1 April 2022
By Elaine Murphy
Earlier this week, Ann Doherty Chief Executive Cork City Council accompanied by the Cork Age Friendly City Older Persons Representatives Nora O’Donovan, Phil Ní Mhurchú, Noel Dempsey and Finbarr Coughlan, as well as John Mullins, Executive Chairman Amarenco and Age Friendly Ambassador for Cork City officially launched the Age Friendly Seating in Cork city centre.
Made possible with funding from the National Transport Authority, the retrofitted age friendly seating is attached to the concrete and marble plinths in five locations in the city centre, including Grand Parade, Cornmarket Street, and St. Patrick’s Street. The retro fitting includes wooden slats and backs, and arm rests, in order to meet the criteria identified to qualify as age friendly seating. Additionally five other benches will be retro fitted with arm rests on the Grand Parade Promenade in 2022.
The project was initiated following consultation with the Cork Age Friendly City Older Persons Representatives and a cross-directorate team was drawn together to deliver the Age Friendly seating. The team included the City Architect’s Department who designed the seating, the Operations Directorate, Infrastructure Directorate engineers and the Community, Culture and Placemaking Directorate. The locations and plans were reviewed by occupational therapist Linda Horgan, and the seating was built by local fabricator Euroforce Engineering.
Speaking at the launch Ann Doherty, Chief Executive Cork City Council and Chair of the Cork Age Friendly City Alliance said: “I’m delighted to be in a position to launch this project, particularly as the project was the result of such close cooperation and design across our organisation. The project adds hugely to the attractiveness and suitability of the public realm in the heart of our city.”
John Mullins, Executive Chairman Amarenco and Age Friendly Ambassador for Cork City added: “This project is a perfect example of the fact that if you design for older people you accommodate everyone. It is functional, attractive and inviting for older people to enjoy their visit to the city and more likely to encourage them to come in to the heart of it.”
Speaking on behalf of the Cork Age Friendly City Forum, Phil Ní Mhurchú stated: “It was wonderful to be involved in this project from beginning to end. To know our voices would be heard and that our opinion matters is very important. To see the project delivered in such a short space of time and knowing that all future seating plans in the city would consider the age friendly guidelines is very encouraging”.