Journalists from The Advocate and Out Traveler, the biggest gay publications in the US, spent the weekend in Cork, along with Diva Magazine from the UK. The group were fully immersed in Ireland’s Maritime Haven. This follows on from another recent visit by Display Magazine, a gay Swiss publication, in March.
The press trip was instigated by Visit Cork to promote Cork as an inclusive destination with a significant LGBT heritage. The aim is to motivate potential visitors to choose Cork as a destination to visit.
The trip was led by Ursula Morrish from Visit Cork, which is an initiative of the City and County Councils, in association with the local LGBT organisations, LINC, CGP, and the LGBT Archive. Namely, Senator Jerry Buttimer, former Mr Gay Ireland, Konrad Im, Miss Gay Cork, Stephanie Fogarty, Kate Moynihan from LINC (Lesbians in Cork), Padraig Rice, the coordinator of Cork Gay Project, Siobhan O Dowd, Chair LGBT Inter-Agency group, and Orla Egan, Cork LGBT Archive, who are all advocates and activists within the community.
The hosted visit showcased Cork’s recently developed destination brand, Pure Cork, and Cork’s visitor proposition, Ireland’s Maritime Haven. It was highlighted that Cork is ideally situated between two of the best experiences in Ireland – the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East.
Some of the highlights included The English Market, the Victorian Quarter, Nano Nagle Place, the Co-Quay Op, which was established in 1982 as a radical and alternative community project by a collective of gay, feminist, lesbian, environmental and other alternative groups and individuals. It also included the Crawford Art Gallery, the Jameson Experience Midleton, Garnish Island and the Garnish Ferry, Fota Wildlife Park, Kinsale, Kinsale Fab Food Tours, Sovereign Sailing, Cobh, The Titanic Experience, Blarney, and the group went shopping and enjoyed dinner at some of the best restaurants in Cork, including Jacobs, Rachel’s, Jacques, Hayfield Manor and The Ivory Tower. They stayed at the Eccles Hotel, were transported by Cork Chauffeurs Ltd and sampled Cork’s night life at Reardens and Chambers and attended the Linc (Lesbians in Cork) Summer Party.
Commenting on his Pure Cork Adventure, Savas Abadsidis from Out Traveler and The Advocate said: “Cork is a fantastic, safe, LGBT, family-friendly destination for anyone considering a vacation trip – its five-star rated hotels and extraordinary scenic destinations and beaches are a hidden gem.”
Editor of UK lesbian magazine Diva, Carrie Lyell, said: “I had heard lots of great things about Cork, but I was surprised and delighted at just how welcoming it was, especially to the LGBTQ community. Travelling to a new destination as a gay woman, you’re not always sure how open you can be, but everyone we met was incredibly friendly and so kind to us, and Visit Cork went out of their way to make us feel valued. We had a wonderful time, and would definitely recommend Cork as a destination for LGBTQ visitors.”
Former Mr Gay Ireland, Konrad Im, who joined the media over the weekend, commented: “As a former Mr Gay Cork and Ireland, I’m delighted to have been asked to take part in these press trips. I’m a very proud Cork man and I love Cork City and its rich LGBT+ history. These press visits are a great way to show off this impressive history and show how inclusive and diverse us Corkonians are to the rest of the world.”
In addition, Kate Moynihan, the head of LINC in Cork, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Cork and I have to commend Visit Cork in getting such prestigious magazines to visit. I’m really proud to show off our county to the worldwide LGBT community.”
Padraig Rice, the coordinator of Cork Gay Project, was also a huge advocate of the visit. “Cork is a great place for LGBT people to live, work and visit. It’s a city with a welcoming heart and a thriving LGBT community. As the Coordinator of the Cork Gay Project, I’m proud to help showcase what the Cork community has to offer. We are looking forward to welcoming more LGBT visitors from around the world in the years ahead.”
The features will be published over the coming weeks and aims to further establish Cork as the perfect place to immerse yourself and experience the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East.
Furthermore, Cork City Council’s social inclusion group is seeking Rainbow City status for Cork this Summer – a similar idea to the Purple Flag, but this accreditation is for an LGBT-friendly city. The application will be a joint submission with San Francisco, Cork’s sister city.
The new purecork.ie website, which will highlight all to see and do in Cork, will launch in the coming months.