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Cork's former Lord Mayor has hit out at the prolonged closure of a landmark building on Patrick St

THE continued closure of a landmark building on Patrick St is detracting from the look of the street, according to a former Lord Mayor of Cork.

Cllr Des Cahill has expressed disappointment that no 125 Patrick St, the former Blacktie store, has remained closed at the height of the tourist season.

The lease for the building was taken by Fáilte Ireland in 2016, though the tourism body has confirmed that its new office will not be open until early 2018.

Mr Cahill said, "That site has always been a prime one so when we found out that Fáilte Ireland was taking it and moving the tourist office, we thought it was great and it would be open sooner rather than later."

Gary Breen, Head of Consumer Engagement at Fáilte Ireland, said their plans for the building were on track.

"There is no issue here, we are the beginning stage of planning and don’t anticipate that it will be a protracted process," he said.

"The ambition is that we will be open in early 2018. There shouldn’t be any difficulties, we hope to go smoothly through the planning process."

But Mr Cahill said the building lying idle detracted from the overall look of the street.

"It is really disappointing and it’s just not good enough. It would be bad anywhere but just because of the prominence of the building, it makes it worse. The tourist season has been good but they all come off those quay buses and it is one of the first things they see."