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Mahon (Irish: Machain) is an area to the south-eastern side of Cork, Ireland with a population of 13,006. Mahon gets its name from Lough Mahon, a wide stretch of the upper section of Cork Harbour. It was once a peninsula of green fields and estates but in recent years has seen many developments. The area was generally known as the Ring of Mahon, and is the site of Ringmahon House (formerly occupied by James Murphy of Murphy's Brewery and later by Ben Dunne of Dunnes Stores).
Mahon is located in a central position in the greater Cork area with the South Ring Road running along its eastern and southern edges and entering the Jack Lynch Tunnel under the River Lee. The road gives access to Cork Airport as well as Cork City Centre. The area is mainly residential with housing estates packed densely throughout. It is home to the Mahon Point Shopping Centre which is Cork's biggest shopping centre and retail park. It is also the home to City Gate, a large office and medical development The Central Statistics Office, PM Group, Webprint and RCI are also located in the area.
Places of interest
Blackrock Castle, also known as "Blackrock Castle Observatory", is a 16th-century castle located a short distance from the centre of Mahon on the banks of the River Lee. It was built by the citizens of Cork as a watch tower and fort to guard the city against pirates and other invaders. Blackrock Castle was a valuable defence as Cork was a city of trade and needed to assure ships of a safe haven. In a collaboration between Cork City Council and the Cork Institute of Technology, Blackrock Castle was re-opened to the public in August 2007 as Blackrock Castle Observatory.
An area known locally as "the Marina" is a tree lined avenue (not strictly a marina) which runs along the southern bank of the River Lee from Blackrock village past Páirc Uí Chaoimh. It is a popular spot for recreational activities such as walking and cycling. "The Atlantic Pond", in the shadow of Páirc Uí Chaoimh is also a popular area for walkers and is populated by wildlife, mainly ducks and swans.
Dundanion Castle, overlooking "the Marina" but difficult to access, is a ruined 16th-century castle. It is from this spot that William Penn reputedly sailed on his first voyage to America in 1682 before founding the state of Pennsylvania.
Blackrock village hosts a farmer's market every Sunday morning near the Pier Head Inn (public house) in the village square.
- 202: Mahon – Blackrock – Ballintemple – Cork City Centre – Gurranabraher – Knocknaheeny
- 215: Mahon Point Shopping Centre - Mahon – Ballinlough – Cork City Centre – Blackpool – Blarney
- 219: Mahon – Douglas – Turner's Cross – Ballyphehane – The Lough – Glasheen – CUH – Bishopstown – CIT
In popular culture
The movie Strength and Honour written by Mark Mahon was made around Cork city. One of the scenes – A funeral where the wife of Sean Kelleher (Michael Madsen) had died was filmed at St. Michael's graveyard in Mahon. The filming took place in Mahon, Kinsale, Rochestown, Passage West and the un-opened maternity ward of the Cork University Hospital as well as Cork International Airport. The movie made its premiere screening at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2007, and won the "Best Picture" and "Best Actor" awards at the Boston Film Festival. The movie featured Michael Madsen, Vinnie Jones, Richard Chamberlain, Patrick Bergin, as well as a number of local people from the area.
Mahon Point Shopping Centre is Munster's second largest shopping destination after the Crescent Shopping Centre in Limerick. The centre has over 60 stores including Debenhams, Next, Zara, Tesco and a thirteen-screen Omniplex cinema. Mahon Point is also home to an award-winning farmers' market which runs every Thursday. The Waterside food court is home to McDonald's, KFC, Abrakababra, Eddie Rocket's, Nando's and The Bagel Bar. RedFM, a Cork radio station, has a broadcasting pod from which it sometimes broadcasts. Among the station's programmes, The Saturday Show is broadcast live from the pod at Mahon Point every Saturday.
Mahon Golf Club is located at Clover Hill House off Skehard Road and owned by Cork City Council. Designed by Eddie Hackett, Mahon Golf Course is an 18-hole golf course and Ireland's first purpose made municipal golf course. It was financially assisted by the Golfing Union of Ireland. The course was officially opened on 3 September 1980 and was named the "Ted McCarthy Municipal Golf Course" after a long-serving local councillor.
- Nagle Community College is situated on Avenue de Rennes in the heart of the Mahon. The college was built on land owned by Joseph Nagle, uncle of Nano Nagle founder of the Presentation Order of Nuns. The first classes were held in September 1981. Adult Education classes are also offered at the college, including FETAC courses.
- Scoil na Croise Naofa (Holy Cross School) is situated on Avenue de Rennes. The school opened on September 1984 to provide primary education for the children in the (then) growing suburb of Mahon. The school is in the trusteeship of the Bishop of Cork and Ross. In 2005 the status of the school changed to co-educational. The school incorporates tarmac areas, a playground and large playing fields. Scoil na Croise Naofa also has an "Early Start" preschool on the premises (for children aged three on 1 September of the year in which they wish to enrol).
- Gaelscoil Mhachan was founded in 1986 when a group of parents came together to provide education through the medium of Irish for their children in their area. The school was officially recognised by the Department of Education in 1987. The school was originally located in Ringmahon House and surrounding pre-fabricated buildings until moving into a new building on Avenue de Rennes (close to Lakeland Crescent) in February 2001. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mícheál Martin, opened the extension on 23 June 2008.
- Archdeacon John James Murphy PP (1796–1883) was born in Ringmahon House, Mahon in 1796. He was the son of James Murphy (of Murphy's Brewery, Cork), and was ordained to the priesthood on 2 March 1844. He founded of Ss. Peter and Paul's Church in 1866, the Mercy Hospital in 1867 and the North Infirmary Hospital.
- Ben Dunne (born 3 March 1949) in Ringmahon House, Mahon is an Irish entrepreneur and former director of his family firm, Dunnes Stores, one of the largest chains of department stores in Ireland. In 1981, he was kidnapped by the IRA and held for seven days. He was released unharmed.
- Wayne Sherlock (born 21 June 1978) is a GAA Hurler with links to Blackrock GAA Club and Cork (1999 until 2006). His honours include three All-Ireland titles (1999, 2004, 2005), five Munster Senior Hurling Championship titles, two All Ireland under-21 titles (1997, 1998) and an All Star award in 2004.
Lough Mahon is a large expanse within Upper Cork Harbour, stretching from Mahon to Passage West and incorporating the estuary of the Douglas River. Several Cork City southern suburbs, including Mahon, Blackrock, Douglas and Rochestown lie along its shores. Little Island, one of the major centres of chemical and pharmaceutical activities in the country, is on the eastern side of Lough Mahon.
Lough Mahon is considered[by whom?] to be the second most valuable bird habitat in the harbour. At low tide, its extensive mudflats are widely used as feeding grounds for waders. Damp grassland on the southern side extends to some low islands which are submerged in very high tides. The area also serves as a high tide roost for waterfowl. Four species are considered[by whom?] to occur in nationally important numbers in Lough Mahon: shelduck, red-breasted merganser, golden plover and black-tailed godwit.
The Jack Lynch Tunnel crosses under the River Lee from Mahon to Dunkettle. Completed in 1999, it transports vehicular traffic in uni-directional bi-lanes. In 2005, it was estimated that some 40,000 vehicles were using the tunnel daily. Although footpaths are provided, they are for emergency use only and cyclists and pedestrians are forbidden to use the Jack Lynch Tunnel.
|Douglas||Tramore River Estuary||Lough Mahon|
- Ireland's richest businessmen victims of 1980s kidnap epidemic, Paul T. Colgan, The Sunday Business Post, 22 September 2002, retrieved 3 March 2009