Ports, Past and Present


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Ports, Past and Present Closing Event

April 26, 2023 - April 27, 2023

This closing event of the five-year Ports, Past and Present project takes place in University College Cork on the 26th and 27th April, 2023. The event will celebrate project outcomes including creative works, over 200 cultural heritage stories, and a new tourism business network. The project team will reflect on the power of heritage storytelling for cultural tourism, the importance of stakeholder engagement and the impact of Digital Humanities approaches in creating sustainable cultural tourism products.

The closing event will take place in Cork City, a port town located in one of the largest natural harbours in the world. As well as reflecting on project findings and futures, the closing event will consider the heritage of Cork as a port and seek to inform approaches to the interpretation of Cork’s multifaceted heritage through lessons learned during the delivery of Ports, Past and Present.

Ports, Past and Present has been a cross-border initiative between Higher Education Institutions in Wales and the Republic of Ireland, including University College Cork, Aberystwyth University, the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies/University of Wales Trinity St. David’s alongside a local authority, Wexford County Council, in the Republic of Ireland. The closing event includes presentations by the project team, along with papers by invited speakers from across Europe including Isabel Hofmeyer, Carola Hein, Lukas Hoeller, Porscha Fermains, Aisling Ward, Colm Murray, Gillian O’Brien, Tom Spalding, Finola O’Kane, and John Hegarty.

This event is open to HYBRID attendance. To receive the Teams Live link before each session please register via the following email: ports@ucc.ie

You can now find a full conference programme below

Ports, Past and Present Symposium, University College Cork,
25th– 27th April 2023

Closing event for Ports, Past and Present project (2019-2023), funded by the European Development Fund via the Ireland Wales Programme.

Tuesday 25th April, The Hub Atrium (https://goo.gl/maps/VorSfNMJnWxdbfPQ6)

17.30 Book Launch: Kathy D’Arcy, The Trip, in The Shtepps followed by canapés and wine in The Hub Atrium 

Wednesday 26th April, CACSSS Seminar Room, O’Rahilly Building (https://goo.gl/maps/BZaDSDWxACCSrK7AA)

  1. 00 Tourism Futures

Chair: Lar Joye (Dublin Port; PPP Stakeholder Board)

10.00 – Aisling Ward (Munster Technological University) ‘Regenerative Tourism: A new Mindset for a Flourishing Tourism Destination’

10.20 – Colm Murray (PPP Stakeholder Board) ‘Cultural Heritage Tourism as Sustainable Tourism’

10.40  – Discussion

11.00 – Coffee

11.30 The Port City of Cork

Chair: Hiram Morgan (UCC)

11.30 – Tom Spalding (Consulting Historian) ‘A Review of Cork’s Eighteenth-Century Connections’

11.50 – Gillian O’Brien (Liverpool John Moore’s University) ‘’Ships, Sugar & Slavery’, Catholics, Provisioning and Eighteenth-Century Cork’

12.10 – John Hegarty (Fourem Architecture) ‘The Classical Language of Cork City’

12.30 – Discussion

13.00 – 13:40 – Lunch

13: 45 Ports, Past and Present Discussion: Stakeholder Engagement

Chair: Caroline Crowley (UCC)

Cathrine Agnew (Wexford County Council), Claire Nolan (University College Cork), Rita Singer (Aberystwyth University)

15.30 – Harbour Cruise (attending delegates only)

18.00  Ports Past and Present Reception, Cork Centre for Executive Education, Lapps Quay (https://goo.gl/maps/MxEmxJvADKkXxfPR7) (booking essential via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/611018461667)

18.00 – Welcome Address from Head of College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, Prof Chris Williams FLSW

18.05 – Introduction to Creative Connections Across the Irish Sea by Martin Crampin (University of Wales Trinity St David)

18.15 – Performance: ‘We Have Always Been Your Harbour’, a play for voices written by Peter Murphy and produced by Dan Comerford

18:45 – Reception and launch of the Ports, Past and Present Ports, Past and Present, Stories of the Irish Sea by Rita Singer, Pete Merriman and Rhys Jones

20.00 – Conference Dinner (attending delegates only)

Thursday 27th April, CACSSS Seminar Room, O’Rahilly Building (https://goo.gl/maps/BZaDSDWxACCSrK7AA)

10.00 Ports Across Empire

Chair: Heather Laird (UCC)

10.00 – Finola O’Kane (University College Dublin), ‘How not to design a transatlantic port; the examples of Darien, Georgia and Westport, Co. Mayo’

10.20 – Porscha Fermanis (University College Dublin) ‘The Port as Cultural Entrepôt’

10.40 – Isabel Hofmeyr (University of the Witwatersrand) ‘Dockside Reading: Hydrocolonialism and the Custom House’

11.00 – Discussion

11.30 – Coffee

12.00 From Understanding to Design: Mapping European Port City Territories

Chair: Denis Linehan (UCC)

12.00 – Carola Hein ‘Introducing the Concept and Methodology of the Port City Atlas: The role of small ports’

12.20– Lukas Hoeller ‘Mapping as a Foundation for Design: The case of Kirkenes’

12.40 – Discussion

13.00- 14:00 – Lunch

14.00 Ports, Past and Present: the Story Map and Researcher Reflections

James Louis Smith, Elizabeth Edwards, Claire Nolan, Ailbhe McDaid

15:30 – Coffee & Discussion

16.00 Ports, Past and Present Conclusions and Futures: Claire Connolly, Mary-Ann Constantine, Pete Merriman

16.30 End


April 26, 2023
April 27, 2023




Ports, Past and Present is a project led by University College Cork in partnership with Aberystwyth University, the University of Wales Trinity St David and Wexford County Council examining the cultural heritage of the ports in the Irish sea basin. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme.

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