All of the check-in desks at Cork Airport are located on the ground floor of the new terminal. As you enter the Departures Hall, the desks are lined up on the opposite wall. If you haven't purchased your airfare yet, turn left as soon as you enter the front door and find the ticketing desks in the south east corner of the Departures Hall.
Cork Airport officials recommend arriving 90 minutes prior to your flight. If you've taken advantage of car hire in Cork Airport, it's advisable to add another 30 minutes to return your vehicle. It's not likely to take this long to return your rental car, but arriving early will put you in prime position to clear security without any hassles.
The Dublin Airport Authority oversees security at Cork Airport. The only security issue that ever causes any confusion pertains to new measures rolled out in 2006 in relation to liquids and gels. Any liquid or gel carried into the cabin of the aircraft must be kept in 100 ml (or smaller) containers. More than one container is permitted, so long as the total number fit in a single, litre-capacity re-sealable plastic bag. Exceptions are made for medicines (with a valid prescription), baby food and other necessities.
Beyond this, requirements are straightforward. Anything construed as a weapon - whether that means explosives, sharp or piercing objects (including paper knives), heavy blunt objects (like a baseball bat or hammer) and anything that fires a projectile (including replica and toy guns) - is strictly prohibited.