History of Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City

In 1720 it was known as something completely different, The North Infirmary Hospital, the first general hospital to be opened in Cork. Originally it had accommodation for 24 patients and was 70 feet long by 24 feet wide and mainly gave basic medical services to the poor people in the city, with the majority of patients being Catholic.

It was not an easy ride for the hospital. It was funded by donations but with the cities ongoing population growth and the development of the northern suburbs, The Infirmary was under pressure for money and space.

The North Infirmary was caught up one way or another in Irelands political upheaval. There was the First World War, the 1916 Rising, the tragic deaths of the cities two Lord mayors, the burning of the city centre, The War of Independence, The Civil War and the Second World War. A 5 o’clock curfew was vigorously enforced and if you broke it, you were shot. They were exciting but dangerously traumatic times in Cork. Wounded volunteers were often brought in the hospital backdoor and secretly treated before being released again.

In the early 80’s there were talks about the hospital’s future. The Irish Government was sending out daily reminders to tighten their belts and that health cuts were on the way. There was mounting speculation that several hospitals were to close. There was disbelief when it was discovered that the North Infirmary was among them. It was unthinkable that the only hospital in the vast Northside was to close.

On May 12th 1987, 5,000 staff from 14 hospitals in the county marched through Cork in protest at the cutbacks. Still the Irish Government stubbornly refused funds to upgrade the hospital.

At precisely 4.46pm on the 26th November 1987, the North Infirmary passed into the realms of memory as the nearby Butter Exchange Band and Shandon Bells played a duet of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ 2,000 people, each with a lighted candle, looked on as the lights were slowly switched off from the top to the ground floor.

How Maldron Hotel Cork came to be

After the closure of the building as The North Infirmary Hospital, the next few years the building was never out of the news. The legal ownership was being questioned. Vandals wrecked the vacant building. A fire badly damaged the ground floor, it was declared a derelict building and there were calls to have it demolished. Two million pounds was paid to redevelop the building into The Shandon Court, which was aimed at the corporate and business sector. After a few short years the Choice Hotel Group took over and extended the building to give it 101 guest rooms, a bar, 2 meeting rooms, a restaurant and a state of the art leisure club. Finally, Dalata Hotel Group PLC purchased the hotel and in 2008 the hotel became Maldron Hotel Cork we all know and love, was launched.

The Irishness of Maldron Hotels is here to be experienced. When compared to the function of its predecessor, The North Infirmary, today’s hotel is the same but different: you’ll be made welcome, everything will be done to make you comfortable and you will be sent home happy.

Timeline

1720 – North Infirmary Erected
1744 – Musical Society of Cork donates money to build a large extension to the hospital. It now had 11 physicians and 5 surgeons who attend the hospital free of charge.
1751 – An Act of Parliament was passed, which gave the right to purchase property to develop the Infirmary.
1759 – Doctors Frankland and Sleigh were appointed at a fixed salary of 20 pounds p.a. and the hospital had 20 beds
1783 – Trustees of the North Infirmary beg leave to return thanks to Mrs Sarah Creed for the supply of old linen.
1787 – John Howard, a prison reformer inspects the North Infirmary
1799 – A fancy dress ball raised £397 for the Infirmary
1808 – Funds were low, the building was in poor condition and there was an appeal for donations for a new roof. “We are forced to appeal to the charitable feelings of the humane public, and we do so with confidence on behalf of an extensive institution, which for fifty years past has never ceased to shelter the homeless wanderer, feed the hungry, solace pain in poverty, and heal wounds”
1829 – A committee was formed to urgently raise money, eventually raising £3,200. Fr. Mathew the famous temperance priest donated £250
1832 – There was a serious outbreak of cholera in the city which led to the Infirmary being turned in a cholera hospital even though it was deemed to be in a “ruinous state and totally unfit”. Its patients were transferred to the South Infirmary
1834 – The poor Law Act was passed which meant the state had responsibility for providing basic support for poor people
1836 – The new hospital was opened for patients. The architect of the building was William Hill
1840 – There were 1,369 admissions, extern was 16,128 and 90 beds were available
1844 – 33,951 prescriptions were issued and gas lighting was introduced to the building
1847 – The Irish Famine decimated the country. The North Infirmary was taken over and used as a temporary Fever Hospital
1866 – One of the medical staff, Dr. O’Sullivan, won the consent of the management committee to introduce trained nursing sisters to care for the needs of the patients.
1867 – Four nuns from the Daughters of Charity, led by Sr. Teresa arrive at the North Infirmary. They initially met with opposition to their presence from both members of the management and the current staff but they persisted.
1869 – Management pays tribute to the Sisters in their annual report “The Sisters of charity who have the care of the RC patients, have not only realized our expectations of their efficiency, but have surprised us by exceeding our greatest hopes. We foresee that the good work which they have already done gives fair promise for the future. It would appear that their desire is constantly to increase their sphere of usefulness, without any consideration for their own temporary interests, which they value only so far as they can be devoted to the serving of the poor”
1884 – Lady Combermere leaves £28,000 for the erection of the Gibbings Memorial Wing, a training school for nurses, which was located at the foot of Roman Street and opened in 1893.
1909 – Sr. Teresa dies but at her death the hospital had beds for 115 patients, a modern operating room, spacious wards and an excellent nursing staff.
1913 – An x-ray department was established as well as the outpatient department and dental hospital and nursing school.
1914 – The outpatient department and dental hospital was established.
1916 – Dr. C Y Pearson of the North Infirmary was appointed Hon. Surgeon to the King of England; George V.
1987 – 5,000 staff from 14 hospitals in the county marched though Cork and brought the city to a halt in protest at the governments suggested cut backs.
1987 – The North Infirmary closes

Search our FAQs

Common Questions

  • How far is Cork city centre?

    We are located in the historic Shandon district of downtown Cork. The famous Cork Opera House is just across the River Lee with St Patrick’s Street a short stroll beyond.

  • Is car parking available at the hotel?

    Our guests can avail of special discounted rates at Carroll’s Quay Car Park, located only 3 minutes’ walk from the hotel. Please arrive at reception to check-in and we can provide these tickets to you.

    On-street metered parking is available in the immediate locality and there are a very limited number of parking spaces at the hotel allocated on first come, first served basis. Read full details of parking at Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City options and current rates.

  • Check in & Check out times

    Check in is 2pm on the day of arrival and check out is 12pm on the day of departure. Should you arrive to the hotel earlier, we are happy to store luggage, also if your room is ready early we will be happy to check you in but this cannot be guaranteed. Late check out is available at a fee and must be arranged with reception during your stay.

  • What times is food served?

    grain & grill restaurant serves breakfast 7.00am to 10.30am Monday to Friday and 8.00am to 11.00am weekends and bank holidays. Dinner is served daily in grain & grill restaurant from 6.00pm until 9.00pm. Lunch menus are also available for groups but do need to be reserved in advance.

    Bells Bar served coffees and pastries from 10.30am to 12.30pm daily and full bar food menu from 12.30pm to 9.30pm.

    Outside of these times we have 24 hour sandwich and pizza menu available from room service.

  • Will my credit card be charged at time of booking?

    Bookings require a credit card for guarantee only unless otherwise stated. For some special offers and specific dates, full payment is required at time of booking but these terms will be outlined in the special offer terms & conditions. For all rooms that are being paid for in cash must be accompanied with Photographic Id. No rooms will be let unless payment is guaranteed.

  • Can I cancel or amend my booking?

    Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork CIty offers free cancellation up to 2.00pm on the day of arrival for almost all reservations made on maldronhotels.com or maldronhotelshandoncorkcity.com. Some special offers and key dates may specify a special cancellation policy, these will be clearly outlined in the terms & conditions.

    Reservations booked on third party websites and online travel agents have their own cancellation policies, please refer to your confirmation email.

  • Does the hotel have WiFi?

    Yes, Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City is pleased to offer complimentary WiFi in all public areas and bedrooms.

  • Does the hotel have a pool?

    We have some of the finest leisure facilities in Cork! Guests enjoy full use of our Club Vitae leisure centre with fully equipped gym, 20m swimming pool, separate kids pool, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi.

  • Does the hotel offer family facilities?

    Yes, our Crafty Kids club is available during school holidays. We also have a kids’ pool and large family bedrooms available.

  • Do you accommodate rooms for 2 adults and 3 children?

    Yes, we offer family rooms in the hotel which have 1 double and 2 single beds. We are happy to negotiate a rate for interconnecting rooms. Please contact us directly to discuss (057) 8695900.

  • Are cots available?

    Yes, cots are available. Please make sure to book your cot at the time of the booking as they are on a first booked, first guaranteed service.

  • Are there ironing facilities in the bedrooms?

    Yes, we have ironing facilities in all of our bedrooms.

  • Are there hairdryers in the bedrooms?

    Yes, we have hairdryers in all of our bedrooms.

  • Are there smoking rooms in the hotel?

    We operate a smoke free policy in Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City and therefore we do not have smoking rooms. Failure to adhere to this policy will result in an additional cleaning charge.

  • What is the history of the hotel?

    Constructed in 1720, our building was the North Infirmary Hospital serving the people of Cork until its closure in 1987. After period of dereliction it was converted into a hotel and subsequently acquired and upgraded to the 4 star Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City. Read more of our history here.

  • Contact details

    If you have any further enquiries please contact reservations on:

    (021) 4529200 or email reservations.shandon@maldronhotels.com

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