Award winning public park opens on former toxic dump – Haulbowline Island, Cork Harbour

15 January 2021
By Tom Collins

‘Haulbowline Island Amenity Park’ technically has an addfess of Cobh but is accessed via a bridge from Ringaskiddy. It is open to the public from today, but given the current 5km travel restriction you should not travel unless you live locally.

The recreational area – built on top of the former Irish Steel site – will be a welcome addition for the Cork Harbour region and in particular for residents of Ringaskiddy. Haulbowline Amenity Park includes 4km of harbour side walkways, a 1km jogging circuit and numerous seating areas to stop and take in the views of Cork Harbour. The park has also been extensively landscaped with over 200 trees, wildflower areas and is rich with biodiversity and wildlife.

Building green areas over former dumps is common in Ireland. A similar example is Tramlre Valley Park on the former Kinsale Road Landfill near Cork City.

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley welcomed the opening of the park on Haulbowline Island, and noted the value of safe areas for outdoor recreation, which are especially welcome at these times.

“Covid-19 restrictions have seen a huge uptake in people using our parks, beaches and greenways to get exercise within their 5km. Haulbowline Island Amenity Park will be a fantastic asset, particularly to the people of Ringaskiddy and the immediate surrounding area. People living outside 5km from the park will have to wait to visit Haulbowline but it will be worth the wait for the spectacular views of Cork Harbour.”

Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, noted the level of transformation that has taken place in the development of the park,

“The most innovative and customised solutions have been applied throughout with spectacular end result; excellent amenities and the establishment of woodlands and wildflower areas.”

A spokesperson for Ringaskiddy and District Residents Association welcomed the opening of the park and highlighted the value of this amenity to local residents noting that “any environmentally-friendly recreational amenities are most welcome and long overdue for our community”.

File photo:. Tim Lucey, Chief Executive, Cork County Council Pic: Brian Lougheeed

Cork County Council and An Garda Síochána would like to remind the public that the park is currently only open to those living within 5km of Haulbowline and that Covid-19 travel restrictions will be enforced.

The park is gated and will be open to the public from 9am to 4.30pm in the winter months, with spring and summer hours to be decided in due course. Visitors should be aware that the park gates will be locked at closing time.

Before clearing and capping works
During works
After works. Grass now grows on top of the island

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