The ‘Ring of Cork’ includes Cobh, Midleton, Youghal, Carrigaline, and Ballincollig and their surrounding areas. The initiative is being supported by the South and East Cork Area Development organisation (SECAD), as well as the town councils of Cobh, Midleton and Youghal.
“This is a very positive development for the south and east Cork area, and will serve to attract national and international visitors to this region, which has so much to offer,” he said. The Ring of Cork is particularly important as it encourages visitors to explore this ring of Cork from wonderful sites of cultural importance, marine activities, scenic trips, festivals and family activities, to great food and fun.”
“Not only will the Ring of Cork promote the many wonderful tourism sites, attractions, festivals, food and craft fairs of the South and East Cork region, but it also provides a brand which links the whole area,” said Ryan Howard, CEO of SECAD. “This will benefit all the towns, and encourage tourism across this region. The Titanic Experience, Fota Wildlife Park, Ballymaloe, Trabolgan Holiday Village and may other well-known attractions have joined the Ring of Cork.
“Much work has already been done by South and East Cork Tourism, and by the wonderful attractions, hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and hospitality and leisure facilities in this area. The Ring of Cork will continue to support these organisations, by delivering marketing campaigns, financial assistance and development grants to tourist related organisations in the region”.
The new Ring of Cork website will promote the area online, while the 100 Festivals will be the first initiative funded by the Ring of Cork to attract visitors to the area in the coming months.
Wonderful Heritage Brochure Reveals Youghal’s Fascinating Past
- By Christy Parker
A NEW SOUVENIR BOOKLET tracing Youghal’s rich heritage is set to inform and delight visitors to the town. For that matter it makes a wonderful reading inducement for locals as well, it being a fair bet that most of us traverse our local streets as oblivious to the historical significance of our surroundings as a bookie to a begging bowl.
Youghal Heritage Trail was researched and written by historian, retired headmaster, marathon cyclist and all round knowledgeable bloke, Kieran Groeger. “The idea for the book arose when representatives from the Youghal 4 All group and the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism tour guide training, particularly with a view to greeting coach tours, some months ago,” Kieran explains. “The Chamber asked me to prepare some scripts and over time it evolved into booklet material that is, I hope, a helpful accompaniment and souvenir for tourists taking the town’s Heritage Walk.” The budget behind the six-week enterprise, he adds, was “precisely nothing but time and effort.”
The work comprises 28 pages of intriguing facts, legends and anecdotes detailing centuries of deaths, births, marriages, skulduggery, revolt, conspiracies, achievements, tragedies, disasters, treachery, more marriages, slaughter, farce, greed, ambition, failure, yet more murders, unbelievable cruelty, revenge, religion, hope and survival with a cast ranging from nobility to poor, famous to infamous, stranger to invader, traitor to local; our ancestors basically. Youghal, the reader may surmise having read it, has quietened down a lot.
Delivered throughout in a chatty, informal, colloquial style, the wonderfully illustrated booklet leads us from the Market Square (Page 3) through the town and back to the Mall Arts Centre/Town Hall (Page 28) En route we encounter such notable (or notorious) company as Youghal ‘witch’ Florence Newton, Suffragette Anna Haslam, Fr. Peter O’Neill, Walter Raleigh, Cromwell, the Red House ghost, the Quakers, Danny ‘Dúis’ McCarthy, the Boyle family and Shakespeare. Oh, and Pat Lynch of –and because of- Fox’s Lane Museum. They pages pause to consider landmarks like the old Courthouse, St. Mary’s Collegiate Chapel, the Priory, Myrtle Grove, the Town Walls, the Alms Houses and St. Mary’s Catholic Church. The reader further encounters Youghal Lace, the civil war, duels, floggings, hangings and soup kitchens. There are small advertisements too, from times and places long past, to remind us how Youghal once echoed to the quaint and curious.
Within the generalisations lie gems of beguilement such as these:
• The Courthouse was built during the Great Famine (there were other, lesser famines too) as part of Relief Works for people to earn money to buy food.
• Gulliver’s Travels author Dean Swift lived in Youghal occasionally.
• In 1302 local merchant John Don had his wife’s lover Stephen O’Regan captured and castrated. O’Reagan sued for “loss of yearnings,” won the case and was awarded £20.
• Youghal nuns and 60 skilled lace makers worked, -in pre-electricity times- for a combined total of 90,020 hours to make the train Coronation dress train for Queen Mary in 1911. It was considered “the most magnificent example of Irish needlepoint lace ever seen.”
• Floggings took place at the Clock Gate. A whip usually comprised nine pieces of leather with little knots. Following the 1798 rebellion particularly, hundreds, or even thousands, of lashes might be administered, “each pulling a bit of skin off the body.” The screams would echo throughout the town. Women and children were tied to the back of a cart and dragged through the streets and flogged to the beat of a little drummer boy.
• Two friends, Anthony Watters and Hercules Langrishe fought a duel after arguing over a sugar bowl at breakfast. Watters killed Langrishe but they are buried side by side in St. Mary’s Collegiate Church. Duels took place outside town –at the Ferry Point, Rhincrew and Clifden.
• In 1709 a Mr Spratt a renowned troublemaker called Mr Spratt was thrown off the town walls and killed while very drunk. Several people were tried for his murder. Two said they would have liked to have killed him but another said he had followed the deceased’s brother for two miles and “would have murdered him too if he had been able to overtake him.” All were acquitted.
• The Red House ghost is considered a gentle spirit who “leaves people with a sense of well- being and peace.” Occasionally she also allegedly tidies up and lays out people’s clothing for the next day.
• The Alms Houses doors are so small because Richard Boyle, who had them constructed, wanted people to bow in recognition that they were poor.
• Boyle was “repulsive, greedy, unbelievably wealthy” and the father of 16 children, some of whom he didn’t see for years on end. He arranged marriages for his daughters from the age of six and had them shipped off to her prospective in-laws!
• The Quakers meeting house is in Ashe Street near St. Mary’s Catholic Church. One of the Suffragette’s founding members was Youghal-born Quaker Anna Haslam (nee Fisher). Living very nearby was Fr. Keller, a jailed hero who fought the Protestant landlords against unfair rents and won. Keller absolutely loathed suffragettes.
• William Shakespeare “probably” visited Youghal as his theatre company three times travelled from Bristol to perform here. He was also a friend of Walter Raleigh and of the poet Edmund Spencer, who both lived here. A former harbour Master of Youghal was one Thomas “Shakespere” from Bristol.
• In 1921, in Youghal: there were five trains running daily to Cork; a ferry every half hour to Ferrypoint; a butter market every Saturday; a livestock market once a month; two picture palaces; 12 hotels; 15 bakers; Hot Sea and Turkish baths at the Mall; War of Independence raids on houses; an IRA bomb that killed seven and injured 25 unarmed bandsmen from the 2nd Hampshire Regiment as they marched down the New Line towards Claycastle.
• A selection of “Small Ads from Times Past” requests ‘A young Protestant and needle woman of strict honesty, sobriety, good temper and cleanliness’ to mind four children. There is notice given also that Paddy Maher’s “Select” Bar (now the Point) stocked “Only Drinks of the Highest Quality!”
• On this page too, readers/visitors are urged, “Don’t leave without meeting Bill French (Church Street), local guide and historian. Conducted tours to places of historic interest by appointment.” And that, I suppose is what is called coming full circle.
Youghal Heritage Trail –Souvenir Booklet is available from Cree’s and Youghal Tourist Office. Price: €4.
Any comments or queries etc. to the author: Dr. Kieran Groeger, M.Ed.
Youghal (English pronunciation; Irish: Eochaill, meaning “yew wood”) is a seaside resort town in County Cork, Ireland. Sitting on the estuary of the River Blackwater, in the past it was militarily and economically important. Being built on the edge of a steep riverbank, the town has a distinctive long and narrow layout. At the 2002 census the population was 6,597, but the population of its catchment area is about 10,000.
An impression of Youghal Uploaded by 24drudge on Aug 12, 2011
American Couple Follow Internet Trail To Youghal – By Christy Parker
A RETIRED AMERICAN COUPLE are considering settling in Youghal after discovering the town during their internet research for a place to live in Ireland. A combination of lower house rents and a chance encounter with the work of photographer Bob Rock inspired Peter and Rindy O’Brien to spend two weeks on holiday here and experience personally what the town has to offer. The couple, who stayed in Harvey’s Dock during their trip, endured atrocious weather during their visit but say they are returning home with the warmest of memories amidst deep consideration of returning permanently.
The O’Brien’s have ancestral ties to Ireland and hope to establish a base here from which to explore Europe. Having married in their late teens, they both spent time in southwest Germany during the late 1960’s where Peter was during a three year army stint. He spent the third year in Vietnam. They have returned to northern Europe several times and have also on four occasions visited Ireland where, Rindy says, “we feel very comfortable; very much at home.”
Both native New Yorkers, Peter was a car mechanic by trade, while Rindy worked most of her live as a secretary and accountant. After the couple settled first in Boston and then Maine, Rindy opened a yarn store, which she closed in 2009 as their travelling began. She still teaches spinning, knitting and crochet, lending further endearment towards Ireland.
During 18 months of trawling property site daft.ie, the O’Brien’s found Youghal repeatedly offering more homes and cheaper rent than most places. Further research confirmed their thoughts that a building and industry collapse –as had occurred in the States- had combined produce a situation that, from their perspective held something of a silver lining.
Delving deeper they were soon immersed in the messages of youghalonline.com as they became increasingly interested in the town. It was slightly surreal last week to find two such visitors refer nonchalantly to the local garda reports and the on-goings of Youghal 4 All with such a sense of familiarity!
Then Rindy clicked on the advertisement for Bob Rock’s photo gallery. Quick as a flash, so to speak, she was transported to Youghal as presented by the enchanting interpretations of the veteran photographer. It happens also, that Peter is a very keen amateur photographer and Rindy depicted a strong resonance. “Though Bob predominantly features seascapes, they both have a very similar approach and style,” she says. “I told Peter he simply had to see those pictures.” Peter, having been reared on the New York coastline, was smitten “I felt he was seeing what I was seeing,” he enthuses “I thoroughly enjoyed his work; the way he captured the atmosphere of early morning, the manner in which he shoots low over the waves and brings in detail from the margins. It’s wonderful.”
Not ones to let an opportunity fade, the O’Briens wrote to Bob and his wife Terese. The Rocks replied, correspondence flowed and the affinity was strengthened when finally they met in person a fortnight ago. If Youghal in reality measured up to the photos, Bob and Teresa’s company no less matched the warmth of their letters. “We had a lovely, lovely time. They are wonderful people,” says Peter emphatically.
The empathy was to extend to a near incredible proportions. Peter –who has dual US/Irish citizenship- traces his maternal ancestry to the Duignan’s in Roscommon. It transpired that Bob Rock’s ancestry has an identical connection, suggesting that it isn’t impossible that the men are distantly related! (Peter’s paternal forefathers were McNabo’s from Longford and Rindy’s Scots/Irish roots are traceable to Whitty’s in Wexford). It isn’t impossible that the families are distantly relatet unPeter and Rindy’s daughter, Braylyn, 30, more recently began using a camera and was to have a natural propensity for excellence. “Some things are just inherent,” Rindy states
Ireland and Youghal
Having resided in both urban and rural landscapes in America, the O’Brien’s trips to Ireland have mirrored those perspectives with forays to major cities interspersing their coastal and countryside explorations. “Nowhere have I ever seen such varied and unusual topography as that reflected in the Burrenn the Cliffs of Moher and all along the west coast,” observes Rindy. “Then down here you have fantastic scenery with Youghal beach, the cliff walks at Ballycotton and Ardmore and on down towards the Copper Coast. It’s beautiful even in the rain!”
They found disappointment too. “I was very disillusioned to find only acrylic yarn in the Blarney Woollen Mills outlet in Dublin city,” Mindy reveals. “That’s just ridiculous. Also in Youghal,” she continues, “there seems to be only two varieties of local postcard.”
On a positive side, they considered –perhaps surprisingly – Irish roads to “very good” and our drivers “courteous and sharp.” They practically adored Irish roundabouts! “We don’t have them much in America,” Peter reflected, “and most people hate them!” Getting slightly lost on a roundabout on exiting Shannon, they were amused to find another American couple circling in their wake as they sought out the signpost they wanted for a few revolutions! Ah yes, one remembers, Homer Simpson had difficulties too….
Back in the negative zone, the visitors were surprised to find that the assistant in the tourist office had neither an Irish accent nor much by way of local knowledge. “She was very pleasant but couldn’t tell us where to catch the bus!”, Rindy laughs. “I don’t want to prejudge, but do they get trained, or take the heritage trail and such?”
A more enriching encounter concerned Rindy’s visit to the Wednesday morning Youghal Lace workshop in the library. (CLICK HERE for more on Youghal Lace making) “We were made to feel so welcome”, she recalls. “I was at home there, having been a spinner for many years and still teaching it and selling the merchandise. It was a lovely place to be.” Sad that spinning is no longer widely practiced in Ireland and feels it an unnecessary exclusion. “I brought a small spinning wheel to the Beara Peninsula on a previous trip and gave a demonstration in a school,” she relates. “The children had not seen spinning before but were exceptionally polite, interested and asked very intelligent questions about it. It should never be allowed to die out.”
Youghal -its scenery, heritage and “the exceptionally friendly people- wore it’s most welcoming smile as it reached out to the two rain-coated visitors last week. Thinking aloud over a coffee in Moby Dick’s they measure the percentages of moving here. One unexpected “possible deal breaker” emerged. “We’d be a bit concerned about the ambulance being taken away,” Rindy revealed. Some reassurances later, they accepted that should that eventuality evolve, the likelihood of bodies piling high on the street was minimal. They spoke of a highly trained volunteer back-up ambulance system that seems to compensate for deficiencies in the regular service across Maine and, presumably, America. If only James Reilly drank in Moby Dicks.
As the rain spotted them leave the building en route to a drive to Wexford, it took a deep breath and unleashed an even heavier downpour on top of the two already in torrential progress. I bet they can’t wait to return here for good.
Deenihan Initiates Revival of Heritage Towns
Youghal Chosen to Pilot New Heritage Towns Initiative
Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, hosted a significant forum, (Thursday 26th April 2012) involving a range of groups, to kick-start the development of a new Historic Towns Initiative for Ireland.
The forum was designed to stimulate an active debate and discussion between key stakeholders to outline how a new Historic Towns Initiative could work and to seek agreement on a way forward for a pilot scheme to test the initiative. Addressing the forum were representatives from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Heritage Council, Fáilte Ireland, the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government and other stakeholders.
The main outcome of this forum has been the agreement to pilot a new Heritage Towns Initiative in three towns this year: Youghal (Cork), Westport (Mayo) and Listowel (Kerry). The Heritage Council and Fáilte Ireland will be the lead implementation partners working with the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
The core aim of the Heritage Towns Initiative will be to conserve and protect and find new uses where required for the built heritage of the participating historic towns whilst also maximising the economic value of tourism in each location. The Heritage Towns Initiative will promote heritage-led urban regeneration policies which are increasingly common throughout Europe. A number of international projects have been completed which will provide useful case studies for Ireland in establishing this pilot scheme and which also demonstrate the heritage and economic potential that exists in schemes of this type.
Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht commented: “Ireland’s historic towns are a significant attraction for visitors to this country who have an interest in culture and heritage. The Programme for Government recognises the importance of promoting cultural tourism, and the conservation and protection of the architectural heritage assets in our historic towns is vitally important in establishing and developing a quality tourism product.”
“The pilot of the Heritage Towns Initiative will aim to preserve existing heritage assets, stimulate heritage-led regeneration and add to the tourism offering of these locations. The needs of the communities that live in participating towns will remain core to the process.”
“Fáilte Ireland and the Heritage Council will now commence working on the introduction of this pilot scheme in these three towns. I look forward to seeing this pilot scheme in place and – pending its successful implementation – rolling out this initiative in more locations across Ireland.”
Related Video: Archaeological Discovery at Church Street, Youghal
Launch Of Kieran Groeger’s Youghal Heritage Trail Souvenir Booklet
Message from author Kieran Groeger:
The idea behind the publication was a coming together of two groups who each wanted to offer tourists a professional, entertaining tour of Youghal, taking in the stories, the events, the people who helped create the town today.
A number of people took part in training to become tour guides.
The Chamber of Commerce and Tourism asked for a “script” and bit by bit the idea of a booklet emerged as a souvenir for the tourists doing the Heritage Walk around the town.
I was asked to create the script and the little publication is the result of the work. It was a bit of a one man show – low budget, in fact no budget! Anyway it eventually saw the light of day.
Thanks to all who helped create it!
Three towns selected for heritage project
Youghal, Westport and Listowel have been chosen to pilot a new heritage project which involves conserving buildings and maximising their tourism potential.
The Historic Towns Initiative for Ireland will be introduced in other locations if these projects are successful.
The plan is being led by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Heritage Council and Fáilte Ireland.
Work will now begin in the three towns in Cork, Mayo and Kerry to conserve and protect buildings and find new uses for them where necessary.
Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan hosted a forum yesterday to kick-start the plan.
The forum heard that a number of international heritage-led urban regeneration projects had been completed and would provide useful case studies for Ireland.
Mr Deenihan said Ireland’s historic towns were “a significant attraction” for tourists with an interest in culture and heritage.
“The pilot of the Heritage Towns Initiative will aim to preserve existing heritage assets, stimulate heritage-led regeneration and add to the tourism offering of these locations,” Mr Deenihan said.
“The needs of the communities that live in participating towns will remain core to the process,” he added.
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Murals On The Wall Enhance Car Park – By Christy Parker
MOTORISTS using Catherine Street car park will notice a pleasant improvement to the immediate landscape thanks to a series of artworks by Youthreach being deployed at the facility. The five ‘mini murals’ hanging at the cap park’s rear wall compliment sublimely the site’s newly whitewashed surface and are an eye-catching attraction to those visiting or bypassing the vicinity.
Adopting the theme ‘Youghal Heritage’ each painting presents a site of historic prominence in the town along with a brief summary of its location and significance. The sites chosen are: St. Mary’s Collegiate Church, St. John’s Priory, the Clock Gate, Water Gate (Cromwell’s Arch) and the Town Walls. The river and other surrounding details are also depicted in the works.
Youghal Mayor Eoin Coyne says the paintings “brighten up the car park and are a very attractive addition to Youghal’s tourism profile.” He adds, “They were part of a Youthreach project supported by Youghal Town Council two years ago and were held in storage until the car park was painted cleaned and ready to serve as a display centre.”
Town Clerk Liam Ryan echoes the mayor’s views. “On behalf of the town council I compliment everyone associated with Youthreach on their work and their excellent contribution towards improving the overall landscape of the Catherine Street area,” he says.
Click on image to enlarge:
Funding To The Fore For Youghal Town Council Municipal Heritage Policy Committee -By Christy Parker
GRANT APPLICATIONS totalling €20,000 are being made by Youghal’s Municipal Heritage Policy Committee are outlined in the report on the committee’s March meeting. The areas concerned pertain to the Town Walls, the Clock Gate and a summer ‘pop-up museum’ concurrent with the 2012 Medieval Day celebrations.
The figures were included in Youghal Town Councillor Liam Burke’s furnished report to the March sitting of Youghal Town Council meeting, which contained the following details:
A grant application for €60,000 was made to the Heritage Council to cover repairs to the Montmorenci section (Raheen Road) of the walls and the demolition of a nearby derelict shop.
An application for €110,000 grant aid was made to SECAD in lieu of conservation work on the structure’s exterior. Tenders have been reseived, with work set to commence shortly. On completion, further funding will be sought to fit out the interior, hopefully in 2013, with re-opening anticipated for 2014.
St. Mary’s Collegiate Church:
Rewiring, roof repairs, a new vestry kitchen and other minor works are on-going. It hoped that funds will become available for restoration work on the Boyle Tomb. The Heritage Council has agreed to grant assist a conservation and management plan.
Grant Applications 2012: A successful grant application has been made to Heritage Council in relation to a Youghal Heritage Trail walking audio guide app. The app will be downloaded free on iPhone and Android appliances. Unfortunately an application towards funding a final sign depicting the British helicopter crash of 1950 and an orientation panel, by way of completing the Graveyard Trail, was unsuccessful.
Regeneration work in the form of repaving outside the Market House with limestone slabs is in progress (since completed).
Links with Third Level Institutions:
Following the successful 2010/11link with the architectural department of Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), a link has now been established with Cork Institute of Technology, whose students will conduct research on Youghal’s independent heritage tourism visitors. The study will seek to discover how such tourists learn of Youghal, with a view to greater targeting of the market.
Summer Pop-up Museum:
Further to the Youghal Medieval Day on August 19th, it is hoped to establish a pop-up museum on the main street throughout the summer. The Dundalk Viking Exhibition has been made available for display in May and June, with a maritime exhibition proposed to follow thereafter. A €3,000 grant has been secured, but another similar amount is needed to bring the project to fruition. This presents Youghal Town Council with an opportunity to make an allocation towards the project from the heritage funding it has already approved in its 2012 budget.
Work is on-going on the Youghal Historical Town Atlas which it is hoped to have completed and published in 2013.
CIT Students to Focus on Youghal’s Heritage Tourism Product
Youghal’s heritage tourism product offering is set to be the subject of intense scrutiny in the coming months as a group of 3rd Year Tourism Students from Cork Institute of Technology (C.I.T) undertake a major research study on the profile of the Youghal’s independent heritage tourism visitors. The study is set to get underway on Wednesday 29th February as the students undertake their first fact-finding mission to the town. The project will be undertaken in association with The Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group and is a further development of the relationship which is being nurtured between the 3rd Level Institution and Youghal.
The purpose of the project is to determine how best to capitalise on and exploit the heritage product (built and natural) in Youghal to the benefit of all tourism providers in the area. In recent years there has been a huge effort in developing and investing in Youghal’s heritage tourism product which has been led by Youghal Town Council in partnership with The Heritage Council of Ireland. The challenge for Youghal now lies in marketing this quality product to this specific targeted market.
Speaking in advance of the commencement of the study, Dr. Aisling Ward of the Tourism and Hospitality Department of CIT commented: “Following the initial exploratory project embarked upon by a group of third year CIT tourism students last year, a new group of students are currently working on the second installment of this project. The emphasis of the project this year relates to the enhancement, promotion and marketing of the heritage product in Youghal. This is a great opportunity for both the students and the town itself,” said Dr. Ward. “The students benefit through getting hands-on experience of a destination marketing project, while Youghal will benefit from the research gathered by the students, their creativity and insightfulness”.
Welcoming the upcoming research undertaking, Aileen Murray of The Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group spoke about the focus of the research. “Over the past number of years Youghal has seen significant investment in its heritage product offering; including in signage, the on-going works to the town walls, the heritage painting scheme and soon to be the re-opening of The Clockgate. These have begun to pay dividends with the securing of a number of escorted tour series like CIE Tours International to Youghal for guided tours. However, we are aware that a significant number of visitors travel to Youghal independently to experience the town’s heritage for themselves and stay longer than many of the escorted tours. These are the higher spending visitor and we want to attract more of this type of visitor to our town. This study will seek to develop the profile of this independent visitor, and understand just how they are finding out about Youghal, and in turn seek to target more of them.” said Aileen. I’m sure that the tourism product providers will welcome the students and assist them as they seek to provide us with this invaluable source of information”.
Research will be conducted through liaising with all accommodation providers in the area, with a particular focus on the visitor characteristics including nationality, length of stay, holiday activities, age, travel party, method of booking etc. The students will present their findings to the Board of Directors of The Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group and will include creative recommendations for the promotion and marketing of Youghal as a heritage tourism destination.
Issued by: The Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group
Contact: Aileen Murray, Tel: 024-81814 or 086-1703128 E: email@example.com
Manager, Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group,
7-10 Enterprise Youghal,
Tel: 00 353 24 81814
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