To mark the opening day of the festival, Cork artist Jack Healy will ring the bell from the chapel at Griffith College - previously St. Patrick's Hospital - which has not been rung in an official capacity in many years.
"Why would we ring it again? Because it might be lovely! It might also remind us that joy is always an option! Let’s ring it! It might encourage the other bells to ring!"
Writer and actor Jack Healy came to Cork city in 1977 at the age of seventeen to go to university, becoming quickly aware of how beautiful the city is - and 43 years later, he's still here.
"The City is still beautiful. I live in St. Luke’s where I can hear the bells of St. Finbarr’s waft across the city every Wednesday evening and again on Sunday morning. The ringers practice on Wednesdays. One of the most remarkable things about the first lockdown was the silence of the city at night. There’s much to be said for silence, but sometimes we want our lives to be full of delightful sound. With the march of technology, the demise of conventional religion and the increasing number of deconsecrated churches, many of the bells of the city hang still in a tragic limbo of increasing silence. I keep finding new ones. They all have stories which many of them have stopped telling. Over the years, bells have worked in many ways: to sound an alarm, a call to prayer, a call to rest but the thing I love most about them is that they can remind us that everything is alright."
This project is dedicated to the memory of George Roberts, bell ringer extraordinaire.
Special thanks to Sinead O'Dea & Griffith College.
Image: Jed Niezgoda