The Buildings

Civic Buildings

Cork Public Museum

Contact Details

Address Fitzgerald Park, Mardyke Walk, Cork.
Telephone 021 4270679
Opening Hours 11 am - 4 pm. Closed for lunch at 1 pm - 2.15 pm
Wheelchair Accessible Partial


Cork Public Museum


The Cork Public Museum hosted an exhibition of photographs in the Dalton Gallery by George and Sharon Gmelch from the 1970’s.  The exhibition showcased images from when both of them were studying for their PhD’s in Anthropology and lived for a year with Irish Travellers.

Also on display was the new poster “Beady Pockets” explaining how these purses were used and made and how important they were in the lives of Irish Traveller Women.  This poster can be seen in the permanent display in the museum.

The Cork Public Museum is located in Fitzgerald Park on Mardyke Walk along the City's western corridor.

The museum was originally a private residence built by Charles Beamish in 1845 on land purchased from the Duke of Devonshire. Following the completion of the house the grounds (now Fitzgerald Park) were laid out with a fantastic variety of shrubs and trees.

In 1886 the house became the home of the Bons Secours Sisters. During the later 19th century it became a private residence for Mr. Barry J. Sheehan (1880) and Mr. Cornelius Desmond (1897) respectively. It was sold in 1901 to the Incorporated Cork International Association. During the Exhibition of 1902/03 the Committee used the house for visiting dignitaries who included King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.


Cork Public Museum 2


Cork Public Museum (4)

Having been handed over to the Corporation for the people of Cork the house became a museum in 1910. Following a Historical Exhibition in 1942 the building was reopened to the public in 1945. It was administered by UCC intil 1963 and since then directly by the City Council.

A modern extension was added to the building in recent times and includes temporary and permanent exhibition spaces. It is connected to the original building at its North West corner. It is envisaged that the house which is currently undergoing restoration work, will provide an education room for visitors and students alike.

The collection within the museum is wide ranging in terms of scope and contains items from abandoned Ogham standing stones to War of Independence momorabilia. Exhibits on display range from those reflecting Cork's strong sporting tradition to artificats associated with Michael Collins.


Cork Public Museum 3



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