West Cork historians hope to launch a tourism trail around the region highlighting areas which hosted key events in the War of Independence and Civil War.
This Sunday sees the launch of Cork Rebel Way, a 64-page magazine documenting historical events that took place at places such as Toureen, Crossbarry, Upton and Kilmichael, while recalling the stories of key figures such as Michael Collins, Tom Barry, Sean and Tom Hales, Sam Maguire and John (Flyer) Nyhan.
Helen Collins and Ann Hales - granddaughters of Michael Collins and Tom Hales - will jointly launch the publication at an event at the Kilmichael Ambush Site at 5pm, which will also be attended by County Mayor, Christopher O’Sullivan.
JJ Hurley, who is a member of the organising group, reflected on the importance of ensuring the history of the area is preserved:
“Marking the centenary of those men and women who played a pivotal part in securing our Independence is really important, and ensuring their story is preserved for future generations has been our number one aim in promoting this project," he said.
In addition the project has significant potential for many rural areas in West Cork, attracting visitors who are fascinated by the exploits of those individuals from 100 years ago, but it needs to be developed and marketed and that’s the next objective of the group over the coming months, hopefully with the assistance of the local authority and government agencies
The proposed area for the Cork Rebel Way goes from Kinsale in the east, across to the Beara peninsula in the west and from the Wild Atlantic Way along the coast to the N22 Cork-Killarney road in mid-Cork.
The magazine is free but only a limited number of copies have been produced. It is available from a number of tourist offices, libraries. hotels and visitor centres across West Cork.