MacCurtain Street Traders Excited by CIT Creativity for their Historical Street

MacCurtain Street Traders Excited by CIT Creativity for their Historical Street

Published on: Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The culmination of extensive work by the  Master of Business class at the Department of Continuing Education, School of Business, CIT, under the direction of Dr Angela Wright was presented to an enthusiastic group of traders from the MacCurtain street area at the Metropole Hotel, Cork City. The findings resulted in extensive research which comprised 401 general questionnaires to Corconians, plus a further 128 questionnaires completed by employees of Starwood’s, 12 face-to-face interviews with relevant experts, focus groups with local traders consisting of projective techniques, an on-street vox pop with local shoppers,  and extensive coverage on 96 FM by Neil Prendeville.  The students also had guidance from Noel Tummon, Cork City Transport Division;Deborah Ní Riain, Lecturer in Architecture, CIT; and Michael Kelleher, CEO O’Flynn Construction.

The Traders were enthralled with the creativity presented by the students on the night. The findings suggested that, in fact, ‘Cork Loves’ the MacCurtain Street area, the traders just need to get their unified message out there and draw the City shoppers up to area. More collaboration and packaging of what is on offer in the area needs to be promoted and extended. Ideas such as the rebranding of the area with new logos were presented, together with new local branding such as ‘Merchants Quarter’ or ‘Love MacCurtain Street’. Other ideas, such as an examination of the traffic flow to bring the cars down Bridge Street and onto Patrick Street.  All agreed that it is a more impressive view of the city overall on entering Cork from the Kent station area. Wider pavements, seating areas where shoppers could sit and have a coffee and enjoy the area, more craft fairs, food fairs, music fairs, tea dances in the Metropole Hotel, historical events to reflect the past, and highlight the wealth of history the area has to offer, the introduction of the name ‘The Colosseum’ again, the painting of the buildings on the street to reflect the eclectic atmosphere, the repainting of Gallagher’s on the corner of MacCurtain Street and Bridge Street to reflect the image of legendary Rory Gallagher on to the building, the positioning of a giant piano on the street pavement outside the Everyman Theatre, a flotilla on the river to launch the rebranding of the whole area were just a few of the ideas that were outlined on the night together with extensive campaign budgets and fund raising activities on how and when it might all be achieved. 

The traders were delighted with all of the ideas and intend to take them on board immediately to rejuvenate the area.  Gerard O’Donovan, Head of the School of Business, thanked all involved including Philip Gillivan of the Shelbourne Bar, and Michael Barker Caven, Artistic Director of the Everyman, and said that all of the students involved together with their course lecturer Dr Angela Wright had worked with great energy and enthusiasm on the project and stated that he hoped that CIT could work in the future with the traders in the area.  Dr Wright said that she was delighted with the tremendous amount of effort that was put in by the students from the inception of the idea in September, and that they certainly delivered extensive, relevant, and practical ideas for the MacCurtain Street traders to implement.

Photos: Pascal Ungerer

(L - R) Philip Gillivan, Owner of the Shelbourne Bar, and Head, MacCurtain Street Traders Association; Gerard O'Donovan, Head, CIT School of Business; Dr Angela Wright, CIT Lecturer & Supervisor Masters Programme; Michael Barker Caven, Artistic Director, Everyman Theatre, and John Meyler, CIT Course Coordinator Masters  of Business Programme.

Julie-Ann Walsh, Lorraine O'Sullivan, Gillian O'Driscoll and Helen Murphy  who took part in the CIT MacCurtain Street MBus Project.


Michelle Lyons, Eva Boleloucka and Joanne McKenna who took part in the CIT MacCurtain Street MBus Project.


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