As you drive east from Cork to Waterford you drive past three of Cork’s islands. The first is Little Island where Cork Golf Club is located and then on to Fota Island. Drive past the mile long wall of The Fota Estate and you come to the bridge that brings you across the water to the Great Island where Cobh is located.
Fota Island currently houses a wonderful hotel and golf complex and a magnificent wildlife park.
Great photo of smiling Panda by Oonagh! Eats shoots and leaves!
I have always been interested in Fota because when it was in private ownership owned by the Bell family my mother, who was a commissioner in the Irish girl guides, always got permission from the Honourable Lady Bell to host a summer camp for her guides in the wonderful tropical grounds of Fota House.
Interestingly when it came up for sale in the 1970’s I had what I thought was a brilliant plan. The entire Fota Estate comprising 600 acres and the magnificent Fota House was for sale for £600,000.
My idea was that we would sell Cork Golf Club and build two golf courses on Fota and also build a new racecourse there. The location I felt was perfect for both and the road and rail networks were first class. Subsequently UCC bought it and in fact the way it was worked out has been of enormous benefit to tourism in Cork and the recent staging of the Irish Open Golf Championship at Fota was outstandingly successful.
Nell with the Giraffes in the background and Cathal below with the monkey island in the background.
Being a grandfather brings many joys and simple pleasures and a recent one was when Mary and I visited Fota and spent a few splendid hours in lovely sunshine walking through the Park and seeing close-up the incredible variety of wildlife on view. We visited with three of our grandchildren and to hop on the train on the way back to the carpark was a splendid and relaxing end to a memorable visit.
The jig-saw champ Hugh above enjoying the train trip.
Ted Dwyer family Business