Oliver Plunkett Street

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Oliver Plunkett Street, westwards

Oliver Plunkett Street (Sráid Olibhéir Pluincéid in Irish), is the second most important shopping street in Cork, Ireland after St. Patrick's Street. In addition to being a major shopping street, it is one of the principal nightlife centres in Cork, although there are actually more bars and restaurants in the neighbouring sidestreets than on Oliver Plunkett St.

In 2015, it was the only street in the country on a shortlist for the Great Street Award 2016 by London's Academy of Urbanism.[1] It subsequently won, over nearly seventy other roads from across the British Isles.[2]


At the start of the 18th century, Oliver Plunkett Street was the first street built east of the Grand Parade in the area then known as the East Marsh or Dunscombe Marsh. It was originally named George's Street after George I, the reigning King of Great Britain and Ireland.[3]

In 1920, during The Burning of Cork, large parts of the street were destroyed by British troops.

After the establishment of the Irish Free State, the street was renamed after Oliver Plunkett, a 17th-century martyr and Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh. The name change was gradual and as late as 1945, business directories still contained a reference to 'Late George's Street'.[4]


The street runs in a straight line from Custom House Street to Grand Parade.

Between Grand Parade and Parnell Place, the street is a major shopping street. With the exception of the secondary entrance to the Penneys department store, most retailers on the street are small standalone retailers, but there are a number of chain retailers that operate smaller stores too, such as Newbridge Silverware and Leonidas. This section of the street is also home to Cork's main Post Office. A small lane, known as Market Lane, provides access to the English Market.

Between Parnell Place and Custom House Quay, the street is known as Lower Oliver Plunkett Street. It is largely flanked by office buildings, derelict plots and the back entrance to two hotels. The area was formerly known as a location of street prostitution, but the pedestrianization of nearby Lapp's Quay has seen this decline. The legacy of the sex trade can still be seen by the presence of some sex shops on this section of the street.


A number of the side streets between Oliver Plunkett Street and St. Patrick's Street are permanently pedestrianized. Along with neighbouring streets, the section of Oliver Plunkett Street between Parnell Place and Grand Parade is pedestrianized between 10:30am and 4:30pm every day. Automatic bollards are installed at the junction with Parnell Place and also at the junctions of Princes St and South Mall, Pembroke St and Phoenix St and Maylor St and St. Patrick's Street, to create a large pedestrianised area.


  1. ^ "Oliver Plunkett Street in Cork: Ireland's best?". The Irish Times. 2015-10-26. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  2. ^ "Oliver Plunkett Street scoops the 'Great Street Award 2016'". Evening Echo. 2015-11-06. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  3. ^ "Oliver Plunkett Street". www.corkpastandpresent.ie. Retrieved 2014-10-02. 
  4. ^ "Oliver Plunkett Street". www.corkpastandpresent.ie. Retrieved 2014-10-02.