Cork Better Building Awards 2018

Uncovering Cork’s Best Buildings

The search is on for Cork's best designed and maintained buildings.  Cork Business Association (CBA), in association with Cork City Council, have launched the Cork Better Building Awards 2018.


The awards congratulate staff, managers, property owners, developers, architects and designers for high standards in design, conservation and creativity, and also salute the window cleaners, painters and maintenance staff on their good practice in the presentation and upkeep of the buildings. This significantly contributes to a positive public perception of the city as a vibrant and dynamic place to live, visit, invest and do business in.


This year in particular, the CBA also wants to recognize the huge amount of expansion and planning in Cork.


The awards are open to any building in the greater Cork area. So whether you're in the heart of the city or further afield in neighbouring areas like Ballincollig, Glanmire or Blarney, the CBA welcomes your nominations and is urging every business owner, heritage building owner, architect, conservationist to apply before the September 24rd deadline.

Whether you have recently upgraded the exterior of your building, have designed a stunning new build, painted or decorated your building, invested in the upkeep of an old building, introduced a new use for your building or you are just extremely proud of how your building looks, don't delay and enter online or pick up an entry form explaining which category or categories you wish to be considered for and why.


The categories for the awards are:

  • Best in Retail
  • Best in Heritage & Conservation
  • Best Café/Restaurant
  • Best Pub Front
  • Best Commercial Business Frontage (excl. retail)
  • Best Tourism, Arts & Accommodation
  • Best New Development
  • There will also be a Judges Choice.


The awards will be presented by the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cork, Cllr Mick Finn, at a complimentary invitation only lunch for shortlisted finalists at the Metropole Hotel on Friday 19th October.


Speaking about the awards, Lawrence Owens, CEO of Cork Business Association, said, Vacancy rate in the city has gone down almost 10% in the last 3 years, which has instilled a fresh sense of confidence in the city. In fact, it was reported that an estimated €1.3bn worth of projects were started or completed last year.  As the city thrives, we need to ensure it looks it’s best at all times.  The Cork Better Building Awards, which we are thrilled to partner with Cork City Council on again, are a fantastic opportunity to encourage businesses to improve their facades and the overall look of the city. The judging team put a lot of focus on recognizing maintenance and simple good housekeeping of buildings, tasks like painting and cleaning, planting and enhancements that make the very best of the building.  The facade and exterior areas of a building are one of its biggest selling tools, particularly in a business context so one of our main aims in running these annual awards is to encourage everyone to have pride in their buildings and foster a pride of place in Cork”


Also commenting, Ann Doherty of Cork City Council, said, “Cork City Council recognises how important it is to acknowledge and reward property owners who keep our buildings to a high standard and, in doing so, highlight Cork as a fantastic place to shop, work and live.  In 2018, it is really positive to see that the occupancy levels continue to increase and we are thrilled to welcome new retailers, pubs & restaurateurs and other businesses to Cork.”


Last year’s winners included Azure Jewellery, The Cork Flower Studio, CIT/Crawford College of Art & Design, Spitjack Rotisserie, Cask, The English Market, The Montenotte Hotel, The Capitol, and St Angela’s College.  Entry is open this year to the greater Cork area and to all previous winners again if they so wish.


The closing date for applications is September 24th 2018 to afford the judges time to inspect and visit the nominated buildings.


If you think your building is worthy of winning one (or more) of the categories, or if you would like to recommend a building, fill out an application form on or call 021 4278295 and we will post the form to you.

Cork City Council Launches Campaign To Encourage Foreign Workers To Vote

Foreign workers and immigrants living in Cork city are being encouraged to register to vote and help shape the city’s future.


Ini Usanga and Ado Mazombe at the launch of Shape Your City: Use Your Vote at VoxPro, Mahon, Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan

Lord Mayor Mick Finn launched the city council's Shape Your City: Use Your Vote initiative in Voxpro yesterday which is one of the most multi-cultural workplaces in the country.

Mr Finn said the campaign is very timely given that the city is preparing to expand its boundary for the first time in more than 50 years. He said the city will benefit from new citizens taking an active role in its development.


I think people who are new to the city ,whether they are working with multinationals such as Voxpro for a couple of years, or looking to make a permanent home here, make up an integral part of the multicultural nature of life in Cork City,” he said.


“What Cork City Council is doing here is making it clear that the first step in greater involvement in Cork City is registering to vote.”

Council staff will visit Voxpro’s Campus 1 headquarters in Mahon tomorrow to help those interested to register. It hopes to visit other workplaces soon.


Voxpro co-founder Linda Kiel, said the firm, which employs 5,000 people globally, has benefitted hugely from the talents of people from other countries.

We are delighted to support an initiative like this,” she said.


The scheme aims to highlight to foreign workers and others local election voting rights and to outline the benefits of becoming active participants in civic life. Anyone over the age of 18 who is resident in Ireland for six months or more can register to vote in next May’s local elections. You must be an Irish citizen to vote in national elections or in a referendum, and you must be EU citizen to vote in European elections. About 3.5% of people on the city’s register of electors are non-Irish voters.


Minister of state for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton, said that, given that almost 12% of the population is non-Irish, the challenge now is to increase the level of migrant participation in politics.

Voxpro worker Tricia Cruz moved to Cork from Australia three years ago. She said she began looking at her voting rights during the Repeal the Eighth referendum campaign. She said the initiative has encouraged her to register to vote.


“Housing is one of the big issues,” she said. “I can see student accommodation going up so fast and I wonder how are we able to build this in like six months, yet with so many homeless people, we can’t deliver housing.”


Useful links:



Source: Eoin English, The Irish Examiner

Cork Pubs Champion at the Bar of the Year Awards 2018

Celebrations are well and truly in order ‘cross the bridge this week as The Shelbourne Bar and Cask bring home a total of four awards from the Bar of the Year Awards 2018.


On Monday 20th of August, the Bar of the Year awards gala was held in the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin and was hosted by Newstalk’s Tom Dunne. It was a joyous evening for the Rebel County with seven awards coming Leeside.


The Shelbourne Bar was crowned Whiskey Bar of the Year on the night. Home to over 300 Irish whiskey bottlings, The Shelbourne Bar boasts a range of new releases, vintage bottlings and everything in between. The bar prides itself on its extensive Irish whiskey offering, which they believe to be the largest in Cork City and thus the team was truly honoured to be awarded with the prestigious title of Whiskey Bar of the Year Award 2018.


“We are always striving to maintain the largest and best collection of Irish whiskey in Cork so we were overjoyed to be acknowledged at the Bar of the Year Awards 2018!”

Scooping the coveted “Bar of the Year 2018” award was none other than Cask. With hundreds of bars across the country eager to claim the title, Cask came out on top! This is an incredible achievement for a bar than opened just over a year and a half ago. The judges deemed the cocktail bar to be outstanding across all aspects, with particular accreditation to its unique design.


But it didn’t stop there; Cask was also crowned Cocktail Bar of the Year and Contemporary Bar of the Year bringing their title tally to three!


Andy Ferreira, manager of Cask, said, “I’m thrilled for everyone involved in Cask. We’re incredibly passionate about what we do and winning these awards is reward for a lot of hard work. Cork city is really buzzing at the moment; there’s such a great variety of places to eat and drink and the service you get is so genuine and unpretentious. Winning Cocktail Bar of the Year for a second year running is an amazing feeling. When you do four drinks’ menus a year and really immerse yourself in seasonality, it’s an incredibly rewarding way to develop drinks and menus. We keep pushing ourselves to be better with every menu.”


And last but certainly not least The Oyster Tavern were crowned City Bar of the Year, a title that was well and truly deserved! They paid a special thanks to their loyal customers and hardworking staff whom made it all possible.


A special nod to the Franciscan Well Brew Pub upon winning Tourist Bar of the Year and Traford Murphy of Ballymaloe House was crowned the Bushmills Cocktail Bartender of the Year on the night.

Celebrate the rich and vibrant history of Cork’s landmark buildings at the 14th annual Cork Heritage Open Day

On Saturday August 18th, take a step back in time, and immerse yourself in the history of some of Cork’s most historical buildings. From steps and steeples, to customs and commerce, Cork Heritage Open Day invites the public to explore buildings, many not usually accessible to the general public, and learn more about our City’s stories and traditions.

“If the walls of Cork City’s landmark buildings could talk, they’d share a rich and vibrant history” said Lord Mayor of Cork City, Mick Finn.  “No matter where you walk in Cork, the past is close beneath our feet. It is important to retain what we can of our past yet not be totally constrained by it as previous generations would attest: progress needs to be conscious of heritage.  Cork Heritage Open Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our built heritage and ensure that the stories of our city’s past are preserved for future generations to enjoy.”

Five themed, self-guided walking routes will lead visitors through the city on Cork Heritage Open Day which boasts a jam-packed catalogue of events for everyone from the young, to the young at heart.  Access to all 40 buildings is free of charge on Saturday, August 18th, but booking is required for a number of tours at some of the most popular venues.

Visitors to North Main Street will be transported back to the swinging 60s as traders and residents celebrate Cork Heritage Open Day with vintage twist, with on-street entertainment throughout the day; while St Peter’s will host a series of talks from Turtle Bunbury and the Jameson Distillery, among others.

Past pupils of St Angela’s College on Patrick’s Hill, and the former Model School, now the newly refurbished Courthouse on Anglesea Street, can look forward to guided tours of their old schools;  while Gaeilgeoiri can enjoy a special tour as gaeilge of Elizabeth Fort at 11am.

This year, a social competition invites members of the public to record their own memories of Cork Heritage Open Day, snap their favourite city centre plaque, street or bridge sign, and tag #CorkHeritage to be in with a chance to win a midweek night for two and dinner thanks to the Imperial Hotel.  Children can also get in on the action, and win a family pass to the Everyman Panto Cinderella in the annual Evening Echo Colouring Competition.


Launch of Cork Heritage Open Day 2018

Picture: Cllr. Thomas Moloney, Chief Executive Ann Doherty, Lord Mayor Cllr. Mick Finn, Heritage Officer Niamh Twomey and Cllr. Mick Nugent at the launch of Cork Heritage Open Day 2018 in St. Peters.


Cork Heritage Open Day is organised by Cork City Council as part of National Heritage Week in partnership with the Heritage Council, and is proudly supported by media sponsors, Evening Echo and Cork’s 96FM.

“We’re also so grateful for the army of volunteers, without whom Cork Heritage Open Day wouldn’t be possible” said Niamh Twomey, Heritage Officer with Cork City Council.  “We’d love to welcome some new faces to join our volunteer this team, and help us make it this special and unique day our best yet!”

Cork Heritage Open Day kicks off the Cork events for National Heritage Week, which runs this year from August 18th - 26th.

For a full list of events events, visit or pick up a brochure at Cork City Library or Cork City Tourist Information Office on Patrick’s Street.

Cork of the ‘cozy pubs’ named one of world’s friendliest cities

Condé Nast Traveller praises Cork’s pubs, beer gardens, restaurants and riverside ambience

Cork has been voted the third friendliest city in the world by Condé Nast Traveller in their August 2018 poll. The City by the Lee fended off competition from rival Irish cities Dublin and Galway to land the third spot, with the travel magazine’s editors citing the city’s “picturesque, riverfront location” and “cozy pubs and beer gardens where you can enjoy the outdoors while sharing a table with friendly locals” as some of the elements contributing to its charm.

Galway is number five on the list, and Dublin is in eighth place.

Visitors to Cork are advised to call to the English Market for fruit, vegetables, fish, meat and poultry, as well as for a spot of people-watching from the balcony of the Farmgate Cafe.

The historic Shandon Quarter also gains their praise for the Cork Butter Museum and the iconic Shandon Bells, where visitors can ring out their own tunes over the city, with the editors expressing their sympathy with the Shandon residents on account of this.

They recommend visiting Cork establishments such as Market Lane, IdahoCafe, Paradiso, Les Gourmandises and Mutton Lane to soak up local flavour as well as colour.

Lord Mayor of Cork CllrMick Finn added, “It’s fantastic to see that global media is picking up on the friendliness of Corkonians and their innate curiosity about visitors, which makes Cork city a place of welcome.”

Head of tourism in Cork City CouncilJo Gazely said: “We’re delighted to see Cork City being voted in the top 10 Friendliest Cities in the World – Cork City is an exciting destination that is busy, vibrant and cosmopolitan.”

Cork ranks among cities such as Puebla in MexicoChiang Mai in ThailandQueenstown in New Zealand, Adelaide in Australia and Victoria in British ColumbiaCanada for its friendly, welcoming spirit.

It was beaten only by Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, which placed second, and San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, which retained the top spot for the second year running.

Source: The Irish Times 

Communication is Key

City Hall chief Ann Doherty has urged the public to give the Patrick Street bus priority measures “a fair chance” when they are reintroduced tomorrow.

The changes were pulled last April after a few weeks of implementation after uproar from traders, who claimed it caused a decline in footfall.

A revamped plan, including a suite of measures to entice customers into the city centre, will be in place from Thursday afternoon.

Ms Doherty said: “What we would ask is that people give it a fair chance. You can’t make a judgement in day one or two or three. It does need a period of time to bed in and obviously for people to get used to it as people do with change. People just need to get used to using these new initiatives and that is what we would ask that people work together with us.”

Patrick Street, during the first traffic restrictions on the street from 3pm to 6.30pm in March. Picture: Denis Minihane

Business groups and traders have supported the measures this time around, with many citing the incentives, which include an extended park-and-ride network, new set-down bays and discounted parking charges, as positive for the city.

English Market fishmonger Pat O’Connell said many traders are on board with the new initiative.

“There is a realism out there that we need to change the traffic flows. That there is going to be big trouble very shortly with the amount of traffic that is coming into the city, so I there is a knowledge there that that has to be changed but I don’t think that was highlighted the last time.”

CBA CEO Lawrence Owens said the big difference this time compared to last time is the communication with the public.

“One of the sins we were all guilty of was not getting information out to the general public. We confused them and they didn’t come in and my hope is with that level of information and also businesses more onboard and a lot of measures there to encourage people to come into the city, they will come.”

Director of roads at City Hall, Gerry O’Beirne said the projected population growth in the city underlines the importance of making the changes.

“The transport system has to be changed, has to be modernised and it is proven that developing public transport into something that is really reliable is part of that process.”

Mr O’Beirne said the council would be open to tweaks should they be needed over the coming weeks.

“Any scheme that the council introduce will always be monitored and will always be adapted at it is rolled out. It is inevitable that changes will have to be made in this scheme.”

Travel by bus in Cork City for only €1

Reduced fares and enhanced Park & Ride to mark re-introduction of Patrick St bus priority


Bus Éireann and the National Transport Authority (NTA) will introduce new promotional fares tomorrow, August 09th, to mark the re-introduction of bus priority measures in St. Patrick's Street, Cork.


Adults using a Leap Card in the extended Red Zone – including Carrigaline, Crosshaven, Bishopstown and Ringaskiddy – can travel from 2pm daily until the end of each service for only €1 per trip. The cost is just 50 cent for child – up to 18 years old – on the Child Leap Card. The promotion will run for almost six weeks inclusive from Thursday, August 9th to Saturday, September 15th to incentivise travel by bus to and from the city.

More information on Leap Card is available at and


Passengers parking at the Black Ash Park & Ride – operated by Bus Éireann on behalf of Cork City Council – can also benefit from an improved service, which will now operate from 7am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday, with a 10 minute bus frequency during peak hours of 7am - 9.30am and 4pm - 7pm. The route commences at Black Ash and now travels via the South Link Road stopping at Eglington St, Merchant’s Quay (via Parnell Place), Patrick St, Grand Parade, South Mall and Anglesea St. The enhanced service will no longer stop at/serve Lapps Quay or Albert St.


Passengers who park cars (and up to 4 companions) and board at the Black Ash Park & Ride, just pay for car parking and present the ticket to the bus driver. This ticket ensures return transport to and from Cork city centre without further payment. Foot passengers can also board the bus at the various stops. These passengers can also avail of the promotional Leap Card fares - as applied to other Bus Éireann services - until September 15th next.


Bus Éireann Operations Manager South, Martin Walsh said the company welcomed the re-introduction of public transport priority on Patrick St and special promotional fares:


“The bus priority measures on Patrick Street reduced some of our journey times significantly, so the return of this measure is helpful in terms of combating traffic congestion.

With promotional fares of €1 per adult and 50c per child to travel around the city for most of the day, we would say to people ‘try the bus and see the benefits’.”

To learn more about the benefits of the Leap Card visit


Where can I buy/top up my Leap Card?

There are a number of TFI Leap Card payzone outlets in and around Cork City Centre.

These include:

  • Easons – St Patrick’s Street
  • Twilight News – St Patrick’s Street
  • Buckley’s Kiosk – Merchant’s Quay
  • Caulfield’s – Merchant’s Quay
  • Bus Eireann – Parnell Place
  • Centra, Clifford’s – Shandon Street
  • Centra, Herlihy’s – Grand Parade
  • Centra, Herlihy’s – Oliver Plunkett Street
  • Sexton’s Daybreak – Old Blackrock Road
  • Centra – Washington Street
  • Spar – Douglas Street
  • Marina Filling Station – Victoria Road

It’s all go in Cork City

Bus Prioritisation Cork City

Cork will be the fastest growing city in Ireland over the next 20 years. Our metropolitan population is expected to hit half a million, and over the next three years our city centre will see more than 5,000 extra jobs and 1,000 extra hotel beds.

Such growth is really exciting for everyone in Cork. It is of a scale that has not been seen for decades, creating whole new opportunities for businesses throughout the region. But growth also means we must start making some changes. To ensure we can continue to enjoy living, spending and working in our city. Make it more sustainable, less congested, more efficient.

So, on August 9th a priority bus corridor will be introduced on St. Patrick Street between 15.00-18.30.



Public transport prioritisation on St. Patrick Street is only one step in a much larger plan to keep Cork moving and meet the needs of a growing city with more people and more jobs. It is the second phase of a plan known as the City Centre Movement Strategy (CCMS) which seeks to improve the routing of traffic around the city and create space for better public transport, which in turn will improve reliability of bus services.


Why St. Patrick Street?

2,637 bus journeys happen every day in Cork city of which almost 1,000 pass through St. Patrick Street, making it the busiest public transport corridor in Cork.

In simple terms, the efficient operation of St. Patrick Street is central to the efficient operation of our city bus services. It is also the street that most people want to go to. To shop, meet and explore. Or to connect with other transport services and access the wider city centre.


What’s Next?

Over the next 10 years we will see significant public investment in improving sustainable transport in our city, including the experience of pedestrians and cyclists. But key to increasing capacity in Cork is to improve journey times and the reliability of services. This cannot happen without dedicated public transport corridors.

As part of the National Development Plan, €200m will be invested by Government in our public transport over the next 10 years to underpin the sustainable growth of Cork going forward. Ultimately this investment will create a rapid transport system linking Ballincollig and Mahon, via the city centre. Yet, delivery of this programme all depends on busses being able to move effectively and reliably through St. Patrick Street and our city centre.


See more on this in the video below.


A number of complementary measures will accompany the August 9th reintroduction of the bus prioritisation which will make this transition easier for those who live, work and visit the City centre.

These include:

  • A network of 26 free fifteen minute set down parking spaces along South Mall, Grand Parade, Parnell Place, Drawbridge & Cornmarket St to facilitate shoppers and visitors.
  • From August 9th, half price parking will be offered at Paul Street and North Main Street Car Parks from 1pm to 6.30pm every day.
  • The opening hours of the City’s BlackAsh Park & Ride service will be extended to operate from 7am to 8pm.
  • The BlackAsh Park & Ride will be free of charge from 12 noon Monday to Saturday.
  • The extension of the BlackAsh Park & Ride service into the city centre with additional stops at Merchants Quay, St Patrick’s St, Grand Parade and South Mall to improve connectivity between the Park & Ride and city centre.
  • Passengers on the northbound 203 and 215 buses will also be stopping on St. Patrick’s St. for the first time.
  • Reduced bus fares will be available from August 9th. With your Leap Card, you can travel for as little as one euro across the red zone (see map below).