Work to dismantle Cork's famous 'Shakey Bridge' has begun as part of a €1.7 million conservation and restoration project.

It is the country's only surviving suspension bridge of its age and kind for pedestrians.

Built in 1927 as a link between the north and south sides of Cork city over the River Lee - it replaced a small ferry.

It was named after the then Lord Mayor of Cork and local businessman James Daly, but because of its quirky movement, it became known to generations of Corkonians as the ‘Shakey Bridge’.

Popular for wedding pictures and with tourists, it came to national prominance recently when used as a location for a scene from the Young Offenders' television series.

Temporary repairs were carried out on the heritage structure twenty years ago, but corroded steel and rusted suspension wires made urgent remedial work necessary.

This morning, after ten days of preparation on site, the first of four sections of the bridge was lowered carefully - using chains fed through the supension wires - onto a barge on the River Lee.

The operation took less than 30 minutes.

The section was then transferred to the south bank, awaiting transfer to a speciality workshop.

All four pieces will be extensively cleaned, defective steelwork repaired and repainted.

The bridge towers will remain in situ where according to contractors L&M Keating they will be encapsulated before extensive cleaning and corrosion removal takes place.

Contract Manager David McCarthy said it was a unique project which will see them remove, renovate and return the existing Daly's bridge.

Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor John Sheehan said: "It is an iconic part of Cork - we've all jumped up and down off it on the way to Fitzgerald's Park and to see it being dismantled is bitter sweet, but we look forward to it returning."

Noreen O'Connor who uses the bridge regularly said it was very emotional for her to watch the bridge being dismantled.

"I've got a lump in my throat thinking about how they are actually removing a part of history but it is the beginning of a new era because the bridge was very rusty."

The bridge is due to re-open next Easter. 

And the question on everyone's lips: Will it have its hallmark shake?

L&M Keating's David McCarthy says "absolutely!".