Up to €40,000 has been spent retrofitting safety mesh onto some of Cork’s historic quayside railings.
City Hall confirmed that the railings on Union Quay and George’s Quay had to be strengthened as part of the city council’s ongoing maintenance programme.
A spokesman for the council’s roads and transportation directorate said the railings had suffered from severe corrosion which necessitated the repairs and that the mesh was added to increase safety for pedestrians.
“Similar improvements were previously undertaken at Merchant’s Quay and St Patrick’s Quay,” said the spokesman.
“The council has also identified a number of other areas for additional maintenance and safety improvement work.”
The first major installation of safety mesh along the city quays took place along stretches of northern quayside railings following an incident in May 2016.
A three-year-old was saved from almost certain death after he fell through railings on St Patrick’s Quay and into the River Lee.
The boy was walking with his childminder, who was pushing the boy’s 18-month-old sister, when he went to press pedestrian crossing lights at a nearby junction, before he appeared to slip or lose his footing, fall through a gap in the railings, and then fall from a platform some 20ft to the river below.
His life was saved when a passer-by, Maria Foley, risked her life and jumped in to help him.
Ms Foley grabbed the boy, placed him in a lifebuoy thrown to them by onlookers, and held his head above the water while emergency services rushed to the scene.
Both were lifted clear from the water by members of Cork City Fire Brigade who arrived on the scene within minutes.
The boy escaped serious injury but was taken to Cork University Hospital for observation and was released the following day.
His parents described Ms Foley as their “guardian angel” and said at the time that they would be forever grateful to her for her courage.
Gardaí and firefighters also hailed Ms Foley for her bravery.
“Being at low tide, it was about a 5m drop into the water. This was an outstanding act of heroism on her part,” a senior fire officer said at the time.
Safety mesh was installed along this stretch within weeks of the incident.
The spokesman said locations earmarked for attention in the coming months include a low parapet section at Gaol Bridge next to University College Cork and a number of other areas where localised repairs to quay walls and railings were required.
The proposed Lower Lee (Cork City) Flood Relief Scheme will also result in further improvements at a range of locations, said the spokesman.
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