The bridge that must legally wobble

The bridge that must legally wobble

“Daly’s Bridge”, in Cork, Ireland, is better known as the Shakey Bridge. Because it shakes. But what happens when a bridge like that has to be repaired and refurbished? • Thanks to Cllr McCarthy: his site is !

Edited by Dave Stevenson

A thorough study of how the Bridge shakes: [PDF]

I did try (a lot!) to get an interview with someone from RPS Group, who were in charge of the refurbishment, but I just wasn’t able to make contact. However, I’m indebted to Michael Minehane, principal engineer, whose talk to Engineers Ireland gives a lot of in-depth information about the bridge was refurbished! You can watch it here, along with Cllr McCarthy’s history of the bridge:

Thanks to Youssuf Radwan for the suggestion!

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52 Responses

  1. Tom Scott says:

    Pull down the description for my sources on this video: if you’d like to know more, there’s an hour-long panel talk discussing the bridge’s history and refurbishment from Engineers Ireland!

    • Thehuggiebear says:

      @Vanta Blue because it’s a heritage, so it needs to be legally same as it was before. Which is shaking

    • Vigilant Cosmic Penguin says:

      An hour-long presentation about the structure of a bridge? What is this, Christmas?

    • Merciful Zeus! says:

      Alum Chine bridge in Bournemouth is bouncy as well, and it’s a couple of decades older than the one in Cork.

    • Idiot Wolf says:

      is it legally a requirement for the bridge to wobble and be unsafe?

    • A-A Ron says:

      @Spike Lawrence what are you talking about??? It’s hardly the other way that could be interpreted, common sense should take care of that, if it doesn’t…. Well then, I’m sorry for your struggles as they must be numerous.
      (That last part is just a joke, no offense to you)

  2. A. Rudesill says:

    I love the idea of a bridge catalogue. I need one in my life

    • almostfm says:

      @MLeoDaalder Why, yes. Yes, they did.

    • Carlos Gandarillas says:

      The Bridges of Madison County… Thank me Later 😀

    • Frank Mitchell says:

      I looked at the bridge and thought I’ve seen one like that before. Now I know it was bought from a catalogue, maybe I have.

    • Simon Karsunke says:

      @vexingcosmos as if there wasn’t an answer (or two) by each of us to that one already 😉
      Millau Viaduct and the Hohenzollern in Cologne are mine respectively

    • stone5against1 says:

      @Phil Vanderlaan think I typed that one on an actual keyboard on the computer, so I was safe from autocorrect shenanigans haha

  3. Bring On The Beer says:

    I’m having flashbacks to the radio episode of TechDif where Gary talked about the Americans unpacking London Bridge at Arizona and Tom mused on the existence of an IKEA flatpack bridge and here we are with an actual bridge bought from an actual catalogue and delivered in cardboard boxes!

  4. ObviouslyBenHughes says:

    The joy I felt seeing some adult jumping like a child in the middle of the bridge exactly when the guest was speaking about people having fun doing just that, good stuff.

  5. rendring says:

    As a person who lives and grew up in Cork, I went to this park all of the time as a kid. It’s really nice to see coverage of the much beloved shakey bridge when all we ever get tourism for is the Blarney Kissing Stone. Shakey bridge is honestly way more fun and genuine to the Cork experience. Thank you Tom 🙂

    • Atriya Koller says:

      How aren’t you afraid when you’re on it though? I once walked along a shakey bridge and all I could think of was “please don’t make me fall down”. Granted, the shake was more sideways, the up and down shake was less pronounced, but still…I barely made it and then I took another route to the same destination to avoid the shakey bridge

    • StarlightNightflame says:

      I only lived in Cork for a few years, but I share your thoughts on this – it’s great to see a piece of Cork that most of the world would never know about otherwise highlighted 🙂

    • Joof says:

      @Conor Mac Carthy thats not very nice dublin has lots of cool stuff

    • Ben says:

      I didn’t know what this was so thought I might save someone else a google search. The Blarney Stone is a block of Carboniferous limestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, Blarney, about 8 kilometres from Cork, Ireland. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of the gab.

    • supraaxdd says:

      @Pepperoni Pia aswell as the knackers who spend their days there O_O

  6. festive obeliskus says:

    Kinda wholesome that the local residents got a say in the preservation of the bridge. A lot of them must’ve spent their childhoods boppin’ up and down it. 🙂

    • Kevin Pearse says:

      Absolutely did! And still do!

    • TreesAreCool532 says:

      I live in cork (Kinsale for anyone who’s wondering) and I’ve been on this bridge many times, it’s very fun

    • Alison Beresford says:

      Not just children. It is very close to the University so many of us jumped on it as children and as college students, especially after nights out. It was great to see it restored so faithfully.

    • Frank Murray says:

      Spent their childhoods boppin’ up and down it? I know a few who continued that practice throughout their adulthood, especially after a few jars of the Murphys.

    • Jack Fitzgerald says:

      It wouldn’t be the shakey bridge of a didn’t shake. As somebody who lives in Cork and regularly walks on this bridge I can tell you that it’s not as shaky as it used to be, to be expected with new suspension cables. And almost didn’t reopen because the company behind restoring got into financial difficulty I believe so the opening of the bridge was delayed for quite a while during the pandemic. But it was a good day in Cork when it was finally opened again. It’s an icon of the city.

  7. seblak says:

    Love to see people “testing” the bridge as the interview goes

  8. Daniel says:

    As a Cork person, I can say that yes, the bridge is shakey. Also Cork has a butter museum.

    • Colin Newman says:

      @Michiel Werring you would need to go to Portugal for that. They dont grow cork trees in Ireland.

    • Gerarda Cronin says:

      @Michiel Werring No, the cork museum is in the Algarve in Portugal and I have visited it. Cork trees do not grow in Ireland. The city of Cork, Ireland is so called because it is built on a marsh (Corcach in Irish). As a Corkonian, I regularly visited Fitzgerald’s Park as a child and jumped up and down on the Shakey Bridge. The Park does contain the Cork Public Museum, which focuses on the history of the city. I’m delighted the Shakey Bridge has been properly restored and kudos to Tom for featuring it!

    • Vigilant Cosmic Penguin says:

      @Michiel Werring No, the cork museum is actually in Catalonia.

    • Paul Downing says:

      @MargoMB19 For a while, Cork was hugely important to the global butter trade, this is why the museum exists, although, to my shame, I actually haven’t visited.

    • Boti Gamer says:

      And I’ll guess that it’s much butter than the British Museum that houses stolen treasures from the Empire

  9. SovietOnion says:

    Haha, the circle around the guy jumping on the bridge got me!

    Though, to be fair, if I lived nearby to it, I’d probably do the same thing every time I cross it.

    • Z Stoner says:

      @Finbarr Ryan There should be a sign next to the bridge that says: “Patrons from ages 3 to 103 are hereby permitted to jump on this span.”

    • sirBrouwer says:

      @Gojira_breathes_ no encourage them. if they are jumping they can’t or at least it’s very hard to drink. I mean before and after sure but during the jump.

    • Felix Babœuf says:

      @Finbarr Ryan There’s no reason for adulthood to be the absence of fun. Bounce on, Ryan…

    • Gojira_breathes_ says:

      @Finbarr Ryan “Ryan! Please stop jumping on the bridge, you aren’t a kid anymore!”
      Ryan: “I must…keep…bouncing…”

    • Finbarr Ryan says:

      Everytime I’m near the bridge or Fitzgeralds Park which is adjoining. I must jump on the bridge. I’m married. 2 kids. 39 years old. 😁

  10. Brian Irwin says:

    If you took the shake out of the Shaky Bridge you’d just have a bridge. I’m glad you gave this coverage, Tom, it’s a rare example of Cork City Council doing something completely right. It’s 5 minutes from University College Cork as well so generations of students have made the pilgrimage to come and bounce on it – myself included!

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