What Happens Next?
Reaching the sea.
Photo credit: Declan O'Mahony
Although this blog has reached the end of its journey from the source of the river Lee to the wild Atlantic ocean, this does not mean the end of the Source to Sea campaign - in fact, this is only the beginning! The Source to Sea project has evolved and grown over the past few months and will now be uniting communities along the 92km length of the river Lee, from Gougán Barra at the source to the mouth of Cork Harbour this June, in its first national festival. A drop of pure water will be taken from the source and relayed down the river in a handcrafted goblet by volunteers and community groups until it reaches the sea. Events will be staged in honour of this 'Pure Drop of the Lee' or in Irish 'Deoch an Laoi' including exhibitions, workshops, talks, film screenings and so forth. This journey is symbolic of unity and continuity; it aims to educate from a young age up about the importance of a healthy river system and participation is open to anyone interested. The website will be launched on February 1st, with applications available there (and I will post an update here also).
The handcrafted goblet which will carry the pure drop from the source to the sea.
Goblet carved by: George O'Sullivan
The Source to Sea festival will join with Cork's huge Harbour Festival and legendary Ocean To City Boat Race An Rás Mór - another indication that the people of the " Rebel County" are embracing community engagement and united fronts. The success of these festivals and importance the river plays in the recreation of Corkonians should inspire us to welcome the next stage: to incorporate an environmental perspective into our relationship with the Lee and step up to the frontlines to protect it.
I have taken huge pleasure out of exploring various biological, environmental, social and political realities deeply connected to our river's heritage through writing this blog and I hope you have too. A call to action is what I'd like to think you can take from it and perhaps the ongoing Source to Sea project may provide an opportunity to do so, the goal being to create a platform for positive environmental activism.
So for now: Go n'éirí an bóthar libh .... and I'll see you on the river in June!