With schools and colleges opening their doors for the next influx of students back from the holidays this week and onto next week and September now upon us we can safely say that summer is finally over for many of us. And what a summer it has been, after year upon year of dull rain drenched summers that had us in usually jumping on the nearest flight to the sunny beaches of the Mediterranean whilst cursing our miserable weather and neglecting the many coastal delights and scenery close at hand to us at home, summer 2013 proved to be a welcome anomaly, predominantly dry and sunny allowing us to fully take in the many hidden gems locally.
Summer may be gone but we won’t forget the few weeks in July a record-breaking heatwave turned Ireland temporarily into the costa del sol, having us slathering on suncream, donning our shorts and beachwear and flocking to the nearest beaches up and down the country from the coastlines of east cork to Dublin and beyond. Aside from the good weather the many summer festivals up and down the country took on an extra glow and emphasis due to the gathering, with every town and village in the country celebrating its distinctive heritage. And in news in the international front Robert Heffernan, a humble race walker from Cork city walked into sporting history when he became Ireland’s third gold medal winning athlete at the World Championships in Moscow. August 2013 will always be remembered for the moment the hardworking Corkman strode home to the finish line to become only the third Irish world champion in athletics ever, joining the likes of Eamon Coughlan and Cobhs inimitable Sonia O’Sullivan.
So as the children and students head back to fulltime study and we start a new term we can look back on an eventful and unexpectedly brilliant summer. A summer in which clouds temporarily parted and welcomed in the sun, a scorching summer when everyone in Ireland could for a few weeks take advantage of Ireland’s scenic delights, stunning coastline and many sandy beaches. A summer in when we appreciated our Irish connections and heritage on a bigger scale than usual with the Gathering and a summer in which we welcomed a new unexpected sporting hero from Cork to the pantheon of Irish sporting legends.
Whilst summer is over, 2013 and the gathering isn’t over yet and we and the various Cork hotels look forward to the many new highlights that the new term of September and the upcoming months will bring whether it in sunshine, gathering festivals or further sporting glory.