The future of one of the most iconic piers in the world has been secured after planning permission was approved for its refurbishment.
More than 1m emigrants have embarked from the pier in Cobh, Co Cork, including 123 passengers who boarded tenders to the ill-fated Titanic.
Known as Heartbreak Pier because so many never returned to Ireland, it is finally going to be turned into a visitor attraction.
The wooden pier was in danger of falling into the sea until the owners of the town’s Titanic Experience carried out conservation works on it.
They have now secured planning permission from Cork County Council to upgrade the pier into a viewing stand, which will, for the first time in years, make it accessible to visitors who will be able to walk in the footsteps of the emigrants who left there for Australia and America.
Gillen Joyce, managing director of the Titanic Experience, said the local authority had granted planning permission which includes removing a spire proposed for its centre.
“We are pleased to move to the next stage of the project, which will be hugely positive for Cobh and the surrounding region,” said Mr Joyce.
“Titanic Pier, as an additional tourist attraction in the town, has the potential to draw a further 30,000 visitors to the region which will have a significant and positive impact on the economy as well as Cobh’s positioning as a must visit location in the south of Ireland.”
The company had previously lodged a planning application for the rejuvenation of the pier, but withdrew it to seek further consultation with architects, archaeologists, and county council planners.
That application involved putting sails on the structure.
The sails were removed from the plans when the new application was lodged.
Mr Joyce said the investment the company will make in the new project “will secure this incredible national and international monument into the future”.