Rich history of iconic Cork company to be preserved at library

Rich history of iconic Cork company to be preserved at library

Pictured at the opening of a public exhibition in Cork City Library are Joe Healy, Company Secretary, IITC, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher, David Heffernan, Managing Director, IITC, Cllr Kieran McCarthy and Cork City Librarian David O'Brien.Photo: Darragh Kane

AS PART of Ireland’s National Heritage Week celebrations, Irish International Trading Corporation (IITC) has handed over an extensive collection of archive material to Cork City Library, ensuring that the rich history of the 101-year-old company will be maintained.

The archive material includes minutes from board meetings, cash books, ledgers, letters, and notes, all dating back to the company’s inception during the Burning of Cork in 1920.

These materials, as well as an exhibition of photographs, will remain on display in the public areas of the library until September 17.

Local historian and Cork City Independent councillor, Kieran McCarthy, has also presented to the library copies of his new book, Irish International Trading Corporation (Cork), Celebrating 100 Years, which details the company’s growth from 1920 to the present day.

Speaking at the handover of the archive material, Lord Mayor of Cork Colm Kelleher said: “The handover of these historic documents and copies of Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s book is an opportunity to celebrate the legacy of IITC and its shared history with Cork, whilst also highlighting the important role that Cork City Library plays as a custodian of the city’s rich history.”

IITC was founded by a collective of Cork business families at the Grand Parade in Cork city in 1920.

The company has played a key role in the development of Cork: From supplying materials to aiding the rebuilding of the city after its burning in 1920 to supporting local enterprise today, it has grown to become a national business with a global reach, employing over 120 people and with annual sales of €60m.

IITC managing director, David Heffernan, said the handover of archive material marked “another significant milestone in the history of IITC”.

The duty of care for these documents now falls upon Cork City Libraries, and the newly appointed city librarian, David O’Brien.

Mr O’Brien said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to preserve these materials in our archives.

“IITC was founded at a time of enormous historical significance in Cork, so it is truly fascinating to be able to reflect on the work that was done in setting up a company that fostered crucial trading links to Europe and America.”

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