21 Gun Salute on Spike Island

1 January 2013

Press Release – Ceremonial 21 Gun Salute on Spike Island to commence the Cork Year of the Gathering 2013

 

A Ceremonial 21 Gun Salute by the First Southern Brigade Army is taking place on Spike Island on New Years Day, Tuesday 1st January, 2013, to mark Day One of the Gathering 2013 in Cork and to send out a call to all the Diaspora to come home to visit Cork in 2013. 

This is the first time such a national 21 gun salute will be fired from Cork Harbour in almost 30 years. Cork Harbour is one of only two fixed national saluting stations in Ireland, the second being on the end of the East Pier in DunLaoghaire.  Therefore, the firing of a salute to herald The Gathering 2013 is a national event being hosted in Cork. 

This 21 gun salute is the first Gathering Event in Cork for 2013 which has a 12 month calendar of activities planned for the year ahead.  To date there are in excess of 220 Events pledged on the GatheringIreland.com website for Cork, which is the second highest number of Events being planned nationally after Dublin. 

2013 is set to be a spectacular year long celebration which will attract Irish, and particularly those from Cork or with Cork connections, who have travelled abroad over the years, to come back to Cork in 2013 to join all Corkonians in the wonderful year that is planned. 

There are lots of different types of Gatherings being organised in Cork from Community Events, to Clan Gatherings to Sporting Events and Business Gatherings.  Included in this diverse range of events scheduled are quirky events like the Redhead Convention in Crosshaven, Co Cork, Overseas Choirs singing deep within the Copper Mines in Allihies and Cork’s keynote Gathering initiative Rebel Week which will showcase a week-long series of specially commissioned events running from 14th to 20th October, 2013.  Lots of information on this event is available on www.corkrebelweek2013.com

Significant investment has been made by key stakeholders Cork County Council, Cork City Council,  Failte Ireland, IPB and Cork Airport to the tune of over €1million to ensure that Cork has The Gathering of all Gatherings 2013.  The Leader Companies are also funding many Community Groups and Organisations throughout Cork County to assist them in making their own Gathering Events happen in their Communities.   

So Spike Island on New Years Day 2013 will see a heralding call across the oceans to the Irish Diaspora and to the wider tourist community to visit Cork in the Year of the Gathering 2013. 

Cork Harbour and Spike Island was the starting point for many emigrants resulting in a natural link between Cork Harbour and the Diaspora.  It is therefore very appropriate that a ceremonial 21 gun salute will be a landmark event for the opening of the Year of the Gathering 2013.

The 1st Southern Brigade of the Army will fire the ceremonial 21 gun salute from the recently restored saluting battery on the southern rampart of Spike Island at 1pm on New Years Day. 

This 21 gun salute and the military ceremonial involved will provide excellent film and photographic opportunities for camera loving people.  The military drill and uniform turn-out will be particularly impressive.    

Minister Simon Coveney is expected to attend this event, the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Barbara Murray,  the Lord Mayor of Cork City, Cllr John Buttimer, Cork County Manager, Martin Riordan, Cork City Manager, Tim Lucey, Senior Officials from both the Navy, Army and Fáilte Ireland, Councillors from Cork County and City Councils, TDs and Senators are amongst others being invited by Cork County Council to this historic and spectacular event.

The 21 gun salute is a great and appropriate event for Cork Harbour and the rich history it possesses built equally on the relevance of The Gathering 2013 and the furtherance of Spike Island as a major iconic tourist destination in Cork.

The view from location of the 21 gun salute will give the visitor arguably the best possible sense of why the British kept and coveted the Treaty Ports after they left in 1921.