Little Island, Cork

Coordinates: 51°54′00″N 08°21′00″W / 51.90000°N 8.35000°W / 51.90000; -8.35000
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Little Island
An tOileán Beag
Civil Parish
15th or 16th century tower house, known locally as Wallingstown Castle
15th or 16th century tower house, known locally as Wallingstown Castle
Little Island is located in Ireland
Little Island
Little Island
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 51°54′00″N 08°21′00″W / 51.90000°N 8.35000°W / 51.90000; -8.35000
CountyCounty Cork
St Lappan's Church of Ireland Church, Little Island

Little Island, County Cork, is a civil parish and mainly industrial area to the east of Cork city in Ireland.[1] It is no longer an island since the northern channel separating it from the mainland has filled over. To the west and south is Lough Mahon, part of Cork Harbour; across a channel to the east is Fota Island. Little Island is within the Dáil constituency of Cork North-Central.


The parish of Little Island dates to at least the seventh century,[2] and tidal mills have been excavated dating to c. 630 AD.[3] By the fourteenth century, the parish was known as De Insula, meaning "of the island".[2][4] Henry Purdon, MP for Charleville, lived here in the eighteenth century.[5] The current Church of Ireland parish church was built in 1865 in the Gothic Revival style.[2] A limestone quarry on Little Island was the source of thousands of tons of limestone annually, which were used in the construction of public buildings nationally, including Cork's City Hall and Holy Trinity Church.[2][6]

Ancient protected structures, as recorded on the Record of Monuments and Places, include examples of fulacht fiadh, middens, corn-drying kilns, the remains of a medieval church and graveyard, and the 15th or 16th century tower house known locally as Wallingstown Castle.[7][8][9]


A number of Cork's pharmaceutical companies are based on the island.[10] The main drainage wastewater treatment plant for Cork City was also opened in the area in 2004.[11]

Since the 1990s, development has grown, with retail and commercial spaces opened at Little Island Business Park and East Gate Retail Park.[12] As of 2017, the Little Island Business Association reported that there were approximately one thousand businesses operating in the area.[13] Over seven thousand people were employed in the area, which was described as one of Ireland's "industrial powerhouses" as of April 2018.[14]

Cork Golf Club is also based on Little Island.[15]


The N25 Cork-Rosslare road is built on the infilled channel between Little Island and Glounthaune. The R623 is an area loop road from the N25.[16]

The Cork-Cobh railway line skirts the island to the north and west. It includes Little Island railway station, which opened on 10 November 1859.[17] It has direct rail services to Cork, Cobh, and Midleton.


The townlands of Little Island include Ballytrasna, Carrigrenan, Castleview, Clashavodig, Courtstown, Harper's Island, and Wallingstown.[1]


  1. ^ a b "An tOileán Beag". Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "From old to new in Little Island". Cork Independent. 19 May 2016. Archived from the original on 30 July 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  3. ^ Rynne, Colin (1992). "Milling in the 7th Century: Europe's Earliest Tide Mills". Archaeology Ireland. 6 (2): 22–24. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  4. ^ Power, Patrick (1921). "Place-Names and Antiquities of S.E. County Cork. Barony of Barrymore. Part III". Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy: Archaeology, Culture, History, Literature. 36: 164–205. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  5. ^ Will of Henry Purdon of the Little Island, Co. Cork, Esq. 1732/3, codicil, 1737, probate 1738. Ms. 41,674/7. Limerick Papers. National Library of Ireland, Dublin
  6. ^ Curtin-Kelly, Patricia (2015). An Ornament to the City: Holy Trinity Church & the Capuchin Order. Dublin: The History Press Ireland. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-84588-861-9.
  7. ^ Wallingstown, Little Island Environmental Impact Statement (PDF). Archaeological Impact Assessment of a Proposed CD&E Facility at Wallingstown, Little Island, Cork (Report). Tobar Archaeological Services. 2008. pp. 12–14. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Record of Monuments and Places - County Cork - Volume 1" (PDF). Dúchas (National Monuments and Historic Properties Service). 1998. Retrieved 8 August 2019. CO075-052 Watermill, Wallingstown / CO075-020002 Church, Wallingstown / CO075-021 Castle tower house, Wallingstown / CO075-085 Kiln corn drying, Castleview / CO075-082 Fulacht fia, Castleview / CO075-024001 Midden, Carrigrenan / CO075-025 Castle, Courtstown
  9. ^ "Cobh Municipality Seek IDA Answers to Wallingstown Castle Site". East Cork Journal. 16 October 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  10. ^ "LIBA Members Directory - Pharma". Little Island Business Association. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Carrigrennan Wastewater Treatment Works Upgrade - Consultant Contract Planning Stage". Office of Government Procurement. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Little Island a business hub". Cork Independent. 9 October 2013.
  13. ^ "About us". Little Island Business Association. Archived from the original on 25 January 2017.
  14. ^ O'Riordan, Sean (10 April 2018). "From old to new in Little Island". Irish Examiner. Archived from the original on 24 May 2018. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Contact Us". Cork Golf Club. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  16. ^ "S.I. No. 54/2012 – Roads Act 1993 (Classification of Regional Roads) Order 2012". Government of Ireland. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2022.
  17. ^ "Little Island station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 31 August 2007.