16 June 2018
By Mary Bermingham
Mayor Hurley presents The Prince of Wales with a replica of sketch prepared by his great great great grandmother Queen Victoria
During this week’s Royal visit to Cork, the Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Declan Hurley presented HRH The Prince of Wales with a reproduction of a sketch produced by Queen Victoria prepared during a visit to Cobh.
In 1849 Queen Victoria visited Ireland setting foot firstly in Cobh, which was later renamed Queenstown in her honour. At the time, Cobh was a bustling harbour town with Cork one of the most important harbours in the British Empire. Haulbowline was one of the Royal Navies largest and most strategic bases with Spike Island the then largest prison in Britain and Ireland.
The 24 acre Fort of Spike Island stands today having been handed over to Ireland in 1938, 80 years this year. Cork County Council has created an award-winning Tourist Attraction in Spike Island which continues to go from strength to strength.
During Queen Victoria’s visit to Cobh the boat she was travelling in became stuck on the sand banks off Spike Island. During this time, the Queen drew a sketch of Spike Island which survives to this day in the Royal Collection.
As part of the visit of Mayor Hurley presented HRH with a copy of this sketch. The Prince was very impressed with the piece, noting his own artistic interests and was particularly moved by the story. In making the presentation Mayor Hurley spoke of his pride throughout the visit, “It was an absolute honour to join the Prince of Wales during his visit. This is a visit that showcased all the very best that Cork has to offer and will present further opportunities to promote Cork on a worldwide platform.”