Cork’s Shakey Bridge to close for major €1.7m renovation

Suspension bridge ‘unique in Ireland’ to be out of commission for nine months

It may have taken the Young Offenders to introduce Cork's "Shakey Bridge" to the wider world but now this Leeside landmark is about to get a major makeover in preparation for its 100th birthday.

Cork City Council has announced details of a €1.7 million repair and restoration job on Daly Bridge commencing in two weeks' time which will require the closure of the pedestrian bridge for nine months.

Built in 1926 and opened in 1927, the bridge across the north channel of the River Lee near Sunday's Well was constructed in London to a specification of the then Cork City engineer Stephen W Farrington.

It remains the only suspension bridge in Cork city with its 50.9m span linking Sunday's Well with Fitzgerald's Park and the Mardyke and providing pedestrian access to nearby University College Cork.


Built to replace an old ferry crossing, the bridge was officially named after Cork businessman James Daly who contributed to its construction costs but is known to generations of Corkonians as the Shakey Bridge.

Local historian Cllr Kieran McCarthy who called the bridge a cultural institution, explained how it got its nickname.

“It attained the nickname due to the fact that a large number of people used the bridge to go to GAA matches in the Mardyke. Consequently, the bridge would shake with the masses of people walking across it.”

According to Cork City Council, the bridge, which is suspended between two steel lattice towers on either bank of the river, is unique in Ireland as the only surviving pedestrian suspension bridge of its type and age.

The council said the repair and restoration would involve the phased dismantling of the latticed deck for removal off-site for grit-blasting, repair and repainting before reinstatement.

“The work will also involve the repair and repainting of existing lattice towers in-situ as well as the replacement of the suspension cables strung between the towers which holds up the bridge,” it said.

The work will also involve the upgrade of the approach ramps and the installation of new public lighting with all the work expected to be completed by Easter 2020.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times