History of Cork

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Cork, located on Ireland's south coast, is the Republic of Ireland's second largest city and the largest city in the province of Munster. Its history dates back to the 6th century.


Cork has it beginnings in monastic settlement, founded by St Finbar in the sixth century. However the ancestor of the modern city was founded between 915 and 922, when Viking settlers established a trading community. The Viking leader Ottir Iarla is particularly associated with raiding and conquests in the province of Munster. The Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib connects this with the earliest Viking settlement of Cork. The Norse phase of Cork's history left a legacy of family names, such as Cotter and Coppinger, peculiar to Cork which are claimed to have Norse origins. In the twelfth century, this settlement was taken over by invading Anglo-Norman settlers. Cork's city charter was granted by King John of England in 1185. Over the centuries, much of the city was rebuilt, time and again, after numerous fires. The city was at one time fully walled, and several sections and gates remain. The title of Mayor of Cork was established by royal charter in 1318, and the title was changed to Lord Mayor in 1900.

A settler outpost

For much of the Middle Ages, Cork city was an outpost of Old English culture in the midst of a predominantly hostile Gaelic countryside and cut off from the English government in the Pale around Dublin. Neighbouring Gaelic and......
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