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Since the city of Cork was founded by St. Finbarr over 1000 years ago, it has grown from a trading merchant city to a cosmopolitan vibrant 21st century city of today. Located on the South West coast of Ireland, Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland with a population in excess of 123,000. A major European centre for the life science industry with eight of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in the world located in the greater Cork area, the city is also a university city with a student population in excess of 25,000.

Cork is steeped in history and has a thriving commercial, social and cultural sector. Indeed, Cork city's commitment and contribution to the arts and cultural life is well established with the city home to several galleries and museums. In recognition of this commitment Cork city was chosen as the European Capital of Culture in 2005.

Served by Cork International Airport with direct flights to the UK and mainland Europe and connecting flights to other global destinations, the city is ideally situated to explore the south west of Ireland's magnificent scenery. Indeed, the overall quality of life and physical environment of Cork city and its hinterland is excellent and is readily accessible to residents and visitors as evident in the parks, rivers, lakes, tourist attractions, sports and recreational facilities available along with many cultural and heritage attractions.

Cork city airport is conveniently located just 8km from the centre of the city and is easily accessible from the city by bus/car/taxi. The cost from the airport to the city centre is between 10 and 15 euro. Bus fares range from 3.60 euro to 6.50 euro for a return ticket.
The airport is currently serviced serviced by 9 airlines, who provide multiple connections through the major European hubs. More information on connecting locations is available at the airport's website.

Banking and Currency
The euro is the unit of currency in Ireland with 100 cents making up 1 euro. Currency exchange facilities are available at chartered banks, trust companies, credit unions and at the airport and operate normal business hours. Credit cards are accepted at all restaurants and shops, the most widely used being MasterCard and VISA.

Business Hours
Banks generally open from approximately 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are available throughout the city and are marked with the relevant symbols that will inform you as to whether you can complete an international transaction.

Climate and Clothing
Cork has a warm climate in the summer but due to it being Ireland, it is possible to experience all 4 seasons in one day! So the best advice is to be prepared and check the predicted weather forecast a week in advance.

Eating Out
Bistros, restaurants, cafes and coffee shops offer varied menus, prices and decor. In the downtown area, walking distance from any of the host hotels is a wide variety of food outlets and of course the famous Old English Food Market.

To Apply for a VAT Refund
The purchase price of goods in Ireland includes a certain percentage of value added tax (VAT). However, this will be refunded to you upon departure from Ireland when you present your original receipts at the VAT Refund desk in the airport.

The official language for the conference is English.

It is the responsibility of each delegate to verify with their nearest Irish consulate/embassy as to whether they require a visa to enter Ireland prior to registering for the conference. Neither the conference organisers, Teagasc or UCC accept responsibility for delegates who pay their registration but fail to apply for the necessary immigration clearance. For visa enquiries please visit the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Smoking in Ireland

As of 2004, the Republic of Ireland operates a no smoking policy in all enclosed public spaces including pubs, restaurants and other public buildings. The regulation applies to the UCC campus and we would request that any smokers use their discretion and dispose of any items in the bins provided.

Insurance and liability disclaimer
it is strongly recommended that attendees take out adequate medical, travel and personal insurance before they travel. In the event of industrial disruption or other unforseen circumstances, the conference organizers accept no responsibility for the loss of monies incurred by delegates.

Downtown shops are open from approximately 9:00 am to 6:0) pm during the week with late opening on Thursday and Friday evenings. There is a large shopping centre at Mahon Point which is on the outskirts of the city and is accessible by bus or taxi from the city.

Cork is fortunate to be surrounded by several excellent golf courses. More information can be accessed here.

Tipping is your prerogative, a reward for good service and is not regulated in Cork.