June 23rd is known all over Ireland as St. John’s Eve, but more specifically in Cork as “Bonfire Night” or “Bonna Night.” A yearly tradition that is said to date back to pagan times where members of the public and communities build and light bonfires, or “Bonna’s.” Fires were originally lit to honour the goddess Áine.
Cork City Council are hosting free, alcohol free events throughout the city on June 23rd. The Project is being managed by the City Council , with the support of Community Wardens, Parks Foremen, RAPID Co-ordinators, the Gardaí, Emergency Services, Foroige, Cork City Partnership, local community groups and other agencies.
Five major outdoor events are planned in City Council parks as follows, with a range of activities such as games, sports, inflatables, face painting, local music etc.,
- Kilmore Park, Knocknaheeny: 5pm – 8pm
- Pophams Park, Farranree: 4pm – 7pm
- Glenamoy Park, Mayfield: 5pm – 8pm
- Loughmahon Park, Mahon: 5.30pm – 8.30pm
- Clashduv Park, Togher: 5pm – 9.00pm
In a statement on the Cork City Council website, they say:
“This year as well, Dowtcha Puppets have been engaged to work with local youth groups in the construction of Bonfires Sculpture in Mahon, Togher and Knocknaheeny. These sculptures have proved extremely popular each year.
Each Event has been designed by the local Organising Committees in each area, supported by the Councils Bonfire Night Coordinator.
Last year over 13,000 attended the Bonfire Night Family Friendly Events, with 40 local community groups, and over 150 volunteers involved in their delivery. The involvement and participation of these groups and volunteers is a key factor in delivering a successful night.
In addition support is also being given to other community events being organised at the Glen ( Comeragh Park), Willow Park/Glencurrig/Ballincurrig Douglas Road, and at Bishopstown (Bishopstown Youth Project, Community Association, Gardaí).
The Bonfire Night Project’s major aim is to provide alternative, safe, family friendly activities on the night and it has made a considerable impact as verified by the Gardai and Fire Services in reducing the negative aspects of the night in some areas.
The Council is also working with the Gardai and residents who experienced problems last year with illegal bonfires
The Parks Department will have crews removing bonfire material throughout Saturday, particularly where there is a risk to health and safety, property and power lines. Material can only be removed if unlit. Calls in relation to bonfire material should be made to 021 4966512 , but any call regarding a serious fire issue should always be made to 999.”