Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project 2020/21

September 2020, Project Launch:

To All Cork City National School Teachers and Secondary School History Teachers.

Covid-19 has brought many challenges to every part of society and never before has our locality being important for recreation and for our peace of mind. In the past few months more focus than ever has been put on places we know, appreciate and even on places we don’t know but now depend on as we remain grounded in our neighbourhoods and corners of Cork City.

Against the backdrop of Covid 19, the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project 2021 (Cork City Edition) launches in its 19th year and is open to schools in Cork City. Funded by Cork City Council. The Project is an initiative of the Cork City Heritage Plan.

The City Edition of the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project (est. 2002/03) is aimed at both primary and post primary level.  Project books may be submitted on any aspect of Cork’s rich past. Suggested topics are over the page. The theme for this year’s project is “Living Through History”, which is a nod to the historic pandemic we are living through.

FREE and important project support in the form of funded workshops (socially distanced, virtual or hybrid) led by Cllr Kieran McCarthy in participating schools will be held in October 2020. This is an hour workshop to give participating students ideas for compilation and resources.

FREE Workshop support is also available to schools who have never entered before and wish to have a workshop to see how the project works.

The fourth-class level is open to fourth class students. The primary senior level is open to students of fifth and sixth class. Post primary entrant/s will be placed in Junior Certificate or Leaving Certificate levels. The post primary level is open to any year from first to sixth year. A student may enter as an individual or as part of a group or as part of a class project.

The overall Project continues to encourage and work with Cork students in celebrating, highlighting, debating and creating fresh approaches to our cultural heritage. Research and creativity are encouraged in an effort to create relevancy, awareness and appreciation of the past amongst young people. The Project also focuses on students gaining acknowledgement and self-confidence from their work.

There are prizes for best projects – trophies, book tokens, digital cameras and school workshops to be won. Certificates will be given to all entrants.

Interested…then read on!

Note: the County edition of the project has been discontinued. The City edition will operate as normal.

– The application form for the 2020/21 school season is available to download here,

– Suggested Project Suggestions:

– Project Categories, Presentation & Prizes

– Project Guidelines,

– Project Page Examples:

– Cork City Results, 2020/ 2021:6. City Edition Results, 2021 | Cork Heritage

The 2020/201project received much media coverage with 25 schools taking part in the City and 900  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.P

Press Release

September 2020/21: Cork City Edition:

September 2020 will see the launch of the Discover Cork Schools Heritage Project 2020/21 (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.

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: Schools’ Heritage Project 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 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.


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

Key Sponsors of Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project