Cork Day - Gimmick or goldmine?
A Cork City councillor has suggested a rather unique way for emigrants and natives of Cork to celebrate their special place in the global community.
Deputy Lord Mayor Emmet O'Halloran has called for a Cork Day to be introduced to "celebrate all things about the region."
“Many people have left Cork in recent times and I believe that the people of the area should have a special day that allows them to celebrate their unique culture and heritage," said Cllr O'Halloran.
"We have seen how other regions across the world do the same and why should Cork be any different? We have seen how the celebration of Arthur’s Day every year by Diageo has resulted in millions of euro of free global publicity. In offices and building sites around the world there are literally millions of people with a connection to the city and county in some way. An annual celebration of Cork Day could result in this large group reconnecting with Cork which could in time increase awareness about what the region has to offer to work colleagues and friends."
Cllr O'Halloran suggested an online poll could be conducted to see which day would suit best for people, with some internet commentators suggesting the feast day of St Finbarr, 25 September.
“It's about getting people to be imaginative and to reach out the global audience by saying Cork is welcoming and open for business. Here’s what’s great about our city and county why not come and visit?”
However, Sinn Féin councillor Chris O'Leary has cast doubt on the point of holding such a day.
"Surely we already celebrate Cork when we hold festivals here?" questioned Cllr O'Leary.
"I acknowledge this could be an opportunity to bring people into the city but I suggested at a recent committee meeting, that we extend the Culture night into a weekend. That was shot down with scorn poured upon it."
Cllr O'Leary also stated that the whole idea had the feel of a "gimmick."
"We saw this with the Cork Passport last year, which is a nice gimmick but we should be doing more to build on festivals we have here. We have the Freedom of the City which could be used as a celebration of Cork. I see this as a Fine Gael attempt to build on The Gathering, which people haven't really bought into for 2013."
Cllr O'Leary also questioned whether a Cork Day would mean children off school or a recognised bank holiday at a time when employers are expecting more and more from workers before adding cheekily, "Sure don't we celebrate Cork when we win the All-Ireland?"
The suggestion comes less than a year on from Cllr O'Halloran's colleague, Cllr Laura McGonigle's proposal to establish a Cork Passport. With these small secessional skirmishes beginning to grow from the Southern parliamentarians, along with national coverage, one reporter hopes that the Taoiseach doesn't turn his abolitionist gaze from the Seanad and focus on Cork!