Shedding light on Cork history

January 5, 2012
Artist Maddie Leach and Cork’s Fred Rosehill

Artist Maddie Leach and Cork’s Fred Rosehill

An illuminated artwork was unveiled on the final night of Chanucah to celebrate the presence of a Jewish community in Cork since 1881.

In Shalom Park - named in honour of the Jewish families who once lived in the area - an art project has created three lamps. Added to the park's six other Victorian-style lamps, they represent the candles on the menorah.

The intention is that, on the last night of the festival each year, the tallest lamp will illuminate 20 minutes before the others, representing the menorah "shamash".

When the other lamps come on, the shamash will extinguish and will not be lit again until the following Chanucah.

New Zealand artist Maddie Leach is behind the project, in association with organisations including Cork City Council. It is intended to run for 50 years.

Just 20 Jews remain in Cork, where the Hebrew congregation president, Fred Rosehill, said the scheme was "a fitting commemoration to the many Jewish families who once lived happily here".

Last updated: 1:21pm, January 5 2012