Cork Persons of the Month recognised for preserving social history 

Cork Persons of the Month recognised for preserving social history 

Pictured at the award presentation front l/r Manus O’Callaghan, Awards Organiser; Robin O’Sullivan, AM O’Sullivan PR; Colm O’Callaghan and Martin O’Connor Cork Persons of the Month; John Lehane, Lexus Cork. Rear l/r George Duggan, Cork Crystal; Tony O’Connell, Tony O’Connell Photography; Pat Lemasney, Southern. Picture: Martin Collins.

The creators of the Blackpool Sentinel blog, Colm O’Callaghan and Martin O’Connor, have been named as February Cork Persons of the Month. 

Their online music and social history resource covers both music and society, primarily from the 1980s and 1990s, with an emphasis on music and musicians from Cork during that period.

Over the last six years, The Blackpool Sentinel (incorporating Voices from The Glen) has become a regular go-to for fans and musicians. 

There are currently some 120 well-researched, long-form pieces on the site, many of which feature bands and characters from Cork. 

Announcing the February Cork Persons’ of the Month, awards organiser, Manus O'Callaghan lauded the recipients for their services to Cork's cultural heritage.

"This is all about the 'Soundtrack of our Life', the singers, musicians and music that influenced us over the years, and I thank Colm and Martin for preserving that social history," he said. 

Colm O’Callaghan, from Blackpool, was educated by the Christian Brothers at the North Monastery and later at UCC. 

He is Head of Specialist Factual Content at RTÉ and oversees all the broadcaster’s history, science, education and diversity output. 

Colm has won numerous awards for his work but is most proud of his Feile Na Gael medal, won with his local club Glen Rovers back in 1982. 

Colm writes beautifully and with warmth about his own place, coming of age memories, for a generation of Corkonians. 

He is preserving the culture and arts created by ordinary people and preserving a history that would otherwise be lost.

Martin O’Connor of UCC Library, and was one of the UCC curators of the Sir Henrys Music Venue Exhibition at UCC Library. 

It was a way to turn the story of a music venue into cultural heritage and an opportunity to show its historical, geographical and social importance. 

It was this exhibition which spawned The Blackpool Sentinel, when Martin coerced Colm into starting The Blackpool Sentinel with him. 

He is originally from Moyross on the Northside of Limerick City but has lived in Cork for the last thirty years. 

He is also involved in Shush, a weekly radio show covering Sounds from UCC Library and also part of the team behind library blog Libfocus.

Colm O’Callaghan and Martin O’Connor’s names will now go forward for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year 2020 at a gala awards lunch to be held at year’s end. 

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