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Interesting Facts

Eventhough Ireland is a small island and Cork is an even smaller part, I bet you did’nt  know …

The Sea…
– Cork Harbour is said to be the second largest natural harbour in the world after Sydney Harbour.
– Cork has the oldest Yacht Club in the World founded in 1720.
– The first motor boat race in the world (The Harmsworth Cup) was held in Cork in 1903.
– The first Steamship to cross the Atlantic (The Sirius) left Cobh in 1838 (It took 18 days).
– In 1912, Cobh was the Titanic’s last port of call.
– The Irish government declared the coastal waters of Ireland a whale and dolphin sanctuary during  the early 1990’s. The first of its kind in Europe. Whale watching off the coast of Cork is said to be the best in Europe with Humpback, Fin & Minke whales regularly seen in addition to many species of dolphin & seals.

Historically did you know…
– While Cork has it’s City Charter over 800 years, there has been a settlement here since about 700AD (nobody bothered to write down the exact date at the time!)
– In the 18th century, Cork had the largest butter market in the world. (bet your impressed)
– Legend has it that a certain Marie Louisa Murphy (of Murphy’s Stout fame) had caught the eye of King – Louis XV of France. She became his mistress and money she sent back to Ireland helped start the brewing business we all know & love in Cork.
– The first factory The Ford Motor Company built outside the USA was in Cork. The city duly became the largest tractor manufacturer in the world for a time in the 1920’s.
– Sir Walter Raleigh is said to have planted the first potato in Ireland near his home in Youghal around 1588.
– The World’s first Steeplechase (type of horse race) was run in 1752 between the two steeples of Doneraile & Buttevant in Cork.
– The first Temperance Society (abstaining from alcohol) in Europe was started in Skibbereen in West Cork in 1833. It has duly been succeeded by Skibbereen’s 26 well patronised pubs!
– Elizabeth St Leger from Doneraile is the only woman to ever be initiated in to the Freemasons (around 1710).

If your impressed so far, keep reading and learn about some of Cork’s interesting towns…
– If Cork is known as the Gourmet Capital of Ireland then Kinsale is its crown jewel.
– Dursey Island off the coast of the Beara Peninsula has Ireland’s only cable-car. It is licensed to carry 3 people and 1 cow!
– St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh has the largest Carillon Bells in Ireland or the UK (49 bells).
– Kissing the Blarney Stone (located a short distance from Cork City) is said to bestow great eloquence or the ‘Gift of the Gab’.
– Midleton is proud to be the home of the World’s Biggest Pot Still for making whiskey. It has a capacity of 31,618 gallons. – More than enough for any good party!
– Adrigole in pretty west Cork is where the global ban on CFC’s began.
– All Cork’s main thoroughfares are built on covered over river channels.
– The 13 arch bridge in the pretty village of Glanworth which was built in the mid-15th century structure, is said to be the narrowest and oldest public bridge in everyday use in Europe.
– The Fastnet Rock, Ireland’s most southerly point was the last point of Ireland emigrants from Cobh to the USA would see and was known as the ‘Teardrop of Ireland’.
– The Fastnet gives its name to a classic yacht race from the Isle of Wight to Fastnet Rock and back to Plymouth. (615 miles/ 990Kms). In 1979, 17 people lost their lives in violent storms during the race.

Famous Cork People…
– Roy Keane of Manchester United
– Denis Irwin Manchester United
– Sonia O Sullivan Athlete
– Dervla O Rourke Athlete
– Marcus O Sullivan Athlete
– Ronan O Gara, Munster & Ireland
– Peter Stringer, Munster & Ireland
– Donncha O Callaghan, Munster & Ireland

– William Penn founder of Pennsylvania.
– Richard ‘Boss’ Croker. Head of Tammany Hall, New York.
– Tim Healy, First Governor General of Ireland in 1922 was from Bantry.
– One of Ireland’s best ever Prime Ministers Jack Lynch was from Cork.
– John F Kennedy’s great grandfather came from West Cork.
– The Nationalist Leader ‘Michael Collins’ during the War of Independence and Civil War, was from Clonakilty.

– Cillian Murphy, Hollywood Actor
– Johathan Rhys Meyers, Hollywood Actor
– Graham Norton, TV personality
– Henry Ford’s (of Ford motor cars) ancestors hailed from Cork.
– George Boole. Invented Boolean Algebra which paved the way for computers and web search engines.
– His daughter Lucy was the first ever Chemistry professor in Ireland or the UK.
– Annie Moore was the first person processed through Ellis Island in New York.
– Noah’s niece (of the flood fame) Cesaire apparently landed in Bantry 40 years before the great flood with 150 hand maidens and 3 men and liked the place so much they stayed.

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