CBA looks forward to exciting new MAY-HUM 2016 festival

Music Generation Cork City proudly presents a brand new festival of music-making and music education in May 2016! Presented in partnership with community-based music education providers, and in conjunction with local venues and businesses, MAY-HUM 2016 will feature a wide range of performances, workshops, seminars and exhibitions. With an ethos of inclusion, education, accessibility and innovation, this is a festival with something for everyone.

The festival programme is available to view online here We are also currently distributing printed programmes over the coming days.

For further information, or to request a print programme to be posted to you, please email

We hope you come and join us to experience the #MAYHUM!

Cork transatlantic flights may start 6 months early

Low-fares aviation giant Norwegian hopes to launch the first transatlantic flights from Cork Airport in August — six months earlier than expected.

The airline’s chief executive, Bjorn Kjos, flagged the new date during a meeting in Brussels with Ireland South MEP and member of the EU transport committee, Deirdre Clune.

Pending formal approval from the US Department of Transportation, Mr Kjos said the airline’s Irish subsidiary, Norwegian Air International (NAI), is targeting an August 1 launch date for its proposed Cork to Boston flights. The airline is also planning to launch a Cork to New York service next year.

The earlier launch date comes just weeks after a breakthrough in its stalled foreign carrier permit application.

The US Department of Transportation announced on April 15 that there was no legal impediment to the granting of a permit to NAI under the terms of the EU-US Open Skies deal.

The decision triggered a consultation process which is due to conclude on May 13.

Objections are expected from various parties, including US legacy airlines and various labour unions in the US and Europe, which had objected to the application.

But it is expected that formal approval will be forthcoming before the White House has a week to sign off on the decision.

It is understood that 60 days must pass before the flights can start but the White House can waive this period.

“Mr Kjos told me that the process of granting a licence will take time. But ultimately, he wants to begin flying from Cork to the US from August 1. The airline has also reaffirmed its commitment to fly from Shannon,” said Ms Clune, who has written to transport commissioner Violeta Bulc urging her for continued support for the airline’s plans.

NAI has insisted that it will only use Irish and EU-based crew on the transatlantic services.

CBA proud to be involved in successful ‘Cork Cashes Out’ Campaign

The CBA is delighted that the “Cork Cashes Out” initiative has won a major international award at the Contactless and Mobile Annual Awards in London.

The Cork Cashes Out initiative was one of four finalists in the Contactless & Mobile City category alongside wireless public transport payment projects in England and in the Czech Republic, and a mobile payment scheme in India.  This prestigious award, run in association with Visa, is for the most ambitious and widespread initiative to implement mobile or contactless technology.

Cork Cashes Out was a pilot initiative rolled out by Cork City Centre Forum, supported by the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland, to make Cork City Ireland’s first cash-free city and is in line with Cork being a “smart” city.

The Cork City Centre Forum was established by the Cork Chamber in September 2014 and comprises all the major business stakeholders in Cork City.  This includes retailers and business owners from across the city as well as Cork City Council, Cork Chamber of Commerce, An Garda Siochana and the Cork Business Association (CBA).

As part of its commitment to advance new innovative opportunities, Cork City Centre Forum launched the Cork Cashes Out initiative, a pilot scheme, in November 2015. ‘Cork Cashes Out’ was a first of its kind initiative aimed at encouraging the adoption of cash-free payment options by consumers and retailers and to position Cork as Ireland’s first ‘cash-free city’.

As Ireland’s second largest city with a “smart city” agenda, Cork was ideal for the roll out of Cork Cashes Out.  To support the initiative an integrated communication plan was executed to coincide with the initial launch.  This played an important role in raising awareness of the scheme among businesses and consumers, as well as education for the wider public about the benefits of using non-cash payment methods.

Finally, we wish to acknowledge the role of H&A Marketing in their excellent promotion of this campaign.

Events not to miss this week at Cork International Choral Festival

Nearly 5,000 singers from all around the world are arriving in Cork this week to take part in the 62nd Cork International Choral Festival, which runs until Sunday May 1.

There will be 6 ticketed gala events, and almost 100 free events throughout the city including a Choral Trail, Friendship Concerts, Fringe Concerts, a Symposium, Schools Concerts, National and International Competitions, workshops and free outdoor performances.  The event also spills out to the streets of Cork including many impromptu performances in pubs, cafes, restaurants, churches and libraries - wherever you turn you will hear a harmony of voices.


Wednesday 27th April

11am Cork City Hall

The Primary School Choirs Competition

The schools participating include Cór Scoil an Spioraid Naoimh Cailíní [Co. Cork], Bunscoil Bhóthar na Naomh [Co. Waterford], Cór Bunscoil Chríost Rí [Co. Cork], Shountrade National School Choir [Co. Limerick].  There will also be guest performances from international choirs including Marylhurst University Chamber Choir (USA), CasaSawt (Morocco), Choeur et Mouvement (France), and Sing for your Life! Choir (Australia).


2.30pm Cork City Hall

The Post-Primary Mixed Voice Choirs Competition
Participating schools include Mercy Mounthawk School Choir [Co. Kerry], Cór Choláiste/Gaelcholáiste Choilm [Co. Cork], Cashel Community School [Co. Tipperary], Wesley College Senior Choir [Co. Dublin].  There will be guest performances by Tung-Hsin Choral Society (USA) and DelicaTon Freigericht (Germany),


8pm Cork City Hall

Opening Concert, A celebration of Heritage

Fleischmann Choir and CIT CSM Symphony Conductor, Conor Palliser will perform a celebration of our heritage.  It will feature Gerald Finzi's Intimations of Immortality for Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra with soloist Robin Tritschler and the first performance in Cork of Fleischmann's Cornucopia for Horn and Orchestra with soloist Cormac Ó' HAodáin. The Programme will also include Seán Ó Riada’s Mise Éire Suite together with an accompanying film of the period. Pre-concert recital will feature the Band of 1 Brigade.


Thursday 28th April

11am Cork City Hall
Post-Primary Equal Voice Competition
Schools taking part in this competition include, St. Leo’s College Choir [Co. Carlow], Laurel Hill Coláiste F.C.J. [Co. Limerick], De La Salle Senior Choir [Co. Waterford], Cashel Community School Girls Choir [Co. Tipperary], Cór Choláiste na Toirbhirte, Bandon [Co. Cork], Ursuline Convent Senior Choir [Co. Waterford], Regina Mundi College [Co. Cork], Scoil Mhuire Choir, Trim [Co. Meath], Ursuline Singers [Co. Tipperary], Loreto Secondary School Choir, Fermoy [Co. Cork].  There will be guest performances from Helene Stureborg’s kammarkör [Sweden], Bærum Vokalensemble [Norway], Rezonans [Turkey].


8pm Cork City Hall

The Real Group – Headline act

Based in Sweden, The Real Group is one of the world’s finest vocal ensembles. They are renowned for their excellent ensemble singing, stunning arrangements, and for captivating audiences world-wide. Their repertoire consists of arrangements of jazz, sometimes leaning towards folk and pop.



Cork City Library, 10.30am – Barum Vokalensemble [Norway]

Cork University Hospital (CUH), 11am – DelicaTon Freigericht [Germany]

Hollyhill Library, 11.30am – Tung-Hsin Choral Society [USA]

Lewis Glucksman Gallery UCC, 1pm – DelicaTon Freigericht [Germany]

Crawford Art Gallery, 1.30pm – Tung-Hsin Choral Society [USA]

Ballyphehane Day Care Centre, 2pm – CasaSawt [Morocco]

l’Atitude 51, 5.30pm – Rezonans [Turkey]

Maldron Hotel, 5.30pm – DelicaTon Freigericht [Germany]

Electric Restaurant & Bar, 6pm – CasaSawt [Morocco]

Franciscan Well, 6pm – Mixed Choir KOOR [Estonia]


Friday 29th April

2.00pm Cork School of Music

Choral Music Symposium

An interactive workshop session curated by one of the world’s leading specialists on choral music, Paul Hillier, and the Festival’s choir-in-residence.


7.30pm St. Finbarre’s Cathedral
Remembering the Rising and Shakespeare…

The event will feature two premieres by Festival Commissioned composer Stephen McNeff and the winner of this year’s Séan Ó Riada Composition Competition Amanda Feery, commemorating the centenary of the Easter Rising and the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.


10.40pm Cathedral of St Mary & St Anne
Late Night Concert Evocations

A late night concert with Switzerland based White Raven, a cappella vocal trio, who sing arrangements of Irish traditional, Scottish, and Medieval song. Hailed as “voices of purest gold” by critics, White Raven has perfected the art of ensemble singing.



Blackpool Library, 10am – Ahjo Ensemble [Finland]

Blackrock Castle Observatory, 11am – DelicaTon Freigericht [Germany]

Blarney Castle*, 11am – Barum Vokalensemble [Norway]

City Hall Meet & Greet, 11am – Various

Tory Top Library, 12pm – Marylhurst University Chamber Choir [USA]

Brown Thomas, 1pm – CasaSawt [Morocco]

Lewis Glucksman Gallery UCC, 1.30pm – Rezonans [Turkey]

Crawford Art Gallery, 1.45pm – CasaSawt [Morocco]

Bishopstown Library, 2.30pm – Choeur et Mouvement [France]

Cork City Library, 2.30pm – Sing for your Life! Choir [Australia]

City Hall Meet & Greet, 4pm – Various

Kent Station, 5.30pm – Sing for your Life! Choir [Australia]

l’Atitude 51, 6pm – Torshavnar Kamarkor [Faroe Islands]

Franciscan Well, 6pm – DeineMaids [Germany]

Tom Barry’s Pub, 6pm – Marylhurst University Chamber Choir [USA]

The Shelbourne Bar, 6.30pm – Sing for your Life! Choir [Australia]

Everyman Theatre Bar, 7.30pm – Tung-Hsin Choral Society [USA]


Saturday 30th April

12.15pm Cork City Hall

The Big Sing

With the ambition of ensuring everybody gets the opportunity to sing in the Festival, Cork International Choral Festival invites all to take part in The Big Sing 2016, the festival’s big and bright participatory singing event. The Big Sing is open to everyone and admission is free. There’s no preparation necessary – just sing from, and for, the heart! In just 45 mins, composer and conductor John O’Brien will teach a well-known choral work to the crowd.


2pm The Clarion Hotel
Afternoons in the Atrium

Afternoons in the Atrium provides a weekend of energetic and entertaining performances by national and international choirs in the fresh, modern setting of the Clarion Hotel, Lapps Quay.


3pm & 8pm Cork City Hall

International Fleishmann Gala

Some of the world’s top amateur choirs will compete for one of the most prestigious prizes in International standards.



Festival Food Market, Emmet Place, 10am-6pm – Various Pop Up Choirs

Bakestone Cafe @Ballyseedy Garden Centre, 11am – Tung-Hsin Choral Society [USA]

The Big Sing, Cork City Hall 12pm – Come and be a part of Cork’s largest Choir!

Ambassador Hotel, 1pm – Sing for your Life! Choir [Australia]

Lewis Glucksman Gallery UCC, 1pm – CasaSawt [Morocco]

Clarion Hotel, 2-6pm – Various

l’Atitude 51, 5.30pm – DeineMaids [Germany]


Sunday 1st May

2pm The Clarion Hotel
Afternoons in the Atrium

Afternoons in the Atrium provides a weekend of energetic and entertaining performances by national and international choirs in the fresh, modern setting of the Clarion Hotel, Lapps Quay.


8pm Cork City Hall
Closing Gala Concert

International choirs will perform choral music representative of their musical and cultural backgrounds in a joyful celebration of song and colour.



Festival Food Market, Emmet Place, 10am-6pm – Various Pop Up Choirs

Clarion Hotel, 2-6pm – Various

City Hall Awards Ceremony, 5.15pm – Various


Festival Club – Saturday and Sunday

The Festival fun doesn’t stop when the Gala’s end – it simply moves to the Festival Club at the Clarion! It’s the perfect place to kick back and relax with festival choirs and guests, whether you’re in the mood to sing, dance, drink or mingle your way into the small hours.



This is just a snapshot of what is taking place over the weekend.  For the full festival programme see

Festival Tickets are available for purchase through the online booking system at, and in person from the Festival Box Office at The Everyman, McCurtain Street.

The Cork International Choral Festival is proudly supported by The Arts Council of Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, Cork City Council and Cork County Council, First South Credit Union Ltd. , and Indaver Ireland.

CBA looks forward to Cork International Choral Festival 2016

The Cork International Choral Festival will commence on Wednesday April 27 with the Opening Gala to be held in City Hall.

We are thrilled to see the variety of programme on offer this year including gala concerts, schools concerts, national and international competitions, workshops and free outdoor performances.

The festival is expected to attract up to 50,000 visitors with performances taking place in venues all over the city.

For programme and ticketing information go to

CBA welcomes first Cuban shipping service for Port of Cork

Port of Cork has scored a major coup in landing a potentially lucrative spot on the first direct freight shipping service from northern Europe to Cuba since economic sanctions were removed on the Caribbean country.

Danish shipping giant Maersk — the world’s largest container carrier — began its first ever connection between northern European ports and Cuba last Friday, promising the fastest freight transit times between Europe and the Cuban port of Mariel.

The service will link the ports of Bremerhaven in Germany, Rotterdam, Tilbury in the UK and Cork to Mariel and onto Panama.

In the past month, Maersk has acted on rising demand from Irish-based customers by starting a new direct service between Dublin and Algeciras in Spain.

The Cuba development will not only be a boon for Port of Cork but will also act as a significant development for Irish exporters, providing a new opportunity to directly target the Latin American market.

In the past few years the containerised market in Cuba has been growing at between 10% and 15% per annum; main drivers being infrastructure investments and modernisation projects, including the terminal at Mariel and the creation of the Special Economic Zone of Mariel.

Maersk — one of the first movers since the removal of economic sanctions — is confident the new service will support the development of the Special Economic Zone, which is set to be the main engine of growth for the country.

Earlier this month, the MV Northern Dedication docked in Port of Cork’s deepwater berth at Ringaskiddy, becoming the largest container ship ever to arrive in any Irish port. This forms a weekly scheduled call from Central America to Cork and sees the delivery to Ireland of 75 containers of fresh fruit, mainly comprising Fyffes bananas.

“There are very little restrictions at Ringaskiddy Deepwater Berth, so when it comes to handling a vessel of this size, the port is more than capable. In the future, we would hope to see more of these size vessels calling, as our port expands to meet the needs of our own customers and the needs of the global shipping community,” said Port of Cork commercial manager, Captain Michael McCarthy on the back of the Fyffes delivery.

Recent data from the Irish Maritime Development Office showed that total volumes of container traffic moving through Irish ports grew by 7% last year, with all major traffic modes delivering substantial growth.

Bulk traffic grew by 7% to reach 29.8m tonnes, with Cork, Greenore, Shannon Foynes, Waterford and Wicklow recording above average growth rates.

Load on-load off (LoLo) traffic — which predominantly moves through Dublin, Cork, and Waterford — grew by 8% with each port recording significant volume gains.

CBA welcomes new development on first Cork-US flights

The first transatlantic flights from Cork Airport could take off before the end of the year with talks on flight operations and ticket sales poised to take place soon.

The low-fares giant Norwegian said it remains committed to launching its proposed Cork to Boston service this year following the breakthrough in its stalled foreign carrier permit application process.

The airline is also planning a Cork-Barcelona route around the same time, and a Cork to New York route next year.

However, following Friday’s breakthrough, when the US Department of Transportation (DoT) issued an order proposing to grant the permit to Norwegian’s Irish subsidiary, Norwegian Air International (NAI), the airline’s spokesman said that. pending formal approval, “it remains our hope” to start the Boston service this year.

The DoT’s decision to tentatively grant the permit has triggered a 21-day consultation process, with a final decision expected before the end of May.

Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) CEO Kevin Toland said they are already looking forward to working with the airline to progress its flight operations from Cork and to get flight tickets on sale as quickly as possible.

Friday’s ruling brought an end to NAI’s stalled two-year application process — the longest pending application of its kind ever lodged with the DoT.

It also marked the end of an intensive lobbying campaign mounted by Cork business and Irish aviation and political leaders, backed by pressure from the European Commission. Irish interests had also engaged top lobbyists in Washington to press the case politically.

Their efforts culminated with a diplomatic offensive on Washington, involving Cork Chamber and senior DAA executives, timed to coincide with the St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny also raised the issue directly with US president Barack Obama during his visit to the White House on March 15.

A DoT spokesperson said Norwegian’s application raised complex and novel issues, particularly around labour-law, which required careful consideration.

The DoT said it took the unprecedented step of formally consulting the US Departments of Justice and State, two agencies with special expertise on international law, before arriving at its tentative decision, published on Friday.

European Affairs Minister Dara Murphy described NAI’s application as a “landmark test case” and said now that the DoT has made its historic ruling, it could help trigger major growth in transatlantic flights from Cork Airport.

Cork Airport managing director Niall MacCarthy praised all involved in the lobbying, and singled out Cork Chamber for its “solid support”.

Chamber chief executive Conor Healy said the Taoiseach’s intervention with Mr Obama, combined with the collective efforts of Cork ministers and other political representatives, was a key element in achieving the progress.

The mayor of Cork County, John Paul O’Shea, who pressed the case while leading a business and tourism delegation to Boston last December, said the transatlantic flights will help boost tourism in the region.

CBA welcomes English Market Startup Stall initiative

Newly established food producers will be salivating at the prospect of setting up shop in Cork’s prestigious English Market thanks to a new initiative aimed at attracting new blood to the 228-year old market.

The Startup Stall is an initiative devised by English Market manager, Orla Lannin and the City Council with the support of the English Market Traders Committee.

The initiative will allow the successful startup food producer use of a stall in the market for up to six weeks over the summer to trial products, assess demand for its products and gain valuable customer feedback.

“When a unit became available to the council this was considered a new and innovative idea for the vacant unit with the stall to offer the food business an opportunity to trade in Ireland’s oldest and best food market; allowing them to ‘test the market’, literally,” Ms Lannin said.

“The English Market has always depended on new and innovative food products for its very survival and this initiative will continue this tradition.”

It is envisaged that the initiative will offer a short-term solution to newly established food traders and entrepreneurs who may not necessarily have the funds or resources to lease and fit-out a unit in the market at such an early stage of their business.

The project is aimed at attracting startup businesses retailing products that complement rather than replicate the existing fare on offer in the city centre market.

Having just launched the Startup Stall, demand is already high, according to Ms Lannin.

English Market trader and Cork Business Association president Pat O’Connell said he hoped the idea would encourage “new blood” into the market to add to the traditional businesses that have operated there for years.

He said he expected the initiative would work on a revolving basis that would see startups placed on a shortlist and invited to take up the stall between Healys Bakery and Pots & Pans one after another.

Separately, the English Market will also hold a reading of the Proclamation in remembrance of the Easter Rising on Monday, April 25, with participation from representatives of An Garda Síochána and The Defence Forces.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the ceremony.

Startups interested in applying for the Startup Stall initiative are encouraged to email details and a short description of their proposal to

CBA welcomes new winter 2016 routes from Cork airport

Ryanair is to extend its summer services from Cork to three destinations into its winter 2016 schedule.

Cork Airport yesterday said it expects the airline’s decision to introduce winter services to Gran Canaria, Tenerife, and Malaga to add about 50,000 extra passengers from the region.

“We are pleased to launch our Cork winter 2016 schedule, which includes three new winter services to Gran Canaria, Malaga, and Tenerife, with nine routes in total including a four times daily service to London, which will deliver 850,000 annual customers and support 640 jobs at Cork Airport,” said Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs.

The announcement was welcomed by Cork Airport.

“This is fantastic news for our customers from the region,” said Niall MacCarthy, managing director at Cork Airport.

“Ryanair, our second biggest customer, is expected to carry 850,000 passengers this year, an increase of 50,000 on last year. So far this year, Cork Airport has seen a significant increase in our passenger numbers, up by over 10%, making us Ireland’s fastest growing airport. We’ve had a fantastic start to the year and we’ve already welcomed nine new routes as well as new airline partners,” he said.

The winter services from Cork Airport will see weekly flights to Gran Canaria and Tenerife and a twice-weekly service to Malaga.

Routes already serviced by Ryanair for winter 2016 include Lanzarote, Gdansk, Liverpool, London Stansted, London Gatwick, and Wroclaw. The new services will increase the number of weekly Ryanair flights this coming winter from Cork to over 40, an increase of 11%.

The company said it is releasing 100,000 seats for sale across its European network from €19.99 to celebrate the launch of the new Cork winter schedule.

The fares will be available on until next Monday.

CBA looks forward to the launch of CORE

A partnership has been established to manage and promote all aspects of life in Cork city centre.

Details of some €300m of planned and existing public and private sector investment in the heart of the city will also be unveiled at the launch next week of the new group, called Core.

The development of this new management approach to the city centre was one of the key recommendations of the 2014 Cork City Centre Strategy report.

Commissioned by the city council, the plan set out a roadmap to revitalise the city centre through improving the public realm, tackling dereliction, improving transport, and promoting enterprise.

But it also said the establishment of new partnership to manage and market the city centre was crucial.

City Hall has now drawn together key stakeholders including Cork Chamber, Cork Business Association, gardaí, and Bus Éireann, as well as representatives from the vintner, hotels, and retail sectors, to form Core.

Council chief executive Ann Doherty said it will focus on creating opportunities, highlighting positive developments and delivering new initiatives that promote and drive a vibrant city centre.

“It’s about saying yes, the city has been through a few tough years, but there is plenty to be positive about, and we are going to focus on that,” she said.

Existing groups like the business-focused City Centre Forum, which recently piloted the Cork Cashes Out initiative to promote cashless transactions, and which also helped secure a Purple Flag designation for the city’s night-time economy, will continue their work.

However, the Core partnership will take an overall strategic view towards the management and promotion of all aspects of city life.

The promotion of historic areas, including the Hugenot and Shandon quarters, and the emerging Victorian quarter on MacCurtain St, will be a key focus.

“Core means something that is central to existence or character, and certainly Cork city centre is at the heart of a dynamic and vibrant region,” city centre co-ordinator, Paul McGuirk, said.

“This collaboration will see us focusing on the city centre, strategically and operationally, and working to ensure that opportunities are maximised and the city centre achieves and hopefully surpasses its enormous potential.”

The Core partnership launch will take place in City Hall next Thursday as Ms Doherty unveils an update on the 2015/2016 Cork City Centre Action Plan, which will showcase €300m of public and private investment in the city.