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As Ireland celebrates the centenary of the 1916 Rising a sense of patriotism and pride has swept the country. While many important changes have occurred in Irish society since, one county has maintained its infamous unwavering levels of self-pride throughout the past 100 years.

Don O'Leary, Director, Alan Raymond, Student, Michael Mulligan, Teacher, Rachel Lucey, Deputy Director and Pádraic Vallely, CEO Cork Foundation  PIC DARRAGH KANE

Picture: Don O'Leary, Director, Alan Raymond, Student, Michael Mulligan, Teacher, Rachel Lucey, Deputy Director and Pádraic Vallely, CEO Cork Foundation 

It is well known that no county in Ireland enjoys boasting its superiority more than the self-proclaimed “People’s Republic of Cork”. This mentality, instilled in Corkonians since birth is what drives and enables the Cork Foundation to make Cork a better place to live, work and grow old.

The Cork Foundation, a social enterprise group focused on circulating philanthropic donations throughout social projects and charities in Cork, is essentially all about Cork people helping Cork people. Our key focus is to create connections and networks throughout Cork, enabling thriving Cork businesses to work closely with the community to help Cork grow and develop.

Issues ranging from unemployment to mental health have hampered Corks potential and are high on the Cork Foundations agenda. Our recent partnership with the Cork Life Centre has paved the way for three new jobs to be created with the voluntary organisation, which offers an alternative learning environment to vulnerable young people and has enabled the creation of a new suicide awareness programme to be
introduced in clubs and communities across Cork.  

More recently we have partnered with Construction Industry Federation Ireland and Reimagine Cork in an exciting new initiative which aims to refresh and reconstruct some derelict hotspots around Cork City, a project which has enabled young students from a local Educate Together National School to be involved in changing Cork while encouraging large national businesses such as CIF to give back to Cork and help make a real difference in the community.

Picture: Members of the Construction Industry Federation that volunteered to take part in the erection of the Mural in Grattan St Car Park and lighting the lanes projects, including; (left to right) Vincent O’Donoghue (PJ Hegarty & Sons), Michael O’Shea (O’Sheas Builders Ltd), Eddie Feehilly (Eddie Feehilly Painting Contractors), Cormac Smith (MMD Construction and Chairman, Cork Branch CIF), Michael Ahern (Sean Ahern Electrical Ltd) and Sean Carrigy (PJ Hegarty & Sons).

Recent events and years in Ireland have highlighted and encouraged philanthropy, however, they have, more than anything highlighted the spread of the Irish diaspora. While the Cork Foundation clearly has a strong focus on maintaining connections and important networks within Cork it also aims to inspire people to consistently remain connected to the Rebel County. Through connecting with the Cork diaspora, the Cork Foundation hopes to not only be in a position to help Cork people in Cork but to enable and inspire Cork people abroad to leave their mark at home by supporting social entrepreneurs and Cork businesses, helping them to make a real social change.

Success on the international stage from athletes such as Sonia O’ Sullivan, TV personalities like Graham Norton or activist and the global Young Person of the Year Award winner Joanne O’ Riordan has offered a glimpse at the potential of Cork and Cork people. The Cork Foundation aims only to add to this, creating jobs, encouraging development and making a real positive change in society to help precisely what it relies on to succeed ; Cork people.

For more information on Cork Foundation- Please visit and please follow us on Twitter @CorkFoundation and Find us on Facebook :Cork

Article by Emily Burns

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