February’s meeting of Cobh Town Council heard town manager, Louis Duffy, confirm rumours that the structure had been purchased. The buyer is understood to be Titanic Experience — a highly acclaimed Titanic-themed visitors’ centre on the site of the White Star Line ticket office adjacent to the pier, at Casement Square.
The wooden structure is in considerable disrepair and some bracing work has been undertaken to secure it in recent days. While welcoming the purchase as a positive development, the town council expressed frustration that efforts to acquire the jetty as a monument under public ownership were now dashed.
Cllr Finbarr O’Driscoll wished the new owner the best of luck but said he was “bitterly disappointed” that the town council had not been kept in the loop regarding possible purchase, but he wished the new owner “every success”.
Mr Duffy reflected that Cork County Council had been for some years inhibited by a lack of deeds and other documentation to acquire the structure. They had presumed it was in state ownership since the White Star Line ceased trading 60 years ago but enquiries to the Department of Finance had gone unanswered. But the manager said it now seemed it had been bought by another private owner.
Cobh mayor John Mulvihill says he would have preferred the council to have acquired the pier and that a plan had been designed in association with the Port of Cork some years ago to ensure its preservation should either group gain ownership.
Gillen Joyce, managing director of Titanic Experience, did not respond to a request for comment.