On June 7th we had glimmers of hope when outdoor dining returned and, between the good weather and the efforts of the bars and restaurants to enable outdoor dining, it has been a huge success. The city landscape has changed and will remain this way. Cork City has the ambition to be one of the most pedestrian and cyclist friendly cities in Europe and if the past week has shown anything it is that we are capable of it. On the local front the re-opening of all our local hostelries has been a God send and it was great to see people eating and drinking locally again. I would encourage everyone to have a coffee, a pint, and a bit of lunch just to welcome everyone back. Trust me, it will do you good.
There is loads happening locally and more to come in the weeks ahead. The addition of new footpaths for access to the Clogheenmilcon walkway is great news. I understand that there are other paths in the area that require maintenance and connection so to that end I have asked Council to seek budget and put together an audit of those paths that require onward connection, particularly in Tower and Kerrypike. Clogheenmilcon upgrades are superb and well done to both City Council and Brand Blarney for making this happen. This is a jewel and along with the Waterloo Walk has been very busy and will continue to be so in the future. It’s wonderful to see the investments being made by government. The Inch Park will be cut in the coming weeks and over the coming months there will be detailed designs drawn up for its future use. Several people have asked that their ideas be considered when the design stage is in progress, and I have asked for this to happen.
Over the last few weeks students of the Geography Department of UCC have been completing studies of both Blarney and Tower with a particular focus on paths, roads, infrastructure and facilities. These studies, along with the feedback from the public on-line meetings that were held, will feed into the city development plan for the next years so my sincerest thanks to those who took time out to get involved and have their say. Cork City Council actively encourage public consultation and that has not been lacking in these forums.
I was delighted to attend the opening of the new housing development in Coilleog, Station Road by Cork City Council. These are 18 top specification, quality family homes in one of the most beautiful locations in Blarney. They will be managed by the Tuath housing agency, and I wish the new residents all of the luck in the world in their new homes. This development was delivered by Cumnor Construction and they should be rightfully proud of what was achieved.
Over the Summer we will see Pump Street resurfaced and I think all will agree that this is needed. In Kerrypike there will be a new crossing put in place for access to the primary school and this is also badly needed. Construction work should begin on the new secondary school for Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal, with this being the largest school project in the state. Tower will see some changes with crossings and raised tables being out in place to aid in the safety of pedestrians.
Finally a shout out to Bethan O’Riordan and Rathpeacon GAA for their GAA belong initiative. Also to Valerie Kirby, Lisa Hedderman, Jim McEvoy and all of the others in Blarney GAA who continue to work for the community with their Healthy Minds initiative and their charitable fundraising efforts through the Blarney 500. We have seen a wonderful coming together of people and of organisations in the past few months, with our GAA clubs and our other voluntary organisations reaching out and maintaining connections. My sincerest thanks to them all.