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Making a pitch for Cobh roadworks

Now that it has been confirmed that Fota Island will once more host the Irish Open golf tournament this year, can we expect this time that Cork County Council wont stop at the gates of Fota Hotel with its preparatory road resurfacing works, but will at least carry on and finish the rest of the Fota Road to Cobh and the Great Island.

I note that during its recent announcement, Cork City and County Councils both said they are backing the bid to bring the Irish Open to Fota because they wanted to attract business and money to the local economy.

Surely this is now a great opportunity for both councils to help and support the communities living on the Great Island of Cobh by helping to lift the albatross that is the substandard and hazardous Fota Road (R624) from around the necks of its people.

Fifteen years ago an IDA official told Cobh Town Council that his organisation wouldn’t even consider trying to sell Cobh as a location to bring industry because of its pour road infrastructure.

Since then, and despite many appeals from local representative voices, nothing substantial has been done to provide the structure and safety that’s badly required as a proper gateway road to the Great Island.

Instead, we have witnessed accident after accident on this roadway, including a tragic loss of life. The people of Cobh also looked on in fear during the recent extreme weather storms and flooding, while not knowing if its sole road bridge on and off the Island would withstand the test.

The people of Cobh and the Great Island deserve better than this.

It is therefore not good enough for officials at County and City Halls to now be seen to cosy up to the great and good of the golfing world while pretending to be interested in supporting the local economy, when yet another big live community of rates — and tax — payers lie practically stranded and forgotten on its doorstep.

Don’t let this Irish Open pass without a genuine start being made to address this problem road once and for all. Perhaps then we can call it the ‘Cobh Open’ — as in Cobh is now Open for Business’.

Kieran McCarthy
Cobh Town Council
Co Cork


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