1 May 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour: what does the name mean to you? The island that houses the Headquarters of the Irish Naval Service? The island which used to house Irish Steel? The island which contains a slag heap of carcinogenic material? Depending on who you ask you get varied answers. But today it was about looking to the future.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney T.D, this morning officially re-opened the newly remediated Bridges that link the island with Ringaskiddy on the mainland. The bridges have undergone extensive repairs and upgrades as part of the early preparatory phase of the Haulbowline Island Remediation Project. The project is set to transform the former Irish Steel (east tip & factory sites) into a major public amenity area and, when fully completed, will also provide a potential future development location for the Irish Naval Service, which has its base on the Island.
Now that the bridges are fully open the phase of remediation of the ‘east tip’ and former ‘factory site’ on the island can proceed later this year.
Minister Coveney said ‘I am delighted to officially reopen the bridges here at Haulbowline today, the completion of this significant piece of infrastructural work, apart from being a major engineering achievement in its own right, paves the way for the long awaited core remediation work to proceed. Once completed this project will usher in an entirely new phase of this Island’s long and distinguished history and represents tangible evidence of the Government’s commitment to Cork Harbour and to the wider marine sector’.
The Minister also paid tribute to the Naval Service for facilitating the refurbishment and for ensuring that the day to day work of the service was not impacted on throughout the busy construction phase.