Saturday, 24 April 2010


The church in Dunbar Street, St Finbarr’s (South), is a fairly austere building. Then, I suppose, if I’d been around since 1766, I’d be looking fairly austere too! It is the oldest catholic church in use in the city and the plain Georgian building is better known as the South Chapel and is built with limestone and red sandstone.
St. Finbarr's (South) Church is the oldest Catholic Church in use in Cork City (since 1766).

Inside, you may see its most famous feature, John Hogan's fine carving in Carrara marble of the Dead Christ. Hogan, born in Tallow, made three versions of the scene.

If you are from this area and wish to trace your ancestors then you are in luck as records of baptism and marriages celebrated in this church from second half of the 18th century are computerised. Visitors welcome or try the Internet:

Check out my review of St Finbarr's South Parish - I am cork - on Qype

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


Fri 23 - Thu 29 Apr
Lane Productions presents
The Shawshank Redemption 

By Owen O’Neill and Dave Johns
Based on the novella by Stephen King
Directed by Peter Sheridan
Following its very successful season at the Gaiety Theatre, where it received an almost unbroken run of standing ovations, and a premiere in London’s West End, The Shawshank Redemption will visit Cork Opera House for one week only.
This unforgettable story of courage, friendship and of daring to hope is based on the novella‘Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption’ by Stephen King which also inspired the award-winning film.
Andy Dufresne is convicted of murdering his wife and her lover, and is sent to the notorious Shawshank Prison to serve two life sentences.  Stripped of his family and his freedom, Andy is forced to endure a spirit-crushing routine.  But with his quiet strength and inner courage there is one thing that Andy never loses – and that is hope.
The versatile actor and Tony nominee, Kevin Anderson, reprises his role as Andy. Kevin made his Off-Broadway debut in Steppenwolf's Orphans and has been a member of the ensemble since 1984.  His subsequent returns to the stage have been as varied as they were lauded, from the world premiere of Sunset Boulevard in London to Death of Salesman on Broadway (for which he was nominated for a Tony Award) to a heartbreaking performance in I Never Sang For My Father at Steppenwolf. Most recently he was directed by and starred alongside Al Pacino in Oscar Wilde’s Salomé at the Wadsworth Theater in LA.
The Shawshank Redemption is produced by Breda Cashe, Donal Shiels and Pat Moylan (Lane Productions).
What critics said about the May 2009 run in The Gaiety Theatre:
'Brilliantly staged'    Sunday Business Post      

'...Peter Sheridan's production, is an odd yet gripping mix of brutishness and sentimentality, jailhouse melodrama and buddy play’  The Times

‘This is a gem worthy of the standing ovation’   Evening Herald
'Compelling'  Daily Express   

‘Peter Sheridan's direction is slick and the production design-from the sound to lighting to the stark set- is excellent and the final scene, with Red in silhouette, is particularly striking '. Metro

‘This stage version is already a phenomenon. The theatre roof is in danger of lift off, such is the deafening roar that greets every final bow.’   The Sun   

Tickets: Opening night all tickets €26 booking fee may apply 
Evenings:  €31 (limited), €36, €41, €44 booking fee may apply 


Monochrome, an exhibition featuring Megan Eustace - Niall Foley - John Graham - Paddy Lennon - Philippa Sutherland - Wesley Triggs - Keith Wilson opens at the Lavit gallery, Fr Matthew Street, on April 27th and closes on May 15th. As the title suggests, the show will focus on the many possibilities of creating works of art using just one colour.

The Lavit Gallery
5 Father Mathew Street

tel: 00353 (21) 4277749

gallery opening hours:
Tuesday to Friday
10.30am - 6.00pm

10.30am - 5.00pm

Friday, 16 April 2010



Our guided tour to the Jameson Experience in Midleton started unusually – with a fire drill. It finished, as usual, with a tasting, and then the conversations started between the Germans, the Irish, the Americans, the French and the rest!

A drink of the popular Irish whiskey is included in your ticket but you can also volunteer, like I did, for the tasting. That consists of sampling three different whiskeys: Scotch, Jameson and American. At the end you get a certificate of competence if you guess the right answer, which is Jameson, of course! All good fun.

The Old Distillery in Midleton ceased production in 1975 after 150 years of production and the Jameson Experience was opened to the public in 1992. The tour takes you through the history and you see the world’s largest Pot Still, an impressive and still working 160 year old Water Wheel and the original distillery buildings.

After your tasting, you may linger in the bar, check the souvenir ship or have a meal at the Malt House Restaurant. All in all, quite an interesting tour but remember the fire drill is not guaranteed. By the way, production continues in the new distillery on an adjacent site.

Pictures from the top: first view (left), the tasting, the colours change as the whiskey ages, a grinding wheel, the world's largest pot still, one of the Kilns and the still working 160 year old water wheel.

Monday, 12 April 2010


More pics at
The star-shaped Charles Fort was a tough station. Blasphemy was punishable by “boring the tongue” with a red hot iron. More controversial still was the “cat o’ nine tails” flogging punishment, introduced in the early 18th century.

If you came back wounded, you were at the mercy of the surgeons. But while the title sounds good, these guys were handy at blood-letting and amputation and little else apparently.

Most of the punishments were carried out on the parade ground, to create the maximum impression on potential offenders. Nowadays, the grounds of the 17th century fort are much more civilised. But, if those walls could talk, what a tale they’d tell.

Overlooking the harbour and town of Kinsale, it is scenically situated and a lovely and interesting visit at a very reasonable cost of just four euro per adult. For more info on the fort, associated with some of the most momentous events in Irish history, see
+353 021 477 2263

Check out my review of Charles Fort - I am cork - on Qype

Friday, 9 April 2010



Rory Gallagher is probably Cork’s best known figure internationally and the musician’s life is marked by quite a few memorials and plaques around the city. See previous post on his statue in Rory Gallagher Plaza in Paul Street.

His early death caused quite a lot of grief among his fans in the area but at least the music lives on. I saw Rory play in some small venues before he became famous.

Quite a few visitors come to check on the places associated with his life and many end up at St Oliver’s Graveyard in Carrigrohane, the place where he was buried. Called to St Oliver’s myself the other day and you can see my photo attached.
St Oliver’s is a very large graveyard, with a map on the way in. It is also a lawn graveyard, meaning it is very tidy and graves are easy to find.

Check out my review of St Oliver's Graveyard - I am cork - on Qype

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


Built in the shape of a ship, complete with crow’s nest, funnel and portholes, the design of Cobh Garda Station, which was opened in April 2002, is appropriate given the town’s long standing and famous maritime links. The large building hasn’t met with universal approval though, some liking it to a Mississippi paddle-boat!

At least it was an attempt at something different. The station is just along the railway line from the well known Heritage Centre and can be seen from ground level or from the road above and, controversial or not, it is worth the short walk, unless of course you are hand-cuffed to a member of the force!

Check out my review of Cobh Garda Station - I am cork - on Qype

Monday, 5 April 2010


Ross Castle in Killarney has been much changed since it was started in the 15th century. It was falling away dangerously some years back but a long period of work by the Office of Public Works has seen it re-opened to the public. It is a popular and busy site and you could well have delays during the summer months.

It overlooks the famous lakes and there are fine views, views that you may enjoy without entering the castle itself. There are some pleasant walks in the vicinity (most notably through the National Park) and also places where you may picnic. Boats can be hired here.

Check out my review of Ross Castle - I am cork - on Qype

Thursday, 1 April 2010



The small West Cork town of Rosscarbery has a lot going for it and has been recognized as one of the best places to live and work in the country.

One of the reasons, aside from the strong community spirit of course, may be the variety of pleasant walks in the area.

One of my favourites starts on the eastern side of the bridge. Park the car here and stroll down to Warren’s Strand (signposted: Rosscarbery beach). Here, you walk past the tidal waters before reaching the pitch and putt course (pictured). Then past the car park and onto the beach. Walk here to your heart’s content and return to the main road.

If you feel like more, carefully cross the road and do the horseshoe walk around the lagoon which will bring you out by the Celtic Ross where you may enjoy a well earned refreshment!


This Ballydehob walk has to be one of the most picturesque in Cork.

Its centrepiece is an old bridge from the defunct West Carbery Tramway and light Railway, a 12 arch bridge that had its first train in September 1886, its last in January 1947.

From the village, you walk through the sports and leisurecraft area (opened by her Excellency Mary Robinson in 1994), making your way towards the 12 arch bridge. Go under it and then take the purpose built decked walkway across the inlet to the other side.

Here, a series of steps will take you up onto the bridge, from where you will enjoy fine views, both towards the coast and inland towards the road bridge to the quiet village. You may extend your walk by a number of loops but make sure you come back to the bridge for at least another view.

Check out my review of 12 Arch Bridge - I am cork - on Qype