The Cork Butter Market
The Market opened in 1770 and by 1892 it was exporting half million caskets of butter yearly.
Early every week-day morning, streets were busy with horse-drawn carts bringing butter from West Cork and Kerry along routes known as butter-roads, or carting it away to local factories and waiting steamships.
Butter was brought in wooden caskets called "firkins". Made of oak, sycamore or good hardwood. the best were Cork-made and they were compulsory for butter going to the tropics.
The Market closed in 1924 and the building became a hat factory; it was destroyed by fire and lay derelict for years . It has since been restored and has become a popular tourist attraction.
The Cork Butter Museum
Have you ever seen a cask of butter that is over a thousand years old? It was found in an Irish bog and is now on display at the Cork Butter Museum.
The museum is a popular tourist attraction which celebrates one of the great success stories of Ireland, the butter trade.
Here, you can learn how butter is made, how important butter was to families in everyday life and the importance of the butter market in nineteenth century Ireland, especially in the city of Cork.
Through a combination of videos, implement displays, maps, documents and other artifacts, story of of butter in Irish history is vividly brought to life!
Centuries ago, before wedding ceremonies moved from the bride's house to the church steps, and finally into the church itself, the joining of a couple was often conducted in a place of mystical significance.
On Cape Clear, Co. Cork, there is a townland called Comillane where you'll find a pillarstone known as Cloch na Gealluna - 'The Trysting Stone'. It has a hole right through it and in pre-Christian times, a couple would join hands through the stone and in the presence of the local king, they would wed.
Similarly, at Kilmaolcheader church near Dingle, Co. Kerry, stands a pillar with a circular opening near the top. It's said that a couple is engaged if they join hands through the opening.
The Kerry Blue Terrier
Kerry Blue Terriers were developed over 300 years ago by Irish shepherds. Their name comes from the county of Kerry in south-western Ireland.
Gentle, lovable and intelligent they are very hard working.
They can herd sheep and cattle, hunt for rats and other vermin and they are good retrievers.
When they are born, they are black. As they get older, their curly coats change to red, brown or gray and then finally to bluish-grey.
Outgoing and friendly towards their family, they are known to give big, slurpy kisses.
But they are also very protective and make good guard dogs as well as excellent family pets.
Irish Seals and Selkie Tales
Two types of seals live in Ireland - the grey seal, which has a long snout like a dog's, and the common seal which has a round head.
Grey seals live along the west coast; the common seal lives in inlets and on sandbanks. In medieval times, seal-hunting was common.
But, most Irish people refuse to kill seals.
One tradition says that after they die, fishermen turn into seals.
Another legend says that seals shed their skins at night and become human.
These are the Selkies; they have webs between their fingers and toes and must obey anyone who takes their oily skins; however, if they ever find their seal skins again, they will return to the sea.
But, so the story goes, a Selkie wife will not forget her husband and children and can be seen swimming close to the shore watching over them.
Did you know that in Ireland, a long time ago, it was against the law under English rule for an Irish man or woman to be a teacher?
But, the Irish have always had a love of learning, so they did whatever they could to educate their children.
They created secret places where teachers could teach their students in safety.
These became known as "Hedge Schools" because they were often tucked away under hedges in the countryside.
Other secret places were under ruined walls, in dry ditches by the roadside, or in old barns.
Most of these schools didn't have books, paper or pencils, so the children learned their lessons by listening to the teacher and then repeating the words of the lesson.
In this way, many children learned Irish history, traditions, mathematics, even languages such as Latin and Greek!
Founded in 1592, Trinity College was granted the lands of All Hallows monastery, a mile to the south east of the city.
For over 200 years, only Protestant students could attend, but then, in 1793, Roman Catholics were allowed in; however, they had to obtain the permission of the Bishop of Dublin.
Women were admitted to Trinity College for the first time in 1904.
The College library is the largest research library in Ireland.
It is entitled legally to a copy of every book published in Britain and Ireland, and contains 4.25 million books.
The Book of Kells is the library's most famous work.
Notable alumni include Swift, Goldsmith, Wilde and Beckett.
To be Continued