Cork City, Ireland

County Cork: Birthplace of Cillian Murphy

County Cork occupies a special place in the Irish heart. Known jokingly as a People’s Republic of Cork because of the fiercely distinct identity and accent of Corkonians, it packs much of what everyone loves about Ireland into one county. The descendants of Irish emigrants are often drawn to Cork because their ancestors departed from the picturesque seaside village of Cobh; a small town with a large port.

Cobh, County Cork

Images of the village appear on posters and other Irish gifts. West Cork is known as a haven for artists, and Cork City is a thriving place with a university, fantastic nightlife, and a bustling city center. Cork is also the birthplace of actor Cillian Murphy, who has become a household name through the perfect combination of talent, hard work, smart choices and stunning blue eyes.

Annie Moore Statue, by Jeanne Rynhart

While Murphy prefers to keep his private life private, his birthplace is not known for reticence. Cork’s other nickname is the rebel county, and it’s given Ireland many famous figures over the centuries including Michael Collins, a giant in Irish history. Collins was assassinated in Cork after his role in the treaty that resulted in partitioning the North. One of the survivors of the 1916 Uprising, Collins’ shrewd and strategic leadership was key to Ireland gaining its freedom a few years later. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who co-starred with Murphy in the film Michael Collins, was born in Dublin but raised in Cork. Actor, talk show host and author Graham Norton is another star from Cork. Arguably, talent is one of the best Irish gifts exported from Cork but it certainly isn’t the only one.

Key Facts about County Cork, Ireland
  • Cork is the largest county in the Republic of Ireland, and Cork City is the second largest city after Dublin. (Belfast is bigger, but is in Northern Ireland, not the Republic.) It’s in the province of Munster.
  • The county’s colors are red and white.
  • Cork is hailed as Ireland’s gourmet capital. Kinsale town is famous for it’s amazing restaurants, and the English Market in Cork is one of the oldest food markets in Europe. It features a mix of traditional local foods, international cuisines, big brands and artisan producers under one beautiful roof.
Kinsale, County Cork
  • Cork has a special tie with the Choctaw Tribe. The Choctaw donated a huge sum of money to famine relief in the 1840s, and now Midleton, Co Cork has a stunning monument to their generosity. Kindred Spirits is a 20-foot tall bowl made of huge stainless steel feathers.
  • Henry Ford’s ancestors came from Cork, and the first Ford factory outside the USA was in Cork
  • Blarney Castle, home of the famous Blarney Stone, is in Cork. The stone purportedly gives those who kiss it the gift of the gab, one of the Irish gifts is never in short supply.
Blarney Castle, Home of the Blarney Stone

Cork has never been a secret. It’s always been a popular spot with visitors from Ireland and around the world due its central role in so many historic events and its rich culture of performing and culinary arts. With Oppenheimer and its star Cillian Murphy in the spotlight at the coming Academy Awards, this county might become even more famous.