Mayor of Cork Cllr Gillian Coughlan. Photo: Provision

County Mayor's Diary

Councillor Gillian Coughlan

As we head into the May Bank Holiday weekend, it’s hard to believe this public holiday only became a holiday on 4 May 1994 and is most closely related to the International Worker’s Day celebrated around the world on 1 May each year.

However, the idea of a holiday at the start of May predates any labour movement and the traditional May Day celebrations have their origins in the Gaelic festival Lá Bealtaine. Bealtaine was considered the last day of winter and was a celebration of the beginning of summer.

It was believed that the first water drawn from the well on May Day was considered to have much greater power than at any other time of the year, and it was believed that this water would offer protection and cures and be good for the complexion.

Good complexions are no concern for little children starting school next September and neither will be embarking on a lifetime journey of learning to read. I had the pleasure to be involved in the launch of the My Little Library Book Bag.

It is an initiative, which is available free for every child starting school in 2022 to help them prepare for this big step. Children and their parents or guardians are invited to visit their local branch or mobile library to join the library and collect a book bag.

Book bags are available in both Irish and English. Tá na malaí leabhair ar fáil i nGaeilge agus i mBéarla.

I have no doubt these little children will become the heroes of the future just like the nominees I had the pleasure of meeting when I hosted the 2022 County Mayor’s Community Awards - a favourite event of mine to host.

It gave me an opportunity to show our appreciation for the outstanding contributions made by individuals and community and voluntary groups across Cork county. I am exceptionally proud of all the nominees who work tirelessly day in day out to enhance the communities we live in.

I had the great honour to present The Mayor’s Community Overall individual award winner to Noreen Minehan of Clonakilty who has a long-standing history of community activity and the worthy winners of the Mayor’s Community Overall Group Award went to Passage West Creates, a not-for-profit collective of crafters from Cork Harbour and beyond.

Life isn’t a technicolour Marvel movie and not all superheroes wear capes, life is better than the movies and we all know these heroes who turned Cork county’s greatest time of need into our greatest triumph when communities came together to support neighbours, families, whole towns and villages.

Long may they continue to inspire heroes for the future.