A community group in a seaside town is to publicly protest tomorrow over a county council decision to let a landmark viewing balcony crumble into the sea.
‘Youghal4All’ activists are seeking the restoration of the balcony at Moll Goggin’s Corner near Youghal’s Front Strand.
They claim Cork County Council’s inaction reflected the local authority’s “wider apathy towards the town”.
Overlooking the Blackwater, jutting out above rocks and sand, the 6m-long structure was completed over a century ago with a panoramic view of the beach and horizon.
Legend proclaims a local woman, Moll Goggin, would have stood there, scanning the horizon for her lover’s ship that never returned.
The protest is due to be held tomorrow around 2pm at Moll Goggin’s Corner.
Generations of locals hold fond memories of sitting on the balcony’s benches. The site was also a popular site for photo opportunities.
However, the balcony, has been fenced off from public use after cracks were noticed on a boundary wall in 2008.
The foundations of the site are reportedly stable and had, in the past year, supported a construction crew’s hut during sea wall restorations.
Cork County Council said the cost of either restoring or demolishing the balcony was estimated at €180,000 but opted, instead, to let it perish as nature takes its course.
Independent councillor Mary Linehan-Foley has regularly called for a restoration programme to be put forward by the council and suggested that the local authority should explore potential for Government funding under the areas of heritage or tourism.
Meanwhile, founded in 2011, the voluntary Youghal4All group focuses on ‘self-help’ community projects. It established festivals around Moby Dick, mackerel, Halloween, and Christmas as the recession-hit town strives to nurture its tourism growth.
Youghal4All chairman Jim Flanagan said: “The option of letting it crumble would not even be considered were it any more established resort.
“It says much about officialdom’s attitude to Youghal that it has even been left cordoned off for years, while millions was spent on less worthy projects throughout the county.
“Youghal deserves better and it should be given budgetary consideration at least.”
Labelling it “morally saddening and slavish” to accept the county council’s reasoning of a lack of funds, Mr Flanagan said Youghal4All “doesn’t accept that defeatism, abandonment, and dereliction as an option”.
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