Economy of Cork

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The Elysian under construction in December 2007

This article is about the economy of Cork, Ireland.


The County Cork and the County Kerry, as part of the South-West Region, Ireland with a population of 620,000 have a GVA of €25bn (2005).

The South-West region has a labour force of nearly 300,000.

GVA per capita(2005) in Greater Dublin is €42,435, while GVA in the South-West is €40,835, which means that the SW region has the second highest GVA per capita on the island of Ireland.

Most of the industry in Cork is concentrated around the Greater Cork area, taking in Cork city and its extensive hinterland, centred on the Cork Suburban Rail network.

The immediate Cork city area has a population of 150,000 in the city and suburbs, while another 150,000 live within the commuter belt giving Greater Cork a population of 300,000. Important city suburbs are Douglas (25,000), Bishopstown (13,000) and Mahon (12,000).

Important towns within the commuter belt are: Ballincollig (20,000), Glanmire (15,000), Carrigaline (13,000), Cóbh (12,887), Mallow (11,000), Midleton (10,336), Youghal (7,000), Fermoy (7,000), Bandon (6,000), Carrigtwohill (6,000), Blarney (5,000), Passage West (5,000), Kinsale (4,000), Macroom (4,000) and Ringaskiddy.

Some of the companies within this area are:

Pfizer (Pharmaceutical), GlaxoSmithKline (Pharmaceutical), Johnson & Johnson (Pharmaceutical), EMC (Data Storage), Apple inc.(European HQ), Avery Dennison (Financial Shared Services), Siemens Group (Third party multi-lingual tech support) and the Marriott Group (Shared Services and Customer Service Contact Centre), Centocor (Biopharmaceutical Manufacture), McAfee (Security Software, EU Operations Centre), VMware (Enterprise Software and International Support/Shared Services Centre), Clearstream and (Customer Services – On line Retail Activities).

There are two main third-level institutions, University College Cork and Cork Institute of Technology which have a combined population of 34,000

Atlantic Quarter[edit]

On 6 March 2008, developers announced a 1bn euro plan to create an Atlantic Quarter in Cork's docklands area to rival that of the International Financial Services Centre in Dublin making, it one of the biggest and most ambitious plans undertaken in the history of the state. The Atlantic Quarter is a proposed mixed-use residential and commercial development of 12 buildings on a 5-hectare site in the docklands area of Cork city, in Ireland. The proposal includes three tower-blocks and a new swing bridge over the River Lee. The project has been delayed due to the economic downturn. [1]

I.T & Pharmaceutical Industry[edit]

Cork County Hall

Cork city is one of Ireland's most important I.T. hubs with such multinationals as Apple, Amazon, EMC, IBM, McAfee Ireland Limited, SolarWinds, Siemens and VMware INC. The Atlantic Quarter in Cork is a new plan to create a smaller version of Dublin's IFSC in Cork docklands.

Cork has developed into the centre of Ireland's Pharmaceutical industry. Cork (both city and county) plays an ever greater role in the bio-pharmaceutical industry and is successful in fighting off stiff competition from Switzerland and Singapore for inward investments in the bio-pharmaceutical area.. Many of the pharmaceutical companies are located in Little Island, County Cork.

Power generation[edit]

Ireland's only oil refinery and oil storage facility are located at (respectively) Whitegate and Whiddy Island in County Cork.

Cork produces 25% of Irelands energy and uses only 13%(2012). Cork has a total of 20 wind farms which combined produce 282.98MW. In June 2010, ESB opened a new 430 MW (CCGT) gas-fired power station in Aghada, on the site of their existing station. These stations now have a combined generation capacity of 970 MW. Bord Gáis Energy plan to open a 440 MW CCGT station in Whitegate in Q3 2010. The ESB also have a number of smaller stations in the Cork area at Marina (Gas – 115 MW), Carrigadrohid (Hydro – 8 MW) and Inniscarra (Hydro – 19 MW).

Approximately 10% of Ireland's gas production comes from Kinsale Head in County Cork, from where it is transported by pipeline across the country. The headquarters for Bord Gáis Energy are located in Cork City.


Mahon Point Shopping Centre is County Cork's largest shopping center, having opened in 2005. Almost €737 million has been invested in Mahon, Cork, including the new Dual Carriageway N25 extending from Dunkettle Roundabout to Cork Airport & Cork City via a new €137 million tunnel, the Jack Lynch Tunnel, which opened in 1999. Construction began in 2000 when the road network was adequate for the new centre and it opened in 2005 but created bottlenecks between 11:00–19:00 on the Mahon flyover, causing tailbacks as far as the Jack Lynch Tunnel.

Office complexes[edit]

There are several large office complexes in Cork. A few of them are:

  • Half Moon Street, City Centre
  • Penrose Wharf, City Centre
  • The Elysian, City Centre
  • Linn Dubh, Blackpool
  • The Atrium, Blackpool
  • Barrack Square, Ballincollig
  • City Gate Park, Mahon

Business parks[edit]

The IDA business parks in Cork City and surroundings include:

  • Cork Business and Technology Park
  • Kilbarry Business and Technology Park
  • Carrigtwohill Business and Technology Park
  • Ringaskiddy Business Park.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ralph Riegel (7 March 2008). "IFSC to get €1bn rival in Cork". The Irish Independent. Retrieved 28 March 2008. 

External links[edit]