17th May 2022
The varied programme spans on-the-water activities, history, music, art, workshops, talks and walking tours, the environment, and family events. There is truly something for every age and activity level. Sing a sea shanty, view the sea on the moon, learn about marine life or try your hand at foraging for seaweed. Families and children can make a model boat, join a picnic, create Lego art or explore the harbour’s awe-inspiring forts.
Cork Harbour Festival highlights Cork’s rich maritime heritage and culture, as well as the harbour’s wealth of water-based activities, withthe flagship Ocean to City- An Rás Mórat the heart of the celebrations. Taking place at the gateway to Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way, Cork is perfectly positioned to deliver the largest harbour festival in Ireland.
Lord Mayor of Cork City, Councillor Colm Kelleher, said: “Cork City Council are thrilled to be a supporter of this year’s Cork Harbour Festival. It is a wonderful event which highlights what’s best about our City, and Cork Harbour in particular, to both City dwellers and Tourists alike. This festival celebrates Cork’s connection with the water, its river and harbour, through both heritage and activities. I would encourage everyone take part in one of the 40 activities laid on”
Ocean to City - An Rás Mór, one of the harbour’s most thrilling events, is back after a two-year hiatus. On Saturday June 4th witness Ireland's premier rowing and paddling event and see hundreds of national and international participants race from Crosshaven to the finish line in Cork City. The flagship event will see everything from currachs, skiffs, longboats, kayaks, and paddle boards with many participants travelling from places like the Netherlands, the United States, and the United Kingdom to compete. There will be spectator vantage points along the harbour, including Cobh and Passage West, with entertainment and festivities both there and at the finish line. Participants can still sign up too with registration open at oceantocity.com.
On the Water Events: There will be multiple boat tours of Cork Harbour during the festival, taking in majestic sites like Roche’s Point Lighthouse and Spike Island. Those that are feeling adventurous can explore under Cork City’s bridges by kayak or explore the city by sunset while learning about the city’s heritage with Atlantic Sea Kayaking. Atlantic Offshore Adventures will be teaching an introductory lesson in stand-up paddle boarding at the Lee Fields.
Family Events: Kids are invited to build a model boat at home using recycled materials and showcase their creation at The Lough as part of the Make a Model Boat Project. Kids can learn to make maritime Lego art at Crawford Art Gallery, as part of the Lego Maritime Workshop with Brickx Club. Young people can attend an aerial dance performance and workshop with the Circus Factory.
Environment: In association with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group and Nano Nagle Place, there will be a free film screening of “Cabo Verde, an Island Jewel”. This film tells the story of a group of marine scientists from the IWDG who travelled to West Africa to identify the breeding ground of humpback whales that have been previously recorded feeding in Irish waters. During the festival there will be multiple water -side clean-ups. Join Sea and Land Trust and Clean Coasts in Blackrock for shoreline clean-ups on June 6 and 11. While you can join Subowti, An Taisce and Clean Coasts to clean-up the Lee on your kayak or paddle board on June 12. In association with Inch Hideaway Eco Camping, aquatic biologist Frances Gallagher will be giving a Seaweed Talk on June 5. Afterwards learn about identifying edible seaweed and forage on the beach.
Talks: Karen Weekes will be giving a talk in association with MTU at MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory on June 9. In February 2022, Karen Weekes, a MTU lecturer, became the first Irish woman to row solo and unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean. The talk will give an insight into the journey, its challenges, and its triumphs. In association with Civic & Community Engagement, UCC there will be a free online virtual seminar ‘Port Cities Seminar: Sport, Solidarity and Social Inclusion’ on June 7. This is a roundtable discussion with local and international partners on the role of sport in building solidarity and social inclusion in our cities.
Arts: Cobh based a-cappella buoy band The Mologoggers will perform both traditional and new sea shanties in the beautiful Goldie Chapel in Nano Nagle Place on June 4. While Hold Fast, an exhibition by Seán Hanrahan with Backwater Artists will take place in the former Punishment Block cells at Spike Island. The exhibition explores the history of maritime and prison tattoos. An exhibition by ceramicist and artist Bernadette Tuite will be viewable at MTU microGallery at 46 Grand Parade. Tuite is a former ship captain, and her work has been strongly influenced by her explorations at sea into places accessible only by kayak.
Heritage: Councillor Kieran McCarthy will be providing two free walking tours looking at Cork’s rich and unique maritime heritage and history. The June 11 city walking tour starts at the National Monument on Grand Parade. While the 12 June Blackrock walking tour starts at MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory and encompasses the history of the vibrant Blackrock area. Camden Fort Meagher, Spike Island and Elizabeth Fort will also be open for visitors.
See the full festival programme of events at corkharbourfestival.com.
Cork Harbour Festival is organised by Meitheal Mara, the community boatyard, training centre and charity located in the heart of Cork City. The Festival is sponsored by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Port of Cork and Failte Ireland and made possible with the help of over 40 Event Partners and many volunteers. Official Media Sponsors are 96FM, C103FM and The Echo.