Mayor to make history in hi-tech parade link-up

Caroline Craughan with her St Patrick's Day special, a green battered fish at the Fish Wife, MacCurtain St, Cork. Picture: Denis Scannell

Cork is hoping to create technology history this St Patrick’s weekend by using advanced video teleconferencing to allow a US mayor lead parades on both sides of the Atlantic.

San Francisco mayor Ed Lee is in Cork to act as grand marshal for today’s parade which starts at 1pm.

But thanks to Cisco’s TelePresence technology, he ‘virtually lead’ his own city’s parade last night from Cork’s Imperial Hotel.

He was linked via a live stream to the crowds in San Francisco’s Civic Plaza who were able to watch him on their mobile devices and smartphones.

It is being hailed as a technology first and is the first time a mayor will lead St Patrick’s Day parades on both sides of the Atlantic. Traditional Irish music will also be beamed live from Cork to San Francisco.

Cisco is the largest networking company in the world, responsible for much of the internet’s architecture and software that drives it.

Officials in Cork hope its decision to create this piece of tech history, and the city’s recent hosting of the ITLG conference, will help position it as a “smart, connected and future city”.

“We aim to explore the opportunities that technology such as this provides for the benefit of jobs, business and citizens in Cork,” city manager Tim Lucey said.

In San Francisco, Cisco is collaborating with city officials to use the latest video conferencing technology to develop several Smart+Connected Communities.

Cisco plans to explore how similar projects could be developed in Cork.

The live stream of the TelePresence session between the Imperial Hotel in Cork and City Hall in San Francisco can be downloaded via the Ustream app.

Meanwhile, top Irish- American politician, Christine Quinn, the speaker of New York’s city council, a leading candidate to be the city’s next mayor, and a proud lesbian, did not march in yesterday's St Patrick’s Day Parade.

Quinn’s rising political prominence is bringing a decades-long dispute between parade organisers and gay activists back into sharp relief. And it’s raising the prospect of a standoff next year if she wins November’s election and becomes the city’s first openly gay and first female mayor.

Quinn, a granddaughter of Irish immigrants, says: “I’ve marched in Dublin with stickers and buttons that made clear we were both Irish and LGBT. If you can do that in Dublin, in God’s name, why can’t you do it on Fifth Avenue?”

‘Drink link’to connect pubs across Atlantic

By Sean O’Riordan

It has to be the ultimate drink link.

A Cork City pub is hooking up with one in Boston to provide a live video feed that will link friends across the Atlantic.

Skype-feed video screens went live in The Sextant on Albert Quay last night and will show Cork exiles raising their glasses in Flann O’Brien’s bar in central Boston.

Meanwhile, the Boston bar, run by Corkmen Tony O’Brien and Butch Murray, will feature a video feed from The Sextant.

Stephen Coleman, originally from Blackrock, emigrated to Boston more than two years ago and said a lot of his Cork friends would be heading to Flann O’Brien’s for the link.

The IT software architect, aged 25, said yesterday the word had gone around Boston’s Cork diaspora and he “expects a good Cork crew to turn up for the event”.

“It will be nice to experience it. I’ve also got three buddies from Cork coming over for the festivities,” Stephen said.

Johnny O’Mahony, co- owner of The Sextant, described the link as “a virtual gathering” and said: “We approached Flann O’Brien’s with the idea and they were thrilled with it. There are a lot of Cork people who go in there, so we’re hoping they’ll be able to raise a glass to their friends back home and vice versa.”

Nothing fishy as chipper goes green

By Eoin English

It’s the fish supper to dye for — and that’s o-fish-al.

Forget green beer and rivers — a Cork chipper will serve up special green fishy treats tomorrow to celebrate the national holiday. And they reckon that after one taste, you’ll be hooked.

The Fish Wife on Cork’s MacCurtain St has added special dye to its tasty batter to create bright green battered fish portions for one day only.

Owner Caroline Craughan will be selling green smoked haddock, cod, plaice, and hake portions from 12 noon.

But she has gone one step further to create a special scampi meal in the colours of the Irish flag, with the individual portions dyed green, white and gold.

“It won’t change the taste or consistency of the fish. It’s just something different and funny to make people smile,” she said. “But there will also be the option to have your fish plain.”

All the fish suppers, which start from €8, are served with chips, green mushy peas, a slice of lemon and tartar sauce.


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