Jul 4, 2024 | Featured Articles

Construction is due to start in the coming weeks on a transformational scheme in Cork City centre – the Morrison’s Island Public Realm and Flood Defence project – following the commencement of works at Beamish & Crawford Quarter and Bishop Lucey Park in the city.

The project by Cork City Council, with support by the Office of Public Works (OPW), will encompass the area along Morrison’s Quay and Father Mathew Quay between Parnell Bridge to Parliament Bridge, as well as a small section on Union Quay at Trinity Bridge.

Minister Kieran O’Donnell, Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform with responsibility for the OPW said: “The Morrison’s Island project forms part of an overall allocation of almost €1.3 billion in the National Development Plan for flood relief measures.

“The collaborative approach between the OPW and Cork City Council will provide residents and businesses in the city centre with the assurance of protection from the regular flooding they have endured for many years.”

Ann Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City Council said: “This scheme will transform the Morrison’s Island area of the city and provide much needed flood protection to hundreds of residents and businesses. This south-facing riverside area has so much more to offer and Cork City Council, with the support of the OPW, is unlocking that potential, providing for the revitalisation and regeneration of this part of the city centre”.

Aaron Mansworth, President of the Cork Business Association (CBA), described the project as “transformative” and said the scheme will significantly enhance visual amenity and unlock commercial potential, highlighted by the multi-million-euro redevelopment of the Old Moore’s Hotel site (now home to Premier Inn, Cork’s newest hotel offering).

“Crucially, it will provide essential flood protection long campaigned for by CBA, reassuring property owners and businesses by safeguarding their premises and livelihoods. The project includes a significant public realm upgrade and the refurbishment of historic quay walls, protecting most of the city centre against major flood events and greatly benefiting the business community,” he said.

The scheme has been wholeheartedly welcomed by Cork Chamber after many years advocacy, according to Chief Executive Conor Healy. “Our city centre businesses and residents deserve protection from flooding. Through the delivery of this scheme, the city will also benefit from the enhancement of the public realm through river front walkways, the introduction of plazas, repairs to historic masonry; all of which are improvements that will help enable a positive evolution of our urban landscape in Cork city.”

Jons Civil Engineering Company Ltd has been appointed as the main contractor to carry out the works. The first phase of construction will take place at the junction of Morrison’s Quay and South Mall, to deliver an enhanced plaza area and riverside viewing platform. The scheme is expected to be completed within approximately 20 months.

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