/kawrk/, n.
1. a county in Munster province, in S Republic of Ireland. 266,019; 2881 sq. mi. (7460 sq. km).
2. a seaport in and the county seat of Cork, in the S part. 136,344.

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Seaport city (pop., 2002 prelim.: 123,338), southwestern Ireland.

The seat of County Cork, it is situated on Cork Harbour at the mouth of the River Lee. Founded as a monastery in the 7th century, it was often raided and was eventually settled by the Danes. It passed to Henry II of England in 1172. The city was taken by Parliamentarian forces under Oliver Cromwell (1649) and by the duke of Marlborough (1690). It was heavily damaged in 1920 during the Irish uprising against England. Its industries include leatherworking, brewing, and distilling.

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Irish  Corcaigh (“Marsh”) 
 county borough, seaport, and county town (seat) of County Cork, in the province of Munster, Ireland. It is located at the head of Cork Harbour on the River Lee. Cork is, after Dublin, the Irish republic's second largest city.

      The centre of the old city is an island in the Lee, and the original site was probably near St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, whose 7th-century monastery attracted many students and votaries (no traces of the earliest constructions remain). Cork was raided and burned in 821, 846, and 1012 by Norsemen who eventually settled there and founded a trading centre on the banks of the Lee. The then-walled town passed into Anglo-Norman hands in 1172, became a royal borough in 1177, and was granted its first city charter by King John in 1185. The city supported Perkin Warbeck (Warbeck, Perkin), the pretender to the English throne, when he visited Ireland in 1491–92. The city revolted against Charles I in favour of Oliver Cromwell (Cromwell, Oliver) in 1649. In 1690 Cork was taken by John Churchill, earl of Marlborough (Marlborough, John Churchill, 1st Duke of, Marquess Of Blandford, Earl Of Marlborough, Baron Churchill Of Sandridge, Lord Churchill Of Eyemouth, Reichsfürst), for William of Orange ( William III).

      In 1919–20 Cork became a centre of Irish nationalist resistance to British military and police repression, and parts of the city were burned by British forces in retaliation for an ambush on a convoy carrying members of the elite Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). Two of the city's lord mayors, Thomas MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney, both of whom were also local republican leaders, died in 1920: MacCurtain was shot dead in his bed by the RIC, and his successor, MacSwiney, died in Brixton prison after a 74-day hunger strike. Further devastation followed the conclusion of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921, when Irish republican forces unwilling to accept the treaty held the city for a time.

      The Gothic Revival-style Protestant cathedral of St. Fin Barre, designed by William Burges (Burges, William) and completed in 1879, replaced a structure that had been built in 1735 on the site of the 7th-century monastery. The Roman Catholic St. Mary's Cathedral was built in 1808. Queen's College, opened in 1849, became part of the National University of Ireland in 1908. It is now known as University College Cork–National University of Ireland, Cork. Cork also has an institute of technology (which is a training centre for Ireland's merchant navy and is the country's only nautical college) that incorporates the former Regional Technical College, the Crawford College of Art & Design, and the Cork School of Music.

      The city has a thriving cultural life, with a municipal art gallery (the Crawford), a major theatre (the Cork Opera House), a vigorous arts centre (the Triskel), a civic museum (Cork Public Museum), and many art galleries (notably that of the Cork Arts Society) and bookshops. It is also the entrepôt for the flourishing craft workers of West Cork, which is home to numerous indigenous and foreign artists and writers. The former butter market now houses a number of craft workshops, and the nearby Firkin Crane Centre is a dance development centre. The city is also home to the long-established Guinness Jazz Festival. A covered market is one of Cork's most notable attractions, with many specialty foods and examples of local produce as well as traditional meat, poultry, and fish stalls.

      Cork Harbour is one of the best natural harbours in Europe, which facilitated the founding of one of the world's first yachting clubs in 1720. The port of Cork is divided between terminals at Tivoli on the outskirts of the city and deepwater facilities (including an automobile ferry) at Ringaskiddy. The port of Cobh is on Great Island at the head of the outer harbour. There is an international airport just outside the city. The city's industrial base, once dominated by assembly works for tractors and automobiles, now depends on electronics, petrochemicals, and the pharmaceutical industry. Pop. (2006 prelim.) city, 119,143.

John O'Beirne Ranelagh

Irish  Corcaigh 

      county in the province of Munster, southwestern Ireland. The largest county in Ireland, it is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean (south) and by Counties Waterford and Tipperary (east), Limerick (north), and Kerry (west). Cork has long east–west ridges forming uplands and hills. Less than one-third of its area is rough pasture, and farmlands climb as high as 800 feet (245 metres) and line the valleys of such east-flowing rivers as the Blackwater, the Bride, the Lee, and the Bandon. In east and central Cork are broad valleys and lowlands, which give way in the west to narrower valleys with coastal lowlands backed by high mountains. Around Bantry and Dunmanus bays are long, scenic promontories such as Beare Peninsula. At the head of Bantry Bay is Glengariff, where subtropical vegetation survives because of the mild winters.

      More than one-half of the people live in the administratively independent city (county borough) of Cork and its suburbs. Other large towns are Cobh, Youghal, Mallow, and Fermoy. Administration is by a county manager and county council, though Cork city has its own manager. Both the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic Church have three diocesan units: Cork, Cloyne, and Ross.

      Many farms in the east and centre of the county are 70 acres (28 hectares) or larger and grow cereals and root crops. The main cash resource, however, is livestock, either for meat or milk. In the extreme southwest the farms are far smaller, but around Skibbereen and along the south coast are good agricultural lands. There is salmon fishing in the rivers, and Kinsale has become an important sea-angling centre. Tweed is made in rural factories near Cork. There is a large oil refinery at Whitegate, on Cork harbour. Tourism is important, with notable attractions including the coast and the famous castle in Blarney. The county has railway lines from Cork through Mallow to Dublin and Limerick; at Mallow, lines run east to Waterford and west to Killarney and Tralee. There is a regional technical college.

      The city of Cork, founded by the Norse, remained an independent entity for centuries; and outside the city and its immediate environs the Irish followed their traditional way of life. The kingdom of Desmond, a division of the kingdom of Munster, was controlled by the MacCarthys until the Anglo-Norman invasion in the 12th century, when most of it fell to the Fitzgeralds, who became earls of Desmond.

      Large estates in Cork were allocated to English “undertakers,” including Sir Walter Raleigh (Raleigh, Sir Walter), under the attempted plantation of Munster in 1586, but the scheme was halted by warfare in 1598. Spanish forces attempting to assist the cause of Hugh O'Neill (O'Neill, Hugh) of Ulster were defeated at the Battle of Kinsale in 1601–02. Some of the ruined estates of the old Munster plantation were bought up by Richard Boyle, who became earl of Cork. Cork was the scene of much political disturbance during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Area excluding Cork county borough, 2,880 square miles (7,460 square km). Pop. (2002) excluding Cork county borough, 324,767.

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Universalium. 2010.

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