Jean and I decided to travel to West Cork recently and in particular to Skibbereen where two different exhibitions concerning The Great Famine were taking place. It is a reasonable drive from Cork taking us through Bandon and Clonakilty and we stopped for a cuppa in the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery. The accessible toilet in the hotel was on the small side; it was okay for me but some of the larger or powered chairs may have difficulty.
Our next stop was the Skibbereen Heritage Centre (Click Here) which is hosting a permanent exhibition concerning The Great Famine, Lough Hyne and Genealogy. The main reason for our visit was to refresh our school time knowledge of the Great Famine which occurred in the 1840’s during which the Irish population was decimated and has never recovered. The population had grown from 2,600,000 to a massive 8,500,000 in the 95 years preceding the Great Famine and Ireland is the only European country with a population less than that of 1841. A picture is worth a thousand words so here are a few from the exhibition.
Lough Hyne (Click Here) is a peculiarity; it was once a fresh water lake but is now a sea water lake with the associated tidal variations and sea life. A video presentation of about 30 minutes duration is available which is worth watching and the lake worth visiting. It was the first Marine Nature Conservation Area in Ireland and boasts a large variety of marine plants and animals including 72 species of fish.
The centre is accessible, has ample car parking and a spacious and accessible toilet. There is an entry charge.
We adjourned to the Eldon Hotel, Bridge Street (Click Here) for a bite of lunch. The food was great; Jean enjoyed a nice bit of roast beef while I had a beautiful Lasagne. The accessible toilet was accessible. Public parking is available.
Onwards to the West Cork Arts Centre (Click Here) which is running an exhibition titled Coming Home: Art and The Great Famine. The history of the Great Famine is the same whatever exhibition you go to but this looked at the art associated with the period. The exhibition is spread over two floors with elevator access. Here are some of the pictures and sculptures from the exhibition.
The centre is accessible with public parking nearby and there is a very accessible washroom on the ground floor.
Both exhibitions are well worth a visit.