A warehouse will soon be the new location for the Triskel Arts Centre. In the meantime, archaeologists are on site learning about Cork's past.

Archaeologists from University College Cork (UCC), along with twelve young people are excavating the basement of an eighteenth century warehouse in Cork City Centre. The building is to become the new premises for the Triskel Arts Centre.

The floor has now been excavated back to the seventeenth century. The plan is to continue excavating down to the old city walls of the thirteenth century. 

The level of Cork City back then was about fourteen feet lower than it is now.

Flooding caused by high tides has hampered the dig on occasions but excavators have uncovered some interesting finds. 

Cliona Papazian explains what the dig can tell us about the lives of the people that lived in Cork at the time, including what they were eating.  

It also gives an idea of sort of the culture of these people, the kind of artefacts they were using in their day to day lives.

Bones, oyster shells, and seeds all help to paint a picture of life in Cork at the time. 

The excavations are taking place at Tobin Street, prior to the Triskel Arts Centre taking over the building as their new home. The Arts Council has provided a £60,000 grant towards the works.

The Triskel Arts Centre is currently at Bridge Street and is known as the smallest arts centre in Ireland. Plans for the new arts centre are outlined by Robbie McDonald. Once renovated the building will contain a large gallery space with a multi-purpose hundred seater auditorium.

There has been some confusion over the plans as the Irish Ballet Company is also fundraising for a new centre in Cork, and publicity for their appeal also labelled it as an arts centre. 


An RTÉ News report broadcast on 22 March 1984. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.