Vision Contracting wins Irish Construction Excellence Award 2023 for Mallow Castle Park Rejuvenation

April 29, 2023

At the annual Irish Construction Excellence (ICE) Awards 2023, which took place at the National Convention Centre, Dublin, on Thursday, 28  April, Vision Contracting’s conservation and reconfiguration of Mallow Castle House, Spa House Demesne and Tip O’Neill Park for Cork County Council won the Irish Construction Excellence Award in the highly competitive “Public Realm” category, having been shortlisted with four other top projects from across the country.

This is the second consecutive year that Vision Contracting has won a much coveted ICE Award, having won the ‘Fit Out or Refurbishment Under €10m’ award in 2022 for the  Fexco Innovation Centre and RDI Hub in Killorglin, Co Kerry.

Mallow Castle Park and Demesne has become a major tourist attraction in north Cork, attracting over 200,000 people to the town during 2022.

The unique project included the creation of a feature fairy-tale, accessible, playground; restoration of ancient walls and walkways; and the creation of pollinator-rich wild meadows.

Niall O’Meara, Managing Director, Vision Contracting, commented: “We are absolutely delighted to win the ICE Award for this project. It was a project that brought the best out of our skilled team and the many traditional craftspeople that worked on it.

The project was also a great success because of the collaborative approach taken from the start that was facilitated by the client Cork County Council.

The fairy-tale playground has been huge attraction in the park, and the park and wider demesne is now hosting public events such as concerts, community and arts events and sporting events, making it a true public realm project.


Irish Construction Excellence Award

Vision Contracting wins Irish Construction Excellence Public Award 2023 for Mallow Castle Park Rejuvenation

About the Mallow Castle & Demesne project

Cork County Council wanted to redevelop the park and public realm to link the castle grounds to the town centre and allow for greater permeability, creating a biodiversity-rich historical and civic space with children’s fairy-tale playground through the centre of Mallow to be enjoyed by its population and those of the surrounding hinterland.


The work comprised:

  • The Construction of new public access to the grounds of Mallow Castle/House with a new vehicular and pedestrian entrance
  • Provision of a 28-space car park with accessible parking and drop-off point and construction of new entrance gates, railings and landscaping
  • Construction of accessible pathways from the entrance through the former walled gardens to the grounds of Mallow Castle/House
  • Construction of a nature-themed, inclusive, fairy-tale public children’s playground;
  • Repairs, conservation and restoration work to existing remnant stone walls, walled garden features and glasshouse
  • New boundary fencing, gates and planting within former walled gardens;


Initially, a six-month programme, after the project was affected by Covid-19 shutdowns, the client expanded the brief to include restoration works to a hot house, granary buildings, and works to Tip O’Neill Park. The project was completed in January 2022.

Project Team

The project team comprised:

Client: Cork County Council

Main Contractor: Vision Contracting Ltd

Landscape Architect: Brady Shipman Martin

Conservation Architect: JCA Architects

Structural Engineer: Horgan Lynch

Mechanical & Electrical Consultants: Varming Consulting Engineers

Quantity Surveyor: Harris Coyle Breen

Specialist Playground Contractor: Spraoilinn


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