€1 Million investment in 18th Century Cork Country House Hotel

Fitzgerald’s Vienna Woods Country House Hotel, a Cork-owned business, has announced a major €1 million investment that is near completion.

The Fitzgerald family along with Michael Magner, who bought the hotel in 2006 and renamed it ‘The Vienna Woods Country House Hotel’, have lovingly and painstakingly restored much of the original protected features of the building over the years, and the Hotel recently underwent its most dramatic makeover to date.

The extensive renovations will give the property a fresh look, whilst also embracing the heritage and character of the historic 18th century house, The aim is to reposition the already thriving 4-star hotel as a deluxe country house, bringing a fresh offering to Cork’s ever- expanding needs as a travel and business destination. The country house will also appeal to those looking for an Ireland’s Ancient East Experience.

The transformation has been undertaken on a phased basis to minimise disruption to guests and is scheduled to conclude this month.

And the winners are…..

Cork International Choral Festival 2018

Competition Results



The Cork International Choral Festival came to a climactic penultimate close with its Awards Ceremony at 5.15 pm on Sunday 22 April 2018 in Cork City Hall. Following a hugely successful Festival, the Jury results were finally announced for all sections of the Festival’s varied and prestigious categories. International and national choirs from near and far waited nervously for the announcements.

Conductor Bernie Sherlock led this year’s Big Sing in Cork City Hall on Saturday 21 April. Photo. Jed Niezgoda


The following are the results for all categories:


Fleischmann International Trophy Competition Prize Winners

1st Prize

Adolf Fredrik Church's Chamber Choir, SWEDEN

Conductor: Christoffer Holgersson



2nd Prize

DIT Chamber Choir, IRELAND

Conductor: Bernie Sherlock

89.58 %


3rd Prize

Male Choir Valkia, FINLAND

Conductor: Saara Aittakumpu



International Awards 

Lady Dorothy Mayer Memorial Trophy

Donated by Chris Mahon

Special Award for the performance of a piece in the Fleischmann International Trophy Competition.

Awarded to:

Haga Motettkör, SWEDEN

Conductor:  Ulrike Heider

For the performance of: Herr, Wenn Trübsal Da Ist by Gottfried August Homilius


Schuman/Europe Trophy

In memory of Moira Pyne (1916 – 2009)

Special Award for the performance of a piece by a living European Composer in the Fleischmann International Trophy Competition.

Awarded to:

Lautitia Chamber Choir, HUNGARY

Conductor:  József Nemes

For the performance of: Vivamus Atque Amemus by Ramiro Real


Heinrich Schütz Perpetual Trophy

In memory of Hans Waldemar Rosen

Special Award for the performance of a choral work by Heinrich Schütz in the National or International Competitions.

Awarded to:

DIT Chamber Choir, IRELAND

Conductor: Bernie  Sherlock

For the Performance of:  Verleih uns Frieden


The McCurtain and McSwiney Memorial Trophy

Donated by the Cork Council of Trade Unions

Special Award, decided by the members of the International Jury, to a conductor in the International Competition for the performance of an imaginative and artistic programme. The recipient of this Trophy also receives a special award, kindly donated by Musica International, which offers them full access to the Musica International website and their virtual choral library.  Musica International is a major project of the International Federation for Choral Music.

Awarded to:

Conductor: Chistoffer Holgersson

Choir: Adolf Fredrik Church's Chamber Choir, SWEDEN



PEACE Trophy

Donated by the P.E.A.C.E Movement Cork

Awarded to the choir that best embraces the spirit of the Festival, and fulfils the intentions of the trophy’s benefactors, the P.E.A.C.E. Movement, Cork.

Awarded to:

The Magnificent AK47
Conductor:  Chris Samuel



Ireland’s Choir of the Year

Ireland's Choir of the Year


Recipient of The Victor Leeson Perpetual Trophy

Donated by The Guinness Choir in memory of its founder Victor Leeson

1st Prize

DIT Chamber Choir, Dublin

Conductor:  Bernie Sherlock



2nd Prize

Cuore, Dublin

Conductor: Amy Ryan



3rd Prize

UCC Choral Society, Cork

Conductor: David O’Keeffe




National Adult Competitions


National Competition for Chamber Choirs

1st Prize

Cór Lae Nua, Cork

Conductor:  Nicholas McMurray




National Competition for Male Voice Choirs

1st Prize

Testostertones, Co Galway

Conductor: Peter Mannion



2nd Prize

Portadown Male Voice Choir, Co Down

Conductor: Gordon Speers




National Competition for Mixed Voice Choirs

1st Prize

Cuore, Dublin

Conductor:  Amy Ryan



2nd Prize

UCC Singers, Cork

Conductor:  David O’Keeffe




National Competition for Female Choirs

1st Prize

The Voices, Cork

Conductor:  Mary Pedder-Daly



2nd Prize

Sonata Singers, Louth

Conductor:  Siobhan Seberry




National Competition for Youth Choirs

1st Prize

Codetta Youth Choir, Derry

Conductor: Dónal Doherty




National Competition for Light, Jazz and Popular Music

1st Prize

Gorey Choral Group, Wexford

Conductor: Eithne Corrigan



2nd Prize

Douglas Harmonia Singers, Cork

Conductor: Lorna Moore



3rd Prize

Millicent Singers, Kildare

Conductor: Alan Kelly




National Competition for Church Music

1st Prize

Codetta Youth Choir, Derry

Conductor: Dónal Doherty



2nd Prize

Dolce, Dublin

Conductor: Deirdre Ní Chaomhánaigh




Special Awards – National Adult and Youth Competitions

Ireland's Choir of the Year 


Recipient of The Victor Leeson Perpetual Trophy 
Donated by The Guinness Choir in memory of its founder Victor Leeson

Awarded to:

DIT Chamber Choir Dublin

Conductor:  Bernie Sherlock


Trofaí Cuimhneacháin Philib Ui Laoghaire 
Donated by Cór Cois Laoi

Special Award for the performance of a choral work in Irish.

Awarded to:

DIT Chamber Choir

Conductor:  Bernie Sherlock

For the performance of: Scél Lemm Dúibh  by Criostóir Ó Loingsigh


Perpetual Trophy for the Performance of Irish Contemporary Choral Music
Donated by The Contemporary Music Centre

Special Award for the performance of an original choral work by an Irish composer written after 1975 and chosen from the library collection of the Contemporary Music Centre.

Awarded to:

Cuore , Dublin

Conductor:  Amy Ryan

For the performance of: Regina Coeli  by Rhona Clarke in Ireland’s Choir of the Year Competition


The John Mannion Trophy

Donated by the family of John Mannion

Special Award to a Chamber Choir for the performance of a work in the National Competitions.

Awarded to:

Choir:  Cuore, Co. Dublin

Conductor:  Amy Ryan


For the performance of: Sagastipean  by Javier Busto in The National Open Competition for Mixed Voice Choirs  


Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition


The Seán Ó Riada Trophy

Awarded to Composer, Donal Sarsfield, for his work A Grain in the Balance



National Competitions for Schools

National Competition for Schools: Section 1 (Primary School Choirs)

1st Prize

St. Brigid’s National School, Castleknock, Dublin

Conductor: Niamh Williams



2nd Prize

St. Vincent’s Convent Primary School, Cork

Conductor: Betty Fitzgerald




National Competition for Schools: Section 2 (Equal Voice Post-Primary School Choirs)

1st Prize

Ursuline Singers, Thurles, Tipperary

Conductor: Joan Butler



2nd Prize

Presentation Secondary School Choir, Ballyphehane, Cork

Conductor: Anne Dunphy




National Competition for Schools: Section 3 (Mixed Voice Post-Primary School Choirs)

1st Prize

Cashel Community School, Tipperary

Conductor:  John Murray



2nd Prize

Newtown School Chamber Choir, Co. Waterford

Conductor: Fearghal Ó Conchubhair




Special Awards – National Competitions for Schools

School Choir of the Festival

and the Recipient of The John Cunningham Trophy.

Awarded to the school choir who received the highest overall mark in the National Competitions for Schools.

Awarded to:

Ursuline Singers, Thurles, Tipperary

Conductor:  Joan Butler



The Association of Irish Choirs Trophy

Special Award for the performance of a piece in the National Competitions for Schools.

For the performance of:  Can you hear me?   by Bob Chilcottin the National Competition for Schools: Section 1: Primary Schools

Awarded to:  St. Brigid’s National School, Castleknock, Co. Dublin

Conductor:  Niamh Williams



The Irish Federation of Musicians & Associated Professions Trophy

Special Award for the performance of a choral piece in Irish in the National Competitions for Schools.

Awarded to:

De la Salle Senior Choir, Waterford

Conductor:  Ben Hanlon


For the performance of: Preab san Ól by Ben Hanlon in the National Competition for Schools: Section 2: Post Primary Equal Voice.



The Association of Irish Choirs Bursary for Conductors

Special bursary award to a conductor in the school competitions to attend the AOIC’s Annual Summer School.

Awarded to:

Sinead Rodger

Conductor of Oatlands College Senior Choir, Co. Dublin


“Park the St Patrick’s St car ban and give us back our city.”

We would like to thank all concerned business owners, local representatives and media who turned out in such huge numbers for last nights vital meeting at the Imperial Hotel to seek reversal of the recent traffic restrictions. Thank you too to Eoin English for writing this greatly detailed piece for today's Irish Examiner.


Philip Gillivan (CBA President) and Lawrence Owens (CEO) welcoming traders to yesterday evening's City Centre Traders Meeting at the Imperial Hotel, Cork. Picture: David Keane.


Park the St Patrick’s St car ban and give us back our city.

That was the strong message from some 200 angry Cork city centre traders last night who voted unanimously to support calls for the controversial three-week-old afternoon car ban on the city’s main street to be abandoned.

They agreed to pack the public gallery in City Hall next Monday for a council meeting which will be asked to discuss a motion calling for the ban to be scrapped. They threatened to picket some of the 250 free multi-storey parking spaces availed of by city council staff unless the decision is reversed.

About 50 people said they were prepared to withhold their commercial rates unless the council abandons the initiative.

And they vowed to push an overwhelmingly positive message to customers that despite the 3pm to 6.30pm car ban on the city’s main street, the city is alive and open for business.

The moves were agreed during a Cork Business Association (CBA) organised meeting of traders in the Imperial Hotel at which speaker after speaker slated the new traffic system.

The ban was introduced by the city council on March 27, creating a time-regulated bus lane from 3pm to 6.30pm, in a bid to improve bus journey times.

It is one part of a wider city centre movement strategy, agreed in 2012.

Bus Éireann says the car ban has reduced journey times on two key suburban routes — in one case by almost 30%. However, city centre traders say the move has decimated afternoon trade.

CBA president Philip Gillivan said customers have been confused by the new traffic system and have opted to stay away.

He said traders are fearful, frustrated and angry.

“The council needs to step back and reverse the changes and give traders breathing space,” he said.

CBA chief executive Lawrence Owens said the reversal of the scheme is now the only option.

“We’ve been too nice for too long. Now is the time to be focused. Unity can bring a lot. Let’s work together on this to get this decision reversed,” Mr Owens said.

The CBA has circulated some 2,000 questionnaires to survey city centre traders on the impact of the car ban.

The results will be presented to city council chief executive Ann Doherty early next week.

It is understood that Ms Doherty has cancelled plans to travel to San Francisco as part of a civic delegation next week, opting to remain in Cork to deal with controversy sparked by the traffic plan.

Meanwhile, the Cork Choral Festival was officially opened last night.

It is poised to inject up to €12m into the local economy.

It will feature hundreds of of competitors from all over the world participating in choral performances at several venues across the city, as well as on-street performances every day right across the weekend.

‘People think city has shut down’

A section of the large attendance of Cork City business owners at a meeting in the Imperial Hotel yesterday, organised by the Cork Business Association to discuss the afternoon traffic restrictions on St Patrick St. Pictures: David Keane


Traders in Cork City have united behind efforts to get the afternoon car ban on St Patrick St scrapped.

Some 200 business owners last night attended one of the single largest meetings of city centre traders in recent years and vented their anger at City Hall over the new traffic management system introduced on March 27.

They said afternoon trade has slumped and they agreed a series of measures in a bid to ramp up pressure on city bosses, who have appealed for the new system to be given three months to bed in and be assessed.

Trader after trader who spoke last night said the car ban has hit footfall and turnover, generally by between 29% and 40%, and in extreme cases by up to 70%, and they just can’t afford to wait that long.

John Conlon, the manager of Merchant’s Quay car park, revealed that while in 2006, 818,000 cars parked in the car park, the figure slumped to 564,000 last year. He said there was a 7% drop in car park usage in the week after Easter this year, compared to the same period last year.

President of Cork Business Association (CBA) Philip Gillivan said the car ban was a tipping point, coming after a three-week bus strike last year, lane closures of St Patrick St for 11 weeks last summer, and two major storms.

“Retail and hospitality were already fragile,” he said.

English Market fishmonger Pat O’Connell said he has spent his life promoting the city’s positives but the time has now come to speak out about the impact of the car ban.

“I think traders were prepared to give this traffic movement strategy a chance, but the public has decided enough is enough, and that they just don’t need the hassle,” he said. “When your income is down by up to 40% and you see your staff twiddling their thumbs, you have to speak up.

“It’s time for sensible people to sit down and come up with a logical solution. What I’m hearing from my customers at my counter is town is just too much trouble.

“A city without people is a graveyard. This is really, really serious. No business can take a 40% hit over three months to prove a point. The signs are there.”

Richard Jacob, the co-owner of Idaho Cafe on Caroline St, said he was tired of traders being accused of being negative about the new traffic system.

“We have a room full of people who love our city. The negativity came from City Hall the day they put gardaí on the street and shut down our city. They must change the decision.”

Restaurateur Michael Ryan, who runs the Cornstore and Coqbull, said his early-bird trade is down.

“Everything that’s been done is being done retrospectively. It’s firefighting. They are not listening to people on the ground. If we treated our customers the way they are treating us, we’d have no business,” he said.


John Grace, of Grace’s Fried Chicken, said the city has been “on its knees” for a decade, trying to compete against online shopping and suburban shopping centres and their free parking.

“This is the straw that broke the camel’s back,” he said. “They have free parking in the suburbs. Something needs to be done to rebalance that. We needed parking initiatives long before.

“The city council is being propped up by traders but the rates model is broken. They can’t keep bleeding traders when the city centre no longer has the monopoly.”

Michael Reidy, of Le Chateau, whose family has been involved in the pub trade in the city since 1933, said the car ban has sucked the atmosphere from St Patrick St and he called for the positives to be promoted.

Pam O’Regan, of Gentleman’s Quarter, said if people want peace and quiet, they can go to the countryside. “We can’t afford to wait three months. At 3pm, it’s eerie. People think the city centre has shut down,” she said.

Carole Horgan, who runs a business in Winthrop Arcade, said the city is now like Thomond Park without the supporters.

“They have taken the spontaneity out of retail. We have to let our customers, who are our supporters, back in,” she said.

Butcher John Boylan, who chairs the English Market Traders’ Association, said people should be reminded that the city is still alive. “We must let customers know that it is a great city,” he said.

Solicitor Kevin Nagle suggested a picket on the city council’s free car park spaces unless it scraps the car ban.

“We should picket their car park until they realise what it’s like to survive in the city. They will form a completely different view of what it’s like in the real world,” he said.

Sheila O’Brien, of Scoozis restaurant, said her staff are now worried about their jobs. “We depend on local people. Tourists come and go, but we need our local people. We don’t have a business without local people,” she said.

Kevin Herlihy, who runs Centra stores on Oliver Plunkett St and Grand Parade, said he couldn’t understand how five gardaí can be deployed to police the car ban, when he had to wait two-and-a-half hours for a garda to arrive last year after a robbery in one of his shops.

Fine Gael councillor Des Cahill told the meeting it is never the intention of city council to make things worse, but added: “If the consequences have had a bad effect, we may need to move back.”

Fianna Fáil councillor Ken O’Flynn, who has tabled a motion calling for the car ban to be suspended, warned that the city will die unless something is done soon.

“This cannot continue because people will be out of business in the next few weeks. I know of businesses that can’t pay staff next Friday,” he said.

“We now need to take the shame, accept that we’ve done wrong, and fix the situation, and fix it as quickly as possible.”


Pure Cork Pride!


Journalists from The Advocate and Out Traveler, the biggest gay publications in the US, spent the weekend in Cork, along with Diva Magazine from the UK.  The group were fully immersed in Ireland’s Maritime Haven. This follows on from another recent visit by Display Magazine, a Gay Swiss Publication, in March.


The press trip was instigated by Visit Cork to promote Cork as an inclusive destination with a significant LGBT heritage. The aim is to motivate potential visitors to choose Cork as a destination to visit.


The trip was led by Ursula Morrish from Visit Cork, which is an initiative of the City and County Councils, in association with the local LGBT organisations, LINC, CGP, and the LGBT Archive. Namely, Senator Jerry Buttimer, former Mr. Gay Ireland, Konrad Im, Miss Gay Cork, Stephanie Fogarty, Kate Moynihan from LINC (Lesbians in Cork), Padraig Rice, the coordinator of Cork Gay Project, Siobhan O Dowd, Chair LGBT Inter-Agency group, and Orla Egan, Cork LGBT Archive, who are all advocates and activists within the community.

The hosted visit showcased Cork’s recently developed destination brand, Pure Cork, and Cork’s visitor proposition, Ireland’s Maritime Haven. It was highlighted that Cork is ideally situated between two of the best experiences in Ireland – the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East.


Some of the highlights included The English Market, the Victorian Quarter, Nano Nagle Place, the Co-Quay Op, which was established in 1982 as a radical and alternative community project by a collective of gay, feminist, lesbian, environmental and other alternative groups and individuals.  It also included the Crawford Art Gallery, the Jameson Experience Midleton, Garnish Island and the Garnish Ferry, Fota Wildlife Park, Kinsale,  Kinsale Fab Food Tours, Sovereign Sailing, Cobh, The Titanic Experience, Blarney, and the group went shopping and enjoyed dinner at some of the best restaurants in Cork, including Jacobs, Rachels, Jacques, Hayfield Manor, The Ivory Tower and Eccles Hotel.  They stayed at The Montenotte Hotel and were transported by Cork Chaffeurs Ltd. and sampled Cork’s night life at Reardens and Chambers and attended the Linc (Lesbians in Cork) Summer Party.


Commenting on his Pure Cork Adventure, Savas Abadsidis from Out Traveler and The Advocate said, “Cork is fantastic safe LGBT family friendly destination for anyone considering a vacation trip - it's five star rated hotels and extraordinary scenic destination and beaches are a hidden gem”


Editor of UK lesbian magazine Diva, Carrie Lyell, said, “I had heard lots of great things about Cork, but I was surprised and delighted at just how welcoming it was, especially to the LGBTQ community. Travelling to a new destination as a gay woman, you’re not always sure how open you can be, but everyone we met was incredibly friendly and so kind to us, and Visit Cork went out of their way to make us feel valued. We had a wonderful time, and would definitely recommend Cork as a destination for LGBTQ visitors.”


Former Mr. Gay Ireland, Konrad Im, who joined the media over the weekend, commented, “As a former Mr Gay Cork and Ireland, I'm delighted to have been asked to take part in these press trips. I'm a very proud Cork man and I love Cork City and its rich LGBT+ history. These press visits are a great way to show off this impressive history and show how inclusive and diverse us Corkonians are to the rest of the world.”


In addition, Kate Moynihan, the head of Linc in Cork, said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for Cork and I have to commend Visit Cork in getting such prestigious magazines to visit. I’m really proud to show off our county to the worldwide LGBT community.’


Padraig Rice, the coordinator of Cork Gay Project, was also a huge advocate of the visit, “Cork is a great place for LGBT people to live, work and visit.  It’s a city with a welcoming heart and a thriving LGBT community.  As the Coordinator of the Cork Gay Project, I’m proud to help showcase what the Cork community has to offer.  We are looking forward to welcoming more LGBT visitors from around the world in the years ahead”.


The features will be published over the coming weeks and aims to further establish Cork as the perfect place to immerse yourself and experience the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East.


Furthermore, Cork City Council’s social inclusion group is seeking Rainbow City status for Cork this summer – a similar idea to the Purple Flag, but this accreditation is for an LGBT friendly city.   The application will be a joint submission with San Francisco, Cork’s sister city.

The new purecork.ie website, which will highlight all to see and do in Cork, will launch in the coming months.


Visit Cork is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership that promotes Cork as a destination for leisure and business tourism. Visit Cork recently developed a new destination brand for Cork called Pure Cork. Visit Cork are calling on industry organisations to adopt the Pure Cork brand.

To obtain the brand toolkit, or get more information, contact Ursula Morrish, Destination Manager, Email: ursula@visitcork.ie




Cork Business Association call City Centre Traders’ Meeting

The Cork Business Association is calling a City Centre Traders’ Meeting for Wed 18th April at 6 p.m. in the Imperial Hotel, South Mall.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the ongoing implications that the St. Patrick Street traffic restrictions are having on business in our city.

This is a vitally important meeting as we need to co-ordinate our agreed position to ensure this situation is reversed immediately and that business in the city is allowed to return to normal.



Press Release: Cork Business Association | April 13th 2018


The Cork Business Association fully accepts that cities have to change and that the process of change can sometimes be difficult. The population increase alone that Cork City will experience in the next 20 years will be significant, aside from its physical expansion under the City boundary alteration. We agree we must plan for this change and that the Cork Movement Strategy is an important part of this process. However as we plan for the future it is equally important that we retain those elements of our city that make us unique. Unquestionably one of those elements is the high number of local indigenous businesses which we fortunately still have in Cork. Their survival is of course not guaranteed and a recent announcement of a multi-generational businesses closing in Cork city reaffirms this reality.


On the 27thof March this year new traffic arrangements were introduced in Patrick Street and the subsequent impact of these changes on business in the city and on the minds of our customers who visit our city has regretfully been negative. Our very real concern is that the negative implications of these changes will continue and threaten the viability of those businesses we all wish to protect.


To address the very real concerns of traders the Cork Business Association acknowledges the recent announcement by Cork City Council of a number of parking incentives and a marketing campaign to support City Centre businesses. We of course welcome any initiatives that will encourage people to return and visit our wonderful city. However it is our view that it would have been more productive to launch these measures prior to the introduction of the current traffic restrictions. Had we so done we may have to some degree reduced the current adverse effects that the restrictions are having on city centre footfall and consequently on trade in our city.


We have over the past weeks consulted with our members and indeed the wider business community. We have also been out there on the street every day, speaking to business owners /managers and listening to their concerns, as to how their business is suffering as a direct or indirect result of these new traffic restrictions. The anger, frustration, and indeed fear among traders is palpable, many wondering how they will continue to trade and indeed meet their staff wages such has been the effect this has had on business in the city. We have relayed the extreme concern of businesses directly to Cork City Council to ensure they were in no doubt of how serious this issue is for business. We would not be exaggerating in saying the decision to implement this new traffic restriction has resulted for a complex number of reasons in Cork city’s most continued negative trading period in recent history.


Cork City Council has asked for more time for these changes to bed in and to see will the proposed incentives improve the situation. The direct response of the Cork Business Association has been that businesses do not have more time and if we don’t see a resolution immediately we will undoubtedly see business closures and consequentially job losses. The Cork Business Association clearly and publically indicated prior to the introduction of these new traffic arrangements on Patrick Street that if they didn’t work they must cancelled. It is blindingly obvious that for whatever reasons they are not working and we request that in the best interest of the city that this happen immediately. We as an organisation have always strived to work in partnership with all stakeholders. However partnership is a two way process and we are now asking the primary partner Cork City Council to respond positively to our under circumstances reasonable demand.


We need to urgently get businesses back trading normally and then without the intense pressure that the current situation is putting on all stakeholders and in a better atmosphere discuss and plan together how we go forward as a city. There are many lessons that can be learnt from the current situation from better communications to real and meaningful citizen engagement and we need to use this knowledge collectively for the betterment of our city and its customers


Finally, Cork City is open for business and we encourage people to come in and enjoy all our incredible city has to offer.


Fantastic line up for Choral Festival

1 week to go!

New dates for this year’s Festival: 18-22 April

One of Cork’s biggest events, The Cork International Choral Festival, will take place two weeks earlier this year from 18-22 April, due to the Ed Shearan concert in Pairc Ui Chaoimh clashing with the Festival.  Tickets for the exciting programme are on sale online and at their new box office at the Festival HQ in Civic Trust House, Cork City.

The event will welcome almost 3,500 world class singers and 35,000 visitors from across Ireland, Europe and beyond for what will be the 64th annual Festival.  It’s a celebration of all genres of music and song from classical to sacred, pop, and rock.

There is an extensive calendar of events to choose from, including a series of gala concerts, national and international competitions, schools’ concerts, workshops, seminars, and free outdoor recitals, which will take place in more than 60 venues in the city and county.

Some key events include…



  • 18 April, 8pm - Opening Gala Concert in Cork City Hall:  A celebration of Irish composers with pieces from Aloys Fleischmann and Bernard Geary, along with a whole host of Irish performers.
  • 19 April, 8pm - A gala concert in Cork City Hall with internationally renowned Swedish group Solala and Ardú Vocal Ensemble.
  • 20 April, 7.30pm – A gala concert in St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral with Chamber Choir Ireland
  • 20 April, 10.30pm -  The Tenebrae Consort will perform in the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne, following Tenebrae's recent Grammy nomination.
  • 21 April, 3pm and 8pm – Fleishmann International Gala afternoon and evening concerts, which features hundreds of international voices in Cork City Hall.
  • 22 April, 8pm – Closing Gala Concert in Cork City Hall



  • 19-21 April: A three-day Choral Symposium will take place throughout the weekend, with free workshops and seminars with world leaders in the areas of composition conducting and voice work. This is free of charge and a must for anyone involved in Choral music.  It offers a more interactive platform, for composers, conductors, singers, practitioners, and students to meet, experience, and discuss.
  • 18 & 19 April: Primary and post-Primary Schools Choirs competitions will take place at Cork City Hall.
  • 20 April, 12.15pm:  The Big Sing will take place in Cork City Hall and everyone is invited to come along and learn how to sing together as part of a choir. Conducted by award winning conductor Bernie Sherlock, this is a free event where the biggest bespoke choir is created by the audience in attendance.
  • Follow the Choral Trail for the weekend for a wide variety of performances in venues throughout the city and county.
  • Afternoons in the Atrium of the Clayton Hotel.  With a jam packed schedule of different choirs every fifteen minutes from every walk of  life and from around the world on the Saturday and Sunday of the festival, this is not to be missed.


Commenting, Sinéad Dunphy, Festival Manager, said, “We hope music fans will join us this year for our new dates from 18-21 April.  We have a really exciting line-up and it’s a Festival for everybody, with a variety of genres available including everything from classical, to sacred, to pop, to rock. We're ready to welcome people from all over the world to enjoy everything that Cork and Ireland has to offer, all the while ensuring the sweet sounds of choral are ringing in your ears”.


Over 90% of events are free of charge.  Gala Tickets are available for purchase through an online booking system at www.corkchoral.ie or at the new ticket office in Civic House Cork.  Special packages are also available in partnership with the Clayton Hotel Cork City to ensure visitors get the best of their journey to Cork while enjoying all the Festival has to offer.


View the Cork International Choral Festival 2018 Programme Here. 


Cork Business Association Welcomes New Lisbon Route


The Cork Business Association welcomes news that Aer Lingus is to commence a new year-round Cork to Lisbon route.

The new year-round service from Cork Airport to Lisbon Portela Airport, Portugal’s main international gateway, will commence 26 October 2018. It will operate twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays.

Welcoming the important new route announcement by Aer Lingus, Cork Airport Managing Director, Niall MacCarthy said: “We welcome the decision by our biggest customer Aer Lingus to commence operations from Cork to Lisbon in response to strong consumer demand for additional flights from Cork Airport.

“This new route will be very popular for leisure and business in both directions. This announcement is an excellent development for Cork Airport and the 2.4 million passengers we serve across the south of Ireland.”

Daragh Hanratty, Head of Aviation Marketing at Cork Airport added: “We look forward to working closely with Aer Lingus to ensure the success of this latest new route to their network out of Cork. We will continue to seek out further opportunities for expansion where demand can be proven.

“The people who support Cork Airport as Ireland’s second largest international airport constantly request greater connectivity, and this decision by Aer Lingus is a welcome boost. We look forward to further passenger growth in 2018 and into 2019.”

Flights will be available to book in the coming days at www.aerlingus.com