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🎷The Friday View 27/10
All that jazz - it’s jazz weekend so rain it must. Also, Cork County Council's CEO defends the local authority's role in the east Cork floods and a reckoning is coming for the city's "robo-trees".
What Money Buys?
Pádraig O’Connor’s review of the €670k Urban Sculpture Trail this past weekend was one of our most-read, shared, and commented-on stories on Tripe + Drisheen this year, suggesting there is an appetite for wanting to know more about the big-budget public art project beyond the press releases that local media served up.
Beyond the question of whether the three pieces installed so far are good or bad art (that binary question will never be fully or satisfactorily answered, and that’s OK), we can all agree to differ. There were however plenty of other questions. While the vast majority of artists would not begrudge their fellow artists involved in the scheme, some people working in the art world lamented how hard it is to secure funding for community art schemes.
Time will tell, but it’s hard to see if any of the public art pieces installed as part of Island City, as the Fáilte Ireland-funded public art initiative is officially called, will resonate with the public. They do feel underwhelming so far. While not considered public art, the "Robo-Trees" on Grand Parade and St. Patrick's Street have done a far better job in resonating with the public. They also serve as good public seating. But, were they ever needed in the first place?
As with the public sculpture initiative, the money to fund the €350,000 "robo-trees" did not come from Cork City Council but from a separate government fund, in this case, from the National Transport Authority.
As David Joyce, Operations Director with Cork City Council, point man for the "robo-trees," told Tripe + Drisheen when they were installed: "This is a project fund we applied for. If we hadn't applied for it, we would have received nothing. We identified an innovative project that fits in with our long-term strategies around air quality. This is not local funding that could have been spent on something else, and it's not removing funding for other projects."
But was it money well spent? Were they needed? Well, that question and others will be discussed at a special meeting of the City Council's Environment, Water, and Amenity Strategic Policy Committee on November 7 when, hopefully, the long-delayed data about the efficacy of the "trees" will be published. Some individuals on social media have suggested that the City Council will pull the plug. We shall see. The future of the “robo-trees” does, however, look in doubt. Sit on them while you can.
News in brief
Defence is the best offence: Cork County Council’s new CEO Valerie O’Sullivan, barely in the job a hot minute, presented a 15-page report to County Councillors this past Monday outlining the Council’s response before and during the recent flooding that overwhelmed Midleton and other parts of the east Cork.
RTÉ’s Jennie O’Sullivan has a write-up of the report and the Council meeting in which O’Sullivan told councillors that Cork County Counil was “as prepared as any agency could possibly have been for this unprecedented rainfall event, particularly in the town of Midleton and its environs".
In light of warnings, O’Sullivan said drains and gullies were checked and cleared at hotspots known to cause flooding.
She continued, "No agency, regardless of preparedness or competence, and we had both, could have prevented this.
"The only defence is the construction of a flood relief scheme, as evidence by the comparatively contained situations in towns where defences are in place.”
This week, the government announced more details of aid packages for businesses and residents impacted by the flooding, with at least one national politician advertising the humanitarian assistance by putting his face front and centre of the announcements on social media.
Valerie O’Sullivan takes over as Chief Executive of Cork County Council following the departure of Tim Lucey for the greyhound dog tracks, where he takes over as head of Greyhound Racing Ireland. Incidentally, T+D contacted the new Council boss earlier this year following on from a tweet reply to UCC lecturer Frank Crowley who poured cold water on the proposed outlet centre in Carrigtwohill. O’Sullivan had a three word rebuke for Crowley: “Cop on Frank.”
T+D followed up with both parties, but neither wanted to continue the conversation, at least with us.
To the top: Denis O'Regan and Saskia Van Goethem, owners of arguably the country's most famous bicycle and wheelie bin container, have appealed the decision by Cork City Council to refuse retention for the storage unit located in their driveway at the front of their house to An Bord Pleanála. A decision is expected by April 2024.
Liberty: Earlier this month, we published a story about the search for LGBTQ+ spaces in the city in the wake of the controversy at Chambers. In that story, we mentioned drag queens who led the protests outside Chambers, Krystal Queer and Liam Bee, and their weekly drag and quiz night, The Gay Agenda. Liam told Kilian a bit more about it this week.
“So with our Wednesday night evening show in the Liberty, we aimed to have a show that was a little more chill and and in the evening time that was more audience focused, somewhere where the queer community of Cork can come and have a few drinks with their friends and have a bit of craic with drag queens,” Liam told Tripe + Drisheen.
“The launch night was a really big success. The place was packed, which we were grateful for, and it’s already one of The Liberty’s most popular weekly events. All we can hope for in the future is to keep this weekly event going for the queer community in Cork, it’s more important now more than ever,” Liam said.
The event runs every Wednesday, from 8pm to 10pm. “Not everyone wants to go on a night out and stay out late, so this is the perfect event for people who want to socialise in a queer space and maybe not wake up with a hangover the next day.”
“With all of the discourse that is happening at the moment, I think there is also a lot of positive change going on for our community right now, and I know that for myself I am going to do all i can now to put on queer events and make spaces for the community to come and be together and dance and party and have a laugh, it is so important!”
To build on the momentum from the previous Town Hall meeting, the community is meeting at the Gay Project, Sawmill Street, this Friday (27/19) at 6pm, where they will discuss details of a fundraiser for their new space.
Tweet of the week (yes, it’s called X, but)
Photographer Joe Healy had a lovely short post this week about the wonderfully named Belphegor Bar which was located on Shandon Street. The bar was named in honour of the “Belphegor March” a favourite piece of music of the bar owner’s. They don’t name like they used to!
Out + About
Anything But Jazz is an alternative series of events over two nights, with the first night having taken place in An Spailpín Fánach yesterday, with all raised funds going to the Simon Community. Fred Zeppelins is the spot tonight, with Dublin bands Cabl and Slightly Dishevelled, local band Idiot. and folk singer The Banshee making up the lineup. The gig is donation based with a bucket at the door, all proceeds to the Simon Community, while they have a GoFundMe which you can donate to here.
Time, date, place: 7pm, Friday October 27, Fred Zeppelin’s, Parliament Street, Cork.
Gypsy Guitars: Reverie Swing are a local guitar band who play in the style of Django Reinhardt. They are joined by the London jazz guitarist Cornelius Corkey in a few places across town for the Jazz. Tonight, they play in the Franciscan Well at 6:30, while tomorrow at 6:30, they play in the Metropole Hotel. On Sunday, it’s an earlier affair, and you can nurse your hangover with some relaxed swing at 3pm in The Roundy.
Time, date, place: 6:30pm, Friday October 27, Franciscan Well, North Mall, Cork.
6:30pm, Saturday October 28, Metropole Hotel, McCurtain Street, Cork.
3pm, Sunday October 29, The Roundy, Castle Street, Cork.
The Gables on Douglas Street will have music on Saturday, with blues musician Rob Harley playing an acoustic set blending the best of rock, blues, and folk. If you want to avoid the queues and the crowds, head to The Gables!
Time, date, place: 10pm, Saturday October 28, The Gables, Douglas Street, Cork.
If DJs are more your thing, Off Jazz is a night of jazz records typically featuring local DJs Maksy, Blix and Bryan, and it takes place in The Roundy on Saturday night, featuring Faheezy from London, Pedro and Jon Barry. It starts at 8 and runs until late, so it could be worth checking out if you’re after a gig!
Time, date, place: 8pm, Saturday October 28, The Roundy, Douglas Street, Cork.
If exhibitions are more your thing, Evolution explores the history of hip-hop through a jazz lens at St. Peters. Put together by Stevie G, Mark Murphy and Choice Cuts, the exhibition honours fifty years of hip-hop and jazz, and their fusion. It includes exhibits, vinyl showcases, talks, workshops, DJs and breakdancing, and runs from tonight until the beginning of November.
Time, date, place: Friday October 27-Monday November 6, St. Peter’s, North Main Street, Cork.
Cork violist Séamus Hickey returns for a second tour with his Belgium-based Sonoro Quartet and they will open with Beethoven’s third Rasoumovsky quartet, its virtuosic outer movements contrasted with an atmospheric funeral march and a quaintly old-fashioned minuet. Sonoro are on a whirlwind national tour, but will be making their only Caork appearance in Kinsale at the Methodist Church. Séamus will be joined by Sarah Jégou-Sageman and Jeroen De Beer on violin and Léo Guiguen on cello. Definitely one to catch. More information here.
Time, date, place: 8pm, Thursday November 2, Methodist Church, Kinsale (Tickets on the door)
We go from jazz straight into Halloween, which means that the annual Dragon of Shandon parade takes place on Tuesday. Organised by Cork Community Art LinkNow in its 18th year, the parade features a 36 foot dragon, made entirely of tape, and runs from outside the Shandon Bells on Church Street to the Coal Quay. The parade includes performances from Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance, CCAL Drama Troupe, Slí Danú, The Butter Exchange Band and The Coal Quay Shawlies.
Time, date, place: 7pm, Tuesday 31 October, Church Street, Shandon Street, North Main Street, Castle Street, Cornmarket Street and Coal Quay, Cork.
The Republic of Bike are organising a Halloween Bike Bop around town, where people of all ages are encouraged to dress up, cycle around, and have fun. These bike bops are monthly and tend to be lots of fun. They’re meeting by the new Michael Collins statue, but we don’t expect him to get on his bike!
Time, date, place: 2pm, Sunday October 29, Michael Collins Statue, Grand Parade, Cork.
Crawford Art Gallery are hosting Halloween Workshops on Sunday and Monday, where artist Queenie O’Sullivan will be giving a stained glass inspired workshop, where you can make decorations for your house ahead of Halloween.
Time, date, place: 1pm-3pm, Sunday October 29-Monday October 30, Crawford Art Gallery, Emmett Place, Cork.
Leap Scarecrow Festival runs from tonight through to Sunday November 3, and features homemade scarecrows made by people around Leap. Tonight, the festival opens with an exhibition about Ireland’s Mythical Goddesses at the Leap Church of Ireland. The A Scare at Samhain walking tour runs throughout the week, and explores Ireland’s old halloween traditions, such as the ancient Mascallacht tradition, which survives around Leap. More information about the Scarecrow Festival is available here, while tickets and information about A Scare at Samhain is available here.
Time, date, place: Friday October 27-Friday November 3, Leap.
North Cork also has a Halloween festival, with the Doneraile Samhain Festival running through the weekend. It begins tonight with a wildlife talk about Bat Rehabilitation and how to care for them if you come across them at home at the Doneraile Presentation Pastoral Centre. A Halloween market takes place tomorrow and Sunday, between 11 and 4, on the Main Street, while a fancy dress party takes place at Eilys Bar on Saturday night at 9pm.
Time, date, place: 6:30pm, Friday October 27, Doneraile Presentation Pastoral Centre, Convent Road, Doneraile.
9pm, Saturday October 28, Eilys Bar, Main Street, Doneraile.
11-4pm, Saturday October 28-Sunday October 29, Main Street, Doneraile.
This week on T+D:
On Wednesday, Pádraig reviewed Lost Lear which played at The Everyman. You ca read that here:
While on Thursday, Kilian had a word with some of the city’s buskers for teir take on the new by-laws which are coming down the line. That piece here:
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 long weekend. We will!