Known for being a seatown in Ireland, Cobh also has many walls with art in public spaces. This public art is all over the island and raises awareness not just to the town’s artistic taste but more importantly to it’s cultural identity. Locals would likely recognize many of these murals and visitors are always welcome to view them.
The selection of murals on this post is my personal choice only and ranges from Cobh’s historical significance to personalities and the town’s love and propensity for fun colors.
First in hand is a historical mural presented in a 58 metre long and 1.7 metre high wall. The sepia picture below shows a focal point of bandstand in the Promenade and is just one of many important events that shape Cobh to its present state. It is a project of Cobh Tidy Towns and is drawn by Neil O’Dwyer. As you approach the mural, it is a good basis for visitors to get to know “why they should take the time to explore the town”.
Another notable event in Cobh history is the departure of Annie Moore and her siblings as the first immigrant to be registered on the Ellis Island immigration station in New York Harbor. This colorful depiction is captured on the walls of St Colman Park, home of Cobh Ramblers FC.
This giant Titanic Anniversary mural in Westbourne Place is an epic tribute to the victims and survivors of the White Star Liner ship. Many would know that Cobh was the last port of call of the Titanic and that the town has a memorial in honor of the 123 passengers who boarded here in Cobh. Credit to Jack Hickey and Cobh Tidy Towns for this magnanimous wall art.
Also on the walls of St Colman Park is St Colman himself and the mighty cathedral named after him. Color is unarguably one of themes on this stretch of wall, very recognizable are the cute crayon houses of Cobh and the star-shape fortress of Spike Island.
Jack Doyle, a Cobh local who goes on to explore the world of boxing, acting and singing (soprano), had a colorful life to put it mildly. His rise to fame is often overshadowed by his notoriety. After dying of liver cirrhosis in London, his remains was brought back in Cobh and was buried in the Old Church Cemetery. This centenary mural was also painted by Jack Hickey and was a Cobh Tidy Towns initiative.
Walking on the Cork Harbour waterfront is more inviting when you come across this leafy and floral (or however you interpret it) explosion of colours. Just as there are many glorious flavours of gelato, this mural by Alan Hurley is on the wall of Scoops Ice cream shop.
At the end of Casement Square, the distinctive mural “The Monument Bar” is an ode to the Irish love of their pubs. Beautifuly done in black and white, this is also a throwback to Cobh’s early 20th century pub life.
Picture below is three out of six species of Irish butteflies muralized at the Five Foot Way by the waterfront. The 65 feet Butterfly wall highlights Ireland’s fauna biodiversity and is painted with permission from the Irish Rail. A popular photo location, people get their pic and their wings here.
A mural in Cobh is not complete without the iconic Deck of Cards. Set at hilly Lower Midleton Street. this street art is another shot at the past on a setting that hasn’t changed for years. If you are at West View, why not walk across to the next street and snap a photo of this another Alan Hurley work of art.
Many of these murals are walkable from the Town Centre and are painted near Cobh’s landmarks so if you plan your walk accordingly, you would be able to hit many of these beauties.
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