Cllr Gillian Coughlan, Mayor of the County of Cork.

County Mayor’s diary

Cllr Gillian Coughlan

After what has been a difficult year, this summer has shown the resilience of communities across county Cork, as we witnessed a much welcome reopening of businesses and social activity.

Tourism in Cork, once of our greatest assets, took off with great success, attracting local and intercounty visitors to our towns, villages and scenic destinations. We are incredibly fortunate to have so many assets on our doorstep, from coastal to rural, heritage to world class dining, we really do have it all.

At a time when it was most welcomed, Cork County Council’s Arts Services lit up towns and villages across the county with over 120 live outdoor events under the Cork Co Co Pops programme. It really was a feast for the senses, and with events taking place until the end of the month, there is still time to find an event near you.

As many of you will have seen, there have been a number of changes in our towns and villages, such as street pedestrianisation, the installation of outdoor seating, canopies and traffic management, all made possible thanks to the strong bonds between the council, community and business groups. These changes have been delivered at local level with those who know their locality better than anyone and are a true definition of collaboration. Such working relationships have been central to our success in reopening.

One of the key events during the summer was the official opening of the People’s Park in Haulbowline. This opening marked the end of an extensive remediation project which has resulted in a beautiful public amenity for residents of the Cork Harbour area and surrounds.

On another beautiful summer’s day, it was a pleasure for me to welcome Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys to Kinsale to mark the official commencement of works on Kinsale Library’s extensive refurbishment. The repurposing of the historic James O’Neill Building at the heart of the town will be a major asset for residents, providing a new space to learn and to connect with one another.

Finally, on a particularly emotional note, I joined members of Cork County Fire Service at Ringfinnan Garden of Remembrance in Kinsale this week to mark the twentieth anniversary of September 11th. Founded by Kinsale native Kathleen Murphy, who had worked as a nurse at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City for over 30 years, the garden is a touching memorial to members of the New York City Fire Department who lost their lives that day, with 343 trees each bearing the name of a fallen firefighter, along with Chaplain Father Mychal Judge who also perished.

The September 11th attacks shocked the entire world and brought to the forefront of our minds the bravery of first responders around the globe. We will never forget.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha