Cobh town is attempting to unlock an ocean of untapped heritage with Sydney Australia.
The seaside town is hoping to forge ties with the world’s largest natural harbour.
The potential link between the two places was discussed at a recent sitting of the Cobh Municipality.
Cllr Diarmuid O’Cadhla made the request under Any Other Business at the boroughs July session.
The independent Cllr said it might seem as a joke but the twinning arrangement would have real benefits for Cork.
He said the Australian Ambassador had been open to encouraging links between both countries on his recent visit to Cobh for the town’s annual Australia Day.
“It makes total sense the biggest natural harbour in the world twinning with the second biggest in the world, as well as our connection with transportation from Spike to Australia and Tasmania.”
During his recent visit Australian Ambassador to Ireland Richard Andrews spoke of the shared experiences and values of both countries and the enormous potential for increased business, trade and innovation between both Ireland and Australia.
Now the Irish language activist wants to exploit that link while there appears to be a desire for connectivity between both countries.
Cllr O’Cadhla said amid the uncertainty of Brexit, Cork and the wider region need to foster untapped opportunities in Australia.
In a recent census 2.4 million Australians identified themselves being of Irish extraction.
“Many have never made it to Ireland. There is the potential for joint investment in heritage projects in both Ireland and Australia. From a tourism point of view we need to document and target these people.”
“We have a wealth of information at the point of departure -Cobh and Australia have a similar abundance of data as an entry point- Sydney that needs to be explored” commented the Independent Cllr.
Chairman of Cobh Tourism Mark Ryan said anything that raises the profile of Cobh as a tourist town would be supported by Cobh Tourism.
“With over 2 million Irish-Australians, Cobh would gladly welcome any twinning that creates physical links and opportunities to tap into such large markets. For centuries Irish people left from Cobh to head to Australia, some by choice others were forced. In recent years it has been great to see Australians making the return journey to visit our historic tourist town, in search of their ancestry. Cobh Tourism works hard every year to make sure that Cobh as a destination is high up on tourists must visit list so anything that helps us in doing this would of course be a great benefit to the town.” Commented the chairman.