President Michael D Higgins to mark Cork Chamber’s 200th anniversary

Events planned include a schools art initiative

Cork Chamber CEO Conor Healy, vice president Paula Cogan and president, Bill O’Connell. Cork Chamber is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year.

Cork Chamber CEO Conor Healy, vice president Paula Cogan and president, Bill O’Connell. Cork Chamber is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year.

 

Cork Chamber president, Bill O’Connell has welcomed confirmation that President Michael D Higgins is to honour the chamber by giving the keynote address at this year’s annual dinner to mark the 200th anniversary of the chamber’s establishment.

“We are delighted that President Higgins will join the Cork business community in celebration of one of the oldest institutions on the island of Ireland, ” said Mr O’Connell as he announced a programme of events to mark the anniversary.

The dinner which will be attended by 1,000 of the city’s business leaders at Cork City Hall on February 1st.

Mr O’Connell said that President Higgins has played an active part in the promotion of Ireland’s trade links as he worked with business leaders at home and abroad to encourage investment in Ireland.

“It’s expected that President Higgins will use the opportunity to commend Cork Chamber, which now represents the interests of 1,200 businesses employing over 100,000 people in the region, for the work they do as they nurture relationships between business and society.

Trade

Cork Chamber was founded in November, 1819, in what is now the Victoria Hotel on Patrick Street against a backdrop of economic decline and high unemployment. An initial committee of eleven businessmen came together to promote trade in the city, explained Mr O’Connell.

“This year marks a huge milestone in Cork Chamber’s history. Founded 200 years ago, by a group of businesspeople committed to promoting and supporting the best of Cork business, Cork Chamber has remained one of the greatest champions of the region’s business community ever since,” he said.

“This year is not just about reflecting on the successes of the past – it is about looking at how the Chamber can support businesses to tackle some of the challenges of the present and about being ambitious for the future of the region, which is currently going through an exciting period of growth.”

Mr O’Connell said the population of Cork city was around 80,000 in 1819 whereas current projections for the region estimate that with the right investment and infrastructure, Cork’s metropolitan area could grow to 500,000 by 2050 and Cork Chamber would seek to support that growth.

Events planned include a schools art initiative, in association with the Glucksman Gallery in UCC entitled ‘Future Forms’ which will see Cork schools, third-level students and community groups working with artists to create artworks that imagine what the city will look like in 200 years’ time.