3 March 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
Eoghan Ryan and Alasdair Fitzpatrick, a business coach and a doctor by profession, are two young men with a passion for their city; Cork City. Both have been named as Cork People of the Month for February.
‘Reimagine Cork’, was founded two years ago by Eoghan Ryan and Alasdair Fitzpatrick, is a unique arts project originally aimed at reviving the Medieval Spine of Cork City through community led action.
They have led a “flying column” of volunteers in identifying rundown laneways, urban green spaces & derelict buildings, and turning them into beautiful objects full of colour and character. They did most of this painting and restoration early in the morning, while Cork slept, before starting into their normal day jobs.
‘We originally concentrated on the North Main St. area and its surrounding laneways which has suffered from problems of dereliction and anti-social behaviour” said Eoghan Ryan. “Our aim was to provide colourful murals that celebrated the area’s history, heroes and humour. We hoped that the artwork would create talking points and breathe life back into the historic arteries of the city”.
Tourist numbers visiting the Medieval Spine have increased but it’s the growing sense of community that is most heartening. ”We hope to continue to work with traders, local voluntary groups and people with a love for Cork on any ideas they may have that enhance the streetscape and foster a greater sense of togetherness in the city”, added Alasdair Fitzpatrick.
This year Eoghan and Alasdair aim to branch out to the greater city community through the newly launched Reimagine Cork website & video. ReimagineCork.com allows people to share ideas, gather necessary information and connect with fellow innovators/volunteers in order to create live projects. The website allows people to view murals already completed and track the progress of any upcoming project sites. “We’ve set the challenge of reimagining laneways, urban green spaces and dereliction across the entire city” added Eoghan, “we hope the website and video clearly explains the vision and allows for greater involvement, especially amongst the business community in the city. We’d just love to hear people’s ideas and assist in making them a reality”.