I had a few topics I wanted to discuss over the last few weeks but didn’t get around to it. Some of the delay is my procrastination to write and then there’s the critic in me that says I’d have to improve the topic / idea first. But seeing as this blog is mainly about me learning the creative crafts as I go through them – I’ll share this thought quickly and see how it goes / grows.

This thought is about some of the people of Cork, and their ‘issue’ about the identity the city holds in Ireland. As a Dublin man living in Cork for many years, I’m amazed by the amount of Corkonians that insist on mentioning to me that ‘I’m in the real capital now’ (boy)! Some locals even question why I decided to live in Cork, as if it were an unbelievable choice or forced infliction. You see, I think Cork is a great city and county. I love living here. Cork has so much to offer, that I would be hard pressed to leave it, ever. But, I also love Dublin – it’s also an amazing city that has a lot to offer its residents and it’s visitors. Comparable to other capital cities around the world, it can be enjoyed whether your purse had restrictions, or you’re one of the high fliers of this world. Ireland has a few great cities, and thankfully we’re such a small island that they are easily accessible.

Cork city is a great size – not too big, not too small – to stroll around and see all it has to offer. The food options are amazing and more affordable than Dublin. The local stouts of Beamish and Murphy’s are much nicer, in my opinion, than the Dublin version. I once contacted Heineken Ireland to send me a list of Dublin pubs that regularly buy kegs of Murphy’s so that I could enjoy a drink in my hometown. But the consistent emphasis from the people of Cork regarding ‘the real capital’ can be annoying. Not that I’m protective of my home town’s status, Dublin is a great city whether it holds a capital city title or not. I don’t see why Corkonians use ‘the capital city’ title at all – it makes no sense. I’ve never got an answer to why they believe Cork is the ‘real capital’ and/or why they want it to be?

A few weeks ago Cork hosted a Global Cork Economic Forum. It seemed to have been a great success. A comment I heard from one of the speakers was around this very subject I discuss here – why is Cork trying to be a capital city, it’s great the way it is!? I can’t recall who said it, but I totally agree with this speaker. Why not flaunt what you have, instead of trying to measure up to another city. No matter what you do, you can’t be some other place. You’re Cork, so promote that!!

His statement threw an image into my head of two daughters in a family, and the younger teenage sister is trying to be as good as, if not better, than her older sister. When a young man becomes attracted to the older sister, the younger one emphasises all her best qualities to try out-do the traits of her big sister. She wants to be the attractive one. It’s only when she grows up that she realises that she also has admirers, and she doesn’t have to compete with her sister at all. There’s ‘plenty of fish in the sea’ for them both to get what they want. They both have traits that people want. She realises that there are issues about being the eldest that will not always be attractive, so it’s great to be the second child!

So, in keeping with this analogy, I’m looking forward to the day the Corkonians realise that they have a great city and county to offer the world already, and they don’t have to keep criticising the rest of the family for being attractive as well. Alright boy!

A beautiful painting from another ‘blow-in’ to Cork – Victor Richardson.
Available through Lavit Gallery, Cork

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