The South Parish Historical Society was founded in 2001 by people who were interested in promoting the history and heritage of this very old part of the city. Following an open meeting in St Finbarr’s South Chapel a committee was formed and the outline of a programme was put together. One of our aims in that first year of existence was to organize an exhibition to promote the rich history of the parish. That first exhibition took place in September 2002 and it became an annual event until the year 2013. Over those years we widened our focus to include projects and images on many aspects of Cork’s history, and whereas the contributors to our early exhibitions were in the main members of the society, later other individuals, historical societies, local schools, clubs and institutions took part to help make it a very successful event on the local history calendar. Another annual event on our social calendar has been our summer outing, where we have visited many interesting places, such as King John’s Castle and the Hunt Museum in Limerick, the Viking Triangle in Waterford, Muckross House in Killarney, Bunratty Castle, and Kilkenny Castle to name just a few. Of course we’ve not forgotten our native County Cork, with trips to Kinsale, and East and West Cork over the years.
As with other historical societies, our main events during the year are the lectures that we host. We’ve been fortunate that since the first year of our existence, we’ve had many wonderful speakers, mainly invited guests, but also from within our own membership, give us talks on a wide range of local history topics. Although the South Parish Community Centre on Sawmill Street was our original home base, for about the past ten years our lectures have taken place in St John’s College, just a stone’s throw from the Community Centre.
The most important component of any society is its membership, and we’d like to thank all our members, some who’ve been with us from the very start, for playing their part in making the South Parish Historical Society what it is. We hope you like this new beginning for us as we take our first steps into the virtual world in the form of this website.