Cork City is the second-largest city in the Republic of Ireland. Mention the delicious butter 'Kerrygold' and it may bring back wonderful memories of a holiday spent in Ireland. In the late 18th century Cork had the largest butter market in the world, Ireland was the world's largest exporter of the famous butter. However, there is more to County Cork than its famous Kerrygold.
Murphy is the most common surname in Ireland and is derived from the name (Murchadh), meaning 'sea warrior'. What about 'Murphy's Ale founded by James J. Murphy and has been brewed in Cork since 1856. There is a colourful history behind Marie Louisa Murphy who was an ancestor of James. It is said that she was the mistress of King Louis XV of France. She was a model at the Paris Academy of Painting when she caught the King's wandering eye, and was the first young lady to take up residence at the famous Parc-Aux-Cerfs (Deer Park) at Versailles, where Louis housed his mistresses.
What about the famous Henry Ford, well he opened the biggest tractor factory in the world in Cork, on the site of the old Cork Park racecourse, in 1919. It was his first manufacturing venture outside America. In 1927, he moved its entire tractor-making business to Cork. Henry Ford had strong connections with Co. Cork as his ancestors had been tenant farmers in the Ballinascarthy area. His father William emigrated to America as a boy in 1847. There is a 'Henry Ford Tavern' in Ballinascarthy with a replica model T Ford packed across the road.
During the years of the Great Famine, 1845-51, Cobh, County Cork was the main port of departure for those leaving the country bound for America and Australia. Henry Ford's father left for Michigan from Cobh in 1847. Over two million emigrants have passed through Cobh. The last view of Ireland was Fastnet Rock, 6km southwest of Clear Island, it is Ireland's southernmost point. It it aptly known as 'The Tear Drop Of Ireland'.
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