Streets shut over building safety fear

Streets in Cork City were closed for over two hours yesterday after fears were raised about a potentially dangerous building.

A number of buildings have collapsed in this part of the city centre in recent years.

Emergency services were called to the site at 92/93 South Main St after city hall received a phonecall to say that the building, which is unfinished, was possibly moving.

Streets were closed from Liberty St to Washington St in the city centre and traffic diversions were in place from about 2.30pm to 5pm.

The building is at the site of the former Liberty bar, a student haunt in the 1990s that has since been demolished.

A new building, yet to be finished, was constructed at the site, taking in adjacent premises.

Engineers from Cork City Hall’s building control department attended the site. The owner also had his own engineers at the building and both parties, after examining the roof and the building floor by floor, declared that it was not dangerous.

Senior executive officer Paul Moynihan said it was responsible to have made that telephone call to city hall.

“We would sooner act with a degree of caution rather than not have such calls made to building control,” he said.

In 2009, a three-storey building on nearby Castle St collapsed internally without warning before the whole front structure fell down.

And in Dec 1999, a 20-year-old woman was killed after the parapet of two adjoining buildings in Washington St collapsed and showered masonry onto the pavement below.

The incident prompted then Cork Corporation, now Cork City Council, to close the street and serve notices on property owners in the area to vacate their premises.

A number of buildings were found to have structural defects, while others were vacated because they were close to dangerous buildings.

Many of these buildings were among the oldest in the city.


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