Ideal location for a maritime museum

January 11th, 2015 9:21 AM

By Southern Star Team

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Southern Star January 10 2015

SIR – Recently there were

suggestions that that a Diaspora

Centre be located on

the site of the old bonded

warehouses at the Port of

Cork, which would be a good

idea. However, I think that

it is a shame, given Cork

Harbour’s long and historic

tradition, that we don’t have

a real maritime museum in


I believe that Passage

West would be an ideal location

for the maritime museum

for a number of historical

reasons: It was the original

Port of Cork up until the midto


This year, 2015, we will

be celebrating the 200th anniversary

of the launching

at Passage West of the first

steamship built in Ireland,

the ‘City of Cork,’ which was

constructed at the Hennessy

Bros Shipyard, which was

located in the vicinity of Fr

O’Flynn Park.

In 1838, the ‘Sirius’ left

Passage West to become the

first steamship to cross the

Atlantic to New York. She

was under the command

of local man Capt Richard


Passage West has a long

history of ship building and

ship repair. Two of the town’s

graveyards have numerous

headstones with maritime

links, e.g. the ‘Mary Russell’

saga, Capt Roberts’ memorial

and many many more.

Passage West was twice

the ‘beach head’ for the taking

of Cork City; the Duke of

Marlborough’s troops landed

there in 1690 and General

Emmett Dalton’s Irish Free

State troops in 1922. It has

a long line of seafarers that

served, and many gave their

lives, over the years in the

Merchant Navy, British and

Irish Naval Services.

Currently there are several

large buildings in the centre

of the town lying idle, e.g.

the old convent school and

the old town hall in Chapel

Square, any of which would

be ideal location for a maritime


Next year, we will have a

landing pontoon in place for

harbour tours, etc – a facility

that will provide further

access. So I think it’s time to

make a start and voice our

claim as the ideal location for

Cork’s maritime museum.


Jim Murphy,

8, Pembroke Wood,

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