At the end of the Cork International Exhibition in 1903 in the Mardyke, the organisers wished to give the grounds to the people of Cork as a place of recreation.
A decision was taken to name the new public space after Edward Fitzgerald, the organiser of the Exhibition and Lord Mayor of Cork from 1901 to 1903. This was to be a group who would promote and provide funding for band recitals and ‘water carnivals’ and the upkeep of the park. The park would always be free to the public but the Committee reserved the right to change six-penny admission fee during a certain time in the year. This was to defray the cost of landscaping the park, a cost of £400 a year.
A general Park Committee was agreed upon and established by the Exhibition committee. By the end of 1903, the Committee took a decision to buy an additional five acres of land, which fronted the Mardyke and Ferry Walk from Captain Jennings for £1,250.
Two years passed and in 1905 the Park Committee were deemed ineffective by their peers. In March 1906, it was agreed to vest the Park and the Shrubberies House in the Corporation with the provision that the Corporation would levy a rate of a half –penny in the pound through municipal taxation for the annual up-keep of and maintenance. A further provision provided that the Shrubberies House be turned into a municipal Museum. The Corporation willingly accepted the gift on behalf of the citizens and embarked on a scheme of improving, landscaping and extending the grounds.