Ahern to establish dockland forum

TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern last night committed himself to establishing a Cork Docklands National Steering Forum similar to the body which facilitated the development of the IFSC in Dublin.

The Taoiseach told 500 guests at a €200-a-plate Fianna Fáil party fundraising dinner in the Silver Springs Moran Hotel that the new forum will help deliver a thriving new centre for Cork city.

“One of the clear issues for the future of Cork is the major redevelopment of the Cork Docklands area. I know that significant work has already been carried out by Cork City Council and the various interested parties in advancing this flagship project. This under-utilised section of Cork has enormous potential,” he said.

The Cork Docklands National Steering Forum will support Cork City Council as the lead agency in a potential €2 billion plus investment in 410 acres of “brownfield” area adjacent to the city centre with a current population of around 500. The Cork Area Strategic Plan sets targets of 6,000 housing units and 600,000 square metres of new residential space concentrated on Horgan’s Quay and along Monahan Road.

The Taoiseach said that the areas of business, tourism, leisure and housing, the Docklands can now become a new thriving heart for Cork city.

“Due the national importance of this project and the hugely positive impact it will have in Cork, I am now committed to the establishment of a Cork Docklands National Steering Forum.

“This forum, which will comprise both Government departments and private sector interests, will work in support of Cork City Council — the lead agency — in developing the project,” he added.

“Over the coming years, I believe that Cork and Cork Docklands will develop into a modern urban centre to rival anywhere in Europe and the world,” he added.

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