Belfast and the Cork International Exhibition 1902-3, Lord Bandon as promoter of Irish Business and Manufacture and the Embryo Tourism Industry.

The Exhibition was held in the genreal area of what is now Fitzgerald’s park. The driving forces were the Lord Mayor of Cork Edward Fitzgerald and Lord Bandon Lord Lieutenant of Co. Cork. A recent history by Danel Breen Tom Spalding gives the history.

The book makes the point that the Ireland of 1902 was completely different from the Island with the current two administrations. Then it was often referred to t=as the “Kingdom of Ireland’ and when the King of the United Kingdom visited Cork he had an enormous reception.

It may have been the last time that political and religious differences were set aside to promote Irish Commerce and Business. Belfast played its part with many of its firms taking stands.

Lord Bandon was active in promoting Irish manufacturers and also in the 18803 in attempts to promote a coherent tourism policy. Before that time Ireland suffered from a poor image handicapping development.

Lord Bandon was kidnapped by the IRA during the Troubles and his house Castle Bernard was burned to the ground. The Bandon Estate unlike many others which were grabbed under the cloak of British legality had been assembled by purchase the earlier part from the legal earnings of Francis Bernard of Bandon in the 1710s. He was the equivalent of Senior Counsel (or Queen’s Consel) in Dublin, a judge a Bencher of the King’s Inns. At it height it amounted to c 40,000 acres mainly in Cork but also in Tipperary.

Cork Exhibition Belfast 1902-3