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County Hall

County Hall

County Hall illustration


The re-developed Cork County Hall was officially opened on the 26th of June 2006 by Councillor Michael Creed, Mayor of the County of Cork, in the presence of the County Manager Mr. Maurice Moloney and the elected members. The re-development works were designed by Shay Cleary Architects and the General Contractors were Rohcon Ltd.

The project for the redevelopment of Cork County Hall consists of a number of elements including the construction of a triple height concourse as a new public space joining the existing tower to extensive new accommodation

To the rear of this public hall is a new six storey wing providing additional office space as well as a canteen at ground floor. To one side a three storey wing provides accommodation for the elected members of the council and is adjacent to a new elliptical council chamber which sits in the public volume of the concourse.

The existing tower has been completely fitted out to the highest contemporary office standards and has a climactically responsive glass louvre façade which allows it to be naturally ventilated.

The former council chamber at the top of the tower is now a conference centre with an associated restaurant in a new glass pavilion on the upper most level. There are panoramic views to the county and the city from this new facility. In its totality the overall development is a modern headquarters for the administration of the county incorporating new and existing elements.

The commission for the project was won through an international competition by the design team in 1999. The team consisted of Shay Cleary Architects, Arup Consulting Engineers, Bruce Shaw Partnership. 


Cork County Hall was officially opened on the 16th of April 1968 by Mr. Martin J. Corry T.D., Chairman of Cork County Council, in the presence of the County Manager Mr. Michael Conlon and the elected members. The original County Hall was designed by Mr. P. L. McSweeney, Cork County Architect and the General Contractors were P.J.Hegarty & Sons, Ltd. Cork.

When completed in 1968, Cork County Hall represented a unique creation on the Irish Landscape. Not only was it the tallest building in the country at the time, but it was also a proto-type building which for the first time combined all administrative and civic departments within the one precinct. The site provided an opportunity to place the new building in an area rich in open space, rivers and greenery; whilst it's proximity to the City along with good approach roads improved accessibility to the Council's services.    

In the early 1960s Patrick L. McSweeney, County Architect, commenced work on designing the new headquarters for Cork County Council and this culminated in the building of the 16 storey County Hall in 1968. The design was a single, elegantly proportioned, vertical block with a textured surface of precast concrete tracery which eliminated the need for scaffolding during construction. This high rise solution was a striking architectural concept which had not been attempted previously in Ireland. This was the tallest building in the country and is still one of Cork's and Ireland's landmark structures. It has an overall height of approximately two hundred and eleven feet from pavement level.

Patrick L. McSweeney was a native of Ballydehob in West Cork. He joined the Irish Naval Service as a young man and spent the "Emergency Years", as they were known in Ireland, in the Naval Base at Haulbowline. It was there that he studied Naval Architecture and became an Associate of the Institute of Naval Architects in 1944. On leaving the Naval Service in 1945 he studied architecture while working in the late E. P. O'Flynn's Office in the South Mall and subsequently obtained membership of both the RIAI and the RIBA.


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