Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 11 August 2016, Heritage Week Walking Tours

856a. Fitzgerald Park during recent sunny weather

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 11 August 2016

Kieran’s Heritage Week Tours, 20-28 August 2016


      National Heritage Week is upon us again at the end of next week (20th – 28th August). It’s going to be a busy week. For my part I have organised six tours. These are all free and I welcome any public support for the activities outlined below. There are also brochures detailing other events that can be picked up from Cork City Hall and City libraries. If you are up the country on holidays, check out for the listings of national events. It is always a great week to get out and explore your local area and avail of talks, trails and a wide range of family events.


Heritage Open Day:

Saturday 20 August 2016 – Historical Walking Tour of City Hall with Kieran, learn about the early history of Cork City Hall and Cork City Council, learn about the development of the building and visit the Lord Mayor’s Room, 11am, ticketed (free, duration: 75 minutes); contact The Everyman Palace, 0214501673.

    The current structure, replaced the old City Hall, which was destroyed in the ‘burning of Cork’ in 1920. It was designed by Architects Jones and Kelly and built by the Cork Company Sisks. The foundation stone was laid by Eamonn de Valera, President of the Executive Council of the State on 9 July 1932 (


Kieran’s Heritage Week, 20-27 August 2016:

Sunday, 21 August 2016, Eighteenth Century Cork, Branding a City: Making a Venice of the North; historical walking tour with Kieran on how streets like Oliver Plunkett Street and French Church Street came into being; meet at the City Library, Grand Parade, 7pm (free, duration: two hours,

Monday 22 August 2016, The Victorian Quarter; historical walking tour (new) with Kieran of the area around St Patrick’s Hill – Wellington Road and McCurtain Street; meet at Audley Place, top of St Patrick’s Hill, 7pm (free, duration: two hours,

   This is a new tour that hopes to bring the participant from the top of St Patrick’s Hill to the eastern end of McCurtain Street through Wellington Road. The tour will speak about the development of the Victorian Quarter and its hidden and beautiful architectural heritage. All are welcome and any old pictures and documents that people have of these areas, please bring along.


Tuesday 23 August 2016, Cork Docklands, historical walking tour with Cllr Kieran McCarthy; Discover the history of the city’s docks, from quayside stories to the City Park Race Course and Albert Road; meet at Kennedy Park, Victoria Road, 7pm (free, duration: two hours)

Thursday 25 August 2016, The City Workhouse, historical walking tour with Kieran; learn about the workhouse created for 2,000 impoverished people in 1841 (the year 2016 marks the 175th anniversary of the site’s creation), meet at the gates of St Finbarr’s Hospital, Douglas Road, 7pm (free, duration: two hours).

   The Cork workhouse, which opened in December 1841, was an isolated place – built beyond the toll house and toll gates, which gave entry to the city and which stood just below the end of the wall of St. Finbarr’s Hospital in the vicinity of the junction of the Douglas and Ballinlough Roads. The Douglas Road workhouse was also one of the first of over 130 workhouses to be designed by the Poor Law Commissioners’ architect George Wilkinson.

Friday 26 August 2016, The Walk of the Friars; historical walking tour (new) with Kieran, explore the local history from Red Abbey through Barrack Street to Friars Walk; meet at Red Abbey tower, Mary Street, 7pm (free, duration: two hours)

   This new walking tour begins on Red Abbey square and explores the area’s medieval origins and the impact on the area. In such a small corner of the city, post medieval Cork and the story of industrial housing can be told, as well as stories of St Stephen’s School, Callanan’s Tower, Elizabeth Fort and the Gallows at Greenmount.


Saturday 27 August 2016, Fitzgerald’s Park; historical walking tour with Kieran; learn about the story of the Mardyke to the great early twentieth century Cork International Exhibition, meet at band stand, 2pm, note the afternoon time (free, duration: two hours)

   Looking at the physical landscape of the Park, there are clues to a forgotten and not so familiar past. The entrance pillars on the Mardyke, the Lord Mayor’s Pavilion, the museum, the fountain in the middle of the central pond dedicated to Fr Mathew and timber posts eroding in the river were once parts of one of Cork’s greatest historical events, the Cork International Exhibitions of 1902 and 1903. Just like the magical spell of Fitzgerald’s Park, the Mardyke exhibitions were spaces of power. Revered, imagined and real spaces were created. They were marketing strategies where the past, present and future merged; aesthetics of architecture, colour, decoration and lighting were all added to the sense of spectacle and in a tone of moral and educational improvement. The entire event was the mastermind of Cork Lord Mayor Edward Fitzgerald, after which the park got it name.

Hope to see you on some of these tours…


856a. Fitzgerald Park during recent sunny weather (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

856b. Map of St Patrick’s Hill area 1801 (source: Cork City Library)


856b. Map of St Patrick's Hill area 1801