This constituency comprised the whole of the County of the City of Cork, which was part of County Cork. Cork had the status of a county of itself, although it remained connected with County Cork for certain purposes.
A Topographical Directory of Ireland, published in 1837, describes the area covered.
The county of the city comprises a populous rural district of great beauty and fertility, watered by several small rivulets and intersected by the river Lee and its noble estuary: it is bounded on the north by the barony of Fermoy, on the east by that of Barrymore, on the south by Kerricurrihy, and on the west by Muskerry: it comprehends the parishes of St. Finbarr, Christ-Church or the Holy Trinity, St. Peter, St. Mary Shandon, St. Anne Shandon, St. Paul and St. Nicholas, all, except part of St. Finbarr's, within the city and suburbs, and those of Curricuppane, Carrigrohanemore, Kilcully, and Rathcoony, together with parts of the parishes of Killanully or Killingly, Carrigaline, Dunbullogue or Carrignavar, Ballinaboy, Inniskenny, Kilnaglory, White-church, and Templemichael, without those limits; and contains, according to the Ordnance survey, an area of 44,463 statute acres, of which, 2396 are occupied by the city and suburbs.
The Directory also has a passage on the representative history. Other, more modern, sources ascribe an earlier date to the start of the parliamentary representation of Cork; but the passage is useful for information about the 19th century position.
The city first sent members to the Irish parliament in 1374, but representatives who appear to have served in London were chosen previously. The right of election was vested in the freemen of the city, and in the 40s. freeholders and £50 leaseholders of the county of the city, of whom the freemen, in 1831, amounted in number to 2331, and the freeholders to 1545, making a total of 3876; but by the act of the 2nd of Wm. IV., cap. 88 (under which the city, from its distinguished importance, retains its privilege of returning two representatives to the Imperial parliament, and the limits of the franchise, comprising the entire county of the city, remain unaltered), the non-resident freemen, except within seven miles, have been disfranchised, and the privilege of voting at elections has been extended to the £10 householders, and the £20 and £10 leaseholders for the respective terms of 14 and 20 years. The number of voters registered up to Jan. 2nd, 1836, amounted to 4791, of whom 1065 were freemen; 2727 £10 householders; 105 £50, 152 £20, and 608 forty-shilling freeholders; 3 £50, 7 £20, and 2 £10 rent-chargers; and 1 £50, 26 £20, and 95 £10 leaseholders: the sheriffs are the returning officers.
Candidates referred to as Non Partisan, did not have a party allegiance specified in either Stooks Smith or Walker (see reference section below for the sources) or capable of being inferred by disaggregating different groups incorporated under one label by Walker (such as Whigs before 1859 being listed as Liberals).
In multi-member elections, a change in vote percentage is only calculated for individual candidates not for parties. No attempt is made to compare changes between single member by-elections and previous or subsequent multi-member elections.
Turnouts, in multi-member elections from 1832, are calculated on the basis of the number of electors Stooks Smith records as voting. In some cases estimated turnouts are obtained by dividing the ballots cast by two, to obtain the lowest possible turnout figure. To the extent that electors did not use both their votes, the estimate will be less than the actual turnout.
Redmond and Roche were associated with the United Irish League wing of Irish Nationalism.
William O'Brien resigned again for a fourth time in January 1914 and re-stood to test local support for his policies, after the All-for-Ireland League suffered heavy defeats in the Cork City municipal elections.
The Irish National Federation, the Irish National League and William O'Brien's United Irish League joined forces, to re-create the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP), in 1900. Healy contested the 1900 general election as an Independent Nationalist, after forming a Healyite faction, outside the IPP.
The Irish Parliamentary Party split in December 1890. Parnell led the Irish National League, Parnellite Nationalist group. Most of the IPP MPs (including Healy) set up the Irish National Federation as the Anti-Parnellite Nationalist organisation.
Note: Callaghan and Baldwin were the candidates of a Whig/Repealer electoral pact. On petition Leycester and Chatterton were unseated and Callaghan and Baldwin were declared duly elected, on 18 April 1835.
Note: Daniel Callaghan was the brother of Gerrard Callaghan. Stooks Smith classifies Callaghan as a Repealer from this election, but this may not be an accurate description for the period before 1832. See the footnote[where?] to the above table of MPs for a brief description of Callaghan's political views.
^Who's Who of British members of parliament: Volume I 1832–1885, edited by M. Stenton (The Harvester Press 1976); described Callaghan as being of Whig principles, except on Irish Coercion Bills. He was the grandfather of Admiral George Callaghan.
^A member of the Parnellite faction of the Home Rule League in 1880. Resigned as MP, 1884.
^Leader of the Parnellite faction of the Home Rule League. Re-elected as an Irish Parliamentary Party candidate in 1885 and 1886, he led the Parnellite Nationalists after the split in 1890 until he died in office in 1891.
^ abThe by-election in August 1904 was triggered by William O'Brien resigned his seat on 1 January 1904, and stood for re-election. He was returned unopposed.