THEY may have left the Banner County but the love of home is still very strong for the Clare Association Cork. The association is 43 years in existence and throughout its long history, has helped to raise lots of funds for charity.
The Clare Association Cork will once again hold its annual dinner on November 26 at the Ambassador Hotel in Cork and urge all Clare people, particularly those who have family living in Cork, to support the event.
The dinner will help raise money for Bru Columbanus, Wilton, Cork, Marymount Hospice and Cork Simon.
According to Senan Carrig, secretary of the Clare Association Cork, all of the charities are extremely worthy of funding. He pointed out that Bru Columbanus would have a particular significance to many Clare people.
“Bru Columbanus provides accommodation for people visiting patients in hospital. It’s a wonderful new premises right across the road from the hospital, so it’s very convenient. There is beautiful accommodation and it’s available free of charge, although they do welcome donations. It is used a lot by people in Clare. We’ve spread the news,” said Senan.
The Cork association is one of the longest running, with 43 years of unbroken service. As well as Cork charities, the association has also raised funding for organisations in Clare. It is also part of the Combined Counties Association, taking part in fundraising each year for Edel House, a residential centre for women and children who are homeless.
He explained that the association began in Cork more than four decades ago. “It started when one member put an ad in the Cork Examiner about a meeting. He didn’t turn up to the meeting himself but we had about 40 people from all walks of life come along.”
He went on, “The aim was to set up a facility for people coming to Cork to be in contact with one another. A lot of Clare people moved to Cork for work. When I was in the gardaí, there were about 30 or 40 Clare people there. At the time it was set up, travel was more limited and it was good to have a link to home.”
Although nowadays a move to Cork is not such an upheaval with improved travel networks and the internet, the Cork Clare Association is still a valuable organisation that is very relevant in today’s society, Senan insisted.
A member of the association for 38 years, Senan said, “There is a great bit of unity here. Travel was more limited when we set up and nowadays people might ask us what is the point in this now but the major benefit is to the charities, especially nowadays when money is scarce.”
Over the years, the association has strived to maintain its members’ link with the Banner County. As part of this, it has engaged in a number of activities, including releasing the book, The Banner Man 20 years ago.
“The book was all about the people of Clare and the people of Clare in Cork. It went on sale in Cork, Clare and even America and it was started by Denis O’Dwyer, who was the main man in the association for 30 years. I remember when I took over as chairman a few years ago he said to me, it’s in your hands now. He wanted me to look after the association,” recalled Senan.
In a bid to continue the association’s legacy, it is continually looking for new members. “We would love to get some new young members involved. And you don’t even have to be from Clare yourself but the wives of Clare people and their families are also welcome,” he said.
For further details on the association and the annual dinner, contact secretary, Senan Carrig on 087 2312999.