14/11/2011 – 07:48:14

People with Cork ancestry could soon be forking out €40 for a “Certificate of Corkness” under a novel proposal being discussed by Cork City Council tonight.

Local Fine Gael Councillor Laura McGonigle has tabled a motion for the creation of a “Cork Passport” for anyone in the world who can prove their Cork heritage, similar to the ‘Certificate of Irish Heritage’ scheme introduced by the Government earlier this year.

“For those of us born Cork or with Cork heritage we know that this too is something that should be celebrated,” Cllr McGonigle said.

“We are a people apart and a place apart and I believe that this feeling is shared by Cork people whether they live in Dublin or DC.

“This is an initiative that will add value to our diaspora and generate funding for much needed projects for Cork.”

The proposed document will be available to people outside Cork who want their Cork roots to be officially recognised. Anybody applying for the certificate will have to provide proof of their Cork ancestry and connection with the county.

The #corkpassport topic trended on Twitter over the weekend, prompting much scorn from some not born in the Rebel County.

But Cllr McGonigle has defended the proposal.

“The majority of people can’t see the bigger picture,” she said. “It is just a gimmick with the potential of helping Cork charities.

“I think most people in Cork are in favour of it – people beyond Cork might think it’s just ‘typical Cork arrogance’.

“But sure we’ll put up with that as well.”