Cork (city) facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
The Rebel City, Leeside, The Real Capital
Statio Bene Fida Carinis (Latin)
"A safe harbour for ships"
|Founded||6th century AD|
|City rights||1185 AD|
|• Type||Cork City Council|
|• City||37.3 km2 (14.4 sq mi)|
|• Density||3,367.88/km2 (8,722.8/sq mi)|
|• Demonym||Corkonian Leesider|
|Time zone||UTC0 (WET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (IST)|
T21 and T23
Cork ( Irish: Corcaigh from corcach, meaning "marsh") is a city in Ireland, located in the South-West Region, in the province of Munster. It has a population of 125,622 and is the second largest city in the state and the third most populous on the island of Ireland. The greater Metropolitan Cork area (which includes a number of satellite towns and suburbs) has a population exceeding 300,000. In 2005, the city was selected as the European Capital of Culture.
The city is built on the River Lee which splits into two channels at the western end of the city; the city centre is divided by these channels. They reconverge at the eastern end where the quays and docks along the river banks lead outwards towards Lough Mahon and Cork Harbour, one of the world's largest natural harbours.
The city's cognomen of "the rebel city" originates in its support for the Yorkist cause during the English 15th century Wars of the Roses. Corkonians often refer to the city as "the real capital" in reference to the city's role as the centre of anti-treaty forces during the Irish Civil War.
Cork was originally a monastic settlement, reputedly founded by Saint Finbarr in the 6th century. Cork achieved an urban character at some point between 915 and 922 when Norseman (Viking) settlers founded a trading port. It has been proposed that, like Dublin, Cork was an important trading centre in the global Scandinavian trade network. The ecclesiastical settlement continued alongside the Viking longphort, with the two developing a type of symbiotic relationship; the Norsemen providing otherwise unobtainable trade goods for the monastery, and perhaps also military aid.
The city's charter was granted by Prince John, as Lord of Ireland, in 1185. The city was once fully walled, and some wall sections and gates remain today. For much of the Middle Ages, Cork city was an outpost of Old English culture in the midst of a predominantly hostile Gaelic countryside and cut off from the English government in the Pale around Dublin. Neighbouring Gaelic and Hiberno-Norman lords extorted "Black Rent" from the citizens to keep them from attacking the city. The present extent of the city has exceeded the medieval boundaries of the Barony of Cork City; it now takes in much of the neighbouring Barony of Cork. Together, these baronies are located between the Barony of Barrymore to the east, Muskerry East to the west and Kerrycurrihy to the south.
The city's municipal government was dominated by about 12–15 merchant families, whose wealth came from overseas trade with continental Europe — in particular the export of wool and hides and the import of salt, iron and wine. The medieval population of Cork was about 2,100 people. It suffered a severe blow in 1349 when almost half the townspeople died of plague when the Black Death arrived in the town. In 1491, Cork played a part in the English Wars of the Roses when Perkin Warbeck a pretender to the English throne, landed in the city and tried to recruit support for a plot to overthrow Henry VII of England. The then mayor of Cork and several important citizens went with Warbeck to England but when the rebellion collapsed they were all captured and executed. The title of Mayor of Cork was established by royal charter in 1318, and the title was changed to Lord Mayor in 1900 following the knighthood of the incumbent Mayor by Queen Victoria on her Royal visit to the city.
Since the nineteenth century, Cork had been a strongly Irish nationalist city, with widespread support for Irish Home Rule and the Irish Parliamentary Party, but from 1910 stood firmly behind William O'Brien's dissident All-for-Ireland Party. O'Brien published a third local newspaper, the Cork Free Press.
In the War of Independence, the centre of Cork was burnt down by the British Black and Tans, and saw fierce fighting between Irish guerrillas and UK forces. During the Irish Civil War, Cork was for a time held by anti-Treaty forces, until it was retaken by the pro-Treaty National Army in an attack from the sea.
The climate of Cork, like the rest of Ireland, is mild oceanic and changeable with abundant rainfall and a lack of temperature extremes. Cork lies in plant Hardiness zone 9b. Met Éireann maintains a climatological weather station at Cork Airport, a few kilometres south of the city. It should be noted that the airport is at an altitude of 151 metres (495 ft) and temperatures can often differ by a few degrees between the airport and the city itself. There are also smaller synoptic weather stations at UCC and Clover Hill.
Temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) or above 25 °C (77 °F) are rare. Cork Airport records an average of 1,227.9 millimetres (48.34 in) of precipitation annually, most of which is rain. The airport records an average of 7 days of hail and 11 days of snow or sleet a year; though it only records lying snow for 2 days of the year. The low altitude of the city, and moderating influences of the harbour, mean that lying snow very rarely occurs in the city itself. There are on average 204 "rainy" days a year (over 0.2 millimetres (0.0079 in) of rainfall), of which there are 73 days with "heavy rain" (over 5 millimetres (0.20 in)). Cork is also a generally foggy city, with an average of 97 days of fog a year, most common during mornings and during winter. Despite this, however, Cork is also one of Ireland's sunniest cities, with an average of 3.9 hours of sunshine every day and only having 67 days where there is no "recordable sunshine", mostly during and around winter.
|Climate data for Cork Airport (1981–2010, extremes 1961–present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||16.1
|Average high °C (°F)||8.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||5.6
|Average low °C (°F)||3.0
|Record low °C (°F)||-8.5
|Precipitation mm (inches)||131.4
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||20||17||19||16||15||14||15||15||16||19||19||19||204|
|Avg. snowy days||3.1||3.1||2.0||0.7||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.3||2.2||11.3|
|Source: Met Éireann|
The Cork School of Music and the Crawford College of Art and Design provide a throughput of new blood, as do the active theatre components of several courses at University College Cork (UCC). Highlights include: Corcadorca Theatre Company, of which Cillian Murphy was a troupe member prior to Hollywood fame; the Institute for Choreography and Dance, a national contemporary dance resource; the Triskel Arts Centre (capacity c.90), which includes the Triskel Christchurch independent cinema; dance venue the Firkin Crane (capacity c.240); the Cork Academy of Dramatic Art (CADA) and Graffiti Theatre Company; and the Cork Jazz Festival, Cork Film Festival and Live at the Marquee events. The Everyman Palace Theatre (capacity c.650) and the Granary Theatre (capacity c.150) both play host to dramatic plays throughout the year.
Cork is home to the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet, and to many musical acts, including John Spillane, The Frank And Walters, Sultans of Ping, Simple Kid, Microdisney, Fred, Mick Flannery and the late Rory Gallagher. Singer songwriter Cathal Coughlan and Sean O'Hagan of The High Llamas also hail from Cork. The opera singers Cara O'Sullivan, Mary Hegarty, Brendan Collins, and Sam McElroy are also Cork born. Ranging in capacity from 50 to 1,000, the main music venues in the city are the Cork Opera House (capacity c.1000), The Everyman, Cyprus Avenue, Triskel Christchurch, the Roundy, the Savoy and Coughlan's.
The city's literary community centres on the Munster Literature Centre and the Triskel Arts Centre. The short story writers Frank O'Connor and Seán Ó Faoláin hailed from Cork, and contemporary writers include Thomas McCarthy, Gerry Murphy, and novelist and poet William Wall.
Cork has been culturally diverse for many years, from Huguenot communities in the 17th century, through to Eastern European communities and a smaller numbers from African and Asian nations in the 20th and 21st centuries. This is reflected in the multi-cultural restaurants and shops, including specialist shops for East-European or Middle-Eastern food, Chinese and Thai restaurants, French patisseries, Indian buffets, and Middle Eastern kebab houses. Cork saw some Jewish immigration from Lithuania and Russia in the late 19th century. Jewish citizens such as Gerald Goldberg (several times Lord Mayor), David Marcus (novelist) and Louis Marcus (documentary maker) played notable roles in 20th century Cork. Today, the Jewish community is relatively small in population, although the city still has a Jewish quarter and synagogue. Cork also features various denomination churches, as well as a mosque. Some Catholic masses around the city are said in Polish, Filipino, Lithuanian, Romanian and other languages, in addition to the traditional Latin and local Irish and English language services.
More recent additions to the arts infrastructure include modern additions to Cork Opera House and the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery. The Lewis Glucksman Gallery opened in the Autumn of 2004 at UCC, was nominated for the Stirling Prize in the United Kingdom, and the building of a new €60 million School of Music was completed in September 2007.
Cork was the European Capital of Culture for 2005, and in 2009 was included in the Lonely Planet's top 10 "Best in Travel 2010". The guide described Cork as being "at the top of its game: sophisticated, vibrant and diverse".
There is a rivalry between Cork and Dublin, similar to the rivalry between Manchester and London, Melbourne and Sydney or Barcelona and Madrid. Some Corkonians view themselves as different from the rest of Ireland, and refer to themselves as "The Rebels"; the county is known as the Rebel County. This view has in recent years manifested itself in humorous references to the Real Capital and the sale of T-shirts with light-hearted banners celebrating The People's Republic of Cork.
The city has many local traditions in food, including crubeens, tripe and drisheen. Cork's English Market sells locally produced foods, including fresh fish, meats, fruit and vegetables, eggs and artisan cheeses and breads. During certain city festivals, food stalls are also sometimes erected on city streets such as St. Patrick's Street or Grand Parade.
The Cork accent, part of the Southwest dialect of Hiberno-English, displays various features which set it apart from other accents in Ireland. Patterns of tone and intonation often rise and fall, with the overall tone tending to be more high-pitched than other Irish accents. English spoken in Cork has a number of dialect words that are peculiar to the city and environs. Like standard Hiberno-English, some of these words originate from the Irish language, but others through other languages Cork's inhabitants encountered at home and abroad. The Cork accent displays varying degrees of rhoticity, usually depending on the social-class of the speaker.
Places of interest
Cork features architecturally notable buildings originating from the Medieval to Modern periods. The only notable remnant of the Medieval era is the Red Abbey. There are two cathedrals in the city; St. Mary's Cathedral and Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral. St Mary's Cathedral, often referred to as the North Cathedral, is the Catholic cathedral of the city and was begun in 1808. Its distinctive tower was added in the 1860s. St Fin Barre's Cathedral serves the Protestant faith and is possibly the more famous of the two. It is built on the foundations of an earlier cathedral. Work began in 1862 and ended in 1879 under the direction of architect William Burges.
St. Patrick's Street, the main street of the city which was remodelled in the mid-2000s, is known for the architecture of the buildings along its pedestrian-friendly route and is the main shopping thoroughfare. It is dominated at its north end by the landmark statue of Father Mathew. The reason for its curved shape is that it originally was a channel of the River Lee that was built over on arches. The General Post Office, with its limestone façade, is on Oliver Plunkett Street, on the site of the Theatre Royal which was built in 1760 and burned down in 1840. The English circus proprietor Pablo Fanque rebuilt an amphitheatre on the spot in 1850, which was subsequently transformed into a theatre and then into the present General Post Office in 1877. The Grand Parade is a tree-lined avenue, home to offices, shops and financial institutions. The old financial centre is the South Mall, with several banks whose interior derive from the 19th century, such as the Allied Irish Bank's which was once an exchange.
Many of the city's buildings are in the Georgian style, although there are a number of examples of modern landmark structures, such as County Hall tower, which was, at one time the tallest building in Ireland until being superseded by another Cork City building: The Elysian. Outside the County Hall is the landmark sculpture of two men, known locally as 'Cha and Miah'. Across the river from County Hall is Ireland's longest building; built in Victorian times, Our Lady's Psychiatric Hospital has now been renovated and converted into a residential housing complex called Atkins Hall, after its architect William Atkins.
Cork's most famous building is the church tower of Shandon, which dominates the North side of the city. It is widely regarded as the symbol of the city. The North and East sides are faced in red sandstone, and the West and South sides are clad in the predominant stone of the region, white limestone. At the top sits a weather vane in the form of an eleven-foot salmon. Another site in Shandon is Skiddy's Almshouse which was built in the 18th century to provide a home to the poorest of the city.
Cork City Hall, another notable building of limestone, replaced the previous one which was destroyed by the Black and Tans during the War of Independence in an event known as the "Burning of Cork". The cost of this new building was provided by the UK Government in the 1930s as a gesture of reconciliation.
Other notable places include Elizabeth Fort, the Cork Opera House, Christ Church on South Main Street (now the Triskel Arts Centre and original site of early Hiberno-Norse church), and St Mary's Dominican Church on Popes Quay. Other popular tourist attractions include the grounds of University College Cork, through which the River Lee flows, the Women's Gaol at Sundays Well (now a heritage centre) and the English Market. This covered market traces its origins back to 1610, and the present building dates from 1786.
Parks and amenity spaces include Fitzgerald's Park to the west of the city (which contains the Cork Public Museum), the angling lake known as The Lough, Bishop Lucey Park (which is centrally located and contains a portion of the old city wall) and the Marina and Atlantic Pond (an avenue and amenity near Blackrock used by joggers, runners and rowing clubs).
Up until April 2009, there were also two large commercial breweries in the city. The Beamish and Crawford on South Main Street closed in April 2009 and transferred production to the Murphy's brewery in Lady's Well. This brewery also produces Heineken for the Irish market. There is also the Franciscan Well brewery, serving the local market with a variety of lagers, ales and stouts. In May 2008 it was awarded as the "Best Microbrewery in Ireland" by Food and Wine Magazine.
Cork Airport is one of Ireland's main airports. It is situated on the south side of Cork city in an area known as Ballygarvan. Over 15 airlines fly to more than 68 destinations, with over 60 flights a day. Scheduled airlines using Cork airport include Aer Lingus, Aer Lingus Regional operated by Stobart Air, CityJet, Flybe, Iberia Express, Ryanair and Norwegian Air International (the latter has announced the commencement of direct flights to Rhode Island from July 2017).
Public bus services within the city are provided by the national bus operator Bus Éireann. City routes are numbered from 201 through to 226 and connect the city centre to the principal suburbs, colleges, shopping centres and places of interest. Two of these bus routes provide orbital services across the Northern and Southern districts of the city respectively. Buses to the outer suburbs, such as Ballincollig, Glanmire, Midleton and Carrigaline are provided from the city's bus terminal at Parnell Place in the city centre. Suburban services also include shuttles to Cork Airport, and a park and ride facility in the south suburbs only.
Long distance buses depart from the bus terminal in Parnell Place to destinations throughout Ireland. Hourly services run to Killarney/Tralee, Waterford, Athlone and Shannon Airport/Limerick/Galway and there are six services daily to Dublin. There is also a daily Eurolines bus service that connects Cork to Victoria Coach Station in London via South Wales and Bristol.
Private operators include Irish Citylink, Aircoach and Dublin Coach. Irish Citylink serves Limerick and Galway. Aircoach operates an Express non-stop service which serves Dublin City Centre and Dublin Airport 18 times daily in each direction. Dublin Coach serve Dublin via Dungarvan, Waterford and Kilkenny.
Harbour and waterways
- See also: Port of Cork
The Cross River Ferry, from Rushbrooke to Passage West, links the R624 to R610. This service is useful when trying to avoid traffic congestion in Jack Lynch tunnel and Dunkettle area. The Port of Cork is situated at Ringaskiddy, 16 kilometres (10 miles) SE via the N28. There are direct car ferry services to France and the United Kingdom. A water taxi has also been proposed to link the city with towns in the lower harbour.
The Cork area has seen improvements in road infrastructure in recent years. For example, the Cork South Link dual carriageway was built in the early 1980s, to link the Kinsale Road roundabout with the city centre. Shortly afterwards, the first sections of the South Ring dual carriageway were opened. Work continued through the 1990s on extending the N25 South Ring Road, with the opening of the Jack Lynch Tunnel under the River Lee being a significant addition. The Kinsale Road flyover opened in August 2006 to remove a bottleneck for traffic heading to Cork Airport or Killarney. Other projects completed at this time include the N20 Blackpool bypass and the N20 Cork to Mallow road projects. The N22 Ballincollig dual carriageway bypass, which links to the Western end of the Cork Southern Ring road was opened in September 2004. City Centre road improvements include the Patrick Street project - which reconstructed the street with a pedestrian focus. The M8 motorway links Cork with Dublin.
Cork City Council supports a car sharing scheme operated by Mendes GoCar in partnership with cambio Mobility Services. There are several bases in Cork.
From 2012, cycle paths and bike stands were added in a number of areas, making the city more cycle friendly. Subsequently, in 2014, a public bicycle rental scheme was launched. The scheme is operated by An Rothar Nua on behalf of the National Transport Authority, with funding supplemented by an advertising sponsor.
Railway and tramway heritage
Cork was one of the most rail-oriented cities in Ireland, featuring eight stations at various times. The main route, still much the same today, is from Dublin Heuston. Originally terminating on the city's outskirts at Blackpool, the route now reaches the city centre terminus of Kent Station via Glanmire tunnel. Now a through station, the line through Kent connects the towns of Cobh and Midleton east of the city. This also connected to the seaside town of Youghal, until the 1980s.
Other rail routes terminating or traversing Cork city were the Cork, Blackrock and Passage Railway, a line to Macroom, the Cork and Muskerry Light Railway to Blarney, Coachford and Donoughmore, as well as the Cork, Bandon and South Coast Railway connecting Bantry, Skibbereen, Clonakilty and many other West Cork towns. West Cork trains terminated at Albert Quay, across the river from Kent Station (though an on-street rail system connected the two for rolling stock and cargo movement).
Within the city there have been two tram networks in operation. A proposal to develop a horse-drawn tram (linking the city's railway termini) was made by American George Francis Train in the 1860s, and implemented in 1872 by the Cork Tramway Company. However, the company ceased trading in 1875 after Cork Corporation refused permission to extend the line, mainly because of objections from cab operators to the type of tracks which – although they were laid to the Irish national railway gauge of 5 ft 3in – protruded from the road surface.
In December 1898, the Cork Electric Tramways and Lighting Company began operating on the Blackpool–Douglas, Summerhill–Sunday's Well and Tivoli–Blackrock routes. Increased usage of cars and buses in the 1920s led to a reduction in the use of trams, which discontinued operations permanently on 30 September 1931.
Plans to build a Luas-type light rail system in the city have been put on hold due to 2008 Irish economic crisis, and sufficient funding is not expected to be available until at least 2017.
The wider city area, including the city's suburbs, is served by three railway stations. These are Cork Kent railway station, Little Island railway station and Glounthaune railway station.
Cork's Kent Station is the main railway station in the city. From here, services run to destinations all over Ireland. The main line from Cork to Dublin, has hourly departures on the half-hour from Cork. InterCity services are also available to Kilarney and Tralee, and to Limerick, Ennis, Athenry and Galway (via Limerick Junction and the Limerick to Galway railway line).
Cork is also linked from Limerick Junction with connections to Clonmel and Waterford.
The Cork Suburban Rail system also departs from Kent Station and provides connections to parts of Metropolitan Cork. Stations include Little Island, Mallow, Midleton, Fota and Cobh. In July 2009 the Glounthaune to Midleton line was reopened, with new stations at Carrigtwohill and Midleton (and additional stations proposed for Monard, Blarney and elsewhere). Little Island railway station serves Cork's Eastern Suburbs.
The population of Cork City and its immediate suburbs was 198,582 according to the 2011 census.
|Main immigrant groups, 2011|
There were 119,230 people present in the Cork City Council administered area at the time of the 2011 census, of these 117,221 indicated that they were usually present in Cork. In common with other Irish urban centres, the female population (50.67%) is higher than the male population (49.33%), although the gap is somewhat smaller than in other cities.
Of those usually resident, 110,192 (94.00%) indicated that they were White, 2,623 (2.24%) that they were Asian, 1,104 (0.94%) that they were Black, while 3,302 (2.82%) did not state their ethnicity. 100,901 (86.08%) were Irish citizens; 10,295 (8.78%) were citizens of other EU countries; 4,316 (3.68%) were citizens of countries elsewhere in the world; 1,709 (1.46%) did not state their citizenship.
In the 2006 census, no separate figures were provided for Cork City, however for the Greater Cork area, 94.51% identified as White, 1.13% identified as Black, 1.33% identified as Asian, 1.11% identified as Other/Mixed, while 1.91% did not state their ethnicity. In terms of nationality, the figures were 88.78% Irish, 6.56% were other EU citizens, 3.45% were citizens of countries elsewhere in the world and 1.20% did not state their citizenship.
Though the Census of Ireland 2011 counted 119,230 people in Cork city, there are in excess of 300,000 in the Metropolitan Cork area.
Images for kids
Spectators watch Cork take on Kerry at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in the city
Cork (city) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.