On Cork Heritage Open Day I’ll give you a tour of Cork

Gareth O’Callaghan, Director at JCA Architects, will take part in Cork Heritage Open Day this Saturday
On Cork Heritage Open Day I’ll give you a tour of Cork
Gareth O’Callaghan, Director, JCA Architect, RIAI Grade 1 Conservation Architect.

Tell us about yourself:

I am an architect working in Cork city. Currently Director of JCA architects. I am passionate about Cork. Our architecture practice has a specialisation in Building Conservation, and it is in this field that I get most satisfaction. I would hope that the work we do contributes to the urban character of Cork city.

I am interested in the arts and always try to help out voluntarily and in my capacity as a board member of Crawford Gallery. This has led me to become involved with Cork Heritage Open Day, which is a fantastic event for all, to get behind the doors of buildings and spaces, some of which are not usually open to the public. It is free of charge and for one day only! This year I will be conducting several guided tours of the former Cork Savings Bank on Parnell Place.

Where were you born?

Cork city.

Where do you live?

Sunday’s Well Road.


Married to Katherine and three kids. May, Paddy and Iris.

Earliest childhood memory?

Going to Montessori school on Patrick’s Hill, where we had to wear a smock.

Person you most admire:

My parents

Person who most irritates you?

Drivers who choose to ignore cyclists.

Who would you like to see as Minister for Finance and why?

Somebody who would allocate a far greater percentage of transport resources to cycling and public transport.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

We had lovely holidays in France as children.

Favourite TV programme?

Weather forecast because I’m a cyclist!

Favourite radio show?

Mystery Train by John Kelly.

Your signature dish if cooking?

Anything with fish.

Favourite restaurant?

Farm Gate and Liberty Grill.

Last book you read?

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton.

Best book you read?

Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

Joan As Policewoman.

Favourite song?

Up The Junction by Squeeze.

One person you would like to see in concert?

The Stranglers with their original vocalist (but probably not going to happen).

Do you have a pet?

My daughter has a hamster called Cotton, aged two.

Morning person or night owl?

Night owl.

Your proudest moment?

My three kids being born.

Spendthrift or saver?

Somewhere between.

Name one thing you would improve in your area in which you live?

A safe cycling route into the city.

What makes you happy?

Wandering through the Crawford Gallery with my kids and getting their opinion on art.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a good dad.

What else are you up to at the moment?

Fixing up an old boat to put in the water.

I will be hosting several guided tours of Cork Savings Bank as part of Cork Heritage Open Day on Saturday, August 17. Booking is essential — visit www.corkheritageopenday.ie for more information.


Cork Heritage Open Day celebrates 15 years this year with a programme bursting with activities for all the family.

For one day only, many of Cork’s landmark buildings will open their doors to the public, inviting them in to explore their rich and vibrant history, on Saturday, August 17.

Cork’s stories and traditions, folklore and heritage will come to life on the day, thanks to the team behind Cork Heritage Open Day, that is so passionate about preserving the City’s fascinating legacy.

While all events are free of charge, some taking place at the more popular venues must be booked in advance.

As well as almost 40 buildings taking part, a series of five self-guided walks have also been created to help people plot their perfect Cork Heritage Open Day.

This year’s programme sees the return of firm favourites like St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, where free guided tours will take place every hour. There will also be a demonstration of the cathedral bells in the North Bell Tower during the day.

Why not step behind the curtain at the Everyman Theatre and walk the hidden histories in an immersive backstage tour, or join the guided walking tour exploring Cork’s historic spine?

This year’s social media competition invites members of the public to record their own memories of Cork Heritage Open Day, to be in with a chance to win a midweek night for two and dinner at The Metropole Hotel or a €250 voucher for Brown Thomas Cork.

Children can also get in on the action and win a family pass to Blackrock Castle Observatory in the annual The Echo Kidz Zone Colouring Competition.

Cork Heritage Open Day is organised by Cork City Council as part of National Heritage Week in partnership with the Heritage Council and is proudly supported by media sponsors, The Echo and Cork’s 96FM.

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