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The Friday View 22/09
It's Culture Night, and it's going to be a capital night. We have a round-up of what's on tonight and for the week ahead.Also, Cork city goes car-free this weekend. Will Council top brass follow suit?
The first car-free day in Cork city in 21 years returns this Saturday. It’s a symbolic victory for campaigners who have been asking the City Council to reinstate the experiment for more than two decades. With only a few streets closed, all in the city centre island, it's symbolic more than anything else, but nonetheless, it’s an interesting experiment. Coincidentally, on Sunday, Douglas Street will be closed to traffic (and open to people) for its annual street festival (see below for more details).
There are over 2.1 million cars on Irish roads. Add in trucks, buses, vans, and the number is somewhere north of 2.6 million vehicles. The population of Ireland is just over 5 million. The car is king, and it’s also one of the main drivers - pardon the pun - of traffic. Emissions from the transport sector accounted for 18% of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2020.
The government and local authorities want to reduce this figure, and car-free days, while they might appear tokenistic, are nonetheless a worthwhile experiment to see what a cityscape feels like with far fewer cars, even if it’s only for half a dozen hours.
The City Council and advocacy groups such as Cork Cycling Campaign are asking people traveling to the city on Saturday to try to use public transport or come by bike as much as possible. Of course, that’s not possible for everyone: private transport will always have an important role to play for disabled people and the elderly.
Symbolism does have an important role to play, especially in garnering media attention when it comes to transport. It’s well-known that a private car company sponsors a car for the Lord Mayor of Cork City each year. It’s a hectic schedule for the incumbent, and no one would argue that the holder doesn’t need a car (and a driver). But, and here comes the "but."
It would send out a positive message if the Lord Mayor, on some of their school visits, would rock up by bus or bike when and where possible. Besides the message it would send to kids, the mayor choosing active travel or public transport over going by car, it would also afford the Lord Mayor an opportunity to test the bus route. It’s not without inherent risks, though: can the Lord Mayor rely on the bus turning up? And if it does, will it be delayed due to traffic? Who knows?
If they’re travelling outside of peak rush hour in the morning, they should be grand*. And if they are a little late, they wouldn’t be the first person to turn up at school with the excuse that they were late because of the bus. Lord Mayor Cllr Kieran McCarthy has really shown himself to be a man of the people with his free walking tours. He could keep it going and prove himself to be a man of the bus-commuting people too. Who knows, he might even inspire City Council executives to do likewise?
Statistic of the week:
€1m was spent on traffic wardens pay in Cork City in 2023, generating €2m in fines according to figures from the Green Party in Cork. Green Party Councillors will be tabling a proposal at the city's budget negotiations for traffic wardens pay to increase by €300,000 to enable wardens to patrol on evenings and weekends, when drivers also break the rules.
Quote of the week: Fair and balanced, but not for cows
“If it can be rerouted through nearby fields and that only upsets a few cows, rather than residents, then we have to look at that. We need more cycle lanes but it has to be done in a fair and balanced way.” Fianna Fail Councillor Colm Kelleher quoted in the Examiner on the Maglin greenway in Ballincollig, which this week has its first phase axed over local objections.
Out+About: Culture Night (all events taking place 22/09)
What does a protein sound like is probably a question you don’t hear asked much, but that doesn’t mean there are those who do think about this topic. At the North Wing in UCC a few tech and music boffs will be putting on a show of music set to molecules for Culture Night. Honestly, we have no idea of what that might look or sound like, but that is the beauty of Culture Night; new, novel and possibly weird encounters.
Time, date, place: 5pm-9pm, North Wing Council Room, UCC
Swifts have a special place on Tripe + Drisheen, so it’s lovely to see that Kieran Dwane from BirdWatch Cork Branch will be holding a talk about the fascinating little birds which spend most of their life on the wing. Kieran’s talk is a practical one and he’ll also be focusing on ways in which we can help to stop their decline. Afterwards, it’ll be very much hands on as Ann Lambe will be leading a workshop on drawing swifts for a mural that’s in progress. Stencils and pens provided. More information here.
Time, date, place: 18:15-19:30 Swift Conservation Talk, 19:30-20:15 Art Workshop, St. Anthony’s BNS Ballinlough
Speed dating in the Crawford Art Gallery (or anywhere) sounds like something o be avoided. However, in their bid to stand out on the crowded Culture Night schedule, the Crawford have cooked up an interesting premise: Turn up at an appointed location for 10 minutes inside the gallery and of their art experts will give you the lowdown on the painting or artwork in question. You can drop in or out anytime you want. Speed Dating the Collection runs from 6:30pm to 9pm. No booking required and full list of “dates” here.
Time, date, place: 6:30pm to 9pm, Crawford Art Gallery, Emmet Place
Gadaí Dubh Bookshop, a secondhand antiquarian bookshop in the Muskerry Gaeltacht village of Baile Mhic Íre will be hosting the artworks of artist Dolores Lyne for culture night. A native of Killarney, Lyne’s work is inspired by letters and books from the War of Independence. Lyne is related to General Liam Lynch, and the Gadaí Dubh was an important place for her research about her relative, and his connection to nearby Baile Bhúirne.
Time, date, place: 2pm-10pm, An Gadaí Dubh, An Príomhsráid, Baile Mhic Íre.
Cork Community Art Link, an arts organisation based around community and participatory art, is best known for staging the Dragon of Shandon Parade. For culture night they will be hosting an open studio event at their base at The Lido in Blackpool. As part of this event, visitors will be able to speak with artists involved with CCAL as well as getting the chance to get involved with community art. Visitors can see and engage with, firsthand, the materials used for the Dragon of Shandon, while there will also be a film screening about the Dragon by UCC students. Pop in and see how art gets done!
Time, date, place: 7pm-10pm, The Lido, Watercourse Road, Blackpool, Cork.
If brass bands are your buzz, Cork has two famous ones, the ‘Buttera’ on the northside and the ‘Barracka’ on the southside, and both will be performing on their home turf as part of Culture Night. The Butter Exchange Brass and Reed Band, founded in 1878 for workers of the old Butter Exchange and based in Shandon, will have an open night in their band room, where visitors will have the chance to see their museum and hear some music.
In the South Parish, the Barrack Street Band was founded in 1838 as a ‘temperance band’. They will be performing on the new stage in Elizabeth Fort, while visitors can also walk the walls for an evening view of the city.
Time, date, place: 7pm-9pm, Butter Exchange Band band room, 48 Dominick Street, Shandon, Cork.
4:30pm-8:30pm, Elizabeth Fort, Barrack Street, Cork.
Hammond’s Marsh is one of the original marshes outside Cork’s ancient walls that was drained to form the Middle Parish, more widely known as the city centre island. The Hammonds were a prominent local family in the early modern period, and a lecture about them, entitled The Interesting Tale of The Hammonds of Cork will tell their story at the Middle Parish Community Centre on Grattan Street. George Patterson, historian and Chairman of the Middle Parish Community Association will be leading the talks which also incorporates projected visuals. You’ll come out of this knowing a bit more about the city!
Time, date, place: Middle Parish Community Centre, 45 Grattan Street, Cork.
The Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh has recently had a strong programme of exhibitions and events in the past few months, collaborating with Sounds From a Safe Harbour and hosting Russian cosmist artist Anton Vidokle. For culture night, they will be hosting two separate events, varying from music to paranormal investigation. At 7pm, singer-songwriter Lewis Barfoot will be performing a musical promenade across the gallery and building, joined by Gabriel Buffa on clarinet and Jordi Sanchez Campanario on ukulele and percussion. Later on in the night, a ticketed paranormal tour about the supposed haunted status of the old yacht club in which the arts centre is situated will take place with Cobh Supernatural Investigators will take place later that night. Tickets and information here.
Time, date, place: 7pm, Sirius Arts Centre, Old Yacht Club, Cobh.
Out+About: (After Culture Night)
Douglas Street is where it’s at this weekend, with the annual Autumnfest street festival returning on Sunday. Pitch’d Circus Festival are bringing On Tish, a performance about a dystopian future by Síolta Circus, to the festival this year, at 3pm. Other performances come from the Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance, with the festival also featuring historical walking tours, Yoga and Wellness at the Red Abbey, Pizza Making workshops, and a Silent Disco at Coughlan’s.
Time, date, place: 12pm-6pm, Sunday September 24, Douglas Street, Cork.
Staying on Douglas Street, Autumnfest coincides with the Coughlan’s Festival, which began last night (Thursday), with the venue bringing some big names for some amazing gigs, some of them free. The free events include the Republic of Loose’s Mik Pyro on Friday at 10pm, with a full band, while the Bonk play on Saturday at 10pm and the Service play on Sunday at 6pm. All other events are sold out. It’ll be a busy weekend in the South Parish!
Time, date, place: Thursday September 21-Monday September 25, Coughlan’s, 7 Douglas Street, Cork.
Test Site are collaborating with the Cork Community Land Trust, as well as Autumnfest, for a weekend filled with information about what the Land Trust does. It begins on Culture Night with four interactive workshops and a large interactive mapping of Test Site’s ecology. On Saturday morning, CCLT will be launching themselves within the wider community with a stall at the Coal Quay market, where they will distribute leaflets, followed by a gathering at Test Site between 2pm and 4pm. On Sunday, they will be on Douglas Street for AutumnFest, from 12 - 3pm.
Time, date, place: 5-8pm, Friday September 22, Test Site, Kyrl’s Quay, Cork.
10am-12pm, Saturday September 23, Coal Quay Market, Cornmarket Street, Cork.
12pm-3pm, Sunday September 24, Douglas Street, Cork.
Enough about Douglas Street, because Seánie Buttons Presents returns after a few weeks of absence and a successful collaboration with Sounds from a Safe Harbour. Up-and-coming English indie band Bar Italia play the Green Room, supported by local shoegaze band Pebbledash. If you haven’t had enough culture on Friday and you want more, this gig will more than likely satisfy your itch. Tickets and information here.
Time, date, place: 10pm, Saturday September 23, The Green Room, Cork Opera House, Cork.
The European Week of Sport takes place all next week, and to celebrate, the City Council, in collaboration with the Cork Sports Partnership, will be hosting a #BeActive night in Tramore Valley Park. This includes activities such as orienteering, volleyball, lacrosse, tag football, and others.
Time, date, place: 3.30pm-7.30pm, Saturday September 23, Tramore Valley Park, Ballinlough, Cork.
Gandaia is a festival that celebrates reuse and restoration and is taking place on Saturday, at a secret location. As part of it, locally based collage and multimedia artist Silvio Severino, who uses old books, photographs and magazines, to make analogue collages, is doing a collage workshop, where you can bring your own recycled materials. Tickets and information here.
Time, date, place: Saturday September 23, A Secret Location.
The Clonakilty International Guitar Festival continues with more local and international bands playing in the town’s pubs and venues. Tonight, indie singer-songwriter Rawney plays Scannell’s at 6pm. Tomorrow, local 5-piece band I Dreamed I Dream play their first Cork gig in a while, with a set in Casey’s at 6pm, while on Sunday, Irish-British band A Burial At Sea play in DeBarra’s at 7pm. More information here.
Time, date, place: 6pm, Friday September 22, Scannell’s, 5 Connolly Street, Clonakilty.
6pm, Saturday September 23, Casey’s, 31 Pearse Street, Clonakilty.
7pm, Sunday September 24, DeBarra’s, 55 Pearse Street, Clonakilty.
That’s it for this week’s Friday View. Any tips, news or events you’d like to share with Tripe+Drisheen, you can contact us via our About page here and via email to email@example.com and on our various social media channels, including Twitter and Instagram where we are posting more stories. We are always happy to speak to people off the record in the first instance, and we will treat your information with confidence and sensitivity. Get in touch. Have a lovely weekend.