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20 Facts About Cork, Ireland That You Might Not Know

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Sure, since I am from Cork, I felt I had to share these 20 facts about Cork you might not know. 

*Note this article was originally ten facts, but after many comments and messages from people, I had to update it to 20 facts about Cork. 

Also, the cover photo is from Gougane Barra, an incredibly scenic place just west of Macroom. 

Where exactly is Co. Cork in Ireland? 

County Cork (Irish: Contae Chorcaí) is the largest and the southernmost county of Ireland, situated in the province of Munster and named after the city of Cork, Ireland’s second-largest city. Its largest market towns are Mallow, Macroom, Midleton, and Skibbereen. Source Wiki

  1. It is no secret that we love our potatoes in Ireland. But it is believed that the first potato was planted in Co. Cork. Sir Walter Raleigh, from the Americas, is said to have planted the first potato near his home in Youghal circa 1588.
  2. I am sure you have heard of Ford. Well, did you know that Henry Ford’s father, John Ford, was born near the town of Ballinascarthy, Cork. Incredibly the first factory outside of the USA was in Co. Cork. Henry Ford founded the company on 17 April 1917. This was the first factory Ford had purposely built outside of America anywhere else in the world. Source: The Henry Ford The most unique facts about Cork are that Henry Ford built the first ever factory in Co Cork outside of the US
  3.  Co. Cork is home to the narrowest and oldest public bridge in everyday use in Europe! In the town of Glanworth, Glanworth Bridge is a mid-15th century structure built in c.1625, having a narrow, unwidened carriageway of 3 metres. 
  4. Although Dublin is the capital of Ireland, Cork boasts the largest County in Ireland. However, Cork is the 2nd largest in the 26 counties, after Belfast. 
  5. You may know that the Titanic set sail from its last port of call in Cobh, but Cobh also held the first-ever motorboat race in 1903. The Harmsworth Cup.

    You may know that the Titanic set sail from its last port of call in Cobh, but Cobh also held the first-ever motorboat race in 1903. The Harmsworth Cup.

    Great shot from a few years later in 1930

  6. Cork Harbour is said to be the second-largest natural harbour in the world after Sydney Harbour. Cork also has the oldest Yacht Club in the world, founded in 1720.
  7. Midleton is proud to be the home of the World’s Biggest Pot Still for making whiskey. It has a capacity of 31,618 gallons! I think that is enough for the whole of Ireland to have a party, haha.
  8. The Fastnet Rock, Ireland’s most southerly point, was the last point of Ireland emigrants from Cobh to the USA would see, and it was known as the ‘Teardrop of Ireland’.
  9. John F Kennedy’s great grandfather came from West Cork.
  10. Cillian Murphy, Johathan, and Rhys Meyers are all bork in Cork. Graham Norton, although not born in Cork, grew up mainly in Bandon County Cork.
  11. Michael Collins was also born in Co. Cork. Thanks to all of those who commented about it. Collins was born in Woodfield, Sam’s Cross, near Clonakilty, County Cork, on 16 October 1890, the third son and youngest of eight children.
  12. The largest wedge tomb in Ireland is also in Glanworth – the Labbacallee Tomb. The wedge tomb at Labbacallee, in Fermoy County Cork, is the biggest of all the Irish wedge tombs, known as the Hag’s Bed; the tomb is associated with the Celtic Hag Goddess’ Caillech Bhearra’.

    VisionsofthePast, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

     

  13. Cork has the highest number of pubs in the country with nearly 1,000 licenced premises, while Mayo has a pub for every 323 people, a new report has found. Source Irish Examiner
  14. Cork is home to Ireland’s only cable car! From the mainland to Dursey Island. The cable car departs daily from Ballaghboy on the tip of the Beara peninsula, Co. Cork.
  15. Here is a pretty unique fact I found! 45% of the worlds Tic Tac’s are made in Cork. They are manufactured in the Ferrero factory in Cork, Ireland. The factory produces about 36 tic tac’s per second. Source Wiki
  16. The Blarney Stone is located in Cork. About half a million people visit it every year except 2020 and 2021, of course. 
  17. Cork city has a LOT of bridges. 30. You can see pictures of them all here
  18. You probably have seen a picture of the famous Cobh cathedral before, but did you know it has the most bells in any church in the UK and Ireland.  One of the interesting facts about Cork is that the Cobh cathedral has over 49 bells and weighs over 26 tonnes.
    Together they weigh over 26 tonnes! It also contains Ireland’s largest bell, named St Colman (3.6 tons). The cathedral also took over 46 years to build.
  19. The guided missile was invented in 1877 by a talented engineer from Castlebar in Co Mayo. Louis Brennan also designed an unusual monorail train, a two-wheeled car and even an early helicopter. The Brennan torpedo was first tested at Camden Fort(near Crosshaven) in the late 1800s. It was the first weapon in history that could be remotely controlled to its target. 
  20. Cork had the largest butter market in the world in the 18th century. 

Amazing to learn these facts about Cork. Are there any facts about Cork that you know that I missed? Comment below. 

If you plan to visit soon, you can read my top 10 things to do in Cork here. 

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Michelle Coe

Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

You may need to expand this to 20 Facts About Cork. The largest wedge tomb in Ireland is also in Glanworth - the Labbacallee Tomb.

Irish Around The World

Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

I think you are correct! There was so many other things I wanted to add but kept it at 10. Will be sure to update this post soon :) stay tuned

Kenneth C Martin

Monday 13th of September 2021

Thank you for your incredible post! ....no error's.......especially well written. like my pathetic post..

Dennis Hayes

Sunday 12th of September 2021

How about road bowling? I heard it is only played in Cork and Armagh?

Irish Around The World

Monday 13th of September 2021

Yes although nowadays it is played in a lot more counties than just those two. It is also played in Mayo (Castlebar), Limerick, Waterford, Louth, Monaghan and more recently in Tyrone and Wexford

Irish Around The World

Monday 13th of September 2021

Yes indeed! I will have to add that fact in. I also remember watching a great video on it a few years ago.

Mike Flaherty

Sunday 12th of September 2021

I believe Michael Collins was born in Cork.

Irish Around The World

Monday 13th of September 2021

You are correct Mike, Collins was born in Woodfield, Sam's Cross, near Clonakilty, County Cork. I will add it to the facts

C

Saturday 11th of September 2021

You forgot about Ireland Greatest Leader Michael Collins was born and breed in West Cork. Cork can boost even more than that. Cork City is older than Dublin.

Irish Around The World

Monday 13th of September 2021

Indeed I did! I will add it in right now. Cheers