Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project 2019/20

City 2009 Project on UCC Observatory


September 2020, Project Launch:

Basic aims: Projects on any aspect of Cork’s rich heritage (built, natural and cultural) can be submitted by school going students to an adjudication panel. Prizes are awarded for best projects and certificates are given to each participant.

Due to recent lower back surgery of the co-ordinator, the County edition of the project has been discontinued. The City edition will operate as normal.

Application forms will be available in August 2020 for the 2020/21 school season.


Cork City Results, 2019/ 2020:


Target Audience

The Project  is open to schools in Cork City; at primary level to the pupils of fourth, fifth and sixth class and at post-primary from first to sixth years. There are two sub categories within the post primary section, Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate. A student may enter as an individual or as part of a group or a part of a class entry.

The 2018/19 project received much media coverage with 40 schools taking part in the City and County and 1,200 students submitting over 180 projects on all aspects of Cork’s past. In addition, 300 teachers were circulated with the programme at the start of the year, which also gave advice on how to pursue local history projects.

Class in North Presentation National School with their Entry

Class in North Presentation National School with their Entry


Project Aims and Outcomes

The Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project focuses on the creation of Cork and asks questions such as who, what, where and why. The importance of such a project in local history is reflected in the educational aims of the history curricula of primary and post-primary schools. Local history is a mould, which helps the student to become familiar with their local environment and to learn the value of it in their lives. Learning to appreciate the elements of the past, can also give students a sense of place in their locality or a sense of identity.

The aims of the Project provide an excellent opportunity for the young citizen to respect and defend the integrity of their local community and landscape. In addition to these aims, Cork’s rich past can be celebrated and an opportunity is presented to the student to research, discover and even recover some of Cork’s lesser-known past.

Students of Gaelscoil Ui Riada planning their project

Students of Gaelscoil Ui Riada planning their project

Press Release

September 2020: Cork City Edition:

September 2020 will see the launch of the Discover Cork Schools Heritage Project 2021 (City Edition). Open to schools in Cork City, the City Edition of the Project is funded by Cork City Council. Further sponsorship has been provided by the Lifetime Lab, Lee Road, Learnit Lego Education Project, and Sean Kelly, Lucky Meadows Equestrian Centre. It is aimed at both primary and post primary levels.

Established in 2002/3, the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project is co-ordinated by well known Cork local historian Cllr Kieran McCarthy. Focusing on the creation of Cork City, the project seeks to encourage students to explore the origins of their city and to engage interactively with their surroundings in searching for the answers to the who, what and why that make up Cork’s rich heritage.

A Class in Our Lady of Lourdes School hard at work

A Class in Our Lady of Lourdes School hard at wor

Niamh Twomey, Heritage Oficer, Cork City Council, is enthusiastic about the project in ensuring its ongoing growth.

“Cork City Council is pleased to fund and support the Discover Cork Project. Our City is developing at a pace faster than anytime in the past so it is extremely important that a sense of place is fostered among our youth. This project sets out to do this in an interesting and challenging way. Ultimately, I hope that the Schools’ Heritage Project will act as the spark that ignites and stimulates a lifelong interest in Cork, one that will instil a sense of civic pride in what our city was, is, and will become.”

Discover Cork is supported by Cork City Council through the enthusiastic involvement of City Heritage Officer Niamh Twomey, and through the provision of logistical and financial assistance. The Project is an initiative of the Cork City Heritage Plan.


The annual  award ceremonies for the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage  Project in general takes place in  March each year.

For further information:

contact: Kieran McCarthy at 087-655 33 89

 659a. Page from class project 2012 on the history of shops in Cork City, 2012/ 13 season has been launched, click image for more info!