Cork City bars win big at the Bar of the Year Awards 2019

The Victorian Quarter showed their dominance in the land of all things liquor last night with Cask and The Shelbourne Bar coming up trumps at the 2019 Bar of the Year Awards.


Other Cork establishments that brought home the bacon for the Rebel county were Impala who won best craft beer bar and the Montenotte Hotel which won best Hotel bar.


Cork bar and restaurant Cask took home a number of titles including the overall award of Bar of the Year for the second year in a row, Cocktail bar of the year, bar manager of the year and also came second in the Innovative bar of the year category.


Cask Bar manager of the year Andy Ferreira said he was very happy that his bar managed to nab the title of best bar of the year for a second year.


Andy Ferreira, Manager of Cask Picture. John Allen

“For us, it is all about consistency, our cocktails have to be as good on a Tuesday afternoon as on a busy Saturday night and to win the award for a second-year shows consistency.”
Mr Ferreira said six of the senior staff members went to Dublin for the award ceremony last night and they had a brilliant night celebrating their achievements.

“It was a great night, we really let the hair down and we are also very proud to represent Cork and to put Cork on the map as a must-visit destination for a great night out.”


The Shelbourne Bar was named 2019 Whiskey bar of the year.

Philip Gillivan, The Shelbourne Bar.Picture: Denis Minihane.

Philip Gillivan, The Shelbourne Bar. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Speaking to The Echo, Owner of The Shelbourne Bar and CBA President Philip Gillivan said he was delighted with the win.

“The Shelbourne Bar is delighted to win the best whiskey bar in Ireland for the second year running last night in Dublin.


“The team in the Shelbourne are passionate about Irish whiskey and this award is for the entire team who make it all happen in the Shelbourne.”


The winners of all categories were revealed at a gala awards ceremony Mondaynight at the Clayton Hotel, Dublin, hosted by Newstalk’s Tom Dunne.


Source: Roisin Burke, EchoLive 

Murphy’s Cork Oyster and Seafood Festival Joins Forces with Failte Ireland and Taste the Island

Huge opportunity to promote restaurants, hotels and bars from across Cork city and county


The Murphy’s Cork Oyster and Seafood Festival 2019, one of Ireland’s fastest growing foodie festivals, has joined forces with Failte Ireland and “Taste the Island” to promote  a multitude of events across Cork city and county this September.  “Taste the Island” is a new initiative to promote the island of Ireland’s extensive catalogue of food and drink experiences to domestic and international visitors, creating opportunities for Irish businesses to attract higher numbers of visitors outside of the already busy summer months.


The Festival will take place from Friday 20th September until Sunday 22nd September and will involve close to 60 venues across Cork city and county.  Amongst the key events this year are the second annual “All Ireland Oyster Shucking Competition”, as well as exclusive gigs with perennial favourites Paddy Casey and The Frank and Walters.  The famous “Cork Gourmet Trail”, featuring some of Cork’s best restaurants, has already sold out.


On Friday 20th September, festival-goers can enjoy “A Jameson Experience” with Head Cooper, Ger Buckley as well as “A History of Prosecco” masterclass. Throughout the weekend, the Guinness Book of Records fastest Oyster shucker, Paddy the Shucker and The Lazy Chef, Simon Lamont will be on hand.


On Saturday 21st September, the hugely popular Cork Gourmet Trail will take place from 12 noon. The day will start with a drinks reception at the Metropole Hotel before taking off on a culinary tour of Cork’s best restaurants. Also that evening the Metropole will host a very special evening with music from the Frank and Walters.


Aaron Mansworth, Group Managing Director for Trigon Hotels said;

“The Murphy’s Cork Oyster and Seafood Festival has been going from strength to strength in recent years, thanks to the hard work of all the suppliers, chefs, shuckers and venues. The support in 2019 from Failte Ireland and Taste the Island means we can look forward to our most successful event ever, promising a full weekend festival of celebration of seafood, culture and music.”



Also as part of the festival, attendees can avail of  the specially constructed “OYSTER PEARL” package. Guest can enjoy all that The Murphy’s Cork Oyster Festival & Seafood festival has to offer at The Metropole hotel with two nights Bed & Breakfast and an arrangement of activities that will ensure a great week is to be had by all. The package costs from €498 for two people, and includes;


  • Opening night Drinks and Oyster reception along with a Jameson barrel masterclass with head cooper from the Jameson Distillery Ger Buckley
  • Dinner in The Met on Friday evening
  • Tickets to Paddy Casey Live on the Friday night 20th September
  • Saturday, start the day with a Gin & Tonic at 12 noon at The Metropole Hotel, followed by a food tour of the city tasting food from 12 restaurants in four venues around the city, finish the evening back at The Metropole Hotel
  • Exclusive Jameson & Oyster masterclass hosted by Patrick McMurray “ Shucker Paddy” at the Met at 7pm on Saturday
  • Ticket to The Frank & Walters Live on the Saturday night 21st September
  • Sunday, access to the All-Ireland Oyster Shucking Competition featuring International & National Championships with live entertainment from 2pm.


Tickets for all events are on sale on Eventbrite and more details on


The Metropole Hotel is part of the Trigon Hotel Group, which has 334 guest rooms across three hotels in Cork. The group comprises of the Cork International Hotel, The Metropole Hotel and the Cork Airport Hotel. Some of the other events which took place at the hotels over the last 12 months include the Cork Cork Show and the Cork Chocolate Festival.

RIP Val O’Connor – One of Cork’s most well-known funeral directors and exceptional businessman

Val O’Connor (front), proprietor of O’Connor’s funeral home, pictured here in 2018 with then-Lord Mayor Cllr Tony Fitzgerald and Finbarr O’Connor. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

The Cork Business Association was extremely saddened to learn of the death of well-known funeral director Val O’ Connor, one of Cork’s most accomplished business leaders and one of the principal innovators of the funeral business in Ireland. His passion and commitment ensured that this incredible family business continues to serve the people of Cork in its 132nd year of trading.
As recently as 2017, O’ Connor Bros won the Cork Business Association Best Family Business Award highlighting the incredible commitment of Val his compassion as a person and his vision as a businessman.

Mr O’Connor, who turned 90 in February, passed away on Wednesday night in Marymount Hospice following a short illness. He was surrounded by his loving family.

Mr O’Connor was a founding member of the Irish Association of Funeral Directors and chair of the fundraising committee for the North Cathedral refurbishment.

He was also a committee member of Opera 2005.

O’Connor Bros was established in 1887 in Blarney Street by Thomas F O’Connor.

The company moved to 70 Shandon Street after the company was passed to John Francis and Thomas Finbarr O’Connor, sons of the founder, and subsequently moved to North Gate Bridge, where it is still located, under the ownership of Val O’Connor, grandson of the founder.

O’Connor Bros opened the first funeral home in Ireland in 1967. Prior to this, removals were carried out from hospital morgues or from family homes. O’Connor Bros celebrated its 130th year in business in 2017.

Mr O’Connor was invited to Cork City Hall in January, 2018 where he was honoured with a reception from the then Lord Mayor, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald (FF). Speaking to The Echo, Cllr Fitzgerald said he was very sad to hear of the death of Mr O’Connor.

“Val will be remembered for his kind and personal support to those who were bereaved. He had a warm friendly engagement with everyone he met,” said Cllr Fitzgerald. “He was particularly pleased and genuinely honored to be recognised for his families 130th year in business.

“He loved the Lord Mayor’s Office and was humbled to receive the recognition where he praised his family and staff. He was instrumental in restoring the iconic North Cathedral.”

Mr O’Connor is survived by his wife Annette, children Laura, Finbarr, Sally-Ann, and Lisa, and his grandchildren Ian, Alison, Shane and Jenna.

Ireland’s tallest building will be a “defining new signature building” for Cork

At 140 metres, the Custom House Tower would be Ireland’s tallest building by a significant margin if it is approved and built.

The developers planning Ireland’s tallest building said their skyscraper will not obstruct or have a detrimental effect on Cork’s iconic skyline of church spires.

Tower Holdings are proposing a 34-storey skyscraper hotel at Custom House Quay that would reach approximately 140m in height.

If approved and constructed, it would become Ireland’s tallest building by a significant margin, outstripping the current tallest building, the 79m-high Capital Dock in Dublin.

While the tower will form the focus of the site, the bonded warehouses will also be redeveloped for a variety of uses.

While the tower will form the focus of the site, the bonded warehouses will also be redeveloped for a variety of uses.

In documents filed with City Hall, the developers say it is fully intended that the Custom House Tower will become a “defining new signature building” for Cork.

The New York-based company said: “The tower will not obstruct or have a detrimental effect on existing tall features such as church spires, or the Elysian tower and features in designated protected views and prospects and scenic routes considering its location.”

Below the hotel, the Bonded Warehouses will be occupied by a range of uses to complement the hotel including retail, restaurants, cafes, and gallery and cultural spaces, with a public promenade wrapping around the entire site. A landmark distillery building will be located where both channels of the River Lee meet.

The tower will include a spa, pool and treatment rooms at levels 5 and 6; plant at levels 7, 26 and 32; hotel rooms and suites at levels 8 to 25; hotel serviced suites at levels 27 to 31; and a restaurant and sky bar at levels 33 to 34.

The guest bedrooms will face east and west, to enjoy views of the City and Docklands and there will be an outdoor terrace at the top of the tower for visitors to enjoy views of the city.

“On approach from the east, the new tall building will be seen against a backdrop of sky and the full impact of its silhouette on the skyline will be fully realised and understood within its wider context,” the company said in their planning application.

 Architect Marco Gamini explains the designs to members of the public including (right) John Adams, who has organised a petition against large-scale commercial development of the site. Pic; Larry Cummins.

Architect Marco Gamini explains the designs to members of the public including (right) John Adams, who has organised a petition against large-scale commercial development of the site. Pic; Larry Cummins.

“The Custom House Tower will assume a central position on the city’s skyline. It will also form part of the emerging cluster of taller and higher buildings in the City Harbour Interchange Area which include the Elysian, the permitted Prism tower and the proposed Albert Quay Tower [if permitted].”

Recent planning applications for tall buildings in Cork have led to a debate between planners, developers, architects, heritage groups, and the general public about how Cork’s skyline should develop in the future.

Competing petitions are currently in place both in favour and opposed to a tall building on the Custom House Quay site.

Tower Holdings was recently granted planning permission for the 15-storey Prism office develop on the triangular site next to the city bus station.

That development was objected to by heritage body An Taisce who said it would ruin views of historical buildings and that a building of this height would set a precedent for others on the city centre island.

The developers said the Custom House Tower will become a “defining new signature building” for Cork.

The developers said the Custom House Tower will become a “defining new signature building” for Cork.

However, their view was countered by the former Head of Planning on Cork City Council, Pat Ledwidge who said: “The urban form of any city must evolve, as must the nature and use of buildings.”

“If this evolution does not occur, the sustainable development of the city will not occur.”

An initial decision date for the Custom House Quay site is September 24 but further information could be sought from the developers pushing a decision date back further.

Source: Alan Healy, EchoLive 

Key figures in business and hospitality sectors seek reassurances about Cork event centre


Key figures in Cork’s business and hospitality sectors have asked to meet developers, BAM, to seek reassurances about the stalled event centre project.


The Cork Business Association (CBA), as well as representatives of the city’s vintners, hoteliers and restaurateurs also plan to maintain pressure on the developers, the local authority, political leaders and the government in a bid to ensure the remaining hurdles blighting the project are overcome.


“There is a lot of anxious talk about the economy at the moment and lots of businesses in Cork are depending on this project,

We need to understand what exactly is going on here and what needs to be done to ensure this is built.”

CBA president, Philip Gillivan said.


This move follows the latest and unexpected delay to the beleaguered project which has seen costs soar from €50m to nearly €80m.


On Monday, it emerged that a planning decision on the enlarged venue, which was due this week, has been deferred because a new environmental report is required.


Planners have told BAM they must submit a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) to address the potential direct and indirect impacts of the event centre development on two EU protected habitats several miles downstream.


BAM has been given six months to respond but it is understood that they plan to deal with it quickly. Once it’s submitted, planners must issue a decision within two months.


It is understood this is the only outstanding planning issue, fuelling hopes that a positive planning decision may issue.


The CBA met city council chief executive, Ann Doherty, on Wednesday, for a briefing on the latest complication.


CBA president, Philip Gillivan, said they are now planning a sustained campaign, in association with the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) Cork, the Vintners Federation Cork (VFI) and the Restaurant Association of Ireland Cork (RAI) to ensure the venue is delivered.


In February, the Cork branch of the IHF called for “absolute confirmation” on event centre delivery. Ten days later, the IHF, VFI and RAI issued a joint statement calling for “certainty, accountability and meaningful communication” on the project.


The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) also warned this week that delays in infrastructure projects in the south, including the event centre, will have repercussions for the wider economy.


It said bureaucracy and the Government’s procurement system has hindered the pace of growth in the region: “The Government has told us that Cork and cities in the south and west need to grow at twice the rate of Dublin over the next 20 years. To achieve this, we would need to see a significant increase in investment in infrastructure today to have any chance of achieving a balanced Ireland.”


It also mentioned the Dunkettle interchange, the M20 and M28 roads projects.


Source: Eoin English, Irish Examiner

60,000 expected to travel through Cork Airport this August Bank Holiday weekend

Over 60,000 passengers are expected to travel through Cork Airport, Ireland’s fastest growing and most punctual airport, this August Bank Holiday weekend. Passenger numbers are up 7% over the same period last year, with this Sunday (August 4) to be the busiest day for both departures and arrivals.

Managing Director at Cork Airport, Niall MacCarthy said:

“We are delighted to see such strong numbers travel through Cork Airport this August Bank Holiday weekend, continuing the Airport’s growth trajectory as Ireland’s fastest growing airport.

“There are eight new routes added to our summer schedule at Cork Airport this year — Dubrovnik, Nice, Lisbon, Naples, Poznań, Budapest, Malta and London Luton — and over 50 routes are currently on offer from Cork Airport to the UK and Continental Europe. These routes, along with daily long-haul connectivity through major European hub airports, ensures Munster holidaymakers have some fantastic destination options this coming weekend, and for the remainder of the 2019 summer holiday season, which runs right up to the October Bank Holiday Weekend.”

As part of Cork Airport’s Bank Holiday Weekend festivities, free flights will be up for grabs as part of Douglas Court Shopping Centre’s ‘Spin and Win’ promotion this Friday (August 2). This is the final of five free flights giveaway competitions by Cork Airport, which took place across Munster promoting the Airport’s increased connectivity and passenger traffic. Cork Airport is in its fourth consecutive year of growth, with passenger numbers to grow to 2.6 million this year, up 10% year-to-date compared to 2018.

Passengers travelling this weekend are advised to arrive at least 90 minutes prior to their flight and go directly to the security screening area once they have checked in.

There are changes to Cork Airport’s internal road layout, which includes a new set-down lane. Drivers can set-down for up to 15 minutes free on the forecourt before tariffs apply. For best long term parking prices, pre-booking is advised in advance at

To download a copy of Cork Airport’s 2019 Summer Schedule brochure, visit