Fitzgerald Park, Cork City
- At a meeting of Cork Corporation in February 1901, Lord Mayor, Edward Fitzgerald, mooted the holding of an International Exhibition in Cork.
Fuelled by his energy and the organisational skills of several others his dream came to fruition in May 1902.
The Exhibition Committee purchased a house and lands beside the Mardyke Walk called "The Shrubberies" and leased adjoining lands. This Committee then constructed an elaborate complex of buildings to house a wide range of cultural and industrial exhibits, as well as fair ground attractions.
During its 1902 season (1st May to 1st November) the International Exhibition attracted over one million visitors. The attractions were varied - industrial and machinery halls, a Grand Concert Hall and a Women's section vied for attention with amusements that included the Great Water Chute and the Switchback Railway.
The success of the 1902 season prompted the Exhibition Committee to re-opon again in 1903. The highlight of the 1903 season was the visit to the exhibition grounds on 1st August, during their Irish tour, of King Edward V11 and Queen Alexandra.
Following the conclusion of the Exhibition in 1903, most of the buildings were dismantled, but "The Shrubberies" and grounds were presented to the citizens of Cork as a recreational area.
It was decided to name the grounds "Fitzgerald Park" in honour of the Exhibition's initiator, who was also honoured by being created a baronet ¹.
Features of the Exhibition Grounds were preserved in the Park, including to the present time the
Fr Mathew Fountain.
Fitzgerald Park contains the Cork Public Museum.
Sculptures in Fitzgerald Park include:
Two Quercus Ilex Trees growing in the north-east area are referred to on a plaque which reads:
"These everygreen oak trees (quercus ilex)
were planted on 9th March 1994
to commerate the 150th anniversary of the death of Edmund Rice
founder of the Presentation Brothers and the Christian Brothers
by the right honourable the Lord Mayor Councillor John Murray"
- References: Cork - in old photographs (Tim Cadogan)
Fitzgerald Park, Cork City.