Media

Press Release: Cork Harbour Festival:
A Vibrant Harbour. A Maritime Haven.
9 Festival Days and over 70 Great Events.
Cork Harbour Festival is the largest annual event in Cork Harbour offering a nine day celebration of Cork’s maritime culture, from 2nd  – 10th  June 2018.  Kicking off on the June Bank Holiday, with Ireland’s premier rowing race Ocean to City – An Rás Mór, the festival is bigger and bolder than ever, featuring over 70 events taking place in Cork City and Harbour.

There are so many different events to dive into, from harbour tours to guided walks, open days to open sails, from Sea to Sky and so much more. Or get on the water and row, sail, surf, swim, paddle or kayak your way through the festival!

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES: There are plenty of opportunities to get on the water over the nine day festival; have a go at sailing, kayaking, speed boat trips, surfing, rowing, paddling, swimming, coasteering and stand-up paddle boarding. If you are looking for love then why not try ‘speed dating’ with a difference and step on the festival ‘Love Boat’ with Ocean Escapes.

HERITAGE: Cork is Ireland’s Maritime Haven with a rich history spanning over a thousand years. Explore the layers of history and the many stories of Cork Harbour by visiting its ancient forts and heritage sites. Camden Fort Meagher Open Weekend is offering a range of immersive activities from 2nd – 4th. You can also enjoy a guided walk of Elizabeth Fort in Cork City amongst many other heritage themed events.

SPECTACLE: Don’t miss the Ocean to City – An Rás Mór, Ireland’s premier rowing event, on Saturday June 2nd.  This spectacular long distance rowing race attracts hundreds of participants from all over the world competing in everything from traditional wooden boats, currachs, gigs and longboats to Chinese dragon boats, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. So, come along and cheer on the magnificent fleet of 200+ boats from the many vantage points along the harbour.

FAMILY FUN: There is plenty to do for all the family! On Saturday 9 June, Blackrock Castle Observatory will present Sea to Sky, a day of free, family-friendly activities that bring the importance of marine and astronomy science to life. Throughout the festival, kids can have a go at orienteering; dinghy sailing; crab fishing in Cobh and even step onboard the Pelican of London Tall Ship and an Irish Naval vessel at Port of Cork. The festival offers so much to experience as a family.

WALKS & TALKS: A diverse range of walks and talks are featured in the festival. From 5th to 7th June, come along to the hugely popular Lunchtime Lectures with the UCC Department of History at St. Peter’s Church.  Join a guided walk of Cork’s Bridges or a ghostly tour down the streets of olde Cork. Spike Island will present a special guided harbour tour, where you can learn about the history of the harbour from the water.

CULTURE: Featuring six different exhibitions as well as a film screening, music, songs and stories there is plenty to offer the culture vulture. Visit ‘Spike Island: People and Place 1847-1883’ at the Sirius Arts Centre and explore the art exhibition ‘S’ at Backwater Artists Group, and stay for the artists’ talks. Immerse yourself in the Cork premier of ‘The Camino Voyage’, an evocative feature length documentary which follows a crew as they row a currach from Ireland to Northern Spain in a modern day Celtic odyssey.

FOOD: This year the festival features even more events for foodies. Why not follow the Cork Harbour Seafood Trial where restaurants and cafes in Cork City and Harbour will present seafood dishes especially created for the festival week. Visit the only authentic timber smokehouse where Wild Irish Atlantic salmon caught on the Lee estuary are hung for smoking or learn how to identify, forage and cook edible seaweed from the Harbour shore.  On Saturday 9th June, Boats & Bites at Port of Cork offers a delicious seafood market as well as a chance to get on the water.

John Mullins, Chairman of Port of Cork Company, “The festival is one of a kind, in a harbour which we should all be proud of and utilise to its full recreational potential. This year’s festival is by far one of the busiest with a multitude of events for both families and individuals taking place all around Cork Harbour”.

County Mayor Cllr. Declan Hurley, “The festival is an ideal opportunity to showcase our region, villages and towns, stimulate local economic activity and enhance the visitor experience.”

Lord Mayor Cllr. Tony Fitzgerald, “Cork City Council is very proud to continue our close relationship with and sponsorship of the Cork Harbour Festival, a key event in the City’s annual activities calendar.”

Cork Harbour Festival is organised by Meitheal Mara, the community boatyard, training centre and charity located in the heart of Cork City. The Festival is sponsored by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Port of Cork, Failte Ireland and MaREI, and made possible with the help of dozens of Event Partners and hundreds of volunteers.

The full festival programme of over 70 events is available online www.corkharbourfestival.com.

Notes to Editor:

Cork Harbour Festival

Ocean to City – An Rás Mór and Cork Harbour Open Day formerly existed as two popular one-day events located at different points in Cork’s annual maritime calendar. Both event committees recognised the synergy between the two events and began to work together and share resources. In 2015, Cork Harbour Festival was launched. The festival was shaped on the open day principle, with Ocean to City – An Ras Mór as the flagship event

Now in its fourth year, the festival has grown from strength to strength. Featuring nine festival days starting on the first week of June, it is packed full of events; all made possible through collaboration with over 50 different event partners in Cork City as well as 15 towns and villages along Cork Harbour. The programme has grown year by year and highlights Cork’s rich heritage and culture as well as water and shore-based activities, with Ocean to City – An Rás Mór at the heart of the festival.

Taking place at the centre of Ireland’s maritime paradise, as well as at the gateway to Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way, Cork is perfectly positioned to deliver the largest and most engaging harbour festival in Ireland.

The Cork Harbour Festival Committee includes representatives from Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Port of Cork, UCC MaREI, RCYC, Cobh Harbour Chamber and Meitheal Mara.

Meitheal Mara

Founded in 1993, Meitheal Mara ‘Community or Workers of the Sea’ is a community boatyard in the heart of Cork city.  Meitheal Mara has grown from a small idea into an internationally recognised leader in community-based maritime services, underpinned by the energy and skill of committed and enthusiastic staff members. The vision is: Growth through maritime heritage. Na báid agus saol na ndaoine.

The mission of Meitheal Mara is to integrate and expand personal and community development opportunities through the medium of traditional boatbuilding, maritime recreation and maritime heritage. The primary object is to grow and integrate Cork city’s maritime recreation and tourism sector at a purpose built river-side site.

It is a Company Limited by Guarantee, a registered charity and a nationally-accredited training centre.

For further information and images contact:
Clare O’Sullivan, Marketing, PR & Programme Coordinator, Cork Harbour Festival
info@corkharbourfestival.com | 021 4847673