It’s still a good spot to pick up some mistletoe and holly.
But these days, the unique market atmosphere Cork’s Coal Quay was once famous for can only truly be appreciated in photographs.
Luckily, some talented artists have taken those old snaps and painstakingly updated them to show us exactly how everything would have looked 121 years ago.
The publishers of the bestselling Irish photography book Old Ireland in Colour 2 have shared some of their edited images, originally part of the Lawrence Collection in the National Library of Ireland.
From our new book “𝙊𝙡𝙙 𝙄𝙧𝙚𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙞𝙣 𝘾𝙤𝙡𝙤𝙪𝙧 2”
Coal Quay (“Kay”)/Cornmarket Street, Cork City
Visible: Shawlies, Beamish & Crawford’s, Murphy’s Stout, P. Delea, J. Kelleher, McCarthy’s, gas lamps
— Old Ireland in Colour (@irelandincolour) November 11, 2021
Look closely and you can see Cork’s famous shawlies standing by their vegetable stalls in the foreground, where beds, chairs and other furniture are stacked up for sale in the bustling market.
A group of women huddle together in a circle, either praying or holding a meeting. Beyond them, baskets are piled high and people chat and agree on prices for a variety of other items, while a cart-horse stands patiently waiting for its owner in the background.
Published by Merrion Press, Old Ireland in Colour 2 by John G Breslin and Sarah-Anne colourises black and white photos of Ireland and Irish people from the late 19th to early 20th centuries. The first tome was the bestselling book in Ireland last year and scooped Best Irish-Published Book of the Year 2020.
You can order a copy (€12.50) to enjoy during the quiet weeks ahead from Dubray Books, Patrick Street, Cork and online here.