Cobh’s bell-ringer and Fota set to feature on Nationwide slot

There are lots of Cork people and places featured on this Wednesday's Nationwide
Cobh’s bell-ringer and Fota set to feature on Nationwide slot

Nationwide duo Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh and Anne Cassin. Picture: Kieran Harnett

FOR nearly a century, the Gebruers have been ringing out the bells of St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh.

Staf Gebruers arrived from Belgium in 1924 and became the Cathedral’s carillonneur. He remained so until his death in 1970, when his son Adrian took the helm.

If you’re in Cobh on a Sunday morning, it will be Adrian, or indeed one of his granddaughters, you will hear hitting the keys as the bells ring from St Colman’s.

Adrian is one of the guests in a special Christmas edition of Nationwide that comes to Cork on RTÉ1 on Wednesday (December 21) at 7pm

Anne Cassin meets the man who has been playing the 49-bell carillon, the largest instrument of its kind in Ireland and Britain for more than 50 years.

While in town, Anne also meets the Cobh Heritage Vintage Society, a group of locals who have a passion for the area and its heritage, as they dress up in vintage clothing interacting with visitors to the town.

Emily Murphy, the founder of the society, shows Anne her extensive collection of Victorian and Edwardian clothing which fills various rooms in her home.

In nearby Fota Island, the first Indian rhino born in Ireland gets ready for his first Christmas at Fota Wildlife Park, and Anne chats about all matters rhino with ranger Martin Rodrigues.

And as one of Ireland’s great manors, Fota House, is transformed for the Christmas season, Nationwide accompanies some local children as they get to meet the man himself!

Also on the programme, sustainability and recycling have become key words in our vocabulary, and as we face into the business of buying Christmas presents, they could have an important relevance if we think outside the box.

The Rediscovery Centre in Dublin, is the National Centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland.

A creative movement connecting people, ideas and resources to support more sustainable living, recently the centre held a repair café where people brought old or broken items for repair, and indeed, learned how to fix them themselves. Nationwide paid them a visit.

And in Kilkenny there is an Aladdin’s cave, a treasure trove at the Maharaj’s Architectural Salvage yard where there is a wealth of family history and a story behind every item.

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