Monopoly takes a 'chance' on Cork

Cork isn't being snubbed this week. Quite the contrary. The city and the county have joined a global elite with their very own version of the game board Monopoly.

And the two most expensive landing spots on the Cork board are Shandon or North Cathedral, famous for its bells, and Blarney Castle, famous for bestowing the gift of the gab.

The self-declared People's Republic of Cork has joined an exclusive club of regions around the world to get their own version of the world-famous board game," reported the Irish Examiner newspaper which missed the boat in a sense given that it was formerly the Cork Examiner.

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De paper" reported that a large consignment of games had arrived on an Aer Lingus flight from Britain and had been kept under lock and key prior to the launch, which took place on Friday last.

Fota House Arboretum and Gardens, is also well up the price scale. Among the other Leeside landmarks in the game are Cork Opera House, the City Gaol, Blackrock Castle, the English Market, St. Patrick's Street, Opera Lane, Merchant's Quay, City Hall, and UCC. The Irish Examiner, which was founded in Cork in 1841, has also secured its own square on the board, the report stated.

"However, while Munster rugby, synonymous with Limerick, has landed its own square alongside Cork Racecourse and Kinsale golf club, there is no reference to the county's proud GAA heritage," it added.

Perhaps this is due to the fact that Monopoly is, in its origins, a "foreign game" and GAA fans held their fire. People were asked by the makers to choose their Cork landmarks for the game in an online poll earlier this year.

Dan Taylor, Monopoly manager at London-based Winning Moves UK, makers of the board game under license from Hasbro, said, nevertheless, that he felt the new board captured the spirit of Cork.

"The game is a wonderful celebration of Cork's crown jewels. It's been a wonderful five months consulting with the public. They got really involved and sent in thousands of votes. We would like to formally thank people for their input. Without it, this board could not have been produced," he said.

The Examiner reported that the playing pieces and rules for the Cork version will stay the same as other Monopoly versions as will the four corner squares - Go, Jail, Free Parking, and Go To Jail.

"There will be lots of customized twists including Community Chest and Chance cards with a decidedly Cork flavor and feel."

Mr. Taylor, meanwhile, said the makers had been inundated with orders from Corkonians living all over the world while Cork Airport director, Niall MacCarthy, said he was delighted to see the airport on the board: "The Cork public take great pride in where they come from. I am sure we will be flying a number of the new Monopoly sets out to Irish living abroad to go under their Christmas trees this year," the told the Examiner.

The report noted that Monopoly was born in the U.S. in 1935 and is today available in 111 countries and in 43 languages. An generally recognized forerunner of the game did, however, come into existence in the early years of the 20th century and became known as "The Landlord'd Game.