My Weekend: Ready to celebrate Cork Heritage Open Day 

Cork Heritage Open Day takes place tomorrow. Several events are taking place in Ballincollig Regional Park. One of the organisers of the events in Ballincollig, Margaret Long, tells us how she likes to spend her downtime.
My Weekend: Ready to celebrate Cork Heritage Open Day 

Margaret Long at Regional Park, Ballincollig, Cork.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

My name is Margaret Long, am married to Martin Long and we have two grown up children, Susan and David. I am originally from Toonsbridge, outside Macroom, but have been living in Ballincollig for the past 41 years. I have run the Coffee Stall in The Regional Park Cafe Chico for the past 11 years after a career change from  banking. 

As a result of the location, I became involved with members of Ballincollig Heritage and have been co-ordinator of National Heritage Week events in The Regional Park Ballincollig, working with Heritage officers Conor Nelligan from Cork County Council and, more recently, Niamh Twomey from Cork City Council and with the Park Management Teams. 

The Regional Park is home to The Gunpowder Mills, which is the largest Industrial Archaeological site in Ireland. 

Our recent project was the development of the Powdermills App which gives information on the history of the Mills. It is an interactive App, which was Coordinated by David Haskett, and recently won a digital tourism award for the project.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

I normally spend Friday evening baking and prepping for Saturday morning and, all going well, I might get an hour to chill before bed.

Lie ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

Up with the lark Thursday through Sunday our opening days, with a bit of a lie in on Mondays to Wednesdays.

Margaret Long in her Cafe Chilo, Regional Park. Ballincollig, County Cork. 
Margaret Long in her Cafe Chilo, Regional Park. Ballincollig, County Cork. 

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Unfortunately, yes due to working in hospitality but now that my husband retired last December, we can do some nice things on the days off and visit family and grandchildren and go to concerts and other music events.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

I love Paris, London, and Lisbon. On my bucket list are Seville & Dubrovnik. I would bring my husband Martin and my grown-up children and their other halves.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries? 

Courtmacsherry and West Cork. Just had a lovely week there with family at the start of July. I also like doing midweek hotel breaks in different places like Killarney, East Cork, Ardmore etc.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

Yes, Sunday evenings after work especially.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

Used to play tennis but unfortunately not much time for that now. Walking the dog in the Regional Park, meet friends for coffee and a chat. Going to concerts at the Opera House, The White Horse Inn and ,probably my favourite, The Marquee when it is on. I like watching sport on TV including golf, tennis, rugby, GAA (when Cork teams are involved!).

Entertain or be entertained? If it's the latter do you have a signature dish?

Both. One dish I am always being asked to make by family/friends is a seafood lasagne.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

Coffee: - Cork Coffee Roasters, Lunch: - if staying local, Nosh and Coffee in Ballincollig the city centre: - The Farmgate, Greenwich.

Special meal: - Jacques, Greene’s, Isaac’s, or Market Lane and if in West Cork it has to be Monk’s Lane in Timoleague or Courtmacsherry Hotel.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

A nice meal, a glass of wine, and, if on our own, browse through the Sunday papers and watch some TV.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

No alarm on Mondays but usually get up between 8.30am and 9.00am.


Organised by Cork City Council, Cork Heritage Open Day takes place tomorrow, Saturday August 13 and over 30 historic buildings in Cork are open to the public. Several events are taking place in Ballincollig Regional Park on Cork Heritage Open Day. They include:

12pm to 4pm: A demonstration of firing through the ages with PARDS and historical reenactors.

3.30pm: A talk by Frank Donaldson on explosions in the Ballincollig Gunpowder Mills 1803 to 1902.

See for full list of events

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