Centre of Excellence key to future of football
From Cork City FC to caving to the Cenotaph Well, talk about a varied week.
Firstly, I must congratulate Cork City Football Club.
What a phenomenal achievement. City completed the first double in their history, and the county of Cork’s first since 1951, as they captured the FAI Cup, edging rivals Dundalk on penalties.
Cork City Ladies ensured it became a doubledouble of sorts by completing their own personal treble, seeing off UCD Waves before both Cups landed in Cork.
This is a story of never giving up. Less than a decade ago, the club were in examinership. Now, they are the most successful club in the country.
Cork City FC is a community club, evident in John Caulfield’s celebration upon their win. He ran, or should I say, raced towards the fans to celebrate with them. John could be considered the club’s greatest son, making 455 appearances as a player and manager since 2013. The man lives and breathes Cork City FC.
Cork County Council, together with FORAS, the trust that operates Cork City FC, and the FAI, are currently developing a Munster Centre of Excellence in Glanmire, Cork.
The site will provide training facilities for Cork City FC as well as training, participation and playing facilities for players of all ages, coaches, referees and administrators.
This is a centre that will benefit the wider community as well as grassroots of Irish football.
Success doesn’t just happen. It is planning and preparation that enables success and I am confident that with facilities such as this Centre of Excellence, Cork will sustain such high levels of achievement.
Thinking about the future brings me to the present. I run a winter milking system which means that I have autumn calving. In other words, I have 20 of my 60 herd due to calve between now and Christmas. As most people know this doesn’t happen at a designated time, so I am on duty day and night.
In fairness, the cows manage perfectly fine themselves most of the time.
But it’s the instance where they may be in difficulty that I have to be aware of, either to assist myself or call a vet.
Time is critical which is why it’s all hands on deck at the moment. If I’m not at a mayoral event I can assure you I’m watching my cows. But it is wonderful to see new life on the farm and thankfully all is going well.
New life is the future. But it is also important to remember the past. We are where we came from.
This is why it was so important for me to attend Remembrance events. I was honoured to join the Western Front Remembrance and the Royal British Legion at the Great War Memorial in the South Mall.
Remembrance Day takes place on November 11 every year. It marks the anniversary of the day World War One ended on the 11th of November in 1918.
About 210,000 Irish men and women served in the British forces during World War One.
World War I took the lives of 50,000 Irish men, of which 4,000 were from Cork. From Bantry to Macroom, Clonakilty to Mill street. Men with strong connections to the city and county of Cork. Possibly every parish in the county. Connections that still exist through the familial ties which remain here today.
Many will be familiar with the Poppy pins worn at this time of year. Poppies are worn to commemorate the dead of the war as they are the flowers that grew on the Western Front battle fields of France and Belgium in the wake of the fighting.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was seen wearing a Shamrock Poppy. In terms of symbolism, the occasion is sometimes a complicated one for members of Irish political parties which have their roots in the time of the 1916 Rising and the War of Independence.
But what is important is the real meaning of this day and how, by remembering such past events together, we can create a peaceful and united future.