“The flooding around the Atlantic Pond is a huge source of concern for users of the amenity. The Atlantic Pond is as busy as The Lough in terms of frequent visitors and also is a site of high biodiversity value. So pressure is high on us local public reps to secure a solution for the flooding. I spoke with the City Council Engineer on site in the last few mornings. The drainage team present, as well as the contracted marine scuba diving engineer team, have only just found the much corroded and collapsed large iron flap/ gate, which leaves water in and out under the Marina Walk.
The large broken iron flap/gate section with its enormous pipe is 1970s in date and it is this pipe the scuba diver went down into safely last Friday morning. The pipe connects into the much larger 1840s engineering section which can be seen through tree and old stone arches in the eastern section of the Atlantic Pond. As it is a specialised engineering job, the City Council have estimated that the cost of repair is anywhere between e30,000 and e50,000. They have applied to central government for such emergency funding and await the government’s response. In the meantime, the engineering resolution is estimated at another fortnight at least. I will keep my pressure on a resolution.
The inadvertent flooding though has brought a huge focus by City Engineers on the historic construction and engineering of the Atlantic Pond. With my historian hat on, the Atlantic Pond was one of the city’s greatest engineering projects of early nineteenth century Cork and has stood the test of time for nearly 180 years. Its story is one of innovation and forward thinking. In 1843, City engineer Edward Russell was commissioned to present plans for the reclamation of the south sloblands, some 230 acres extending from Victoria Road to the river front with the proposed aim of creating an enormous public park and some building ground.
The task proposed was epic as the slobland undulated and when the tide was in, various areas of the slobland were more solid than others. Edward Russell’s eventual published plan in December 1843 proposed the extension and widening of the dock like Navigation Wall creating the Marina Walk, to manage the flow of tidal water entering the land by installing sluice gates, sluice tunnels and embankments.
Edward’s proposal for further reclamation of the South Sloblands did happen as well as the construction of a holding pond – a reservoir of six acres in size with sheeting piles driven in underneath it and possesses ornamental features to the general public. The latter became known as the Atlantic Pond and still possesses its Victorian sluice gates and tunnels to facilitate the drainage and exclusion of water. The Great Famine and post economic fall-out took away the opportunity for the public park but in 1869 after twenty years of further drainage and land reclamation, business man John Arnott leased the south sloblands from Cork Corporation and it was converted into the Cork City Park Race Course. In 1917 the heart of its space was converted into the Ford Tractor Manufacturing Plant but the central road of the racecourse was retained – Centre Park Road.
It’s clear what Cork Engineers built in the 1840s has lasted for near 180 years without any issue. There is enormous value in such an amenity. It is important now that finance is found to secure the use of the Atlantic Pond amenity for future decades”.
always a sad day to see an old building in Cork being taken down to make way
for progress, especially one which is iconic in its location and character like
the old Sextant bar. Its
character has really added to the landscape and to the sense of place and
identity of Cork Docklands for nearly 140 years. It has seen boom and bust in
Cork and if the building could talk it would so many tales to tell. Built
initially in 1877 it was first a hotel, which was run by the Sexton family,
which provided lodgings for passengers using the Cork-Bandon and South Coast
Railway. It soon after changed to being a public house run by the Markham
family. The building has only had a few owners since one hundred years ago,
testament to those who kept the business running on the site for so many
In November last year, I expressed in my
submission to An Bord Pleanála, that as the Sextant Bar was not unfortunately a
protected structure in legal planning terms – by giving permission to demolish
it would set a precedent for the demolition of other historic, but which are
not legally protected structures in the area. I welcome the fact on the wider
Sextant corner that the old Cork-Blackrock and Passage Railway Company is set
to be conserved and done up. But I continue my view that holistic conversations
need to be had on what Cork South and North Docklands should physically look
like in the years to come. Yes the city needs to evolve but I would not like
the story of Cork’s docks, which made this city over several centuries lost to
the bulldozer to make way for glass box architecture and storyless public
realm. For me I want to see buildings with character, streets and public realm
with cultural reference points and some references to the history of Cork
Details just announced by Minister Paschal Donohoe following his meeting with the Banking industry, which will be of interest to many people who have been affected by Covid 19. Work and negotiations are still ongoing.
To ask the CE for an update on the tender process for Marina Park? (Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
That the white lines be repainted at the entrance and exit from Maryville Estate to Blackrock Road (Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
That “Welcome to” Signs to Ballintemple Village and Blackrock Village be erected on routes entering the respective villages (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).
That a bus stop shelter be erected at Skehard Lawn stop next to the Petrol Station on Skehard Road (Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
That Cork City Council amend the Private Drains Information Leaflet to state that should the deeds of a house owner state that the house owner is responsible for their own drains then any pipe work repair / replacement will be the responsibility of the house owner only (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).
Cork City Council’s Sports Capital Grant Scheme 2020 is now open for applications.
The scheme, which is open to local voluntary sporting organisations and clubs, is aimed at providing grant aid to projects that are directly related to enhancing facilities and must be of a capital nature.
A sum of €400,000 has been provided for the Scheme in 2020.
Application forms, together with the conditions applying, are available from the Sports & Sustainability Section, Cork City Council, City Hall, Cork, phone 021-2389853, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by downloading the form on our website at the following link:
An update on the development of a large-scale visitor attraction for Cork City has been given to members of Cork City Council. Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has long been an advocate of a large-scale visitor attraction in the city’s dock’s area; “I have regularly called for something to be done with the old Odlums building on South Docks, which has much character and is just sitting there being allowed to decay. It seems there is more willingness in the last few months to develop a maritime-themed visitor centre”.
Last year a process of engagement continued with the elected members and leadership team of Cork City Council, facilitated by Fáilte Ireland and tourism experts. All wished for the development of an iconic, family friendly visitor attraction that reflects the maritime heritage of the City.
In recent months, the site of the former bonded warehouses of the city’s historic custom house has been identified as one possible location for such an attraction. As part of their plans for the site Tower Holdings expressed their wish to develop a heritage facility and Cork City Council officials have been working with the company to explore possible funding sources.
An application has been submitted to Fáilte Ireland under its “Platforms for Growth” capital investment programme which seeks to support major new visitor attractions of scale. Authentically located in the historic bonded warehouses, the project would deliver an interactive, immersive visitor experience that shares the unique story of a people and place connected and shaped by their relationship to the sea, from past to present to future. It will also look outward to a world that has influenced the city and which it, in turn, has influenced. The attraction would feature a strong infusion of science and technology, looking not just at the past but also integrating the present and future, partnering with third level institutions to present pioneering maritime research which could address global issues.
The application process involves multiple stages and has been highly competitive, attracting the largest number of applications ever received by Fáilte Ireland. The Cork City maritime heritage attraction application has now been approved to progress to Stage 3 of the application process, where applicants must demonstrate the commercial potential, economic viability and financial sustainability of the proposed attraction. It is still an ongoing competitive process and Failte Ireland envisage that only a small number of strong applications will be brought forward following the Stage 3 process.
Cllr Kieran McCarthy highlighted: “It is great the there is a proposal for the bonded warehouses, which are almost two hundred years old and for me are important to mind. I wouldn’t like the city’s north and south docks be fully developed with their rich history of the Docklands consigned to just a footnote in Cork’s past. There are layers and layers of docklands, which need to be explored”.