It can be difficult to find spices that we usually get in South Africa, in quantity, here in Cork. It seems like most Irish people also don’t really like their food too spicy, so hot chillies can be difficult to source from local supermarkets. Dunnes and Tesco do have an “ethnic” sections but are often very small. For exotic fruit, vegetables and spices, the spice shops around town will probably be your best bet.
Certain stalls in The English Market sell a wide variety in small quantities and they are usually quite expensive. Aiysha’s is one of the biggest and is located on Shadon Street and if you can’t find what you are looking for there, try the ones on North Main Street. There’s also one near Sin é and on Bridge Street. Apparently there’s also a new shop opened in Ballincollig (just off the 208 bus route). As far as specifically Asian stores go, there are two or three on Coal Quay (opposite the Bodega) that have got a few products that might be worth looking at. I’ve also sometimes found what I’ve been searching for at health shops (you can ask to have certain items ordered in if they’re not in stock).
If you’re new to Cork and are looking for something specific, feel free to ask me. I’ve found a whole lot of different things in town, from plantains to nigella seeds.