Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley. (Picture: Brian Lougheed)

“One thing that has sustained us throughout a difficult year has been our sense of community. We applauded our frontline workers, we kept apart when we only wanted a hug and we hoped for something that would bring normality back to our lives. From deliveries to neighbours, to checks on friends, to Zoom quizzes with family, County Cork communities have managed to make the best of a very challenging year,” Cork County Mayor Cllr Mary Linehan Foley says. 

“From early on in the crisis, Cork County Council has been helping communities across the county to respond to rapidly changing needs. Through Project Act, the Council provided supports for businesses and took action where needed to deal with a new reality.

“Now, as we head towards Christmas, let us celebrate that which has drawn us together. We turned on the lights a little early this year to bring a little extra joy to our streets and towns. Our walkways have ribbons to power the Christmas spirit as we pound the footpaths with a newfound love of the outdoors.

“Our school children have been designing postcards that will be sent across the world to those who cannot make it home this year. And our local businesses have shown resilience they never thought was possible by trading in new and innovative ways, when they cannot meet their customers.

“Despite all the challenges, there is a great hope that this will be A Real Cork Christmas. Cork County Council has been encouraging everyone living in the county to discover the sparkle on their doorstep, and the magic on their main street. Support the businesses run by your neighbours and friends by shopping locally.

“Despite the challenges, our traders have done amazing work to sell by phone, click and collect and on-line. There is an incredible range of Cork businesses who can provide you with inspiration for that extra special gift. The one that is really deserved this year, of all years,” the mayor continued.

“Teams from Cork County Council will be working throughout Christmas, providing essential services but also supporting our citizens in different ways (and that includes ensuring that Santa Claus can deliver all his presents on time).

“This Christmas will be different. However, it will also be special. Let’s use the opportunity to really celebrate that which has gotten us through this year – each other. That’s A Real Cork Christmas,” Cllr Mary Linehan Foley concluded.