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County Mayor’s Diary Cllr Christopher O'Sullivan

Thursday, 22nd August, 2019 9:02am

This was a great weekend for our neighbours Tipperary, who have walked away victorious from their clash with Kilkenny in the All Ireland Senior Hurling Finals. It was a great match, hard fought by both sides.

The excitement, competitiveness, and athleticism was rivalled by a slightly more obscure contest in Ballydehob – the World Turnip Racing Championships.

This fierce sport is akin to road bowling - it’s quite a bit more frantic but the turnips aren’t made of metal!

Like road bowling, the turnip racing championships are a celebrated event in county Cork. They both bring communities together and they say something about who we are. For this reason it seems fitting that such an event coincided with the first day of National Heritage Week. On that same day, I attended a 'touch tank' demonstration, supported by Cork County Council as part of heritage week, in Lough Hyne.

This demonstration involved getting up close and personal with some sea creatures. I got to see and handle starfish, sea urchins, crabs and so many more weird and wonderful animals. The demonstration was an amazing way to bring children closer to their marine wildlife heritage. I was fascinated to hear from the marine biologists of UCC who talked through the coastal wildlife of county Cork. UCC and Skibbereen Heritage Centre did a wonderful job.

I’ve spoken about heritage before in the context of festivals and summer shows, but taking heritage on its own, I’ve barely scratched the surface.

Whole books have been written on the subject as it relates to county Cork alone.

If you want to know more about heritage in your county, be sure to check out Cork County Council’s ‘Heritage in County Cork’ publications. These fascinating books are the culmination of dedication and work by members of the community throughout Cork and the council’s heritage office.

The scope of our heritage is vast. It covers our towns and villages, houses, bridges, wrecks, ruins, our mountains, our coasts, our landscapes and seascapes, our woodlands and wetlands, our wildlife and habitats and so much more besides.

It’s something we share with people from around the world, whether they are our diaspora community, tourists or people looking to relocate to Cork.

It can be so tied up in our everyday life that we often forget to take notice!

Heritage Week gives us the perfect opportunity to reexamine and appreciate what we inherit from our history and environment. Whether it’s our natural, built, or cultural heritage you’re interested in, there is so much to do and see throughout the county.

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