Cork City Club

Cork City Club 1 
The former Cork City Club, 46 Grand Parade

One of the most beautiful buildings on the Grand Parade stands on its south-west corner at no. 46. It was formerly home to the Cork City Club and dates back to the early 1800s, and was extensively renovated in 1860. A post office stood on the site of the Cork City Club in the mid-eighteenth century. In Smith's map of 1750, the south-west section of the Grand Parade is named Post Office Quay.

Post Office Quay 1750

The post office moved to Caroline Street in the early 1800s and a clubhouse, at first called Daly's Club, occupied the site of the old post office. Holden's Triennial Directory 1805, 1806 and 1807 lists Daly's Club, and Pigot's Directory of 1824 describes the premises in the following terms: "Daly's club house, on the Grand Parade, is a plain extensive building, in which are handsome reading rooms, card rooms, &c, for the use of its members."

Daly's Club House was a gentlemen's club with facilities for the members for playing cards, playing billiards, reading newspapers, and taking refreshments. In the early nineteenth century there were three gentlemen's clubs in Cork. Daly's Club House; the Cork County Club on the South Mall; and the Grand Parade Club at the corner of Tuckey Street and the Grand Parade. In 1860 Daly's Club and the Grand Parade Club merged and the new club was named the Cork City Club. It was housed in the premises of the former Daly's Club House. The building was extensively refurbished in 1860 with designs drawn by Sir John Benson and Robert Walker. The builder employed to carry out the renovations was Daniel Barrett. The Cork Constitution of 29 August 1860 described the renovations: "A considerable portion of the building will be re-erected, and the whole of the frontage will be remodelled so as to give to the entire a character of architectural finish and taste, enhancing materially the portion of the city in which it is situated. The southern wing, known as the billiard room, has been taken down, and on the same site a new edifice will be erected, raised a storey higher than the one which it will replace, thus affording considerable additional accommodation for the club. The frontage not only of the newly erected edifice but of the entire building will be ornamented and improved. The external flight of steps which breaks the continuity of the present front, besides lessening the amount of space available for the building, will be removed, and the frontage will be rendered uniform. Across the breadth of the main building as well as in front of the new billiard room raised balconies will be erected, with ornamental lamps. The principal entrance to the club will be through the new building, the front of which will present handsome entrance doors of mahogany in the centre, with gates at either side. The intended architectural embellishments of this portion of the front are in excellent taste and the coup d'oeil [a glance that takes in a comprehensive view] of the whole as seen from the South Mall will be at once, chaste, simple, and effective."

In 1952, Cork City Club and Cork County Club were amalgamated and decided to use the premises of the County Club on the South Mall. The City Club premises were put up for auction and bought by the Legion of Mary, a lay Catholic organisation, for £9,120 on 13 March 1952. The other bidders at the auction were J.J. Creed, a solicitor from Macroom acting on behalf of an unnamed client, and J. Carr acting on behalf of Cork County Council. The building was renamed Dún Mhuire and became the headquarters of the Legion in the Diocese of Cork. In later years the Legion of Mary vacated the building, after which ICC Bank occupied the premises until 2001. A branch of the Bank of Scotland (Ireland) occupied the premises from 2001 until 2010. Certus, a bank services outsourcing group, occupied the premises from 2010 until December 2013.

Cork City Club is still an ornament on the newly redeveloped Grand Parade.

Cork City Club 2

Cork City Libraries, Grand Parade, Cork, Ireland.
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