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SPIKE ISLAND NAMED IN TOP 5 ATTRACTIONS IN IRELAND’S ANCIENT EAST

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Spike Island Cork was among 2 Cork sites to place in the top 5 attractions in Ireland’s Ancient East at the Irish Tourism Awards 2019, held in Dublin’s Clayton Burlington hotel on Friday 01st February. The island attraction joined Jameson Distillery Mildleton in the top 5 of an extremely competitive field that included the Waterford Greenway, Castlecomer Discovery Park and the House of Waterford Crystal. The number one spot for the region went to House of Waterford Crystal, whose updated visitors experience in 2015 is now welcoming over 200.000 visitors annually. The industry awards are the highest tourism accolade in the country and are held every 2 years, with this the first year that sites have been separated into the Failte Ireland tourism brands the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East

Head director Declan Daly commented ‘We have been delighted with the response to the island attraction and the success to date is just reward for the members of Cork County Council who have backed the project with investment”. The island was co-funded by Cork County Council and Failte Ireland to the tune of 6.5 million in 2016 and has gone on to win both European and national awards, also placing 2nd at the World travel awards behind Peru site Macchu Pichhu.

Island manager John Crotty has seen the visitors number triple in the last 2 years and says the hope now is to attract over 100.000 visitors annually as the site looks to add to its offering. “The progress has been fantastic and we are close to adding that second ferry which will allow us to build another significant visitor attraction in the south of Ireland. Its well established that history rich sites of scale like Spike Island play an important role in the holiday making decisions of foreign visitors, and we want to satisfy their need for a world class cultural experience and encourage more visitors to the area”.

Presently visitors to the island can see the 1840’s famine era prison, the 1980’s prison, Ireland’s largest artillery gun park and a new ‘Ring of Spike’ scenic walking trail.

A new addition planned for April 2019 is the ‘Independence’ attraction, a journey through Ireland’s road from rebellion to independence covering 1914 – 1921. Up to 1400 war of independence prisoners were held on Spike Island in 1921 as the fortress became a prison for the 3rd time in 300 years, with their story being told through original autograph books and imagery

“We hope to create a distinct time line from the rising and formation of the state to the creation of the Irish Defence forces”, said Island manger John Crotty. “The War of Independence is just one of several projects underway for the 2019 season, with a ‘Ring of Spike’ walking trail and a ‘Shivs and Shanks’ exhibition just part of our new offering”.

The island is reopened this weekend for weekends and half-terms in February, March and April, before 7 day opening returns May to September, booking via www.spikeislandcork.ie

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Cobh Community Centre give generous donation to St. Vincent De Paul

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The cheque of €500 was presented to St. Vincent de Paul on Tuesday evening at the Community Centre. It was part of the proceeds from the Centre’s ‘Christmas Variety Concert’. John Coleman, Chairman of the Cobh Community Centre, thanked all the groups that performed at the concert last December, including nearby colleges St. Mary’s National School, Bunscoil Rinn an Chabhlaigh and Scoil Iosaef. Members of the Fundraising Committee – Manager, Gwen O’Halloran, Majella Smith, Martin O’Leary and Catherine Jefferson – also expressed their appreciation for the spirited and uplifting performances that were given last December by the Children’s Theatre, the Cope Foundation Day Unit, Pop & Rock and the Carrigtwohill Gospel Choir. Thanking the Cobh Community Centre, Liz O’Driscoll and Aine O’Regan from St. Vincent de Paul said, “Our charity receives much focus around Christmas time, which is a great thing, but our work is ongoing, year-round. Therefore, donations at this time of year are especially important to us.”

The Chairman used the presentation of the cheque to St. Vincent de Paul to announce ambitious plans to increase the usage of the Centre’s many and varied facilities. John noted, “Cobh Community Centre has great potential for hosting a variety of both community and commercial activities as well as training sessions. We offer convenience plus first-class facilities. That’s a package that’s hard to top! We are also constantly expanding and upgrading our classes and events. So, there is something here for everyone in the Cobh community…the Centre literally does what it says on the tin!”

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