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The Firkin Crane

The Firkin Crane is Cork’s Dance Centre, housing several schools of dance and Cork City Ballet; with its two fine theatres, it hosts dance performances of all kinds throughout the year. The historic building opened in 1855 as the centre of Cork’s international butter trade. ‘Firkin’ is the Danish word for a quarter-barrel; these were weighed on a device called a ‘crane’ – hence the name. The Butter Market closed in 1924; in the mid 1970s the building was put up for sale. Joan Moriarty needed suitable premises for her professional ballet company; in 1979 the Arts Council bought it for her. Funding for the re-building was provided by Cork City Council, the Irish government, the European Union, the Irish American Fund and many businesses. Building began in 1985; the Firkin Crane opened in April 1992, three months after Moriarty’s death and three years after the end of her professional ballet company, Irish National Ballet. Throughout the Moriarty centenary year 2012, Firkin Crane hosts an exhibition documenting her life’s work: ‘Joan Denise Moriarty At Home in Firkin Crane’, as well as a series of dance performances dedicated to her memory.