‘Cork museum should be moved to the city centre’

‘Cork museum should be moved to the city centre’
The Cork Museum in Fitzgerald's Park.

CITY councillors are calling for an expanded service offering at the Cork Public Museum, suggesting that the city could be making more of the amenity.

Some elected members have gone as far as to suggest that the local authority should relocate the museum to a more central location in the city, suggesting that its current spot in Fitzgerald's Park may be putting off some potential visitors.

The debate was prompted by a call by Fianna Fáil councillor Tim Brosnan to move the museum into the city centre, though city officials dismissed the possibility of this taking place.

A report presented to elected members said that the Council has 'invested heavily in both the museum and the park', including a 'major extension and refurbishment' in the museum within the last decade.

It added that when Cork expands its city boundary in the coming years, the Fitzgerald Park location will be much closer to the 'centre' of a metropolitan Cork and the increased population and tourist offering that brings with it.

"Cork Public Museum is currently reviewing improved promotion and accessibility to the museum through signage, etc," the report added.

Many elected members welcomed the report, with Cllr Mick Nugent and John Buttimer both claiming that the current location is appropriate.

Mr Buttimer said, "We need attractions in the north, east and west of the city - it cannot all be in one area."

Others took the opportunity to criticise the city authority for selling off historic buildings, such as the Cork Savings Bank on Lapp's Quay, in recent years.

Solidarity councillor Marion O'Sullivan said that the building 'belonged to the people' and that its sale was 'indicative of the short-sightedness of the council.'

Her colleague Fiona Ryan agreed, suggesting that a city centre location for the museum was 'a matter of common sense.'

"We are doing it a disservice where it currently is," Ms Ryan said.

"It is viewed as out of the city and no amount of signage will change that."

Meanwhile, hopes are growing that the 'Little Museum of Cork' project may be revisited.

A proposal from the private market, it would involve Cork people donating pictures and artefacts to a museum in the city. A Dublin equivalent has proven so popular that it can only be accessed by appointment during the busy tourist season.

City officials confirmed that the private operator seeking to get the plan off the ground is awaiting for an OPW-owned building to be listed for sale, which is expected to happen in the coming months.

Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy suggested that the city consider donating space in Elizabeth Fort or St Peter's Church as potential locations for a 'citizen's museum.'

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