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Cork or Corcaigh in Gaelic, takes its name from Corcach Mor na Mumhan, or the `Great Marsh of Munster'. Cork was built on 13 Islands of river silt and sand on marshy ground subject to regular flooding. Its chief streets were once riverways: the slightly arched Grand Parade, the gently curving Patrick Street and the South Mall, along with many other lesser streets, were once River Channels carrying sailing ships as far as the Queens Old Castle (now shops) and into Patrick Street. Bollards, once used for tying up ships, now appear on the sidewalks, and testify to the fact these streets were open channels where, as late as the 1770's, the boats and ships moored. Other signs to watch for are former boathouses at street level and steps up to 1st floor front doors. All these river channels were arched over in the 1780's.

Today Cork is Ireland's second city. The metropolitan area is comprised of Cork City and the suburbs of Ballincollig, Blarney, Carrigaline, Douglas, Glanmire, Glounthane, Carrigtwohill, Midleton and Cobh, comprising of a population in excess of 250,000. The seaport (Ringaskiddy) has developed around one of the world's finest natural harbours often compared to Sydney harbour. In 2005 Cork City was the European City of Culture as nominated by the EU. Due to economic growth and expectations over the next 20 years, a Strategic Plan has been implemented which will see vast changes in the city both in infrastructure and appearance. The city has all the attractions of any cosmopolitan city, fine restaurants, entertainment, museums and gallery's, international airport and top class accommodation.

As a university city, home of the NMRC, one of the most advanced Information and Communications Technologies Centres in Europe, and with its Institute of Technology - the region has unmatched research capabilities. Cork's unparalleled tradition of producing high quality graduates is one of the main reasons why it is home to 8 of the 10 leading global players in the Pharmachem sector and why it has become an internationally recognised centre of excellence for the ICT sector as well as a location of choice for modern industry.

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