Fitzgerald’s Park is like the proverbial Curate’s egg, in that it’s good in parts.
This city park that has seen some better times compared with it’s hey-day in the 60’s and 70’s when the water feature fountains worked, ponds were filled with aquatic plants and the gardens matched many elsewhere for colour and show. Those were the days when the original playground had banks of swings as Cork kids tried their best to loop the loop before heading up to the ‘Shaky Bridge’ for a genuine scare as the suspension bridge over the River Lee swayed wildly as the smallest of feet began to cross it. Many tears were shed in genuine terror by junior Corkonians here over the years..me included.
But there has been a distinct lack of maintenance and upkeep for much of the area in the last few years, it’s tidy but when compared with other parks, but it’s very much the poor relation. The playground has been made safer, if generic, the banks of swings are long gone but it’s still a hit with this current generation of Cork kids. Yes, there does seem to be an anti-social element in parts at times, but I think you need to seek this out as it’s not always very visible. Then again, this applies to all parks worldwide so nothing new there but nothing like Bishop Lucey Park in the city centre.
The Cork Museum near the entrance is worth a visit. Free entry and entertaining exhibits. Little snack-bar/restaurant to the rere. Pleasant saunters in the area including the Mardyke Walk.
As for the ‘Shaky Bridge’, this suspension bridge has been upgraded due to ‘Elf & Safety’ and no longer sways wildly as it did when I were a lad – no more tears then.
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