Nostalgia: A look back on sizzling summers in Cork

Nostalgia: A look back on sizzling summers in Cork

C.B.C boys at Knockadoon holiday camp, near Youghal, 1960.

With the recent sizzling weather in Cork and all over the country, this week's nostalgia takes a look back at previous summers spent soaking up the sun.

Earlier this week a Status Yellow high temperature warning was issued for Ireland, which was later upgraded to a Status Orange for counties Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath and south Leitrim.

This marked the first ever Status Orange high temperature warning issued in Ireland. 

Children enjoy their ice cream in Cork city, 1954.
Children enjoy their ice cream in Cork city, 1954.

Head of forecasting at Met Éireann, Evelyn Cusack, said the main reason for these warnings is that night time temperatures are remaining high.

"I know a lot of people are finding it uncomfortable - if you’re anyway ill at all, it’s terrible because the body can’t really recover," she told The Hard Shoulder

However, she added that the heat should be less intense next week with a return to "more normal" weather. 

The highest temperature ever recorded in the country was 33.3 degrees at Kilkenny Castle, on June 26, 1887 while the highest ever recorded in the 20th century was 32.5 degrees at Boora Co Offaly on June 29, 1976.

Summer scene at Fountainstown Cork in 1953. 
Summer scene at Fountainstown Cork in 1953. 

Over the years, Cork has experienced a number of heatwaves. 

One Echo article from 1934 stated that the city was sweltering "under an unusually high temperature" in early July.

Another article from September 1938 gave details of another heatwave in Cork, with temperatures in the shade at Cobh clocking over 22 degrees. 

The following year in July a long spell of hot, dry weather was creating anxiety amongst the farming communities who were fearing for the progress of their crops. 

"Unless rain falls in the very near future the position in regard to pasture and grain crops will become very critical.

"Potatoes are also badly in need of rain to ensure their development," an Echo article from June 7 stated. 

Irish summer college at Garryvoe, officially opened by President Eamon de Valera in 1944.
Irish summer college at Garryvoe, officially opened by President Eamon de Valera in 1944.

Another scorching summer in more recent years was in 1995 - with a report from Met Éireann at the time stating that it marked the warmest summer on record almost everywhere in the country. 

"It was the driest summer on record at Malin Head, Casement Aerodrome and Cork Airport, while at Dublin (Phoenix Park) the summer's total of just 65.1mm was the lowest since 1887," Met Éireann said. 

The summer of 2018 similarly marked one of the hottest and driest on record.

"For June and July, heatwave, partial drought and absolute drought conditions were reported in many locations," Met Éireann stated in a report. 

Heatwave in Cork, 1947 - scene at old Muskerry railway terminus at Western Road.
Heatwave in Cork, 1947 - scene at old Muskerry railway terminus at Western Road.

Earlier this week the Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health Dr Tony Holohan said while people should get outdoors this week, it is important to do so in as safe a way as possible.

"Be sun smart – regularly and liberally apply sunscreen that has a sun protection factor of at least 30+ for adults and 50+ for children, wear light and loose-fitting clothing that covers your skin, wear a hat and sunglasses.

"Keep yourself cool and hydrated," he said.

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