Posts Tagged ‘Cork’

Fota Island hosts Liverpool FC for Irish training camp

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Fota Island Resort was delighted to play host to one of Europe’s biggest football club’s when the Liverpool FC Academy squad spent a week at the five star resort in Ireland during a short pre-season training camp. Their visit included fixtures against the resorts local side, Cork City FC, and also a trip up to the west coast to play Galway City FC.


Going International Conference taking place at Fota Island Resort Cork

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

The third Going International Conference will take place on Wednesday 16th October 2013, here at the Fota Island Resort Hotel Cork.

The Going International Conference forms a vital part of the Global Economic Forum for Cork Rebel Week, the Cork Gathering flagship event that takes places from 14th to 20th October.

At the launch of the conference, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney highlighted that these events are fundamental in bringing international entrepreneurs and leaders together and it was announced that confirmed keynote speakers so far for the conference would be Candace Johnson, one of Time magazine’s 50 most powerful businesswomen in Europe, and Julian Costley, co-founder of E*TRADE UK and former country manager at Reuters.

This event, like the Global Economic Forum on Thursday 17th October aims to attract international visitors by asking them to take part in discussions and debates, so that they can gain greater understanding of the economic renewal in Cork, and we here at Fota Island Resort look forward to welcoming all the delegates, speakers and attendees of this year’s Going International Conference to our Cork Conference Venue.

Big Races on Land and at Sea in Cork this June

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

The beginning of June in Cork looks to be lively and entertaining both on shore and off shore, as the city hosts its annual marathon on Monday 3rd June and its Ocean to City Maritime Festival from 1st -10th June 2013.

The Cork City Marathon on Monday 3rd June includes the main marathon, half marathon, team relay and youth relay events. An official 26 miles and 385 yards marathon course, Cork is a full member of the AIMS – Association of International Marathons and Distance Races and since the revival of the Cork City Marathon in 2007 after a break of some 21 years, there has been a renewed enthusiasm for the event and year on year it attracts even more participants from around the county, country and globe.

The main marathon and team relay start at 9am sharp on St Patrick’s Street, with the wheelchair marathon starting a few minutes before.  The half marathon starts at 10:30 from Skehard Road, Mahon, and due to parking facilities, participants will be taken by buses from city hall to this starting location.

Taking place from the 1st of June through to the 10th of June is one of Ireland’s largest combined rowing races and maritime festival’s – Ocean to City, which celebrates Cork’s unique maritime heritage and natural harbour,

The festival includes The Big Race or An Rás Mór, a 15 nautical mile rowing race that attracts entries from across the world and sees participants compete in one of four races over different distances through Cork Harbour. The longest being the Ocean Course from Crosshaven to Point to Cobh, Monkstown and through Lough Mahon to Lapp’s Quay in the city. This course can be tackled as a relay team, with crews changing at Monkstown. For anyone who has not yet registered – the final closing date is midnight Saturday 25th May.

A fun family friendly festival taking place over the first 10 days of June, it has plenty for everyone including harbour cruises, Inter-firm Dragon Boat Challenge, Treasure Hunt, Navy tours, angling trips, films and talks, food and craft markets, music and lots more free family entertainment.

This June Bank Holiday Weekend and the week that follows, Cork really is the place to be, so if you have not yet booked your accommodation to enjoy and participate within the festivities, be sure to check out what Hotel Deals in Cork are available and discover why the Fota Island Cork Hotel is the ideal location to stay in order to access the city centre and surrounding areas of Cork

More acts announced for Live at the Marquee in Cork this summer

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Monday it was announced that four more popular music acts were to perform gigs for Live At The Marque this summer, and would join the likes of The Boomtown Rats, Christy Moore, The Coronas, Elton John, Elvis Costello, The National, Olly Murs, Sting, The Wanted and ZZ Top in the growing line up of top class international acts playing in Cork.

Those acts that were announced were, X Factor winners and popular girl band Little Mix on 14th June, rapper and songwriter Ke$ha on 3rd July, Irish rock group Bell X1 on 4th July and Irish star Imelda May on 9th July.

A unique venue that is popular with artists, Live at the Marquee is now in its ninth year of summer gigs and continues to offer a line up that has something for everyone, and its location at the Showgrounds on Monaghan Road is suitably close to Cork’s top attractions and Cork Hotels.

So if you are in the area and looking for hotels near the marquee in Cork, the Fota Island Resort offers the ideal location to relax after a gig and provides easy access to some of the city and county’s top tourist attractions.

The last part of my adventure in Ireland

Monday, July 9th, 2012

That’s it… my work placement has reached its conclusion. These three months here at Fota Island Five Stars Resort Ireland have allowed me to learn and discover lots of things. Firstly from an educational perspective and also because I have met a lot of people and I could discover an important part of the Irish culture and heritage located around the city of Cork.

Last weekend I went to visit the Cork City Gaol which was really worth it! The visit lasted approximately one hour and you can choose between either head piece to hear the comments or read from a leaflet. Scenes of the past are recreated with human size mannequins to better imagine how things were before.

I also went to see something typically Irish: a greyhound race! In Curraheen Park in the western suburbs of Cork City. That was the first time for me and I was delighted to go along. I also bet but unfortunately I was not lucky this time!

Going back to my work placement I can say that all the people here in Fota Island Resort have always been very kind and helpful with me.  To end with my last blog I wanted to speak about Irish stereotypes as I started my first blog with that topic. So please have a look at this picture.

  • Indeed Irish people definitely don’t drink green beer! The popular beers here are rather Murphy’s, Beamish and Guinness!
  • In regard to the 2nd image, from my experience I have never seen any Irish men fighting during my stay.
  • All Irish people don’t have freckles! Of course..
  • For the potatoes it would be an understatement to say that Irish people don’t like to eat them. Potatoes come in all shapes and sizes in Ireland!
  • Irish people are certainly not Leprechauns and they don’t wear that kind of hat except to support their football team!
  • And no, don’t worry if you go shopping in Ireland you won’t just find tweed and wool for the clothes! They have a lot’s of shops and in Ireland you can also go shopping on a Sunday!
  • And don’t worry for the phrase: “Will beat the crap out of anyone”, Irish people are very friendly and they will rather speak to you or offering you a pint rather that annoying you.
  • Finally I can safely say that most of those Irish stereotypes are incorrect!

Overall I can safely say that I was very happy to have worked here and it was a very nice and interesting experience over the past few months!


Can you guess which Cork landmark I am?

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

I was built a long time ago in a small village located to the northwest of Cork City. In the 10th century I was constructed in wood and around 1210, the wood was replace by a stone structure. But if you come to see me any day you will see my third face: that was built by Dermot McCarty in 1446, the King of Munster.

You have probably heard about the legend that says there are three secret passageways leading out from the castle, one leading to the lake, another to Cork and the last to Kerry? But I won’t tell you the truth now, I would prefer to let your imagination work and dream. Indeed when Lord Broghill laid siege to the castle to take the gold, he broke the tower walls, forced his way in but when he got inside there was nobody there and no gold. All the men disappeared… by one of the passageways underneath the castle.

If you go to the gardens, now called Rock Close you will see The Witch Stone where it is said that the Witch of Blarney is imprisoned during the day. So many souls have wandered between my stones.

More recently famous people in the world have come to kiss me such as Sir Winston Churchill, Laurel and Hardy, Mick Jagger, the Rolling Stones. And every year lots of pilgrims come to kiss me, so much that I can not tell you the exact number. They all want to receive the power of eloquence and ‘the gift of the gab’! If you want to kiss my stone you will have to climb 100 steps before joining the top, and be careful my steps are very narrow as people used to be smaller in the past.

If you want to have a walk, you can go to visit the poison garden and the Rock Close where you could observe plenty of Celtic vestiges such as giant Dolmens, Wishing Steps, an ancient Druids circle or sacrificial altar, the kitchen fire of the Witch. Many of the trees are extremely ancient. You can also walk to Blarney House.

If you want to visit me it will cost you €10 if you are a student and €12 for an adult. The castle is located just 8km from Cork City. If you have time you should go to the Blarney Woollen Mills which is one of Irelands leading stockist of Aran Sweaters, Irish Gifts, Claddagh Rings, Waterford Crystal and Irish Sweaters, Fisherman Sweaters and Celtic Jewelry.

Guessed who I am yet?

À bientôt,


May’s Myth Buster: Is it Fact or Fiction?

Monday, May 21st, 2012

NOTE: Exciting competition at the end of this blog!

“If I was a woman, maybe I’d go, but I’m not!”

“I haven’t been; it’s for women to go and gossip”

“That’s for women to go and get their girly things done, I don’t need that”

I’ll give you a few clues to try and figure out what these quotes refer to: It’s three letters long, starts with an S, ends with an A, and it’s not Sma (mainly because that’s not a word :-) ). But you’re right, Spa, that’s what these quotes are about…and they were taken straight from the mouths of men, when they were faced with the question “Have you ever been to a Spa?” For fear you think I’m making this up, these men were my friends, and please also note that these men were Irish!

There has been a long lived rumour circulating our society: “Spas are for women”. I bet you’ve heard it too! But why is that? Surely being pampered is something we all enjoy. Why wouldn’t men love getting massages, for example, as much as women do? They feel amazing! If you’re a woman and you’re reading this, I bet you’ve heard your boyfriend/husband/brother/friend cheekily ask you: “Can I have a foot rub?”. And if you’re a man and you’re reading this, I bet you’ve at least thought about asking for one. And why wouldn’t you? Taking this into consideration, I’ve taken it upon myself to investigate the “Spas are for women” myth further in order to determine: Is it fact or fiction?

I figured the best way to go about investigating this issue was by performing two simple tasks (well, maybe simple is the wrong word, but two tasks anyway!): (1) trying to get inside men’s heads to try and understand how they view this myth (here’s the not so simple part of the tasks, although yes, it may be slightly easier than getting inside women’s heads), and (2) carrying out a little experiment.

Task 1: Getting inside men’s heads
As I posed the same “Have you ever been to a Spa?” question to a number of different men, a pattern clearly emerged. I’m sure you’ll see it too:

“No…but I’d go if it was a “fix” me situation”

“No…but well, if I got a present of it I’d obviously have to go”

“No…but if my girlfriend made me go I’d have to go I guess”

For every “No I haven’t been” answer there seems to be a counteracting “But I’d go if I was “forced” to go” excuse. So here is my theory: the issue isn’t that men don’t like going or don’t want to go to spas, but rather, that they may need an excuse to do it! Spas are seen by the majority of people, as girly, feminine places. Maybe it’s the scented candles, and warm fuzzy robes. Maybe it’s the simple word Spa that acts as a synonym for beauty: something that only women should be concerned about (or at least that’s how most of us think anyway). Women want to be beautiful, men don’t. But I beg to differ. I think both women and men want to be beautiful; but where as women actively try to feel beautiful, men don’t. Not because they don’t want to, but because it wouldn’t fit their manly image, especially when we think about the unmerciful peer pressure these men feel from their friends to act in a certain “manly manner”. As the quotes above suggest, the only way men can accept the need or want to feel pampered and “beautiful” at a Spa is by transforming it into a “I had no choice but to do it” scenario.

Task 2: A little experiment

Ok so, onto my little experiment! The quotes that opened this blog got me thinking about the misconceptions that men have about Spas. Words like “gossip” and “girly things” set immediate alarm bells off in my head. Is it that men think that going to a Spa involves women going for nail and waxing treatments, as they sit around drinking tea and chatting about the fact that Britney Spears has finally signed her US X Factor contract? Don’t get me wrong, obviously women do love having those chats (I know I’m guilty of starting many of them!), but a Spa isn’t generally the setting for these kind of chats. A Spa is where people go to be pampered, and feel relaxed. It isn’t a social setting per se, saturated with nail and waxing treatments. It’s so much more than that. If anything, it’s the one place that allows you to go to be “selfish”, and simply focus on you, and your wellbeing; not so much to gossip.

To show that men might indeed appreciate a visit to a Spa if it weren’t for the misconceptions they have, I undertook the following experiment: I told men about a Spa treatment, without referring to it as a Spa treatment, and noted their reactions. If their reactions were positive, my theory would be proven, that is, leave the word Spa out, and men are instantly more attracted to the idea. The chosen treatment: Floating experience! This Spa treatment involves lying in a floatation tank filled with a salt solution so dense that allows you to float weightlessly, with no effort.

So here is how I put the treatment to my male interviewees:

“Have you ever heard of the Dead Sea? Where you can go to kick back and relax: floating on the sea water, feeling weightless…”

The reactions, as you can imagine, were pretty upbeat:

“I’ve always wanted to go there…Imagine floating like that on the water!”

“Someday I’ll go there! It must be something else to just be able to lay back and float, no worries, just happy out, floating in the sea!”

As I wrote down their answers I felt a sneaky and rewarding thought enter my head “Ha, I was right”! Technically speaking, it can be argued that these men would indeed like to experience this “floatation” Spa treatment (and this is only one of many treatments available at a Spa that don’t involve waxing or nails). Yet, if you asked these same men to go to a Spa, they would reply “no”! So it appears that, for the moment, my theory has been confirmed: the word Spa alone blurs men’s views.

So what can we take from all this? Well, I’m happy to say that the “Spas are for women” myth seems to be fiction! The issue isn’t that Spas are for women, but rather that: (1) men are loyal to their manly facade, and (2) men have strong misconceptions about Spas. Once you remove these two factors from the equation, however, it seems that men would appreciate what a Spa has to offer just as much as women do. But a key question remains: “how exactly do we remove these factors from the equation?” This question has prompted me to undertake an additional task!

Bonus Task: Competition – Prize worth €125!
To help me find the answer,Fota Island Spa Hotel Cork has come up with a brilliant competition: I’m looking for you to nominate a man to be put to the test by experiencing a complementary Half Day Package at Fota Island Spa, and telling us about his experience!

To be in with a chance to win this fantastic prize for your nominee, all you have to do is email me directly on, and tell me why I should pick your nominee to win, his first name, age, and the days of the week that he would be available for a Spa treatment. The worthiest nominee will be the winner! Competition closes on Friday, 25th May. I look forward to hearing from you, and seeing how our winning nominee gets on :-) .

Thank you for reading, and as always feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions,

The third part of my Irish adventure

Friday, May 18th, 2012

This weekend I went back to the Fota House & Arboretum with one of my roommates and we also went to Fota Wildlife Park. Its very accessible from Fota Island Resort Hotel Cork. The Park is nice and spacious with most of animals free to roam and you can watch them very close. Furthermore the weather was very good on the day which made the experience more enjoyable. You can observe Wallabies, several monkeys, tapir, flamingo, bison, zebra, and the ones I really preferred were the ring-tailed lemurs. Each lemur measures approximately 1 metre in length and they are from Madagascar. It is also worth noting that Fota Wildlife Park is a non-profit organisation.

Now I would like to speak about the Blarney Castle. It opens in May from 9.00 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. and for students it is just €10. It was built almost 6 hundred years ago and was originally made of wood. I am really eager to visit and see it for myself. It is said that you can kiss the Stone of Eloquence and never be lost for words, for that you have to go up to the top of one of the Tower. Furthermore it is a superb place for film with different architectural styles and landscapes. I have found an interesting article about the castle and films shoot. The first shoot when a crew filmed a spoof ‘Lord of the Rings’ sketch in the magical Rock Close Gardens, while the second shoot saw them explore the history of the Blarney stone. You can visit the Castle of course but also the poison garden, the Arboretum, the Bog and Irish garden and the Rock Close. Maybe I am hoping I will have the chance to go there this Sunday.

Otherwise I went to different bars in Cork with some friends and I was very happy to discover the HI-B which is a small and some might say typical Irish bar, anyway you should go there and experience it by yourself, as well as the An Bodhran where you can hear some good traditional Irish music. In the first one it seems to me that each costumer knew each other, and people seems to be very Irish. Every Wednesday someone comes to sing and play music in the bar. I really like the ambiance, it is crowded, there is music, lots of people speak and drink, not everyone can have a seat and the bar is full of decoration of all kind – flags, posters, pictures, and the ceiling of the An Bodhran and on the top of the bar is covered with currency notes. The Guinness and the Murphy’s are good, and the Beamish is a speciality from Cork as it is brewed locally. These two bars are recommended by “Le Guide du Routard” which is a famous book in France for travels abroad.

That’s all for this week, I hope you will enjoy.
À bientôt until the next blog.


Marion’s Irish Adventure – Part 2

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Hi everyone!

Here is the second part of my Irish adventure.

This weekend I finally found the way to go to Fota House and Arboretum from Fota Island Resort, walking. I spent approximately 50 minutes walking from the Cork Hotel to go there, but I took the longer and more scenic route around the Resort, otherwise it usually takes just 15 minutes apparently. The Arboretum is really nice, full of lush vegetation where you can view squirrels, birds, ducks, flowers, rare trees and exotic plants. It is free to visit Gardens and the Arboretum; you just have to pay a small charge for the parking. I learned that those gardens were the property of the Smith-Barry family that used to live in the Barryscourt Castle located in Carrigtwohill. Actually the main function room in Fota Island Hotel is called the Smith-Barry Suite, after them; which I saw set for a wedding for over 300 people last weekend – Wow what an amazing Cork Wedding Venue !! Next time I hope I will go to visit Barryscourt Castle which will open on the 24th May. The motto of the family was “Boutez en avant” and means “advance boldly”. Fota Island Resort has the same motto on the main gates.

On Saturday I went out with my roommates to Cork City. We wanted to go to the Bailey but we could not get inside unless we were 21 years old, it was the same for Soho, so we went to Long Island. I drank Guinness again to be in good health of course. It is strange that nightclubs close at 2 a.m. because in France they usually close at 6 a.m. and we can go to most pubs and clubs at 18.

On Monday I spent the whole afternoon shopping with one of my neighbours. Even for a Bank Holiday almost all shops were opened and there were a lot of people on the streets. We went to a big tourist’s shop called Carroll’s to buy some Guinness tee-shirts, jewellery and course some chocolate. I am sure that lots of people will probably have thought that I should have got rid of my Irish stereotypes by now, but I have a good idea that Ireland is hopefully not just that. Next time I will avoid going inside touristic shops, I really would like to visit Cork City Gaol in order to know more about the history and heritage of the City.

Last week I noticed that a football team was playing at the Fota Island Training Facility. I was told that they were part of the Cork GAA football team. I also learned that they were famous in Ireland, but that they were not paid for playing football and that they are also working during the week. In France I think that most of the sport people are paid overall if they belong to a famous team that appears on television.


A Warm Irish Welcome…

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Good afternoon everyone. Let me introduce myself, I am Marion and I am coming from the west side of France near the city of Angers. I have finished my third year in University in France where I am studying LEA: Languages Applied to Trade and Law, where I learn English, Spanish, Chinese, and to validate my diploma I have the opportunity to make my work placement abroad. I am really passionate for culture, history, historical monument and art. I therefore choose to go in Ireland: a country I really wanted to discover, and here I am for three months. Why Ireland? first because I really love nature and Ireland has plenty of wonderful landscapes that change every time of colours because of the light and rain, second because I was told and I read in several books that Irish people were very kind and friendly and third because I wanted to know more about the culture and traditions of the magic Emerald Isle.

Guinness Cork Jazz FestivalHere I am in the country of those famous writers such as Oscar Wilde, James Joyce and of the famous politician Michael Collins, the very green country of beers and whiskey, Leprechauns, beers, folklore, rains, green clothes, Celtic Crosses where shamrocks brings you luck, where people love to tell stories to explains things, where one of the symbols are the claddagh and the Irish harp, where musics, traditions and patriotism take a huge place. These are the stereotypes I bring with me when I first arrived in Ireland. In my opinion all those strong symbols are part of the Irish identity, these symbols are the first images that appear in our mind when we are coming from abroad and when we think about Ireland, but Ireland is not just that, it is much more… and we’ll see if I changed my mind in three months… probably. Ireland is above all the country of warm welcome that attracted every year a lots of tourists coming to discover the wonderful landscapes, the historical monuments of the green Erin, the famous Connemara with it sheep, the Giant Causeway, the Cliff of Moher, the Aran Isles ,all the castles and abbeys: inheritance of the passed history. People are also coming for the famous festivals of Dublin, Cork, and for the good vibes of Irish pubs. Ireland is also the country where were born famous actors such as Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson, Kenneth Brannagh and Cilian Murphy.

One of the first things I notice when I get off the plane in Cork airport and took a taxi is that Irish people are really cheerful and welcoming. Here is a quotation I find very funny: Irish people seems to really enjoy life, they really like to have good time.

Celtic CrossAn Irishman’s Philosophy

In life, there are only two things to worry about
Either you are well or you are sick.
If you are well, there is nothing to worry about,
But if you are sick, there are only two things to worry about
Either you will get well or you will die.
If you get well, there is nothing to worry about,
But if you die, there are only two things to worry about
Either you will go to heaven or hell.
If you go to heaven, there is nothing to worry about.
And if you go to hell, you’ll be so busy shaking hands with all your friends
You won’t have time to worry

This is one of the first pieces of paper I was given when I arrived, this is a very practical and interesting map to be better aware of the layout of Fota Island Resort. One of very few luxury hotels in Ireland, Fota Island Resort located near the cosmopolitan city of Cork.This weekend I went to Cobh with one of my roommates for the Titanic 100 festival, I was hopping to see ancient cars but we did not see any, but there was a nice costume contest: approximately 10 peoples wearing in 1900’s costumes, at the time of the Titanic. What is really nice is that the houses are painting with lots of colours .We went to a bar and I drank my first pint of Guinness, that’s a very good drink and furthermore good for your health. The atmosphere was very festive and full of soccer supporters.

Guinness stout is made from water, barley, hops, and brewer’s yeast. A portion of the barley is roasted to give Guinness its dark colour and characteristic taste. It is pasteurised and filtered. Despite its reputation as a “meal in a glass”, Guinness only contains 198 kcal ” according to Wikipedia. “Studies claim that Guinness can be beneficial to the heart. Researchers found that ‘antioxidant compounds’ in the Guinness, similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for health benefits because they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls”. That’s an other good reason for drinking Guinness. In three months I am quite sure that I will be in better health! Now the fact just remain to know how much better?

Concerning the weather it is not a myth that it use to rain a lot, the weather is very changeable indeed. It is due to the temperate oceanic climate. On Sunday we went to Cork for shopping, it is amazing that stores are opened on Sunday. In France everything is closes on Sunday except the bakery in the morning. One of the attractive things to do is to go to the English market located off Patrick ‘s Street , unfortunately it was closed, I am hopping to see it open next time. I expect to find there local product, local home made products of excellent quality .I’ll check if I was right next time I go. It is open from Monday to Saturday from 9.00 am to 5.30 pm. Here is a picture of cheese from the English market, it is really appetising don’t you think? For someone who come from France it just miss the red wine, or the Guinness pint. I am really eager to taste the Durrus , a speciality of Cork. Furthermore I was told that the Chef from the Fota Restaurant always goes to The English Market to buy excellent ingredients to prepare it’s dishes.

The English Market“The English Market has entrances on Princes Street, Patrick Street and the Grand Parade. It is a covered market for fish, fruit, meat and vegetable. The origins of the market can be traced back to James 1st in 1610, but the present building dates from 1786. In 1980 it was destroyed by fire and was refurbished by Cork Corporation to an award-winning design by the Cork city architect T. F. MacNamara. Foods from all over the world as well as traditional Cork foods can be purchased. Meat eats, fish, breads, organic fruit & vegetables, you’ll also find as hot buttered eggs, cheese, olives, crubeens (pigs’ feet), and the Cork favourite Tripe & Drisheen”

Anyway, that’s all from me for now. I will wrote to you each week to let you know how I am progressing and what I have discovered. Until then… À bientôt!