The leaders of paradise islands all over the world are in Cork for a maritime festival and oceans summit during what is expected to be one of the city’s busiest summer weekends. SeaFest and tonight’s Live at the Marquee gig and a Munster senior hurling clash are expected to help attract up to 100,000 visitors to Leeside over the coming days.
People are being encouraged to use public transport and motorists have been warned to expect diversions and delays, particularly this evening during the Cork-Waterford clash in Pairc Uí Chaoimh from 7pm and the Aslan and Damien Dempsey gig in the docklands. SeaFest — the marine sector’s ploughing championships — steps up a gear today with some 100 free events on and off the water, with most activity taking place along Kennedy and Albert quays.
Its central theme will be to raise awareness of the need to protect the marine environment against plastic pollution, with Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s centrepiece, the Clean Oceans Experience, featuring a 60kg plastic hut sculpture. It will be accompanied by a specially commissioned artistic performance on how the fishing sector is reducing plastics in the seas.
The Marine Institute’s Wild Atlantic Theatre will feature talks from Met Éireann’s Head of Forecasting, Evelyn Cusack, and wildlife cameraman Doug Allan, who has worked alongside David Attenborough on BBC’s Blue Planet and Frozen Planet.
Chefs Nevin Maguire, Rory O’Connell, and Martin Shanahan will stage seafood cooking demos, with fishmongers Pat O’Connell and Hal Dawson showcasing their seafood-preparation skills. The festival will also feature free ship tours, sailing, kayaking, and currach boat sessions.
Several foreign ministers or UN Ambassadors from 31 Small Island Developing States (SIDS), including Antigua, Barbados, Fiji, Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, will attend festival events ahead of the Oceans Wealth Summit on Monday, which features former US Secretary of State John Kerry, former president Mary Robinson, and the president of the Seychelles, Danny Faure, as special guests Tánaiste Simon Coveney said that the SIDS leaders represent some of the most beautiful countries on earth.
“However, many of these small countries are under threat so they’re coming to Ireland at a very senior level and we, as an island, are looking to give leadership through the United Nations on protecting the sea and countering climate change and it is a long-standing part of our campaign to take a UN Security Council seat,” he said.
Some of the SIDS leaders will attend tonight’s hurling clash before taking in the sights of Cork harbour and enjoying a barbecue in Crosshaven.