Haulbowline Public Park on Course for New Year Opening
Updated: Jan 4, 2021
Writes Ciaran Dineen
It was announced shortly before Christmas that after a lengthy delay, the Haulbowline Public Park is likely to be officially opened early in the New Year.
The news was revealed by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Simon Coveney, who indicated that Cork County Council has signed a lease with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine which paves the way for the opening of this new public park early in the New Year.
The news is welcome given that there have been significant delays to the opening of the park, with seemingly little being done over a period to get the project over the line. Since the establishment of the Carrigaline Municipal District in May 2019 following the local elections, the item has appeared on Council agendas on a few occasions. Councillor Seámus McGrath (FF) had previously lodged motions requesting updates on the Park’s timeline and ironically for the final Municipal District of the year, which was held on Monday, he put forward another motion regarding its opening.
Pic: Cork County Council
However, almost two years to the day since it was first reported that the amenity would become available, local communities are on the verge of finally being able to utilise the fantastic facility. Given the enormous challenge that Covid-19 has presented in terms of managing public open spaces, the Park will be a fantastic asset for thousands of residents located just a short distance away from it. With green spaces at a premium within lockdown relevant 2km and 5km limits, the amenity could be hugely advantageous should any further return to such restrictions materialise.
Joining Minister Coveney in welcoming the news was Councillor Liam O’Connor (FG), indicating that “the amenity has 4kms of harbourside walkways on the island and a 1km circuit for joggers. It also has seating which will provide visitors with panoramic views of the harbour”.
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath was also delighted to hear the latest update, with his brother Cllr McGrath later telling The Carrigdhoun Newspaper, “I’m pleased we finally have movement on the opening of the Public Park at Haulbowline. The response to my motion states that the opening of the park to the public will be confirmed early in January. I have been highlighting this issue for some time and while I welcome the progress the extraordinary delay in opening the park remains indefensible”.
New 225 and 225L Bus Routes Welcomed
Councillors were also glad to confirm the new 225 and 225L bus routes which will not only serve the Harbour Area and Ballygarvan, but will now include stops through Carrigaline estates Waterpark and Bridgemount, before ending its route at Kent Train Station via Cork Airport.
However, Cllr McGrath raised the issue over the fact that Coolmore has seemingly been removed from the route, which would be a major blow to its many residents. He requested that the District immediately write to both Bus Éireann and the National Transport Authority, to see if this could be reviewed and rectified. This was overwhelmingly agreed by all present.