Cork’s 17th C fort can be ‘jewel’ for city tourism , Mayor says

OPW hands over Elizabeth Fort to council to develop as a visitor attraction

Participants Brendan Halpin as Sir George Carew (original fort builder) and Melissa Shiels as Queen Elizabeth pictured with visitor Gerry Crowley before a ceremony marking the official hand over Elizabeth Fort, Cork city by the OPW to Cork City Council. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Participants Brendan Halpin as Sir George Carew (original fort builder) and Melissa Shiels as Queen Elizabeth pictured with visitor Gerry Crowley before a ceremony marking the official hand over Elizabeth Fort, Cork city by the OPW to Cork City Council. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Thu, Jan 9, 2014, 11:23

A 400-year-old fort in Cork can become “the jewel in the crown” of the city’s developing tourism industry, Lord Mayor of Cork Catherine Clancy said yesterday as the Office of Public Works formally handed over the building to the city.

Minister for State at the OPW Brian Hayes presented the key to Elizabeth Fort near Barrack Street to Ms Clancy at a ceremony at the fort.

Due to open to the public in the spring, the fort, overlooking the river Lee, offers a panoramic view across Cork from its ramparts, which were made secure as part of a €7 million restoration programme.

The fort was built in 1601 by then president of Munster Sir George Carew during the reign of Elizabeth I to serve as an army base to protect the city.

“The fort was demolished by the citizens of Cork in 1603 but they were compelled to rebuild it at their own expense and it was replaced in 1624 by a stronger fort which had the same basic outline as that which survives today,” said Ms Clancy.

“The fort itself is woven into the tapestry of the history of Ireland – Elizabeth I, Cromwell, William of Orange, Bonnie Prince Charles, the Duke of Wellington, the penal colonies, the Auxiliaries, the Black and Tans are all connected with this structure,” she said.