7 January 2015
By Elaine Murphy
The elegant and eloquent Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Kenneth O’ Flynn
has dismissed criticism from fellow Councillors and other critics of the
decision to fund and place the Events Centre within the City Centre.
Cllr O’ Flynn said “its quite obvious that some people fail to see the ‘Big
Picture’ when it comes to Cork and the region of Ireland South
Cork City will finally be a high quality destination dedicated to hosting
concerts, conferences and sporting events. This will have a huge benefit to
the commercial retail and entertainment sector in our city.
“A wise man once said “a rising tide lifts all boats”, this “rising tide”
that has come to Cork will lift a tremendous amount of businesses and will
reinvent the City Centre making it a positive area to do business in,
encourage developers to build hotels, restaurateurs to keep restaurants
open, expand and compete, while also encouraging those in possession of
derelict buildings to regenerate, reinvigorate, refresh, inspire and change
the face of our city. It will have a vibrant, dynamic effect on our local
“If Cork is to move positively out of this recession we must ensure that
our City centre is an economic, social and cultural hub. Successful cities
throughout Europe have tended to adopt a two-pronged approach, which is
exactly the same as what we are embarking upon in Cork City, ‘Diversify” &
We very much so need to diversify and broaden our city centre function,
recognising that the City centre will succeed with a strong mix of shops,
employment, lifestyle quality, commercial, cultural, recreational and
educational activities, including a superior public realm.
The second approach of course is based on improving the quality of our City
Centre environment. We must invest in urban renewal, we must invest in our
streetscapes, we must invest in public art and we must invest in the public
realm, pedestrianization, traffic calming, urban landscape projects, all
combining to make Cork a successful, beneficial city.
O’ Flynn went on to say “with regard to parking worries in the City, it is
apparent to me that we have always handled our parking very well.’ “ On a
regular basis we have over 30,000 people in Pairc Ui Chaoimh and only
recently we had four and a half thousand people in the City Centre for the
traditional lighting of the Christmas lights. We are well serviced with the
Black Ash and have both public and private car parks in the city.
I have no doubt that the developers of the site have also taken this issue
into account. One must also note that the Beamish & Crawford site has been
used for decades by large vehicles entering and exiting with no problems
whatsoever. This of course was all taken into account when our independent
advisors came back with the decision on the announcement on the location of
the Events Centre for Cork City Council.
Cork City has many unique selling points for example our love of culture,
the fact that we are a food capital, the benefit of having a fully
functioning Bus and Train Station service and 18 superior towns that are
within a short distance from the city. We have also have some of the best
Hotels and Restaurants in the Country all located within 20 miles of the
We boast a strong cultural heritage with a fervent emphasis on friendliness
as an urban destination and in the last 10yrs we have added more square
footage of shopping than anywhere else in the country.
Cork City Council’s decision to allocate public funding is extremely
important to the City Centre and its continuing progress It is also
important to other businesses planning on opening in the City Centre and
will also regenerate the entire spine of the old City Quarter from Barrack
St. to Shandon St.
Sometimes it is very easy to sit on the fence and criticize, it is easy to
knock big projects and speak negatively, but this is all about the “Big
Picture” that will benefit our city for generations to come. Too often
Politian’s look to the next election, we need to look to the next
generation and the next generation to ensure that cork fulfills its destiny
of becoming the leading City of Ireland South.