Leesiders have long been known for an intense pride in the close ties between their home town and the nearby Atlantic lapping on its shores.
And while that pride has often been the source of derision from other parts of the country, the reason for it is set to be underlined today with a high-profile EU award for the picturesque port city.
After months of Government campaigning behind the scenes, Cork City is expected to today be announced as the hosts for European Maritime Day in 2020.
The award is part of four separate announcements for cities to host the event between 2020 and 2024, bringing a likely surge in tourism — and badly needed investment — for each of the locations.
European Maritime Day is considered one of the most important events in the EU’s maritime calendar, with more than 1,000 stakeholders from across the continent due to attend on June 8 that year before a two-day maritime festival.
And with the well-known connection of Cork City with the nearby coastline, the flurry of tourists to the region for that reason and the recent success of the Olympian O’Donovan brothers to the fore, the city — which has previously benefited from being named European capital of culture in 2005 — is expected to benefit from fresh investment.
When Cork City won the culture capital award 12 years ago, it received significant additional EU funding, with the host city position giving cultural groups an international platform.
The European Maritime Day award was campaigned for by Government with Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to the fore.
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