Cllr McCarthy: Working with Residents Crucial on Rochestown Greenway Proposal, 14 May 2021

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has expressed several concerns for the proposed boardwalk concept that was recently presented as part of the ongoing Greenway consultation behind St Gerald’s Place on the Rochestown Road.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “I have walked the foreshore route with the local residents at St Gerard’s Place at low tide and physically a boardwalk would abut many of their back doors, which would be severely intrusive. There is an impression out there that the partial trackways behind the houses can host a 4-5m wide boardwalk. The trackways themselves are just 2m wide with backdoors of some houses fronting onto them. Hence, a safe boardwalk 4-5m wide would literally be passing outside people’s kitchen window. This isn’t even about taking people’s back gardens. There is no physical space there to adapt any kind of laneway. 

The other alternative that is being proposed in social media is that to avoid the ‘outside the people’s backdoor’ concept, a raised boardwalk structure could be constructed at the foreshore edge. I have also been back to the site at high tide and high tide comes all the way up to the foreshore edge.  Hence, a raised boardwalk concept would literally rip up the upper shoreline.  A 4-5m wide boardwalk and something over 300 metres long plus 3- 4 metres high off the shoreline would be highly intrusive and damage the adjacent Special Protected Area of Lough Mahon.

There is also the impression that the old Cork Blackrock and Passage Railway Line ran directly by the shoreline. That is also a misnomer. The line in the mid nineteenth century was built along the Rochestown Road to avoid the high cost of engineering anti shoreline erosion features.

If the greenway must come back to the roadside, it is important that every measure is put in place to have a proper safe and sustainable greenway stretch. I welcome the ongoing dialogue between local residents and Cork City Council to find a solution – of a protected greenway and a widened Rochestown Road space.

And last and most of all, I have concerns about the ongoing bullying of residents on social media and from various opposing sides, and especially by individuals who operate anonymous accounts and who do not sign their name. I am all for dialogue and several people – who did sign their names – have contacted me asking for feedback on the public consultation, who I have laid out my concerns with, but the anonymous trolling has had a huge impact on the mental health of local residents involved in the consultation process, and needs to stop”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.