Cork City’s Elizabeth Fort has reopened to the public
Irish authorities promote staycationing as the safest way to holiday this year
- July 24, 2020 13:00
After months of Covid-19 induced closure, Elizabeth Fort, one of Cork City’s top free attractions, is once again receiving visitors eager to get immersed in its spectacular views and turbulent history. Speaking at the reopening ceremony, Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Joe Kavanagh said: “I’m delighted to help re-open one of Cork City’s favourite medieval attractions! Last year, Elizabeth Fort was on many people’s ‘must-see’ lists and welcomed 70 000 people through its medieval walls. With “staycations” very much the order of the day, I’d like to encourage you all to (re)discover Elizabeth Fort.”
One of Cork’s hidden gems
Built in the 17th century on a high vantage point outside the city walls, Elizabeth Fort was originally intended as a defensive fortification, playing a vital role in the siege of Cork in 1690. Later, the fort also served as a convict depot for prisoners awaiting transportation to Australia and most recently a garda (police force) barracks.
Exploring the fortifications and enjoying the panoramic views of the city below, people can also visit the exhibition “Walls, Women, Water” which recounts the history of the fort, and of Cork City, through maps, images and text. It also tells the tragic story of the 150 female convicts and their children departing from Elizabeth Fort on board ’The Neva’, who met their peril in a shipwreck off Cape Wickham, King Island, on 13 May 1835.
Elizabeth Fort has been approved by Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, as eligible to sign up to the COVID-19 Safety Charter, meaning that it is operating in line with current Government public health advice and with safety and cleaning protocols in place.
‘Staycation’ is the byword
On Monday, the government published a ‘green list’ of countries that are safe to travel to and whose citizens will not have to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Ireland. The countries, all of which have a similar or lower level of Covid-19 infections to Ireland, are Malta, Finland, Norway, Italy, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus, Slovakia, Greece, Greenland, Gibraltar, Monaco and San Marino.
Nevertheless, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney advised against all non-essential foreign travel, saying that the safest thing for the Irish to do is to holiday at home this year.
Local councils across Ireland are grabbing the opportunity to promote their cities and villages as the best staycation destinations. Limerick, for example, has launched its biggest ever tourism marketing campaign called Limerick 50 Days of Summer to encourage people living in other regions of Ireland to staycation in the city. 50 of the participants in an exciting competition will win prizes ranging from family fairy hunts and mountain biking, to shopping sprees and overnight stays in luxury hotels.
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