As the morning sun rose over a wintry Cork city on Budget Day, Ruth Mc Donnell from UCC played her harp from the chilly steeple of Shandon Church, accompanied by piper Máire De Cógáin, a junior school teacher. The performance in this university city, historically “the rebel city”, sounded a call to hope and courage, reminding the city folk and the nation, that neither bad bankers, poor governance or inclement weather can snuff out the spirit of the Irish. “We have a wonderful tradition of music, literature and the arts in this country, and when times look somewhat bleak, we should remember how much more there is to us than mere financial forecasts,” said harpist, Ruth Mc Donnell.
Mc Donnell is one of many people in Cork who have responded to Positively Cork, a group set up to improve the city, even during a recession. “We cannot solve the global or national financial crises. We hear so much negativity that we can lose our perspective,” says Deirdre Seery of Positively Cork. “Yet, we know there are wonderful things happening locally. That is why we will make 2011 Positively Cork Year. We believe that Cork is a great place to live, invest in and visit. And it can be even better. We set up Positively Cork so that people like our musicians can use their skills and energies to inspire others.”