Heritage campaigners in Cork have been accused of spreading "fake news" after confirmation that historic cobblestones unearthed during roadworks are being salvaged and stored for reuse.
Officials dismissed claims from the Save Cork City group that the cobbles found under tarmac on St Patrick’s Quay have been “consigned for landfill”.
The council was responding to queries from this newspaper following an early morning tweet from the Save Cork City Twitter account.
The group, which is leading opposition to the Office of Public Works’ controversial flood defence plans for the city, and the separate realm upgrade at Morrisson’s Island, which will include integrated flood defences, and which is being delivered by Cork City Council, posted a Tweet at 3.25am on Saturday featuring photos of roadworks on St Patrick's Quay which are being undertaken by a contractor on behalf of Irish Water.
One photo of a trench showed a layer of cobblestones just a few inches under the tarmac, and included the text: “Digging continues and cobbles consigned to landfill. We need to start repairing Cork and not destroying our city with alien materials".
Patrick’s Quay works reveal original cobblestones covered in tarmac.— Save Cork City (@savecorkcity) July 12, 2019
Digging continues and cobbles consigned to landfill.
We need to start repairing Cork and not destroying our city with alien materials. #SaveCorkCity pic.twitter.com/5OI8lvM3qT
It prompted an online discussion which continued on local radio today.
But the council said the cobbles are being removed, that the material is reusable and that it has been bagged and taken for storage at a council depot.
“They are reusable and will be used by roads maintenance elsewhere in the city,” a spokesperson said.
The cobblestones found on a section of St Patrick's Quay during works by @irishwater contractors were NOT sent to landfill as has been claimed. They were dug up, bagged & will be placed in storage for reuse by roads maintenance. @corkcitycentre @CBA_cork @cllrkmac @corkarchives pic.twitter.com/7jZHOloAR6— Cork City Council #StaySafe (@corkcitycouncil) July 15, 2019
FF Cllr Terry Shannon described the tweet as "fake news" and urged the heritage group to exercise caution in its public commentary.
"This kind of stuff calls into question some of the other assertions they've made," he said.
He pointed out that the city council, at great expense, exposed and integrated historic cobbles and tramlines into its multi-million revamp of Blackrock Village, and also reused cobbles in the Beasley St revamp.
"We have always tried to protect and reuse this material when appropriate," he said.