Great Redevelopment News For Cork City Centre

by Alan Healy, Evening Echo


The Victoria Hotel pictured in 2009. Picture; Larry Cummins

The Victoria Hotel pictured in 2009. Picture; Larry Cummins

Cork's historic Victoria Hotel building on Patrick's Street is to be converted into a retail unit after planning permission was granted for the changes.

The prominent building was a focal point for many political groups and hosted the second-ever meeting of the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1884.

Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins and Winston Churchill were some of its former patrons.

The Victoria Hotel dates back to 1810 when it was called the Royal Victoria Hotel and was used by many visiting British, French and Prussian dignitaries.

The hotel was a popular disco location in the city centre in the 1980s and 1990s but has been closed for a number of years.

In 2017, new owners RESAM Properties Ltd lodged plans to build a high-order retail unit on the site of the historic location.

The facade facing Patrick Street will be retained along with the arched decorative ceiling in the first-floor ballroom.

However, the ballroom mezzanine will be removed and new ground-floor shopfronts will be created.

An entrance to the Cook Street aside of the building will also be created.

The building is not a protected structure but is listed in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

 The interior of the former Victoria Hotel.

The interior of the former Victoria Hotel.



BUT, it doesn't stop there!


The go-ahead has been given for what might be Cork's most unique coffee shops.

Planning permission has been granted for a new coffee dock alongside the old railway line that ran through the centre of Cork city up along Brian Boru Street.

A small triangular store building at Clyde House on the street is to be converted into a shop, coffee shop and take away with a hatch window facing onto the street.

The building's size, shape and location would make it one of the city's most unique coffee shops.

Brian Boru Street and the Coliseum are located to the west of the building while a curved laneway, where the railway used to run, is located to the east.

The last train to run between Kent (Lower Glanmire Road) station and Albert Quay station in Cork on September 22, 1976. Pic: Echo/Examiner Archive

The last train to run between Kent (Lower Glanmire Road) station and Albert Quay station in Cork on September 22, 1976. Pic: Echo/Examiner Archive

The railway line connected Kent Station to the west Cork rail line at Albert Quay and operated for 64 years.

Twin bridges, Brian Boru Bridge and Clontarf Bridge, were built and opened in 1912 to allow for the railway line and other traffic.

Because cargo ships still docked further up the river the bridges were Scherzer Rolling Lift Bascule bridges, allowing them to be raised to allow ships pass up and downstream.

The rail line connected Kent Station to the west cork railway line.

The rail line connected Kent Station to the west cork railway line.

The last train used the railway line in 1976 and four years later the bridges were modified as fixed-bridge structures.

Once opened, the new coffee dock will be located in an increasingly busy part of the city.

The new railway station on the southern side of Kent Station was opened specifically to improve access for rail passengers to the city centre.

The new Mary Elmes bridge is set to open to the public in the coming weeks, also with the aim of improving pedestrian and cycle connectivity over the north channel of the River Lee.

The rail line crossed Brian Boru and Clontarf bridges.

The rail line crossed Brian Boru and Clontarf bridges.

Construction is also underway on two major office developments Horgan Quay and Penrose Quay that will add a significant number of workers to the area once complete and occupied.

A planning decision is also awaited on a microbrewery in the nearby Thompson House on MacCurtain Street.



Cork LGBT Pride Festival 2019


Events and Activations

There’s are various activations possible, and we still have availability for title sponsorship of some of our key events, such as the Pride Village in Bishop Lucey Park on Grand Parade on Saturday 3rdAugust. There is also capacity for onstage branding at the main event - the Cork Pride Parade and On Street After Party which is similar in format to Dublin Prides Smithfield event, and has regular attendance of upwards of 15,000 people. There are a wide and varied range of profile building branding and activation opportunities, and there is also capacity to take a commercial entry into the Parade itself.


The Cork Pride Magazine

The annual Cork Pride magazine started out as an 11 page listings leaflet in 2008, and has developed itself year on year until it became a fully formed high quality 68-page magazine in 2014, growing to 80 pages in 2015, and our most successful 100+ page publications in 2016, 2017 & 2018; please find links below to the last five Cork LGBT Pride Festival Magazines, which has now become the largest publication of its type in Europe:

View 2018 Magazine


Cork LGBT Pride Festival Sponsorship and Engagement Deck

If you want to know more about Cork Pride Festival or are interested in becoming a sponsor please contact Kery, details below:

Kery Mullaly
Business Development Manager

The Cork LGBT Pride Festival

4 South Terrace 
086 7273888

Striking The Right Balance

Lawrence Owens commenting for the Cork City of Change supplement published in support of our newly expanded city. 


"A new expanding Cork is emerging that is more culturally diverse, more confident in its own skin as a mid sized European city driving the economy of the Southern region. The framework for Cork's future development is currently being constructed within project Ireland 2040 and more recently with the publication of the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Study (CMATS).

We now have a unique opportunity to shape that future and work collectively with all stakeholders to fast track where practicable key elements of these proposals.

But with this opportunity comes the responsibility to preserve our heritage that makes us what we are. We need to design a vibrant, accessible and living city that works for all."

"Many diverse factors must be actively considered and included in this design process such as climate change and its impact. Essentially there is an onus on us to get it right by learning from the best international comparisons and by so doing deliver a sustainable development, embracing the economic, social and environmental spheres.

It is essential that the maintenance of the city centre as a vibrant, thriving location for retail, hospitality and other business remains a core principle that informs the strategies that will shape Cork's development. The city centre has been a favoured destination for generations of Corkonians. It attracts shoppers and visitors, it is a centre for events and cultural activity and gives the city colour and energy. We must be careful to ensure that the wonderful retail offer of international and traditional businesses which the city centre has, can continue to make its distinctive contribution to Cork in the future."

Upcoming Event: Unlocking the power of digital and social media for your business

Join the Cork Business Association (CBA) at our FREE Event on ‘Unlocking the power of digital and social media for your business' and the use of data analytics to learn more about consumer spending patterns, in association with AIB Bank, at AIB 66 South Mall Cork.

This is an after hours event which take place on Tuesday 11th June.

We have a fantastic panel of experts lined up to speak on the night including Brian Deegan, Digital Content Specialist at AIB. Brian will be making a presentation entitled, ‘Unlocking the power of digital and social media for your business’.

We will also hear from Alan Makim, Head of Retail & Franchising at AIB, who will mke a presentation on Consumer Spending Patterns. Alan will give us an insight into the power of data analysis in understanding your customer base and their behaviour.

This event is suitable for anyone with an interest in online and retail.

Reception and registration at 6pm.

Event will commence at 6.15pm sharp.


Free Family Fun At Cork Midsummer Festival

Cork Midsummer Festival is bigger and brighter than ever with a kaleidoscope of FREE events for families taking place from 13 - 23 June. The 11-day festival will run an extraordinary variety of activities for the whole family, suitable for all age groups, with music, circus, dance, arts and crafts workshops, high-flying performances and spectacular science. Listings for families wanting to experience something new can be found at

A highlight from one of Ireland’s fastest-growing and most exciting multi-disciplinary arts festivals is the free outdoor bicycle-powered performance of Shakespeare’s The Tempest (18 & 19 June) by all-female troupe The HandleBards at Fitzgerald Park.

One of the most joyful festival attractions will be The Market (15 June), a free market-themed wooden play universe at Emmet Place for children from ages 2-8.

Celebrating National Day of Culture and Creativity for, and by children, Cruinniú na nÓg (15 June) will be at Douglas Community Park with storytelling with Douglas Library Service and music from The Kabin Studio and Music Generation Cork.

Cork Midsummer Festival Director Lorraine Maye said: “Cork Midsummer Festival is always looking for new audiences, and one of the most important ways we reach out to them is through our family programme. For us, it’s a chance to inspire people of all ages — to pass on our love of music, dance, and art to families, and to show what arts and cultural experiences can offer audiences of all ages.”

Cork Carnival of Science (22 & 23 June) at Fitzgerald Park features family-friendly experiments intertwining science, engineering and math. This free two-day event issupported by Science Foundation IrelandCork City Council and Old Cork Waterworks Experience, with event co-ordinator Lifetime Lab.


In theatre, BrokenCrow Theatre Company’s Miss Happiness and Miss Flower will be held at selected dates in various libraries across Cork city. Tickets are free but booking is essential at

With a series of early years arts play experiences for parents and toddlers aged 0-3 years, BEAG is at Graffiti Theatre in Blackpool (15 June) and led by artists from the worlds of dance, music, visual art and performance.   

Arts, Activism, and the Environment (15 June) from Bodies of Water and Perforum at The Glucksman is a free outdoor arts-based family friendly event, which includes Global Water Dances, an international project that raises awareness about water issues through dance and community, along with open talks and workshops.

The free high-level circus skills performance, MOSH SPLIT, with Finnish circus group SISUS, to take place at Elizabeth Fort (15 & 16 June) is now sold out.

In total, over 45 events will take place in 30 venues across the city during Cork Midsummer Festival from 13 – 23 June, with the 11 days of theatre, literature, dance, circus and visual art to include 25 world, European and Irish premieres.

Cork Midsummer Festival is proudly supported by the Arts Council, Cork City Council, Fáilte Ireland and by media partners RTÉ Cork, the Irish Examiner, 96FM and C103, and RTÉ Supporting the Arts. Tickets are available at

Planning permission granted for the 15-storey Prism skyscraper set to transform Cork’s skyline

by Alan Healy

An artist's impression of the planned Prism Building. Pic: Pedersen Focus

An artist's impression of the planned Prism Building. Pic: Pedersen Focus


Planning permission has been granted for a landmark 15-storey skyscraper that is set to transform cork city's skyline.

The €20 million office building called The Prism will be located on the small triangular site at Clontarf Street next to the city bus station.

Construction of the development is set to begin in the coming months and the Prism Building will create more than 100 jobs on site during development and a multiple of this figure over the next 18 months once occupied.


The Prism will be located on the small site on Clontarf Street. Photo: Billy macGill.

The Prism will be located on the small site on Clontarf Street. Photo: Billy macGill.

Cork City Council had already granted planning permission for the building but their decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála by heritage group An Taisce.

An Taisce opposed the development on a number of grounds, including the height of the building.

“A structure of this kind will be the dominant feature on the east of the island when viewed from many parts of the wider city," they said.

However, in a decision this week the planning appeals body said the Prism would make a "positive contribution to the urban character of the area" and would "enhance the skyline of the area."

It "would not have a significant and detrimental impact on any important views and vistas within the city."

The Prism building on Clontarf Street. Pic: Pedersen Focus

The Prism building on Clontarf Street. Pic: Pedersen Focus

The Prism development had received the support from the Cork Business Association and the Cork Chamber.

Commenting CEO of the Cork Business Association Lawrence Owens said,

"We warmly welcome the decision to approve planning for this impressive new development, which has the capacity not only to transform the skyline but the local economy as well".

Tower Holdings Group, owned by Kevin O’Sullivan, will oversee the development of the proposed new office building.

Along with his brother Donal, the pair from Kerry has been responsible for a number of skyscraper developments in New York.

They have also acquired the triangular site at Custom House Quay where both channels of the River Lee meet and are planning another major skyscraper for this site.

Reacting to the news on the Prism this morning, Tower Holdings Director of Operations Conor Lee said the development will be transformative for Cork’s city centre.

"There is a strong demand for offices and commercial buildings within Cork city centre. In order to continue to attract investment into Cork, to accommodate commercial expansion and to meet the projections of Project Ireland 2040, Cork needs to have a supply of modern, fully equipped buildings where the growing population of Cork can work in a vibrant and dynamic environment," he said.

"We are delighted that An Bord Pleanála upheld the decision by Cork City Council to grant permission for this important commercial development for Cork. In particular, the size and scale of this commercial development, which accommodates 300 work stations over 60,000 square feet is very much in demand in Cork."

"We, at Tower Holdings, are ambitious for Cork, because we believe that Cork has enormous potential to rival other European cities in providing a world-class place for citizens to live and work.”

Asked about a construction start date Mr Lee said preparations were ongoing while awaiting planning and now they will be ramped up to commence as soon as possible - within the next number of months.



Source: Alan Healy, The Evening Echo

“Engaging with our Youth – The Retail Experience in Cork City”


The Cork Business Association and Cork City Council have come together with the Transition Year students St Angela’s College to work on an exciting new project over the past academic year. With the growth of online shopping ever increasing there is an inevitable knock on effect on our local retailers in Cork City centre. Cork Business Association and Cork City Council are aware of this potential threat to local business, and with the help of Ms Muireann Curtin of St Angela’s College, they have designed a Project Brief for the current transition year students attending St Angela’s College.


The general objective of this project was to “raise questions about the spending habits of young people in Cork City and promote the development of local retailers”. This project was guided by Ms Julia Campi from Sao Paulo who has worked on similar projects back in her home country of Brazil. This was a very practical live project that, we believe, will greatly benefit both the transition year students and local retailers alike. The project was broken down into four stages and students worked over the course of the academic year to identify what types of products are available in Cork City, how the youth in Cork consume these products and what the overall retail experience is like for our younger generations shopping in Cork City.


Please note this is a study done amongst Transition Year students in one school and therefore the findings are not scientific. 



Writing for the Irish Examiner, Eoin English details:

Retailers in Cork are planning a series of workshops with teenagers to find out how they can improves the retail offering to a vast untapped teenage market.

It follows the release of new research by students at St Angela's College, facilitated by the Cork Business Association (CBA) and the city council, which highlights some of the perceived barriers which teenagers say discourage them from shopping in the city centre.

It also includes suggestions, they say, would encourage them to shop more in the city, including:

  • Better social media connections with their demographic;
  • Better public transport and signage;
  • In-store wifi to help them share their shopping experience;
  • A rental locker system to allow them drop-off heavy school bags before shopping;
  • Targeted student deals, discounts and offers;
  • And more city centre and in-store seating.

CBA President, Philip Gillivan, said they are now planning to host workshops at the start of the academic year between students and retailers.

"The students will be given be given an opportunity to engage directly with the CBA's retail committee in a dual-learning setting. We are of the firm belief that we can learn just as much from them as they can from us.

Students want to have their voice heard - they want to be part of the conversation and they feel they can bring solutions to the problems. They are tomorrow's shoppers and consumers - let's keep the conversation going."

The CBA linked up with the city council and St Angela's College last year. With teacher Muireann Curtin they devised a year-long business module for the transition year students. The CBA engaged with Julia Campi, from Sao Paulo, who worked on similar projects in Brazil, to facilitate the project.

The students examined the products available in Cork, how much the youth market consume these products, how they rate the overall retail experience. They surveyed up to 400 students, ranging in age from 13 - 18.

The CBA said while the results are not scientific, they do give valuable  insight into the trends.

The survey found that 82% of students spend an average of up to €50 a month online; 64% spend up to €64 over the counter per month, while 27% spend between €100 and €150 over the counter per month. The spend includes food and drink.

It found that students generally spend their money with a retailer with whom they have an online relationship, and feel more comfortable entering a store they feel they know.

Of the 24 retailers surveyed, only half offered online purchasing, and many offered student discounts to third-level students only.

The survey also showed the students want to support environmentally responsible retailers who will, for example, accept returned packaging or who sell coffee in reusable cups. The CBA hopes to expand the academic module to more schools next year.


Plebiscite for Directly Elected Mayor


On Friday 24th May 2019, the people of Cork City and County will have an opportunity to vote in a plebiscite on a proposed directly elected mayor with executive functions (duties). A plebiscite is an electoral poll consulting the public on a proposal. This is an important opportunity for the people of Cork to decide on the future of Local Government and we urge everyone to study the proposals carefully and have their say.


Voters will be asked if they approve a proposal that would allow the people of their council area to directly elect a mayor with executive functions for a five-year term. At present, the Mayor of a council  (called a Lord Mayor in Cork City) is elected for a one-year term by other councilors. Under the Government’s proposal, the directly elected Mayor would have more functions than Lord Mayor currently has, including some or all of the executive functions held by the current Chief Executive.


The plebiscite is taking place through provisions in the Local Government Act 2019. Under the Act, if the proposal is accepted by a majority of voters in a council’s administrative area, the Minister will submit a report to the Oireachtas with legislative proposals for an election of a mayor by the people. The Oireachtas will then consider the legislation. If the law is passed, an election for Mayor will take place.


If the proposal is rejected by a majority of voters in a council’s administrative area, the current balance of powers and functions will not be changed without legislation.  


You can read more information on the plebiscite in Cork area HERE

From book to screen to exhibition – The Atlas of the Irish Revolution


The best-selling and award-winning Atlas of the Irish Revolution from Cork University Press anchors a new exhibition, opening Thursday 16 May at St. Peter’s Cork on North Main Street.  Funded by the Cork City Council Arts Office, the exhibition will remain in residence until the end of the year.


This collaboration between University College Cork and LW Management Group who operate the St. Peter’s Cork venue, brings dynamic UCC scholarship into a unique public space in the heart of Cork city.  It is the latest public outreach effort by the Atlas of the Irish Revolution project, following the major documentary series earlier this year, ‘The Irish Revolution’, narrated by Cork film actor Cillian Murphy and produced by RTÉ Cork and UCC.


The exhibition explores key moments in the 1913-1923 period, touching on history, geography, art history, sociology and archaeology.  It intertwines national, international, and distinctly Cork perspectives of Revolutionary Ireland through images and extended, informative panels.


A key feature of the exhibition is a dedicated reading area where visitors can explore Cork University Press’s 5kg and 1,000-page book, which features over 100 essays, 300 maps, and hundreds of images. Visitors will also have the opportunity to view ‘The Irish Revolution’ documentary series on-site.  Throughout the year, St. Peter’s Cork and UCC will host several public lectures addressing various themes from the book.


Commenting on the official launch of the Exhibition Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Thomas Moloney said:

The Atlas of the Irish Revolution book is a sincerely impressive achievement for the team at University College Cork and it is clear that this book is among the greatest Irish history books.  The accompanying exhibition here at St. Peter’s Cork is an excellent example of collaboration between University College Cork and LW Management and I am delighted that Cork City Council was able to support the initiative. I believe a great job has been done in bringing all of the elements of the revolutionary period together and I am confident that the exhibition will give visitors a substantial taste of those elements”


Christine Moloney, CEO of LW Management praised the work of the University College Cork team and said:

“The LW Management Group, through our St. Peter’s Cork venue, is delighted to partner with University College Cork on the “Atlas of the Irish Revolution” exhibition. Our aim is to create a space in Cork for people to explore this incredible book and to delve into its artwork, maps and accessible scholarly articles. Our free entry exhibition provides a unique opportunity for visitors to deepen their understanding of this period and to stand back, reflect and return time and time again to dip in and out and explore a chapter or a particular theme at a time. Given the upcoming centenary commemoration for 1920, this exhibition will also set the scene for our Programme of Events at St. Peter’s Cork in 2020”.


Dr John Borgonovo, Lecturer in the School of History at UCC and Associate Editor of the Atlas of the Irish Revolution said:

"The Atlas of the Irish Revolution was created to make cutting-edge scholarship accessible to the general public.  The editorial team is pleased that LW Management and Cork City Council Arts Office have offered us an opportunity to bring a selection of the book’s maps, posters, photos, and images into St Peter’s historic and evocative setting.  The exhibit is part of UCC President Patrick O’Shea’s vision to place the university, ‘firmly back in the public square’ through imaginative public engagement with the community.  UCC’s schools of history and geography intend to continue its public outreach program as we progress further into the ‘decade of centenaries’.


The Atlas of the Irish Revolution Exhibition opens at St. Peter’s Cork on Thursday the 16th of May 2019 and runs until the end of the year.

Admission is free.

World’s leading Wind Energy Scientists to travel to Cork for prestigious International Conference

~ WESC 2019 will be a 4-day international festival of wind energy science ~

“We have been working in Europe for a long time, it's fantastic to have the opportunity to bring our colleagues home to Cork,” Dr. Cian Desmond, MaREI


A major international wind energy science conference is coming to Ireland next month from June 17 - 20, the first time it has taken place outside of mainland Europe, bringing up to 900 of the world’s leading wind energy scientists and engineers from over 38 countries to Cork for a four-day event, which is estimated to be worth €1.4 million to the local economy.


The Wind Energy Science Conference (WESC) 2019 is organised on behalf of the European Academy of Wind Energy (EAWE) in association with MaREI, the SFI Research Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy. The event is chaired by Dr. Cian Desmond, a Research Fellow in UCC, who won the event for Cork following a competitive bidding process between Europe’s top research institutions.


It will be the first time the biennial conference has taken place outside mainland Europe and is the largest scientific conference ever to be held in Cork, with up to 900 delegates attending a total of 700 talks across 140 sessions across 8 diverse scientific themes. The conference will take over the entire UCC main campus for 4 days this June.


Dr. Desmond and member of the Offshore Renewable Energy Group at the SFI MaREI Centre have managed to more than doubled the number of delegates attending in previous years by restructuring the conference, broadening its themes, and tapping into their strong academic networks across Europe. The ground-breaking research being carried out at UCC and Ireland as a destination were also huge selling points for international delegates.


Organisers are keen for the conference to be part of the broader Cork community, and so, delegates will be encouraged to explore some of the best food, music, sport and culture that Cork has to offer with trips to Spike Island, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork City Goal and other key attractions along with a banquet dinner in the Clayton Hotel Silver Springs.


Dr. Desmond, whose current research at the SFI MaREI Centre focuses on the design and testing of floating wind turbines, says that “the aim of the conference is to create a multidisciplinary open forum for discussion where scientists and engineers can explore the latest developments in wind energy science, spot emerging trends and identify future collaborators. Whilst wind energy is a mature technology, there are a number of complex open research questions. To provide innovative solutions we need to start conversations between diverse scientific groups and forge new collaborative research relationships”.


Up for discussion at WESC 2019 is the development of floating wind turbines which Dr. Jimmy Murphy (lead of the Offshore Renewable Energy Group in MaREI) says promises to be “the next big thing” in renewable energy generation, due the potential for mass production and lower environmental impact compared to bottom fixed offshore wind turbines. A symposium dedicated to Floating Wind Energy hosted by Prof. James Manwell (University of Massachusetts) will bring together a number of the world’s leading researchers from China, Germany and the USA to discuss how to accelerate the uptake of floating technologies, risk mitigation and other pressing topics.


Other highlights will include a demonstration of a commercial floating wind energy platform which is currently being tested in the Lir, the National Ocean Test Facility; a discussion with EirGrid, Ireland’s electricity power grid provider, on the challenges faced by grid operators when there is a high percentage of wind energy on the system; and sessions led by Dr. Roland Schmehl of TU Delft which will focus on airborne wind energy systems, a potential game changing technology which will allow wind energy to be generated by drones and kites flying at high altitudes and a session exploring the latest findings from EirWind.  This is a €1.2million industry and SFI funded project in MaREI which is examining the opportunities for and barriers to the development of offshore wind in Ireland.


Commenting on the value of bringing the conference to Cork, Evelyn O’Sullivan, manager of Cork Convention Bureau said, “We are delighted to have been involved with Dr Cian Desmond in the original bid submission to bring the Wind Energy Science Conference to Cork in 2019. WESC will be the largest association conference to be held here bringing a lot to the local economy based on the value of each international delegate being €1,600”.



For more information or to register for the conference see

For further media requests contact or