BICYCLES ARE NOT PRACTICAL HERE IN COBH
Back in 1966 I had a summer job with the Irish Tourist Board in Dun Laoghaire and my job was to organise accommodation for tourists arriving on the ferry. One day an American couple arrived in the office in order to book a hotel room in “Cob H” … I searched all the information available and could not find “Cob H’ and could not understanding why everyone else in the office was laughing [Cobh is pronounced as Cove and what really annoyed me was that my family had a holiday home near the Oil Refinery across the harbour from Cobh]. To be honest I cannot blame anyone for not knowing to pronounce Cobh.
The port, which has had several Irish language names, was first called “Cove” (“The Cove of Cork”) in 1750. It was renamed by the British as “Queenstown” in 1849 to commemorate a visit by Queen Victoria. The name was changed to Cobh, during the Irish War of Independence, following the passing of a motion by the local administrative council on 2 July 1920. Cobh is a Gaelicisation of the English name Cove, and it shares the same pronunciation. It has no meaning in the Irish language.
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