The only place in town

Clair McSweeney Headshot

Clair McSweeney, Centre Manager, Blackrock Castle Observatory

The River Lee has been flowing downstream from Cork city into the world’s second largest natural harbours since time immemorial.  Since 1582 Blackrock Castle has been standing sentinel on the mouth of the river to protect the harbour from pirates and other invaders…

A beautiful place to experience and appreciate the river is Fitzgerald Park. No matter the season, the park buzzes with life from the playground to the rose garden to the banks of the river. It also houses Cork Public Museum, as well as statues of the city’s famous sons and daughters.

Shakey Bridge Sketch

You can’t go to the park without continuing to the Shakey Bridge! The bridge is formally called Daly’s Bridge, but any Corkonian knows it as the Shakey Bridge. It’s the only surviving pedestrian suspension bridge of its type and age in Ireland. It was opened on April 8th, 1927 and was officially named after local entrepreneur whose company exported Irish butter all over the world. Now it’s known for its elegant structure and the fact that it shakes as you cross it of course!

The park, its nostalgic bridge, museum and riverside walk combine to make a special place in Cork. If you have time to stand on the banks of the river for a little while, do it! You can see cormorants, herons, ducks and even the occasional seal or otter. This will be time well spent!