The Friday View 24/11
Rethinking the royal connection, a change in tack in dealing with the far right in Ireland, MacCurtain Street festivities this weekend, and Cork city has a draft climate strategy
Royal Cork Yacht Club
It is a peculiarity that in 2023 in the Republic of Ireland, we have the Royal Irish Academy (RIA), Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA), Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI), Royal Dublin Society (RDS), the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI), and the Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC), but actually no royalty.
The royal connection is once again back in the news as the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland is considering dropping the "royal" from its name. The RHS is going to put it to their members in a vote whether they should move on with the times and simply refer to themselves as the Horticultural Society of Ireland. I say, do it, horticulturalists of Ireland, for the artists, surgeons, physicians, horse owners, and yachters who are waiting for you to lead the way.
To delve into the history of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, or the RCYC, as it's colloquially known here in Cork: back when the club was founded, it neither bore the title "royal" nor "yacht" in its name. Initially established around Haulbowline in the harbour, it later relocated to Cobh and eventually settled in Crosshaven. Unsurprisingly, it underwent these moves under the influence of the British. Its original, less adorned name was the rather plaintive "The Water Club of the Harbour of Cork." It wasn't until the 1800s that it underwent a rebranding, adding the royal designation to its name.
In contrast to institutions like Wimbledon or the Royal National Theatre in the UK, the British royals aren't patrons of the RCYC; it was a clever branding choice. In 1831, the marketing department of the time at Cork Yacht Club (yes, another name change!) got word to King William IV to ask if they could incorporate "royal" into their name, and the good King granted their wish. For those interested, Paul McCarthy, the Royal Cork Yacht Club Archivist, has compiled a comprehensive history of the club on its website.
The royal part of the Cork Yacht Club’s name is entirely redundant, and the fact that the boat club went two centuries without having royal in its name proves that. Also, when you consider that the boat club has changed names over the centuries shows that is more than flexible on this point. The whole notion of royalty is both baffling and archaic and the late great Hilary Mantel has an incredible essay in The London Review of Books about the curse of being a royal (she likens it to being a prize zoo animal). But, that’s for another day, and another country.
Like the horticulturalists, the best people to ask about a name change would be the members of RCYC. Could they live and thrive without an archaic anchor wrapped around their historic club. CYC - put it to the vote?
News in brief
We have a climate action plan, well a draft one for Cork city. This week the City Council published its draft plan and it’s open for submissions from the public. They’ve been building up to this a for a few years and it will form part of strategy to cut greenhouse gasses across Irelan by 50% by 2030. As part of that plan, all local authorities are required to show how they can reach a 51% reduction at a local level. Submissions can be made online, but if you want to get your hands on a hard copy and find out more from staff at the City Council, they’ll be visiting the city’s public libraries beginning next Monday. Times and dates here:
Dublin riots: As I write this, it's the morning after a night marked by some of the worst rioting in central Dublin in years. This followed a savage and shocking knife attack earlier in the day on a group of pre-school kids and their teachers. There'll be plenty of hot takes, but some of the videos circulating on social media, depicting members of the Gardaí being singled out and set upon by thugs, give a very real sense of the absolute disregard for the rule of law and those who uphold it. Regardless of the outcomes, it's almost certain that the Gardaí and the government will have to chart a new course for dealing with the far-right in Ireland.
One article worth reading is former CorkBeo and Examiner reporter Eimer McCauley’s piece in The Journal in which she interviewed Caio Benicio, a Brazilian Deliveroo driver, who ran from his motorbike to fight off the attacker outside the school in Dublin yesterday afternoon. And lastly, once again social media platforms were the primary tool for spreading misinformation and disinformation around the riots, such as the Irish Army being deployed on the streets of Dublin.
Cork City Marathon: Details of the Cork City Marathon, as well as the half marathon and the 10km run, have been published, and entries for the race, scheduled for June 2, 2024, are now open. Last year, the race took place in scorching conditions, and there wasn't enough water to go around at some of the water stations. It was also unclear how many people actually participated in the race—both starters and finishers—so here's hoping Davis Events, the company contracted to stage the event by Cork City Council, is absolutely clear on that front. And that there is enough water to go around.
As for the marathon race route, there's an argument to be made for shaking up the course, which, for many miles, runs along roads that will be lined with very few, if any, people. I also think they miss a trick by not taking the runners up St. Patrick's Hill. Sure, it's a climb, but it's a significant part of the city's geography and history, and all the runners could live to tell the tale of how they ran (or walked up) St. Patrick's Hill. But then again, it's not like marathon runners are ones to brag!
MacCurtain Street: Cork City's most tweeted-about street of late will be officially opened by Tánaiste Micheál Martin tomorrow, Saturday, November 25. Well, the redevelopment, that is. If you're on X/Twitter at all, you'll notice the street, which has been converted to two-way and has been narrowed for traffic and widened for pedestrians, is never not being discussed, mainly by those who (rightly) bemoan the fact that MacCurtain Street is still used haphazardly for ditching your car.
While it can get a bit tiresome, it does signify a change in direction (and also the lack of enforcement). We have moved on from the era when streets are for driving and parking your car; now we just need to remind those who are still stuck in that era with a parking ticket! Festivities will commence from 11:30 am tomorrow.
More trees: At this week's City Council's Environment Strategic Policy Committee (SPC), councillors were presented with a draft copy of the tree strategy. It's one of the signature environment policies from the Council and the team, comprising the trees officer and many others in City Hall.
Councillor Oliver Moran (Greens) shared some interesting baseline stats from that draft, from the data gathered. Notably, the level of tree cover in the city was dropping until 2021. Since then, 8,130 trees have been planted across the city:
South East City Suburbs: 2,836
North East City Suburbs: 2,785
South West City Suburbs: 1,421
North West City Suburbs: 914
City Centre Neighbourhood: 174
However, tree canopy is not evenly distributed across the city:
Urban Towns: 18%
SE Suburbs: 16%
NE Suburbs: 14%
SW Suburbs: 13%
City Centre; 9%
NW Suburbs: 9%
From those figures you’ll see there is a disparity in trees planted and canopy coverage in the city centre and to a lesser degree in the NW suburbs.
Cllr Moran told T+D that:
"The approach will be to put in place a solid framework for managing and growing the number of trees in the city, rather than setting fixed targets for now.
"However, it will set objectives for a strategic planting programme by the city and to support tree planting by community groups on public land. It will also set an objective to identify areas for new woodlands and river corridors in the city.
"Over 80% of trees in the city are on private lands, like gardens and institutional grounds. The strategy will support trees there by providing advice to householders and planning requirements for new developments.
The trees strategy will likely go out to public submission in the New Year before returning to Council to be adopted sometime around March.
Farewell: Finally, best wishes to Liam Casey who hung up his tools last week at Cork City Council. Liam was the Senior Landscape and Parks Officer at Cork City Council, having worked for the City Council for more than 30 years. T+D talked with Liam on a few occasions and he was always helpful and forthcoming. We wish the Waterford native him all the best. And the county’s senior hurling team!
Out + About
For the day that's in it, Cónal Creedon will be on Bridge Street, in Cork Coffee Roasters, where he'll be reading an extract of "Three Extracts Specific to His Street." (HIS street no less!:) The consummate flaneur, Conal could probably fill an entire weekend with tales from his days moping around the streets and establishments on and off MacCurtain Street as well as his days in Creedon’s No 1 Launderette which he ran for over a decade.
Time, date, place: 2:30pm, Saturday, November 25, Cork Coffee Roasters, Bridge Street.
The Crawford Art Gallery Decade of Centenaries Project, Building as a Witness, which documents the history of the building ahead of next year’s renovations, enters its final few months with a collection of exhibitions by local artists. Running until May 2024, it continues on Sunday with two performances of ‘Cogarnach’, a musical promenade performance of a thirty minute piece by Fiona Linnane, performed with musicians from the Cork School of Music, and soprano Triona Walsh. Tickets are free and are available here.
Time, date, place: 4pm-5:30pm, Sunday November 26, Crawford Art Gallery, Emmett Place, Cork.
As part of her Master of Arts, local artist Siobhán O’Connor presents ‘Conjure’, a collection of paintings, at the MTU Gallery on Grand Parade. It explores escapism from ‘life's routine through the embrace of fantasy’, and focuses on the characterisation of female protagonists in popular fantasy films. The exhibition runs until Tuesday December 5.
Time, date, place: Thursday November 23-Tuesday December 5, MTU Gallery, Grand Parade, Cork.
Cork house legends Fish Go Deep are launching their newest album, ‘What I Mean By Beautiful’, in The Liberty tonight. Beginning at 6pm, they’ll be playing their tunes and will have copies of their album for sale.
Time, date, place: 6pm, Friday November 24, The Liberty, South Main Street, Cork.
Hannahbella is a local pop singer-songwriter who recently opened for the South African alt-pop up-and-comer Baby Queen at The Academy in Dublin. Her music has been described by Hot Press as “smooth and suave”, and she plays in The Roundy next Tuesday. Support comes from two of Hannahbella’s friends, Syano + Lia. Tickets and information here.
Time, date, place: 7:30pm, Tuesday November 28, The Roundy, Castle Street, Cork.
Pôt-Pot are a Cork and Lisbon-based experimental music project consisting of Mark Waldron-Hyden, Elaine Malone, Sara Leslie, Mykle Oliver Smith and Joe Armitage. They return to Cork for their first gig here since May, in Plugd on Saturday with support from local multi-instrumentalist Dan Walsh’s project Fixity. All proceeds from the gig go to Medical Aid for Palestinians. Tickets and information here.
Time, date, place: 8pm, Saturday November 25, Plugd, Cornmarket Street, Cork.
Gliogar, the independent Conamara-based live music collective, makes its Corner House return on Friday with a free gig. Trá Pháidín, an experimental folk band with elements of post-rock and improvised music based on the framework of trad, are supported by Súil Amháin, an Irish-language rapper and poet from Listowel, Kerry.
Time, date, place: 8pm, Friday November 24, The Corner House, Coburg Street, Cork.
Cork Cancer Care Centre will be hosting their annual Christmas Market at St Peter’s this weekend. There will be a varied selection of mostly handmade Christmas gifts to choose from, such as ceramics, soaps, jewellery, and handmade toys. There will also be stands with handmade crafts, anime art, woollen goods, wooden crafts, and antiques. More information here.
Time, date, place: 10am-7pm, Saturday November 25-Sunday November 26, St. Peter’s, North Main Street, Cork.
Soda Blonde are an alt-pop band from Dublin who recently launched their second album, ‘Dream Big’. Described by The Irish Times as being “difficult to pin [...] down to a musical style”, they’re in West Cork this weekend with a gig in Connolly’s of Leap. Support comes from Jealous of the Birds, the musical project of County Armagh indie singer Naomi Hamilton.
Time, date, place: 8pm, Sunday November 16, Connolly’s of Leap, Leap.
Amna Walayat is a Pakistani-born artist based in Cork, with a practice expressing her hybrid cultural experiences. She reflects on issues of diaspora, gender, trauma, and sexuality, as well as how femininity affects values, norms, and beliefs. Sirius Arts Centre host her pieces from this weekend on, with Fallen running until March 2024.
Time, date, place: Saturday November 25-Saturday March 9, Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh.
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 at email@example.com. 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.