Corks Lifelong Learning Festival - March 2023

Corks Lifelong Learning Festival Launch 

March 7th 2023

Corks popular Lifelong Learning Festival launch took place in Millennium Hall on Tuesday 7th of March with the release of a week-long programme of Learning events for Cork City. The springtime festival is a firm favourite in the cities event calendar since 2004 and this year saw the 18th Cork Lifelong Learning Festival take place from Monday 27th to Sunday 2nd of April. The Festival’s organisers were overwhelmed by a hugely positive response to their call-out for the free programme of learning events and activities. 

Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork Damian Boylan said ‘’The positive, inclusive and welcoming message that festival event hosts are giving to all people including our new neighbours, is a powerful way to counteract negativity, and to demonstrate our values as a people, and as a city – a ‘City of Welcomes’.

Festival Chair Willie McAuliffe said: “Cork is recognised globally as an exceptional example of a UNESCO Learning City and the Cork Lifelong Learning festival is the foundation for this. We are simply thrilled that over 370 events are scheduled to take place this year. There is a real appetite in Cork for learning and we owe a debt of gratitude to our event hosts who annually join us in celebrating Lifelong Learning the way Cork does best”.

Launch Publication by Festival Sponsors




March 27th - April 2nd

Over 370 individual Lifelong Learning events took place throughout Cork city. One of the key aspects of the festival over the years is the opportunity for members of the public regardless of age, interest, or abilities to ‘give it a go’ and learn something new through workshops, demonstrations, classes, lectures, walks and talks.
A large proportion of the festival events were based in Cork City Council premises including Cork City Libraries and the newly launched outdoor facilities at Elizabeth Fort. 

Corks Lifelong Learning Festival events were free to attend and open to all. This year’s programme included performances, poetry, workshops, walks and demonstrations. With something for everyone, the only limit was your appetite to try something new! All events were hosted by volunteers, be they individuals, community organisations, private businesses, universities, schools or colleges. 9,000 copies of the free printed festival programme were available in Cork City libraries, from host venues, and an online version was also available at

Learning City Conversations 2023

International innovations in action: Inspirational and transferable examples from Learning Cities around the world.

Friday 31st March saw the International Cork Learning City Conversations take place in Triskel Christchurch with a keynote speech from an Tánaiste and Minister for foreign Affairs and minister for defence Micheál Martin.

The seminar featured inputs from all Cork Learning City partners, inputs from visiting speakers from other global Learning Cities, Clermont – Ferrand, France, ASEM Asia Europe Lifelong Learning Hub, European partners, Austin, and Lowell USA, and speakers from UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning on Health & Wellbeing. The seminar was also an opportunity to hear from our partners from Derry/Strabane, Dublin and Limerick on a Shared Island project ‘Our Learning Island’. Cork City Council is the lead partner in this project across the Irish Network of Learning Cities alongside our colleagues in Derry & Strabane City Council.

The Festival could not happen without the support of Cork Learning Cities committed partners including Cork Education and Training Board, Cork City Council,MTU, UCC,HSE Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, NAPD,First South Credit Union, the Echo and Echo Live.