Anyone who has ever visited Cork City will know that the people of Cork City maintain a very strong sense of their own cultural identity and that there is a great pride in our Cultural Heritage.
Cultural Heritage is difficult to define. The term Cultural Heritage often refers only to museums, archives and libraries. However, it can also include aspects of our Heritage such as language, music, genealogy, folklore, sport, traditional food and local history. Cultural Heritage can also be found in the subtle, less tangible aspects of our Heritage such as accents, turns of phrase, local customs and collective memories.
Put simply, our Cultural Heritage links us to where we come from, gives our everyday lives a clearer focus and shapes an understanding of our city as a unique and special place.
Cork City is fortunate to have a Cultural Heritage that is rich and diverse. It is home to museums, archives and libraries and universities, which are a repository for fascinating and valuable collections of Heritage items of local, national and international interest.
While not a bilingual city, Cork has a strong Irish language Heritage with links to the Gaeltachtaí to the west of the city. There is also a growing interest in the language in recent times which is reflected in the growth in the number of Gaelscoileana and in a strong Irish language literary Heritage which includes people such as Seán ó Tuama and Louis de Paor.
The English Market
Traditional food such as tripe, drisheen and spice beef is a legacy of Cork’s past as a trading port when the provisions industry to the British colonies made Cork rich. Cork’s long military history is reflected in the names of the streets such as Wellington Road, McCurtain Street, Military Hill, Elizabeth Fort and Collin’s Barracks.
Cultural Heritage also includes our maritime traditions and our links with the river and the sea. The city’s relationship with the River is significant in shaping the development of the city through providing a medium for transport, communication, defence, commerce, biodiversity and recreation. Cork’s maritime Heritage is also reflected in the city’s coat of arms “Statio Bene Fida Carinis” - A safe harbour for ships.
Statue of Father Mathew and Mangans Clock
There is a great interest in the City in all aspects of this rich Heritage. It is an integral part of city life. This is reflected in the number of local Historical, Literary and Scientific, Military and Irish language societies, to name a few, in the city.
Cork City Council provides a focal point for cultural Heritage activities through its Heritage Officer along with services provided by the Archives, Museums and Libraries.
The Cultural Heritage actions in this plan are designed to help support and contribute to the existing cultural framework that will enable the citizens of Cork City to relate and enjoy their cultural Heritage. A number of Cultural Heritage Projects are currently underway.