Friday, 30 July 2010


An award winning production of Sean O'Casey's The Silver Tassie comes to the Everyman Palace in October. Presented by the Druid company and directed by Garry Hynes, this is something special, running from the 12th to the 16th of October inclusive. 

The sweeping play follows the lives of two young footballing heroes from the tenements of Dublin through the WW1 battlefields of France, and their return home.

Using all the resources of the theatre including live music and dance, this is an epic staging of one of O’Casey’s great plays. 

Tony Award-winner Garry Hynes directs a cast of 19 – Druid’s biggest ever company of actors – and welcomes back Druid favourites including Aaron Monaghan, Eamon Morrissey and Derbhle Crotty. 
The company will be joined by fi ve young people recruited locally.

Winner of 12 major international theatre awards in 2009 including Best Production, Outstanding Director and Outstanding Ensemble, Druid is back with a production you simply won’t want to miss.

for more details, including booking: 
"A world-class company" Irish Times

Thursday, 29 July 2010


Cork’s Marquee was hopping last night as the Momma Mia show continued its final week on the banks of the Lee.
The venue may be temporary but it is one efficient operation: parking, toilets, bars (five euro for a plastic glass of wine) and seating all have queues but, thanks to an abundance of helpful personnel on duty, key points are covered and queues move very quickly indeed and the show starts bang on time.
While the big six pointed tent may be temporary, it is an annual fixture here since Beach Boy Brian Wilson kicked off the Marquee events in 2005. Bob Dylan came a year later to be followed by Elton John (07), Eric Clapton (08) and Blondie (09) plus many more acts over the mid summer months each year.
Mamma Mia, on Sunday night, finishes this season’s programmes. It is the first time that a stage show has had a run here. Acts earlier in the summer included: Megadeath, JLS, Al Greene, Kenny Rodgers, Snoop Dog and Tony Bennett and others. Something for everyone. Put it in your diary for 2011.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


St Colman’s Cathedral, quite an impressive French style building, dominates the town and indeed much of the nearby harbour area. It is in a very prominent location, the centrepiece of many photographs, both from the promenade and the water, and well worth a visit.
The architects were Puglin and Ashlin. Started in 1868, it took close on fifty years to build. The largest of the Carillon of 47 bells weighs 3.5 tons. The Cathedral is in regular use.
If you visit a Cobh pub, and there are many in the shadow of St Colman’s, you could well hear the song called “The Holy Ground”. There is more than one explanation of this title but it has got nothing to do with the cathedral as it is generally understood to refer to the old time red light district of this sea-faring town.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

LEE SWIM 24 July 2010

Spent a very enjoyable afternoon at the annual Lee Swim yesterday where over 300 swimmers gave their all over the 2 km course from the North Mall to Lapps Quay. Action galore at the start where the contestants were released in batches of 30 as local snappers (photo below, Magill and Mills (right)) did their stuff. Most swimmers dived in but one lady decided to gracefully slide in off the platform (photo). There were different strokes employed as you can see below and once or twice, shortly after the start, contestants got in each other's way but they just got on with it. Loads of fans (one with pet iguana) on the bridges and on the quay walls. Well done to all concerned. It was tough going and I felt I deserved my pint in the Shelbourne afterwards.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


Funny how things change. This morning, headed downtown to call to Cafe Gusto and instead, a red traffic light and a random thought later, found myself on the Banks of the Lee walkway.
This was a walk I had intended to do for quite a while. You start at the western end of the North Mall where you see the signpost (on the left). Look back before you start and take in the view along the river.
As you start, you will see the Irish Distillers site, including the Cooperage on your right and, across the river, the old Maltings Buildings (now used by UCC). Then you come to the relatively new Dyke Bridge, the structure that enable the walk’s construction.
Cross the river here and the walk “morphs” into the Cumann na mBan Walk. The skateboard facility here was idle this morning and a few quiet minutes later and I was at the point where the traffic from the Western Road (inward) joins the Mardyke Walk.
Using the footpath for a short while, I reach Fitzgerald Park and continue the walk through the gardens and see the mothers and kids in the playground facility. The sun is out, not too strongly, as I exit the park and cross, by the Shaky Bridge, to the part of the walk that runs behind the UCC Sportsgrounds in the Mardyke. No great views in this area.
Then I cross the road at the southern side of Wellington Bridge and continue my walk. The river is on my right and there are good views of the Waterworks and the long building (formerly the hospital) and, on the left, the County Hall.
Continue now behind the Kingsley which seems to have suffered a fatal blow in last winter’s floods and soon I am in the traditional Lee Fields walk where quite a few other people are out and about. No swimming or canoes on the river today but it is often a hive of activity.
There is an extension to the Lee Fields Walk along the farm fields of Richard Wood of Carrigrohane. The river is close on your right and some decent views open out including one of horses grazing on the opposite bank. Some nice stand of trees, wild flowers and fishermen also as I head for the end of walk.
The path at the start of the extended walk is packed earth, a few feet wide. Later this becomes just a single line in the grass, but easily followed, all the way to a gate and exit at the end of the straight road.
Made that exit and headed for the Anglers Rest. Told my welcoming host that I deserved a pint. “You walked out?” he asked. I told him. “That’s a good ten kilometres,” he said. He was probably right. Enjoyed my pint of Becks in the spacious sunny riverside beer-garden.

Monday, 19 July 2010


Cobh has seen famine ships and transportation ships come and go over the years but now the town’s Deepwater Quay welcomes luxury liners on cruises around Europe.
Buses and taxis were coming and going when I called there today to see the Crown Princess, one of many to visit this summer. Check out the schedule at and perhaps add a visit to see a liner to your activities in the East Cork area. The quay is just a few minutes from the Fota Wildlife Park and indeed not much longer from the East Cork Parkway that links the city and Youghal.
The Princess line makes many of these calls and their Crown Princess is certainly a large and impressive ship and is due again on the 12th of August. Oh, and by the way, even if there is no liner in, Cobh has a string of attractions to keep you busy, including a cruise of Cork Harbour. I must try that next time.

On a recent walk, towards Shandon, I took time out to check out the Civic Trust House, a little gem on Quay on Pope’s Quay.
Quite a lot of history attached to this beautiful Queen Anne house, originally built around 17390 until its restoration by the Cork Civic Trust ion the 1990s.
And it is not just a  pretty place. Is serves as the headquarters for a string of the city’s creative organisations: the Cork Film Centre, the Jazz Festival, Corcadorca, the Midsummer Festival, the Choral festival and more.
And on Friday (8.00 to 10pm), it will host part of this week’s Cork Cycling Arts festival: My Lovely Bike, "a beauty pageant for bikes! It time to polish the chrome and wax the paint job as you get the opportunity to put your bicycle tyre to tyre to see who owns the most beautiful bike in Cork. Contestants will be given five minutes to describe to the audience what they love about their bicycle. Extra points will be given for over dramatic stories of rambling country adventures, near death crashes and desperate thievery on the streets. The winning bicycle will be crowned Queen of the festival and will be showered with prizes."

So why not join the fun and see the house at the same time.

Friday, 16 July 2010


The Cork Arts Theatre (CAT) is perhaps the smallest in the City. It seats about 100, is reasonably comfortable, has a small bar and you may also call in for a coffee if you are passing during the day.
Aside from plays, CAT may be used for recitals, lunchtime events, poetry readings, lectures and celebrity evenings. I have been there a few times and my last visit was to see an Evening with Graham Poll, the English referee.
The current play, When I was God, by Corkman Conal Creedon, is about a referee and is making a return home after outings in places such as China and the US. Worth a visit by all accounts.
021 450 5624

Thursday, 15 July 2010



When I Was God, is a searing drama of a father's heartbreaking expectations for his son in sports. We witness through the eyes of a ten year old the longings of a fanatical dad. On the field of dreams, the referee is God--but what happens when God is made man?
John Linehan has been in touch about this play by Conal Creedon

"What a piece of Theatre.if you've not seen them GOOOOOO....
A Norrie whos ol' man wants him to play hurling but the mother thinks its too dagerous and he becomes a soccer ref...... and he about to go out in Dalymount Park to Refer

"Conal Creedon is critically acclaimed novelist, playwright and documentary maker. For generations his family have traded in the heart of Cork City, Ireland. Conal continues to live and work on the street where he and his 12 siblings were born and reared."

The action takes place in the CAT theatre, next to Pa Jackson's, from 13th to 31st July, kick off 8.00pm

Sunday, 4 July 2010


The Hill of Corrin, just south of Fermoy, is passed each weekday by thousands of motorists on the Cork-Dublin Road. The 222m high hill provides “spectacular” views of the surrounding countryside and of Fermoy itself.
It also provides us with the Corrin Trail, a 4.5 km looped trail of four and half kilometres, that includes the cross and cairn at the top. It is graded moderate and should take about one and half hours.
Went up there today, after quite an absence, and enjoyed the full walk. It is a typical Irish wood, mainly conifers and also a few flowers, including the last of the fox gloves. The view from the top is good and the walk is worthwhile.
Coming from the city, take the old Fermoy road, the R639, and you’ll see the signposts immediately after the well signed Marts complex. There is a spacious car park and picnic tables but there are no toilets or bins so whatever you bring be prepared to bring the wrappings back with you.
It is a walk where you’ll need company. There were quite a few cars there today and a local orienteering club also use it (this Tuesday coming, for example).