HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH, the Duchess of Cornwall will visit Cork’s English Market, and Cork City Hall this morning and the Crawford Art Gallery later tonight for an official dinner celebrating British-Irish ties.
The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald said: “The strong and ever strengthening relationship between both of our countries is at the heart of today’s Royal visit. Cork has a very special relationship with the UK. One third of our overseas visitors to Cork hail from the UK. Meanwhile, the UK is the second largest single country for Irish goods and the largest for our services. And most of all, there isn’t a person in this country or city who doesn’t have a son, daughter, brother or sister, uncle or aunt living across the water”.
At Cork City Hall, the Royal couple will meet up to 150 invited guests who will attend the Lord Mayor’s reception. ‘The Young Offenders’ writer and director, Peter Foote and his wife ‘The Young Offenders’ actress, Hillary Rose and chef, Rachel Allen from Ballymaloe House are amongst the guests who will showcase Cork and Ireland’s innovation and success in the fields of sports, arts, culture, sustainability, finance, business and IT.
- The Prince of Wales and HRH the Duchess of Cornwall will meet with the likes of three time All Ireland medal winner, the camogie player and mental health advocate, Aisling Thompson, Olympian Rob Heffernan and representatives from the Royal Cork Yacht Club, based in Crosshaven, the oldest yacht club in the world.
- The Royal couple will also meet with some of the city’s great innovators such as James Whelton from Coder Dojo, who set up the first ever Coder Dojo club here in Cork. Now it is a global network of computer programming clubs that has offers free coding classes to tens of thousands of children internationally. He will also meet with founding members of iWish, the annual showcase event set up in Cork to inspire, encourage and motivate young girls to pursue careers in Science Technology Engineering and Maths. It brings thousands of teenage girls to the RDS and Cork City Hall every year.
- Representatives from the Cork arts community will also be at the Lord Mayor’s Reception – including from the internationally acclaimed Cork Jazz Festival, the Midsummer Festival (which is underway at present ) and from the independent theatre company, Corcadorca -who for 25 years have been bringing site specific theatre to Cork and the world and woke us up to the prodigious talent of the actor, Cillian Murphy and playwright Enda Walsh.
- Leading lights in the field of environmentalism and food sustainability will also be present —— including Professor Colin Sage, who heads the Cork Food Policy, and who at the World Food Day Feast in Fitzgerald’s Park this year fed 700 people from food grown in allotments and community food projects across the city. Kieran Lettice, from Energy Cork, is also in attendance. Cork is widely regarded as Ireland’s Energy Hub – it is the centre of energy supply, research and innovation in Ireland with facilities such as the UCC-run Beaufort Research Facility and MaREI Centre at Ringaskiddy leading marine renewable energy research internationally .
Tonight’s official dinner will take place at the Crawford Art Gallery. The Crawford Art Gallery is housed in one of the most important historic buildings in Cork, parts of which date back to the early eighteenth century.
It holds many Royal connections. Its renowned collection of Canova Casts was presented by the Prince Regent (later King George IV) in October 1818. A portrait of the Prince Regent, by the Cork-born artist James Barry and entitled The Prince of Wales in the Guise of St George (c.1789), forms part of the Crawford Art Gallery collection.
At the Crawford, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will be joined by the Lord Mayor, Tanáiste, British Ambassador, representatives from the world of arts, culture and education and leading Irish business people with interests in the UK. This dinner will celebrate the enduring relationship between Great Britain and Ireland.