The Michael Collins Centre, in association with other agencies in County Cork, unveiled plans yesterday to launch a new driving trail that will showcase popular historic sites in the county associated with Ireland’s independence period in the early 20th century alongside lesser-known areas of interest this summer travel season.

The announcement was made in a public Facebook post by Tim Crowley, who runs the Michael Collins Centre at Castle View, located near Clonakilty, the birthplace of Michael Collins in County Cork. Crowley notes that the initiative is not a unilateral one made by the center, but one that will be generated from coordination between the community as well as “Historical Societies, Museums, the accommodation sector and the arts from all over West Cork.”

“The Cork Rebel Way area is unique in that it holds some of the most important sites associated with the Irish Revolutionary period in the country,” the post reads, and the driving route itself would encompass a wide swath of County Cork, ranging from “Kinsale in the east, to the Beara peninsula in the west and from the Wild Atlantic Way along the South Cork coast, to the Cork Macroom / Kilarney road (N22) in the North.”

 

The birthplace of Michael Collins in County Cork. (Mike Searle / Geograph Ireland)

The birthplace of Michael Collins near Clonakilty in County Cork. (Mike Searle / Geograph Ireland)

 

As for what sites would be the focus of the route, the post reveals that well-known sites like Kilmichael, Béal na Blá (where Michael Collins was famously gunned down) and Crossbarry would be included of course, but also “many lesser-known sites like Rosscarbery where the attack on the RIC barracks took place in 1921, Ahawadda near Timoleague where three RIC constables were ambushed in 1920, and Crois na Leanbh near Kilbrittain where four IRA volunteers were shot while trenching a road in 1921, would also be promoted.”

Among the historical figures associated with County Cork are Michael Collins, Tom Barry, Tom Hales, Sean Hales, Charlie Hurley, Sam Maguire, JJ Walsh, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, Mary Jane Irwin, and British Officer Major A E Percival, “all form part of the story found along the Cork Rebel Way,” says the Michael Collins Centre.

Though historic sites associated with Ireland’s independence will be the main focus of the trail, organizers also noted that locations with significance to more distant history would also be part of the route. These include the sites of the Battle of Kinsale (1601), the attempted French Landing in Bantry Bay (1796), the Battle of the Big Cross (1798), the Famine, Land War Evictions and the sinking of the Lusitania.

“It is intended that the Cork Rebel Way will be a bottom up, community led initiative, being influenced by the old custom of the meitheal and the Co-operative,” Crowley says. “The Cork Rebel Way plan will encourage visitors to visit the small towns, Villages and the Countryside located off the usual tourist routes. Visitors would remain in the area for longer and hopefully make a return visit, with an obvious economic boost for local business.”

The trail is set to launch June 1 with “a special free Cork Rebel Way magazine, providing comprehensive background information about each site, including GPS coordinates” in the pipeline for distribution to local hotels, libraries, and tourism offices June 1, according to EchoLive.ie.

See the full post below:

 

 

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Will you visit the Cork Rebel Way? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

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