcase,” said Maurice Healy, Director of the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

“We particularly wanted to bring the Steeplechase Tour to Cork, to the stunning setting of St. Finbarre’s Cathedral and its unique acoustics will ensure that the Cork event is a truly spectacular musical feast”.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra, which is renowned for its energy, unique sound and outstanding musicianship, has a strong tradition of collaborating with international musicians.

Maestro Nicholas Kraemer has a wealth of musical knowledge and expertise and is permanent guest Conductor of the Manchester Camerata and principal guest Conductor of Music of the Baroque, Chicago and has performed with orchestras from the four corners of the globe.

Walter Piston’s Prelude and Allegro for organ was commissioned for CBS TV in the 1940’s. The solemn Prelude depicts the tragedy of World War II and the Allegro, the determination to win it.  When Bach moved to Hamburg, he adopted a lighter style of writing and composed his Hamburg Symphonies. Many of his most characteristic touches can be found in Symphonies 4 & 5.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra and National Chamber Choir of Ireland perform the ground-breaking settings of Estonian composer,  Arvo Pärt – a deeply spiritual composer who found his own musical language with a love of every note at its heart.  Luke 5’s Gospel was adapted by him and the slow moving, ethereal reflective song entitled Which was the Son of, evolves.  This is particularly likable as it establishes a repetitive mantra in the elaboration of Jesus’s family-tree.  Silhouan’s Song is another deeply spiritual piece based on psalms written by an elder at a local monastery.   ‘My soul yearns after the Lord’ speaks from the very opening of wintry European landscapes, cold and unforgiving, in a prayer by the lonely soul.

Finally, Mozart’s popular Missa Brevis in G major (KV 275), is known for its sublime lyricism and grace.  It reflects a youthful composer, and the Irish Chamber Orchestra alongside the National Chamber Choir ring out its joyful tones.

Tickets are currently on sale at €20 for general admission, 10 for students and concessions at €18.

For further information visit