Three Cork city centre buildings could be saved from demolition

Three Cork city centre buildings could be saved from demolition
The three buildings on North Main Street, Cork City, after the partial collapse incident. Picture: Damian Coleman

Three buildings at risk of collapse in a historic part of Cork city could be saved from demolition works.

The owners of 62, 63 and 64 North Main Street have been told by Cork City Council that immediate measures must be taken to stabilise the buildings, which are at risk of collapse.

The move comes following public outcry at plans to demolish the historic buildings in the medieval heart of the city, parts of which may date to before the 1700s.

Engineers for the building owners had recommended the demolition of number 63, which would have required the demolition of numbers 62 and 64 on either side.

The partial building collapse on North Main St
The partial building collapse on North Main St

The buildings are listed on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage and form an intrinsic part of the North Main Street Architectural Conservation Area.

The back of number 63 collapsed last month, taking several internal floors with it.

The property owners were informed by Cork City Council that the facade of number 63 must be stabilised. More suitable site hoarding is to be put in place.

A cordon has been in place around 63 and 64 since last month, and through-traffic on North Main Street has been restricted.

Three Cork city centre buildings could be saved from demolition

Key elements of number 62 and number 64 also need to be stabilised to ensure further collapse risk is eliminated as works to number 63 progress.

Cork City Council said it is working with the owners to ensure these works are commenced without delay.

The buildings were declared derelict in 2015. Brothers Dave, Padraig, and Brian O’Connor are named on the city council’s derelict sites register as the owners of No 65, with Dave and Brian listed as the owners of 62, 63, and 64.

Dave O’Connor blamed the economic crash for the structures falling into dereliction.

The buildings on North Main Street, Cork City. Photo: Damian Coleman.
The buildings on North Main Street, Cork City. Photo: Damian Coleman.

Over the coming days, Cork City Council will continue to work with the building owners to identify what further works need to be undertaken.

The council said it is committed to supporting North Main Street so that it remains "a vibrant trading street".

An Taisce has also written to Cork City Council CEO Ann Doherty calling for the council to intervene and save the three buildings from demolition. They also requested the intervention of Heritage Minister Josepha Magigan due to "potential archaeological impact under National Monuments legislation, and because of the national significance of the NIAH scheduled urban townscape of North Main Street".

In response to the closure of the street to traffic, traders held a pop-up street party in the area over the weekend to build positivity.

The North Main Street Trader’s Association has written to Cork City Council CEO Ann Doherty and are contemplating legal action against the building's owners for loss of earnings.

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