Plans to create a permanent flood relief scheme for businesses affected by flooding have been criticised by the head of Cork Business Association.
It comes after cabinet approved a plan to create a permanent flood relief scheme for small businesses and community organisations this week.
The scheme will see payments of up to €5,000 for uninsured businesses and organisations whose premises are damaged by flooding.
Successful applicants to the scheme will receive a ‘quick’ payment of up to €5,000, with more serious cases to be assessed for further payment of up to €15,000.
Responding this week, Chief Executive of Cork Business Association Lawrence Owens criticised the scheme as a “sticky plaster solution” that failed to address the main issues for businesses in flood-prone areas. “My concern is that this is not dealing with the core issues,” he said.
“The Office of Public Works (OPW) has put in flood defences around the country, which has kept 20,000 businesses protected with a one in 100 year flood risk. We saw the success of it here in 2015, for example with Fermoy and Clonmel, who were protected during bad flooding, so it works.
“The OPW has a very good track record and a high standard of work, but at the moment in Cork we are totally exposed and many don’t have flood insurance.”
Mr Owens said insurance companies were “avoiding the issue” by not insuring businesses located in areas secured with flood defences. He cited the Flood Insurance Bill 2016 currently going through the Houses of the Oireachtas, which would prevent insurance companies from discriminating against home and business owners in low risk areas.
“Insurance agencies must come back to areas and offer businesses insurance at a reasonable rate,” he said.
“Small businesses who are protected from flooding should not be refused insurance just because they are from an area which has been flooded before.
“The message is simple – put in flood defences, then give people a good offer on insurance,” he said.
In November 2009 parts of Cork were left devastated by extreme flooding, which caused millions worth of damage to businesses and households.
The OPW’s controversial €6 million flood defence plan for Morrison’s Island in the city, part of its wider €140 million Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme, was temporarily halted last month after a European Court ruling.
Fianna Fáil TD Margaret Murphy O’Mahony, whose native Bandon has been a victim of three severe floods in the last decade, said she supported the project but said it was “in no way compensation” for business in secure areas who were unable to obtain insurance.
“This does not take from the fact many uninsured businesses have had their properties massively devalued, owners who can’t retire or are forced to stay on,” the Cork South-West TD said.
“It is also a disincentive to those who want to set up in the town, who will take their ideas and jobs elsewhere.”
Source: Ryan O’Neill, Cork Independent
Cork Business Association and Cork City Council encourage people to shop in Cork City this Christmas by giving them the gift of free evening weekend parking!
Nothing quite beats the festive atmosphere of shopping and socialising in Cork city, and now there’s another great excuse to head into the centre! The people of Cork are being given the gift of FREE parking!
Cork City Council and the Cork Business Association have launched a free parking initiative that will run after 5pm in Paul Street and North Main Street car parks every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from November 22 until January 12. This means for almost two months there will be 1,000 free car parking spaces available for shoppers in Cork City, three nights per week!
Not only that, but there will also be increased park and ride services, along with additional late-night buses, making the city more accessible than ever in the busy Christmas period.
Commenting, Lawrence Owens, CEO of Cork Business Association said: “Cork businesses are already extending their opening hours for the festive season and this initiative should give everyone another boost. Cork is a fantastic, compact city with the highest number of independent retailers in Ireland and we want to encourage as many people from the greater Cork area as possible to come the city centre in the run up to Christmas to soak up it’s incredible atmosphere, so this is our gift to you!”
The new free parking offer, which was unveiled by Cork City Council last Monday night, will allow more visitors and families to enjoy Christmas shopping in the city and attend attractions like the annual GLOW festival which opens on Grand Parade and Bishop Lucey Park on Friday November 30th. The initiative will also mean shoppers and visitors alike can grab a bite to eat or drink in many of the city’s restaurants, cafes and bars, or attend a Christmas panto’ or show without the consideration of parking costs.
The parking offer will be available at North Main St Car Park from 5pm to 9.30pm and at Paul St Car Park and from 5pm-midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays from November 22nd. The offer will continue until Saturday January 12, meaning that it can also be enjoyed by New Year sales shoppers too. (The promotion is only valid if you enter after 5pm).
For even easier access into the city centre, Bus Eireann plans to increase park and ride services and spaces to encompass late evening and Sundays at Blackash and the Kingsley, and expand services to and from the city centre in the run up to Christmas. This will include a doubling of frequency on the 220 route between Ballincollig and Carrigaline, and an extension of the park and ride bus hours later in the evening and to include Sundays for the festive period.
The free Christmas parking gift comes just weeks after Cork Chamber introduced a new one4all multi-store gift card aimed to maximise support for local businesses as it can be accepted only by shops and businesses in the Cork area that have signed up to the scheme, while Cork Business Association recently launched a co-ordinated social media platform to promote shopping in the city centre, highlighting the city’s fantastic range of boutiques, high street stores, quirky shops and quality array of bars and eateries that make Cork City Centre so unique.
The Cork City Shopping social media channels can be accessed on Facebook (@corkcityshopping), Instagram (@corkcityshopping) and Twitter (@corkshopping) and the CBA is encouraging consumers and retailers alike to follow the channels to keep up to date with what’s on offer in Cork City Shopping.
- Cork Business Association and Cork City Council launch plans to promote shopping in Cork City
- Cork City Shopping social media channels launched
- New ecommerce, business training, and tourism initiatives announced
- Opportunity for retailers to work together to drive footfall
The Cork Business Association (CBA) together with Cork City Council have launched new retail social media channels to promote shopping in Cork City, offering an opportunity for retailers to work collectively to drive footfall to the city centre.
The ‘Cork City Shopping’ channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will highlight the city’s fantastic range of boutiques, high street stores and quirky shops. They will also promote the array of cafes, bars, restaurants, cultural venues and events, which are all within walking distance of each other, making shopping in Cork City so unique!
The CBA is also working alongside the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) Cork Branch to create a brochure for hotel rooms that will offer visitors discounts and incentives to shop in the City. The aim is to launch the brochure in the first quarter of 2019.
Having recently relocated to a new premise on No. 5 South Mall, the CBA is now even more at the beating heart of retail and hospitality in Cork city. Businesses are encouraged to pop in if they would like to discuss a business matter or if they have any issues requiring support or advice. The new office also offers a free hot desk for members and the boardroom is available to book for all CBA members.
The Cork Business Association is also partnering with the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) on a CBA led initiative to drive awareness and information on e-commerce and business innovation. Expert advice will be given to businesses on a one-to-one basis from their South Mall office, and information workshops will also run over the coming months in the areas of innovation, social media, marketing, business exchange (encouraging owners or their staff to do an exchange case), studies of best practice in retail, how to change with the times, and effective networking. Contact the CBA office for more information.
Commenting, Chief Executive of Cork Business Association, Lawrence Owens, said,
“Cork Business Association has always offered personal one-to-one advisory and support services to retailers and the hospitality trade, in particular in the areas of infrastructure, planning and transport, flood defence, security and social issues, graffiti, garda liaison, connection with relevant departments in Cork City Council, tourism development and input into events that impact the city. We also update members on a regular basis on what’s happening in the city in our weekly email. However, we recognise the need to constantly review how effective our communication is with our members and I am confident these new initiatives will help us improve our messaging. We also run a number of awards including the Cork Better Building Awards and upcoming Cork Business of the Year Awards.”
“In more recent years, we have actively developed campaigns to help drive much needed footfall into the city centre and are delighted to now launch a number of new initiatives this week, in partnership with Cork City Council.”
“One such initiative is our new Cork City Shopping social media channels. I would encourage all retailers to follow these channels and to share their content with our team. The aim is to attract shoppers from the Cork surrounds and further afield.”
“Our partnership with LEO will also help the retail sector in Cork to go to the next level. It is a sector that is in constant flux and the challenge to match the speed the sector is evolving, can often be the difference between success and failure”.
Helping businesses to understand the need to embrace change and stay up to date with shifting tastes and trends, whether it’s exploring new technology and buying habits or knowing what is going on around them, is crucial. Essentially, businesses must adapt to suit their customers needs, not just in terms of products, but in how their customer wants to shop and when they wish to shop”.
Also commenting, Paul McGuirk, City Centre Co-ordinator for Cork City Council, said,
“We recently ran a significant marketing campaign in association with the National Transport Authority to support businesses in Cork City Centre. We are delighted to now partner with Cork Business Association on their exciting social media campaign that will be driven from the ground up. It’s a fantastic opportunity for retailers in the city to work together to promote how unique the shopping experience is in Cork City Centre. With the city’s broad range of festivals and events continuing for the remainder of the year, the atmosphere really is second to none.”
The ‘Cork City Shopping’ social media channels are available on Facebook (@corkcityshopping), Instagram (@corkcityshopping) and Twitter (@corkshopping).
There’s an opportunity to win a gorgeous Fiorelli handbag from Kilkenny Shop for one lucky person who signs up over the coming week.
Tickets are now on sale for one of the best events on Cork’s social calendar, the annual Tourism Dinner of the Cork branch of the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF).
The black-tie Dinner, which takes place in the Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, Little Island on Thursday November 15th, celebrates the work and collaboration of the tourism sector in Cork, and brings together all tourism providers in the region for a night of networking and fun.
The theme of this year’s event, ‘Cork – A Global Village’, will see hoteliers celebrating Cork as a gateway to the world, the presence of global companies in Cork, the region’s world class visitor attractions and Cork as an international food destination and producer.
The hotel sector in Cork know how to throw a good party so you can expect lots of entertainment, delicious food and drink, prizes, and a touch of Cork class. It’s a great night to entertain staff or clients.
Speaking at the launch of the event, which took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel on Thursday October 18, Neil Grant, chair of the Cork branch of the IHF and manager of the Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery, said:
“The IHF Cork branch annual Tourism Dinner is one of the highlights of the social calendar in Cork. It provides an opportunity to congratulate and celebrate the fantastic work being done in the tourism sector here and it also allows the branch to raise funds to support Cork tourism initiatives in the year ahead.
“We’re very excited about this year’s theme, ‘Cork – A Global Village,’ which recognises the truly global landscape that the Cork hospitality sector now operates in. This is being amplified by the new Pure Cork and We Are Cork brands, in addition to Cork’s prominent position on Failte Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East marketing overseas. Furthermore, it gives us an opportunity to celebrate the multicultural, multinational city and county that we all live and work in.”
Each year at the event, a Tourism Industry Award is also made to an individual to acknowledge their contribution to the Cork tourism industry.
The owners and chefs of Cork’s three recently crowned Michelin star restaurants – Ichigo Ichie in Cork City; Chestnut, Ballydehob, and The Mews, Baltimore – have also been invited to the event to recognise their individual culinary achievements as well as their role in reaffirming Cork as the food capital of Ireland.
Michael Magner, General Manager of the Vienna Woods Hotel and chair of the event’s organising committee, added:
“We’re delighted that the annual tourism dinner is going to be bigger and better than ever. I’d like to thank all our sponsors as well as the management and staff at the Radisson Blu Hotel, and all of our organising committee for their commitment to making this event possible. It’s going to be a fabulous evening!”
The main sponsor of the event is Kings Laundry, the nationwide hospitality industry laundry service which last year opened a €12m plant on a 3.5 acre Little Island site, creating almost 200 new jobs.
Tickets cost €85 per person and can be purchased via Ticket Tailor or through the Cork branch of the IHF, contact email@example.com . Tickets include a drinks reception on arrival, a banquet meal and entertainment throughout the evening. Proceeds on the evening will be donated to Cork Simon.
Honouring the best buildings and businesses in Cork
Cork Business Association, in association with Cork City Council and the Evening Echo, have announced the winners of the 2018 Cork Better Building Awards.
The awards honour the best designed and best maintained buildings in Cork City and suburbs, and are aimed at rewarding businesses and building caretakers for their efforts to protect, enhance and improve the city’s streetscape, which in turn, significantly contributes to a positive public perception of the city as a vibrant and dynamic place to live, visit, invest and do business in.
This year in particular, Cork Business Association sought to recognize the huge amount of expansion and planning in Cork, through the awards which were open to any building in the greater Cork area.
The winners of the 2018 Cork Better Building Awards were announced by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Fergal Dennehy, at a special awards luncheon in the Metropole Hotel on Friday October 19th. Red FM presenter, Neil Prendeville, was MC on the day.
The winners of the awards were:
- Best in Café/Restaurant – L’atitude 51
Located on a prominent, curved corner site, where Union Quay meets Anglesea Street, L’atitude 51 makes the most of its unique frontage with brightly painted upper floors, timber sliding sash windows and attractive shopfront with limestone plinths. Its prominent position onto the river and visibility when traversing Parnell Bridge from the city centre island, makes it a welcoming stop-off point for coffee, lunch or evening wine and tapas.
- Best in Pub Front – Coughlan’s
With a public house first established on Douglas Street in 1831, and the current 1920’s purpose-built public house and house being an interesting reminder of the ‘living over the shop’ during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: Coughlan’s represents the best in combining heritage with the needs of a modern pub and music venue. Its colourful flower display enhances the red brick and grey limestone facade adding textural interest to the streetscape. The survival of many original features and materials, such as the fixed timber window and timber sliding sash windows contribute to the significance of the building and the character of Douglas Street.
- Best in Commercial Business Frontage – Casey & Kingston
This freshly painted shopfront with its light green, white and grey colour scheme and use of gold lettering to the fascia, makes an attractive new addition to Grand Parade. With its subtle use of display and retention of the black, iron, window railing, this shopfront enhances the overall presentation of Grand Parade.
- Best New Development – Special Merit – Vila & Selected
Originally comprising three separate buildings (Nos. 83, 84 and 85 St. Patrick’s Street) and amalgamated internally to form a new single retail unit, Vila & Selected is a great example of how the historic building stock can be carefully converted to create a new, contemporary retail unit within Cork’s premier shopping destination: St. Patrick’s Street. Retaining the most important features of Numbers 84 and 85 including red brick, decorative terracotta panels, decorative render details, moulded window surrounds and timber sash windows, while modernising the shopfront, the judges felt this new development was deserving of a special merit award.
- Best New Development – Overall Winner – Pilz
This new office and technology building designed by Cook Architects and serving Pilz Ireland Industrial Automation in the Cork Business and Technology Park on Model Farm Road, provides a welcome architectural intervention to a suburban office park, areas which are often characterised by standard models of design and construction. The use of an aluminium glazed, curtain walling system, grey, fibre cement panels and yellow, brise-soleil blades which enlivens this exterior, the new Pilz building provides a welcome new addition to the business park.
- Best in Tourism, Arts & Accommodation – Vienna Woods Hotel
With its dramatic woodlands setting on the peaks of Glanmire, overlooking the Glashaboy River and having recently undergone a spectacular makeover, taking almost 15 years to complete, the Vienna Woods provides a unique experience for visitors in a family-owned and run hotel. Involving restoration of many of its original features, the set piece is the original two-storey former country house, with its circular projections, elegant limestone door surround and overhanging eaves, cast-iron veranda supports, timber sash windows and cut limestone details, retaining its historic character, while providing excellence in comfort and service to guests.
- Best in Heritage & Conservation – Court House / Old Model School
The refurbishment and extension of Cork Courthouse on Anglesea Street by the OPW, involved extensive restoration work to the former Model School itself, which has been carried out to a very high standard. The judges wanted in particular to recognise the brickwork repair and pointing which has been very influential in encouraging and showing other building owners in the city what can be done. The standard of workmanship in the restoration is a testament to the skill and commitment of the design and construction teams.
- Best in Retail – Special Merit – Crowley’s Opticians
The judges felt that the paintwork and design of the monochrome shopfront serving Crowley’s Opticians on Grand Parade deserved a special merit award as an attractive addition to the street. The colour scheme, timber work, window display, clever use of lighting (particularly at night-time) enlivens the space, enticing customers to experience the delights within.
- Best in Retail – Overall Winner – Egan’s Opticians
The new shopfront to Egan’s Opticians on Lavitt’s Quay with its glazed, latted stone and timber-clad materials, brings new life to this quay front. Forming part of a terrace of commercial buildings along the river, the proportions reflect that of a traditional shopfront, while using modern design and materials to update the existing building dating from 1990.
- Judges Choice – Nano Nagle Place
The restoration and redevelopment of the South Pres convent, grounds and schools has literally transformed the South Parish district of the city. With its reimagining as Nano Nagle Place, the complex houses a new School of Architecture, heritage experience, gardens, ‘Good Day Deli’ café and shop. The teachings and ethos of Nano Nagle are continued through the many educational charities, community groups, charities and local businesses housed in the heritage buildings. The story of life in 18th century Cork and the legacy of Nano through the spread of the Presentation Order worldwide is told, while the visitor goes on a spiritual journey and observes living history- experiencing her resting place and the complex of buildings dating from the 1770’s to the present day. All of these buildings have been conserved and reimagined to best conservation practice with some wonderful examples of Irish contemporary design.
Speaking at the awards, Lawrence Owens, CEO of Cork Business Association, said: “The Cork Better Building Awards, which we are thrillled to once again partner with Cork City Council on,are a fantastic opportunity to encourage businesses to improve their facades and the overall look of the city. This year’s judging team put a lot of focus on recognizing maintenance and simple good housekeeping of buildings; tasks like painting and cleaning, planting and enhancements that make the very best of the building. I would like to congratulate all the winning businesses today on their well-deserved success and to thank them all for the valuable contribution they make to maintaining Cork’s image as a dynamic and vibrant place to live, work and do business. The facade and exterior areas of a building are one of its biggest selling tools, and one of our main aims in running these annual awards is to encourage everyone to have pride in their buildings and foster a pride of place in Cork.”
Also commenting, Ann Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City Council, said: “Cork City Council recognises how important it is to acknowledge and reward property owners who keep our buildings to a high standard and, in doing so, highlight Cork as a fantastic place to shop, work and live. Congratulations to all this year’s Better Buildings Award winners and thank you to all the award entrants for your efforts in maintaining your buildings to such a high standard.”
The awards are run by Cork Business Association and sponsored by Cork City Council and The Evening Echo. The judging panel includes Ann Bogan Senior Planner Cork City Council, Paul McGuirk, Cork City Co-ordinator Cork City Council, Brigh Ryan Asst. Planner Cork City Council, Alan Healy Deputy News Editor Evening Echo, Eoin Kennedy Zone Digital, Pat O Connell CBA
Entries will reopen next summer for 2019 awards.
The MET, the new Bar & Restaurant with Tea Room launched as part of revamp as hotel gears up for the Cork Jazz Festival with new VIP package.
The MET at the Metropole Hotel Cork has launched today, which is the hotel’s new Bar, Restaurant and Tea Room. It is the latest part of the recent €2.5 million refurbishment which has taken place at the hotel this year. This also includes the refurbishment of all 108 bedrooms earlier in the year. Five new jobs have been created as a result of the investment.
Aaron Mansworth, Group General Manager at Trigon Hotels said: “The new MET Bar really is a superb addition to the vibrant MacCurtain Street and Victorian Quarter. We cannot wait to show off the hotel to new and returning guests and visitors. We are seeing very strong visitor numbers to Cork and we had a good summer across our three hotels. There is a real ‘Cork feel’ to the new menus at the MET with a number of signature dishes included on the menus.”
This launch comes as the Metropole Hotel is gearing up for the annual Cork Jazz Festival. This is the 41st year of the Jazz Festival and the Metropole Hotel has been at the heart of the festival since the very beginning.
Roger Russell, General Manager at The Metropole Hotel said: “The Metropole is truly the heart and soul of the Jazz Festival with it all starting here. We have four nights of jam packed jazz entertainment at the hotel from Friday 26th to Monday 29th October. This year we have a very special VIP package for jazz enthusiasts. We are introducing the VIP jazz lounge at the Beckett Suite, where people will experience smooth jazz sounds in an intimate seated venue. This platinum VIP package includes include a bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne served to your table on arrival with chef’s Charcuterie board with tapas and oysters. We offer table service drinks until 12 midnight along so you can sit back and enjoy the Jazz. Afterwards you can enjoy access to the overall hotel entertainment. Don’t miss out on this fantastic and unique jazz experience, book a table of two or four today for only €75 per person.”
The Metropole Hotel is part of the Trigon Hotel Group, which has 334 guest rooms across three hotels in Cork. The group comprises of the Cork International Hotel, The Metropole Hotel and the Cork Airport Hotel.
Donal O’Keeffe spent the night on Spike Island in Cork as part of Focus Ireland’s Shine A Light sleep-out. He spoke to six business leaders who also took part
Someone once told me, in a small voice, from under sleeping bags piled on wet cardboard: “You couldn’t do this sober.” I remembered that, at 3am last Saturday morning, as the rain spattered my face and I shifted uncomfortably in my sodden sleeping bag. I was sleeping out — or rather, mostly not sleeping — with 60 members of Cork’s business community in the armoury yard on Spike Island, as part of Focus Ireland’s Shine A Light Night sleep-out. I was, foolishly, sober. The same couldn’t be said for two men lying nearby, in convulsions of loud laughter at each other’s jokes.
Shine A Light Night, which started in 2012, raises awareness of homelessness while generating vital funding for Focus Ireland. In 2017 alone, Focus Ireland supported a record 14,500 people who were either homeless or at risk.
Spike Island is steeped in 1,300 years of history, and the island’s guides offer a superb tour of the abandoned prison. It once held 2,300 inmates in brutal conditions. At least 1,300 people died there and it’s said to be haunted. I saw no ghosts but thought it a sad and lonesome place.
It was after midnight when I bedded down in my sleeping bag on a sheet of cardboard and wrapped in black plastic. Temperatures were mild, but the wind picked up throughout the night, blowing sheeting left and right, the rain drenching us in our makeshift beds. All night, I found myself checking the time.1.48. 2.25. 3.13. 4.09. Once, I would have sworn I heard bagpipes in the wind. A gate or a metal door banged repeatedly.
Around 5am, I gave up, and got up. I wasn’t alone. Back indoors, we all reflected on our luck that – no matter our mild discomfort – we could go back to our lives, to a hot shower, a change of clothes and a decent breakfast. We might have got a bit wet, but none of us was cold, or hungry, or vulnerable, or ill.
Marion Kiely of Upstream Health and Safety said she found last year’s sleep-out, in Cork City Gaol, much easier: “It was drier, although Spike Island is a very fitting setting.”
Maggie Tobin is from Reenascreena in West Cork and has lived in England for 47 years. She heard about the sleep-out when she was home for a recent holiday and decided to participate. She raised close to €2,000 and told me she feels Ireland has changed a lot, and not all for the better.
“I can see a lot of loneliness, especially with an aging population. We need to be more neighbourly and we need to look out for people more,” said Maggie.
In the canteen, I put it to Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer, a Shine A Light veteran, that his party came to power in 2011. On Census Night 2011, we had 3,808 people sleeping rough or in emergency accommodation. We now have 10,000 homeless, 4,000 of them children.
“For me, homelessness is the greatest issue of our time,” he replied. “I meet friends and former students of mine, who are coping — or not coping — with the issue of homelessness, or looking for affordable housing, social housing, or a place to call home. Politicians are not devoid of emotion, or empathy. We would argue that more people are leaving homelessness now, but we know we are not where we want to be and we recognise that.
It was still dark as we walked out the gates of the prison, down to the jetty, past the sign to the left for the convicts’ cemetery and past the cottage where Cork’s unofficial patron saint, Little Nellie of Holy God, lived when she was a baby. There was, at a time when homelessness was a crime, a children’s prison on Spike. Nobody knows how many kids are buried there in unmarked graves. Nowadays, Little Nellie lies in the derelict Good Shepherd site in Sunday’s Well, in a pristine grave. Across that site, in an inaccessible mass grave, are at least 30 Magdalene women, all-but unremembered.
In the drizzly, pre-dawn grey of Cork harbour, we boarded the ferry and headed back to our lives, our night of voluntary homelessness over. As we neared the lights of Cobh, I thought about Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy arriving here on a cruise ship in 1953, believing themselves washed-up and forgotten and seeing on the waterfront thousands of people waving and cheering, as the Cathedral bells rang out their theme tune, ‘The Dance of the Cuckoos’. I thought of the kindness of strangers that reduced Hollywood stars to tears here, and I thought too of the person who had said to me of sleeping rough: “You couldn’t do this sober.”
When I met Kathleen O’Sullivan, one bitter night last November, she was sheltering in a doorway at the back of the Clayton Hotel. She told me she had had troubles in her life, including the death of her son Anthony, and she had been homeless over a few years. She said she was sleeping on the very spot her own aunt had died seven years earlier.
The night I met Kathleen, she was suffering from pleurisy and pneumonia, and she told me: “I won’t survive another winter on the streets.” Not a month later, on the morning of Wednesday, December 6, 2017, Kathleen O’Sullivan was found dead in that same doorway.
She was 44.
Joe Sheahan – Mortgages.ie
I was listening to the radio and I heard Dick White of Focus Ireland call for volunteers, and I’m delighted to take part for such a worthy cause and hopefully make a small difference. So far, I’ve raised €2,000, and I’m hoping to raise a little bit more.
I’ve met the Focus Ireland team several times in the lead-up to the sleep-out and I’ve been highly impressed by the dedication and energy they bring to the great work they do. I would definitely hope to do this again.
Kate Neville – Neville Jewellers
This is the second time I’ve done the Focus Ireland sleep-out. Like last time, I roped my sister, Eileen, into joining me. We’re working toward raising €5,000. We’ve raised money from suppliers, from family, and from friends.
Spike Island is an interesting venue. We’re isolated here, physically cut off. That’s quite an insight into homelessness, even if we all have the luxury of going home the next morning.
People were imprisoned on Spike for the crime of homelessness. That just brought home to me the image of (homeless mother-of-seven) Margaret Cash in that Garda station, with her children trying to sleep on those plastic seats. We really haven’t come so very far at all.
Norma O’Leary – Nova Broadband
These are frightening times for anyone renting, and we’re all just one pay cheque away from homelessness, from a landlord selling up or deciding they want more money.
We really need as a country to be investing more in social housing, so that we don’t have kids growing up in hotel rooms, and having to move out of those rooms every morning.
We all could be doing more to help people living in homelessness.
Every year Nova Broadband gives €1,000 on top of whatever money we raise for Focus Ireland, and this year so far we’ve raised €2,215.
Cully Allen – Cully and Sully
We had a huge fundraiser, an open garden party on the Boreenmana Road, with cocktails and musical accompaniment by a ukulele orchestra. We wanted to invite all the neighbours. And we raised €6,000. Cully and Sully will match that amount.
There are different types of homelessness, and when you hear about families that can’t put a roof over their heads, it’s important not to belittle the subject.
I don’t think there’s a magic wand solution to homelessness. You’ll always have people who need to be looked after.
It’s important to educate people that it’s not necessarily the fault of the person who is down.
Caroline O’Shea – Applegreen
This is my first time. We raised over €1,000 in sponsorship cards and by attacking customers!
You really wouldn’t realise how bad things have got until you look at what’s happening. We should be doing everything to tackle the homelessness crisis. It’s simply not good enough in this day and age.
It’s fantastic what Focus Ireland is doing, and it should be supported more.
Philip Gillivan – owner Shelbourne Bar and president, Cork Business Association
I’m very proud of the way Cork’s business community has got involved in the Focus Ireland sleepout. In the Shelbourne we’ve raised almost €3,000.
It’s very important to remember there is a story and a personality to every person in every doorway, and I think it does no harm for any of us to be reminded of that.
The thing with us here is we can all go home in the morning, but the novelty would wear off very quickly if we couldn’t. I’m delighted with the turnout. It really gives you a renewed sense of what’s good about Cork, and about Ireland.
Fringe Highlights – Dia de Los Muertos Jazz Parade, Unity at St. Lukes, Swing Jive and headliners at new festival venue Cork City Hall, ‘Requiem for Truth’ in Nano Nagle’s Goldie Chapel, Metropole Festival Club, Jazz Photographic Exhibition, and much more!
The 2018 Guinness Cork Jazz Festival will open like never before, kickstarting the bank holiday weekend with an incredible carnival-like ‘Dia De Los Muertos’ (Day of the Dead) Jazz Parade through Cork city centre on Thursday evening, 25th October.
This bright and colourful spectacle of more than 100 musicians, artists and performers, will weave through the streets forming a New Orleans style funeral procession, celebrating both the living and the dead through music, dance and art.
Cork Community ArtLink, who will also host the famous Dragon of Shandon Parade one week later on Halloween night, have created a series of large-scale macabre floats to parade through the city with improvising jazz bands and costumed dancers paying homage to some of the great jazz musicians who are gone from this world.
Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr. Paudie Dineen and Dave McArdle from Cork’s RedFM will officially launch the parade opening this year’s Guinness Cork Jazz Festival at 7pm on Grand Parade. The procession will move off up Oliver Plunkett Street bringing the streets to life with all kinds of jazz, before turning back down Maylor Street and on to Patrick Street, and returning to Grand Parade. With hundreds of schools closed across Cork for Presidential elections the following day (Friday October 26th), it’s the perfect night for families to come out into the city centre to enjoy the music and spectacle of the Jazz Parade and get into the groove for the weekend ahead!
In another first for the festival, a special immersive audio-visual experience fusing jazz, contemporary classical music and electronica has been commissioned to be performed in the beautiful setting of St. Luke’s Church. ‘Unity’ with the David Duffy Quartet combines an impressive lighting show featuring 4k stunning microscopic projections and a live jazz performance asking us to examine what it is that connects, unifies and binds us, on the fringes of the jazz festival.
This year’s festival will also celebrate the golden era of the social dance halls with The Swing Jive on Saturday 27th October at Cork City Hall, where two of Europe’s biggest Jazz dance bands, ‘Meschya Lake and The Dizzy Birds’ and ‘Gentlemen & Gangsters’ will be joined by international dancers and members of the Irish Swing Community who will reacquaint jazz festival party people with the One-Step, Two-Step, Waltz, Foxtrot, Peabody, Balboa, Shag, Lindy Hop, Swing and Jive dances. Dress sharp, polish those shoes and bring your best self for an unforgettable night which promises to be one of the biggest dance events ever seen in Cork city.
And for theatre buffs, the Festival is also presenting a live theatre and jazz show, ‘Requiem for Truth’ in Nano Nagle’s Goldie Chapel. Truth, we are told, is dead. If so, then who organises the funeral? Stomptown Brass, the outrageously energetic 10-piece street-funk band, and Collapsing Horse, the most exciting young theatre company in Ireland, invite you to join them as they take on an audacious task: to host a Funeral for the Truth. Witness the colourful exuberance of the Haitian Voodoo-inspired New Orleans jazz funeral as it smashes up against the mournful, solemn ceremony of Roman Catholicism. An extravagant, chaotic street party, with a dark twist.
This year, Cork City Hall – which is a fantastic new venue for the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival – will also play host to festival headliners including the legendary Blind Boys of Alabama (Friday 26th October), British soul singer-songwriter and two-time MOBO award winner, Laura Mvula (Saturday 27th October), and five-time Grammy Award winning jazz collective, the fantastic Maria Schneider Orchestra (Sunday 28th October); all headline acts of international acclaim not to be missed.
As always at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, a huge number of the musicians performing over the weekend will play free open-air gigs at locations across the city as part of the festival Fringe so there really is something for all the family.
Venues include the Festival Club in the Metropole Hotel, Cork City Library on Grand Parade, CIT Cork School of Music, the River Lee Hotel and the now annual Jazz on the Plaza stage on Emmet Place where brass bands and jazz musicians from all over the world will take to the stage every half hour from Friday October 26th to Sunday October 28th from 1pm – 6pm. The Jazz Bites Food Fair on Emmet Place will also keep the masses fed on the finest of artisanal foods while enjoying the music across the city throughout the day.
Atmospheric photographs captured by the Irish Examiner in the early days of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, including images of jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Buddy Rich and Dizzy Gillespie, will appear in a new exhibition at the Triskel Arts Centre. ‘Jazz Memories With The Irish Examiner’ featuring 20 images from the Irish Examiner/Evening Echo archive opens at the Triskel on October 19 and runs until November 2.
Also keep an eye out for the touring Jazz bus, which will bring jazz to the people through routes weaving around Cork, while down on the ground, all sorts of jazz and brass ensembles will bring the streets to life with impromptu walk-abouts and New Orleans Jazz Funeral processions!
The Fringe offers a plethora of interesting, free, and family-friendly entertainment complimenting the main 2018 Guinness Cork Jazz Festival programme which has a fantastic line up of musical acts in headline venues and pubs across the city and county, so this year’s festival ensures there is something on offer for everyone!
To purchase tickets, visit www.guinnessjazzfestival.com
Follow the festival social channels for the latest news:
Running legend Sonia O’Sullivan will join 2,500 runners for the annual SPAR Cork Airport 5K Runway Run on November 02nd.
Organised by Cork Athletics on behalf of Athletics Ireland, the unique 5km event on Cork Airport’s runway will take place at 23.59 on Friday, November 2. Funds raised will support Cork Airport’s 2018 Charity of the Year, Shine Centre for Autism.
Colin Donnelly, SPAR Sales Director said: “SPAR has a long heritage in athletics sponsorship so the SPAR Cork Airport 5K Runway Run is a natural fit for our brand. Health and wellbeing is a big focus for SPAR and this unique event is a great initiative for all ages because it helps to promote a healthy lifestyle and has the added benefit of offering participants the opportunity to run on an actual runway. We’re very proud to be a part of this venture in association with Athletics Ireland and Cork Airport.”
The SPAR Cork Airport 5K Runway Run at Cork Airport is chip-timed and the third largest running event in Cork.
Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport, added: “We are delighted to host the Runway Run for the fourth year, and welcome the 2,500 runners taking part this year.
“Cork Airport is extremely busy at the moment, with scheduled flights to over 40 destinations. Holding a midnight event, when no planes are landing or taking off, means participants have a unique chance to run, jog or walk Cork Airport’s normally active runway, along with supporting the vital work being done by Shine.”
Irish Olympian and multiple World Champion Sonia O’Sullivan will travel from her Australian base for the event, joining fellow event ambassadors, personal trainer Karl Henry, and Irish elite long distance runner and fellow Olympian Mick Clohisey of Raheny Shamrock AC on the night.
Registration for SPAR Cork Airport 5K Runway Run is open here. On signing up, participants can avail of a 20% discount by using the code SPAR 20.