Residents to voice concern at GAA plans

Residents fighting GAA plans they claim will split a huge public park due to be developed in Cork will voice their concerns this evening with the designers behind the multimillion-euro park project.

Cork City Council has invited residents living near Páirc Uí Chaoimh to attend the first in a series of meetings as part of an extensive public consultation process on Marina Park.

Officials said they want to determine the views of the public regarding the proposed uses in the vast amenity.

The Save Marina Park campaign said it will argue the GAA’s plans to develop a centre of excellence next to the Cork stadium will split the proposed park in two.

“The whole reason the city compulsorily acquired the Showgrounds land was to develop this park,” said spokesman Denis O’Regan.

“Now we have a situation where this linear park will be dissected.

“Rather than having green space and a public park that leads right on to the Atlantic Pond, you will have the park split by this centre of excellence.”

He dismissed the public consultation as a “box-ticking exercise” but said the campaign will engage in the hope that members can have some influence on the redesign of the park.

Expected to rival Dublin’s Phoenix Park, Marina Park will feature a system of urban water gardens and wetland eco-systems with boardwalks and adventure trails.

It is being designed by a multidisciplinary consultancy team led by OKRA Landscape Architects, which won an international design competition.

The firm will have to draft plans to consolidate about 32 hectares of land in the south docklands — an area around Páirc Uí Chaoimh and including the Atlantic Pond — into a high-quality city park.

The architects will have to factor the GAA’s centre of excellence — which will include an all-weather playing pitch and a 1,000-seat stand — into the overall park design.

The GAA is expected to lodge a planning application for the centre of excellence and the stadium redevelopment within a few weeks.

Residents have vowed to object all the way to An Bord Pleanála if necessary, and have not ruled out seeking a judicial review.

Letters have been delivered to homes in a number of estates, including Dundanion Court, Drumcora Mews, Rocklcliffe Village, Lisnalee Drive, and Ardfoyle Crescent — residents living right next to the proposed park and who may be directly impacted by its design — inviting them to attend this evening’s meeting.

City engineers also plan to meet with the Blackrock Community Association and the Save Marina Park group to arrange further consultation with the wider public in the Blackrock and Ballintemple areas.

* The public consultation takes place this evening in the Blackrock Community Centre between 5pm and 7.30pm.


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