2020 Festival

The 2020 online celebration of Cork Harbour Festival has now come to a close. A sincere thanks to all our event partners, speakers, participants, viewers and funders for their support this year.

Na báid agus naol na ndaoine.

Watch our recorded sessions here

Lunchtime Lecture: Dr Connie Kelleher ‘The Alliance of Pirates, Ireland and Atlantic Piracy’

Interview with Jim Kennedy of Atlantic Sea Kayaking – by Lorna Siggins

In the Footsteps of An Rás Mór - an insider's track with Eddie English

Kids' Model Boat Project - Award Ceremony with Cllr Kieran McCarthy

How to plan a CORKumnavigation with Jack O'Keeffe

Ó Bhéal Poetry Event with sailor poet Mick Delap

Ocean to City Virtual Challenge end

Online diorama tutorial by Fiona Boniwell & Cork City Libraries

Comic diorama tutorial by Fiona Boniwell & Cork City Libraries

2020 Online Celebration Videos!

Ukulele Shanty Sea Song tutorial with Andrew d'Uke AD

Ocean to City map by Andrew & NLN, Hollyhill

Ocean to City stop motion by Andrew King

Story and Song 3 with Deirdre Ryan & Cork City Children's Library

Story and Song 4 with Deirdre Ryan & Cork City Children's Library

Story and Song 6 with Deirdre Ryan & Cork City Children's Library

A Step Back In Time with Rita Dineen & Cork City Children's Library

Kids Model Boat Competition 2020

Stevie G's #CorkHarbourFest Playlist

Chris Bullzini at SeaFest

Ned Denison's Torture Swim

Atlantic Sea Kayaking in Baja California Sur

The Lonesome Boatman | Music Generation

Harper's Island & Birdwatch Ireland

Past events:

In the footsteps of An Rás Mór – An Insider’s Track

Tuesday 26 May, 20:00-21:00, live on Facebook & Zoom 

With Eddie English of SailCork.

Eddie will bring you on the course of the Ocean to City from Crosshaven to the mouth of Cork Harbour, on to Spike and Cobh before going through the narrows between Monkstown/Passage and the Great Island. Then it’s on through Lough Mahon and past Blackrock Castle and on to the finish in Cork City. There will be notes on each area as we pass them and historical notes to give you a better feel for the place.

How to plan a CORKumnavigation trip

Thursday 28 May, 20:00-20:30, live on Facebook & Zoom 

With Jack O’Keeffe; avid sailor, rower & paddler.

It was said that the city of Cork was built on a series of 13 islands. The channels in between have all been arched over or filled-in over the centuries, so that only two remain: the river Lee (North Channel) and the river Sabhrann (South Channel). It is possible to navigate both those rivers, but only in very small boats or kayaks, and even then one has to keep a close eye on the tide. It has to be low enough to go under all the bridges, and yet high enough to clear all the weirs. Using Meitheal Mara’s dedicated guide, Jack O’Keeffe will explain the principles of planning a full ‘CORKumnavigation’ and will show you some of the highlights along the way.

Kid’s Model Boat Project – Prize Ceremony

Friday 29th May 5pm, live on Facebook & Zoom 

With Cllr. Kieran McCarthy.

This is the 10th anniversary of this event, whereby kids make model boats from recycled materials. We are thrilled with the response this year for our special #athomebythelee edition and we have put together a video to showcase all the gorgeous designs. The judging will happen live on Facebook and Zoom over the coming week.

Interview with Jim Kennedy – by Lorna Siggins

Tuesday 2 June, 20:00,  live on Facebook & Zoom 

With Jim Kennedy of Atlantic Sea Kayaking & Lorna Siggins, print & radio reporter and former Irish Times marine correspondent.

Jim Kennedy is passionate about all things Irish, especially coastal and marine wildlife, stories, music, adventure tourism and of course kayaking. He has raced on the Irish National Kayaking team at two sprint and two marathon world championships, won an Irish rowing Championship with Lee Rowing Club and is a level 5 Irish Canoe Union sea kayak instructor/coach.
Drawing on his wealth of experience, Lorna Siggins will ask Jim about his tips on how to prepare for a race like Ocean to City; what his training programme for the world’s toughest survival and endurance race, the Yukon 1000, looks like; and what places we should definitely put on the bucket list for when this lockdown is over.

Ocean to City Virtual Challenge

Saturday 6 June, 11:00, Online 

We are delighted to bring you “The Ocean to City Virtual Challenge” a fun, energetic and creative way to celebrate the rowing and paddling community we have built up over the past 16 years. With safety foremost we invite you to pick a challenge that matches your ability.
The event has two categories to choose from, the Rowing Machine Challenge and a Fun Challenge. More info will be available from: http://oceantocity.com/virtual-challenge-2020/

Lunchtime Lecture: Dr Connie Kelleher ‘The Alliance of Pirates, Ireland and Atlantic Piracy’

Monday 8 June, 13:10  live on Facebook & Zoom (note date change from the 4th to the 8th of June)

With UCC School of History & Dr. John Borgonovo.

In the early part of the seventeenth-century, along the southwest coast of Ireland, piracy was a way of life. Dr Connie Kelleher will explore who these pirates were, their main theatre of operations and the characters that aided and abetted them. Archaeological evidence uniquely supports the investigation and provides a tangible cultural link through time to the pirates, their cohorts and their bases.
Dr Connie Kelleher works with the National Monuments Service’s Underwater Archaeology Unit in the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and is visiting lecturer the Department of Archaeology in University College Cork, delivering the course on the Introduction to Underwater Archaeology.

Ó Bhéal Poetry Event

Monday 8 June, 20:30, live on Facebook & Zoom

Featured poets for Ó Bhéal’s third virtual event, part of Cork Harbour Festival, are Mick Delap and Alice Lyons. The evening will include the usual five word challenge and open-mic session. Sailor-poet Mick Delap celebrates the magnificence of the Atlantic coast, and chronicles different aspects of its history. In 2002 he won Best First Collection at Listowel for River Turning Tidal. Alice Lyons is the author of three books of poetry, most recently The Breadbasket of Europe (Veer Books, London, 2016). She has received a Radcliffe Fellowship in Poetry & New Media, Harvard University, and the Patrick Kavanagh Award for Poetry.

Cllr. Kieran McCarthy’s

10th Anniversary

Kids’ Model Boat Project

“At Home by the Lee”

#athomebythelee         #creativityathome

Make a model boat at home from recycled materials – the theme is: ”At Home by the Lee”.

  • There are three age categories 4-8yrs, 9-12yrs and 13-16yrs.
  • There are prizes for best models and the project is free to enter.
  • The closing date for participants is extended until May 15th 2020.
  • You will need to send a picture or video of your creation to kidsmodelboat2020@gmail.com




  • The entrant/s will be placed in categories or levels, of which there are three, 4-8yrs 8-12yrs and 12-16yrs
  • Special need categories will be created on the basis of interest by applications received.


Gift vouchers will be awarded to the firsts in each category. Certificates will be awarded to each participant. Prizes are kindly sponsored by Cllr Kieran McCarthy and will be posted out to the winning participants.

Model Presentation:

  • The theme is “At home by the Lee”, which is open to interpretation.
  • Models should be made from recycled materials. The nature of what kind of model boat should be made is up to you.
  • As per previous years, we still hope to give your boat its maiden voyage at The Lough later this year so do test it in a sink or bath for floatability.
  • All models should be photographed and emailed to kidsmodelboat2020@gmail.com
  • As we will be posting these up on social media please only submit photos of the boats (not the boat builders) and we will only use first names, age and area on our posts.
  • There are no restrictions on the size of the model.
  • Prizes will be awarded to models that are of a high standard and in particular, which demonstrate colour, creativity and imagination.
  • Photos will go up on appropriate social media under hashtags: #creativityathome #athomebythelee.
  • You will be contacted by email if you have won a prize and look forward to seeing you at our Model Boat event at The Lough later this year (date to be confirmed).

Good luck to everyone!

Cork Harbour Festival returns 1-10 June 2024 

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