“It’s 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 decades.
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 docks”.