Plans for extensive ‘Central Park for Cork’ to go on display

A city is to unveil its plans for a new “Central Park” on the site of a massive former dump.

Indoor and outdoor adventure centres, sports trails, and play features, along with flexible and multi-purpose areas for concerts and events are included in the planned Cork City amenity park.

City Hall will host an open day on Saturday to launch the plans for the Tramore Valley Park — on the site of the former Kinsale Rd dump.

A planned feature is a “green bridge” over the multi-carriage South Ring road connecting city and county.

A voluntary residents group in the greater Douglas area, Grange Frankfield Partnership, is seeking to have a protected structure, Vernon Mount House, included in the plans.

The group has the support of Douglas Community Association, Grange Frankfield Community Associations, and Douglas Tidy Towns. They all campaigned for the development of the former landfill site into a public amenity area with pedestrian and cycle ways connecting Frankfield, Grange, and Douglas to the city and suburbs.

Ger Lehane, spokesman for the Grange Frankfield Partnership, said: “We are delighted the plans have progressed so positively.

“This superpark will be a huge addition for the Cork region for inhabitants and tourists alike.

“The ‘green bridge’ over the South Ring road will connect city and county areas, providing enormous health and environmental benefits as well as safe walkways for school children, pedestrians, and cyclists of all ages.

“It will be a Central Park of sorts for Cork.”

However, the group, which held public meetings about the park’s potential, is concerned about the condition of Vernon Mount House.

It is one of the most important Georgian mansions in Ireland and had been previously listed as one of the world’s 100 most endangered sites.

A protected structure, the house is in a state of dilapidation and requires urgent intervention to ensure its survival.

As a centrepiece of an expan-ded amenity, Mr Lehane said the residents’ group was keen to highlight how Vernon Mount House could contribute to the quality, diversity, and character of the Tramore Valley Park, in addition to maintaining an important link to Cork’s past architectural, social, and cultural history.

A Grange Frankfield Partnership display at the park’s open day will highlight the cultural significance of the house.

The building contains a number of ceiling and wall paintings by a renowned Irish artist of the time, Nathaniel Grogan.

The group warned: “This incredible heritage will be lost forever if intervention and action does not take place as soon as possible.”

lThe family open day will run from 11am to 4pm on Saturday and entry is free, with onsite parking available. The programme includes guided walking tours, open-top bus tours of site, wildlife talks, orienteering trails, bouncing castles, face painting, balloon making, and zorbing. A picnic area will have food stalls, electric vehicles, polo-crosse demonstrations, and rally vehicles.

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