Passage West, Glenbrook and Monkstown are three sister towns on the western shores of Cork Harbour. Passage West and Glenbrook overlook the West Channel, through which Lough Mahon funnels into the Lower Harbour. Monkstown, further downstream at the mouth of the West Channel, overlooks the huge expanse of water that is Lower Cork Harbour.
In 2002, the population of Passage West, Glenbrook and Monkstown was estimated at almost 4,600. Planned population growth rates have been wildly exceeded. By 2006, the population of the three towns had increased to over 5,200 and is believed to have increased further since.
Passage West, Glenbrook and Monkstown are popular residential areas not just because of their unique setting. The towns are 19 km south of Cork City and 6 km from the south Cork City suburbs. They are on the regional R610 route running from South Cork City along the western shores of Cork Harbour to Ringaskiddy. They are adjacent to the South City Ring Road linking the southern and western suburbs of Cork City. They are next door to the national N25 route serving the industrial zone at Ringaskiddy. The cross-river ferry from Glenbrook to Carrigaloe provides easy access to Great Island and East Cork. It is only a 10 minute drive to the ferry terminal at Ringaskiddy, from where boats depart regularly for France. A regular bus service links Passage West/Monkstown to Cork City, whilst the Cobh train to Cork City stops at Carrigaloe, on the other side of the West Channel. So living in Passage West, Glenbrook or Monkstown offers small town quality of life with big town conveniences.
Due to their setting, Passage West, Glenbrook and Monkstown have ancient maritime links. All three have historically been seafaring towns and the relics of the past remain to be enjoyed. The main streets have been designated as Architectural Conservation Areas by virtue of their special character. The environment is mature and leafy. The birdlife of the Harbour is an everyday feature. Two primary schools and one community school serve the young people. These are towns to be visited, to be lived in and to be enjoyed.