Cork festival recognised with Community Spirit Award

The Coal Quay Family Festival showcases the heritage, traditions, and culture of the area through music, song, stories, and exhibitions. 
Cork festival recognised with Community Spirit Award

Coal Quay Shawlies Breda Dineen Scanlon, Liz Donovan and Valerie Dineen Power, pictured with Gerald McCarthy and Peter Loughnane: Sales & Marketing Director, Cork International Hotel. Photo Siobhán Russell

THE Coal Quay Family Festival which celebrates one of Cork’s favourite markets has been recognised with a Community Spirit Award.

The Festival is the latest winner of the Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Awards. The annual event takes place in August and celebrates the history of the popular market spot.

The Coal Quay market dates back to the 1840s and was known for its female traders dressed in black shawls. They sold fruit, vegetables, flowers, and holly at Christmas as well as second-hand items including clothes and shoes.

The Coal Quay Family Festival showcases the heritage, traditions, and culture of the area through music, song, stories, and exhibitions. 

Participants dress up in traditional clothes often wearing the very shawls their ancestors wore more than 100 years ago.

At part of the festival, boys wearing caps and braces and girls in aprons and hats push old-fashioned prams through the streets giving out candy apples, crubeens, and chester cake to the public.

General Manager of the Cork International Hotel, Eoghan Murphy said they are very ‘worthy’ winners. “The organisers of the Coal Quay Family Festival have succeeded in keeping the memory of their ancestors alive over the last ten years. They are very worthy winners of the Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Award.

“The people behind the festival are passionate about raising awareness of just how hard the women worked, spending six days a week at their stalls in all kinds of weather to be able to feed their families,” he added.

“They also create a wonderful atmosphere in the Coal Quay and surrounding areas,” Mr Murphy said. “This year was the tenth anniversary of the festival and the Shandon Bells chiming with the Banks of My Own Lovely Lee could be heard across the city,” he added.

The Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Awards are sponsored by The Carrigdhoun Newspaper and Gerald McCarthy Giftware.

The judging panel for the Community Spirit Awards are made up of a mixture of representatives from the public and private sector within the community.

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