CBA Welcomes land deal that will further accelerate Cork’s Docklands Development

A huge €47m land deal paves the way for a near €1bn waterfront precinct on Cork’s south docks which could sustain thousands of residents and thousands of new jobs.

News of the largest ever single property deal in the city emerged yesterday just days before details are due to be released of an ambitious plan for a near 30-storey skyscraper on another key docklands site nearby.

Agri-services company Origin Enterprises confirmed yesterday it has reached a “conditional agreement” to sell 31 acres of land it owns on several sites in Cork’s south docks to O’Callaghan Properties.

The site contains waterfront real estate running east from the city, several landmark buildings including the R&H Hall grain silos and the historic red-brick Odlums building. It extends southwards to include the Gouldings fertiliser complex

It is hoped a mixed-use project here, which property experts say could represent an investment of up to €1bn and take over a decade to deliver fully, will create a new city precinct, with thousands of new houses, offices, shops, cafes and restaurants capable of sustaining up to 15,000 jobs.

There are an estimated 4m sq ft of development potential on the site, with a requirement that 40% be set aside for residential.

It prompted calls from Fine Gael councillor Des Cahill last night for the Government to introduce measures to incentivise apartment construction.

The conditional agreement to sell the site was announced to the Irish Stock Exchange yesterday.

(Sources Irish Examiner )


‘A truly gifted retailer’ – Penneys founder Arthur Ryan passes away aged 83

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Penneys founder, Mr Arthur Ryan, at the age of 83.


Mr Ryan, who had served as CEO of the discount fashion brand between 1969 and 2009, passed away after a short illness. Mr Ryan was the driving force behind the phenominal global growth of Penneys (operating as Primark outside or Ireland) retail chain which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

From small beginnings in Mary Street, which opened its doors in 1969, with a “pile them high and sell them cheap” mantra, Ryan masterminded the growth of the cut price fashion chain into a major international player which now has 372 stores in 12 countries and more than 75,000 employees.


The current CEO, Paul Marchant, said the company is “greatly saddened” by Mr Ryan’s death.

Mr Marchant paid tribute to the businessman, saying he was a “gifted retailer and visionary leader”.


“I was fortunate to work closely with him and experience first-hand his sharp mind and innovative thinking. Over the years we developed a very strong friendship, which I will always value and cherish.


“The company’s directors and employees, as well as those that worked with him over the years are deeply saddened by his loss.”


Mr Ryan, who is survived by his wife Alma, lost his son and grandson in a triple drowning tragedy off the west coast of Cork in 2015.


Speaking today, Mr Marchant described Arthur Ryan as “a retail pioneer and a man of remarkable business acumen”.


“At Primark, we feel very fortunate to have experienced up close his drive and passion for the business as well as his integrity, warmth and wonderful sense of humour. He was very generous in so many ways. He devoted a lot of his time to advise and connect people and he quietly supported people in the background in times of need.”


“Despite his many talents and successes in life, Arthur always modelled great humility. He said that we should “remember who we are, challenge ourselves to be the best we can be, push the boundaries all the time and never be complacent or satisfied,” he said.

Speaking on the passing of Mr Ryan, George Weston, CEO of Associated British Foods, said, “Arthur Ryan made fashion accessible to all and his legacy looms large. He built a phenomenal world-class retailer, the foundations of which will always belong to Ireland.”

The Cork Business Association would like to extend our sincerest sympathies to Arthur's Wife Alma, his family and friends at this very difficult time. Mr Ryan's death is a tremendous loss but he will always be remembered for his outstanding contribution to retail in Ireland.

Cork’s new pedestrian bridge, Mary Elmes Bridge, is officially open to the public

Cork’s newest bridge opened to the public today, Tuesday 09th July 2019.

The Mary Elmes Bridge connects Patrick’s Quay and Merchant’s Quay and will be used by up to 11,000 people each day.

People crossing the new bridge today Picture: Jim Coughlan.

The 165-tonne pedestrian and cycle bridge, which has been named after Second World War aid worker Mary Elmes, was recently put in place by barge from Cobh, where it was built.

It was fabricated by Thompsons of Carlow.

While City Hall has plans to host an official opening ceremony at some point, the bridge was opened to members of the public today.

Seating along the bridge was being used by members of the public who stopped to relax and enjoy the warm weather.

Two cranes, with the combined lifting power of 1,250 tonnes, lifted the bridge into position onto a barge before it was transported up the River Lee in recent weeks.

The bridge, which has a clear span of 66m from St Patrick’s Quay to Merchants Quay, was subdivided into nine sections for construction and transportation.

Enjoying the new seating on the bridge, Eugene Butt, from Mayfield. Picture: Jim Coughlan

Flood protection barriers will be integrated into the parapet walls, meaning that in the event of a particularly high flood, the bridge ends can be closed by pulling across the integrated flood barriers.

Lighting on the bridge will be provided by energy-efficient LED fittings recessed into the handrails while below deck feature lighting will also be used to highlight the spine beam which varies in depth and width for structural and aesthetic reasons.


Giants of Jazz to Headline 2019 Guinness Cork Jazz Festival

Guinness today, Tuesday 02nd July, announced exciting headline acts for the 42nd Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, which takes place over the October Bank Holiday Weekend from Thursday, 24th to Monday, 28th October.

Giants of Jazz will join globally renowned artists pushing the boundaries of the musical genre today. The line-up features legendary artists including Grammy Hall of Famer Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, listed among Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Immortal Artists”; Kurt Elling with ‘Kurt Elling sings A Century of Heroes’, declared “the standout male vocalist of our time” by The New York Times and 14-time Grammy nominee and 2018 Jazz Pianist of the Year Fred Hersch.


There will also be headline performances from American Jazz fusion band Spyro Gyra whose 30 albums have sold over 10 million copies over four decades, Northern Ireland’s famous Dr. Linley Hamilton Quintet, who has performed with Paul Brady, Van Morrison and Foy Vance and British soul queen MICA PARIS, who has toured with Michael Bolton and Boyz II Men.

Tickets for the headline acts are on sale now at with further artists to be announced over the summer.

Every nook and cranny of Cork City will come alive to the sounds of over 1,000 music and creative artists from more than 20 countries as this year’s festival will host free gigs and entertainment in over 70 city venues from pubs, hotels and restaurants to galleries and public spaces. There will also be an exciting fringe element to the festival once again, details of which will be announced over the summer.

Fiona Collins, Chairperson of the Guinness Cork Jazz Committee commented,

“The festival committee is delighted to work in partnership with Diageo Ireland, Cork City Council, Cork Business Association and businesses all over the city to create another fantastic weekend programme to be proud of and it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the city and it’s welcoming vibe to thousands of Irish and overseas visitors”.


Councillor John Sheehan, Lord Mayor of Cork, welcomes the continued support of local businesses in 2019,

“The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival attracts more than 40,000 people to Cork annually and is estimated to be worth around €35 million to the local economy every year. Its continued success is a testament to the fantastic team ethos that has evolved over the years between Guinness, the festival committee, local government and the local business community and I wish it every success once again in 2019.”

Michael Lyons, On-Trade Sales Manager, Diageo Ireland, is calling all music lovers and to experience the welcoming and party vibe in Cork for this year’s festival.

“The festival has always boasted a line-up of music for the soul and we are thrilled to welcome some of the greatest musicians from the Jazz, RnB, Soul and Motown genres again this year. Those looking for a unique party atmosphere emanating from every part of the city have lots to look forward to with free gigs and fringe events for every palette.”

The legendary Festival Club at The Metropole Hotel, will be the central hub while the Everyman Theatre, Cork City Hall, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork Opera House and Firkin Crane will also play host to jazz headliners.

Further headline artist line-up, details of the free music and entertainment programme and Fringe events will be announced over the summer. For updates and tickets please visit

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