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 The overgrown green area in front of the former Ursuline Convent in Blackrock, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
The overgrown green area in front of the former Ursuline Convent in Blackrock, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Fire fears for overgrown Blackrock grass

AN overgrown and neglected green area in Blackrock is a serious fire hazard and an eyesore, according to local residents.

Cork City Councillor Chris O’Leary said he has been contacted by multiple people from the area who are worried about the land alongside the former Ursuline Convent.

The building was sold by the Ursuline Order after they left it and built a new school nearby in the early 2000s. It was renamed Blackrock House and converted to 27 luxury apartments which were sold in 2016.

 The overgrown green area in front of the former Ursuline Convent in Blackrock, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
The overgrown green area in front of the former Ursuline Convent in Blackrock, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
The building’s sizeable lawn runs down toward Blackrock village and Mr O’Leary understands it is under City Council control. There are plans to build a playground on the grounds.

Mr O’Leary is calling on the Council to arrange for the grass, which is several feet high in places, to be cut as soon as possible.

“The area is seriously neglected and has become unsightly and we see no movement towards its upkeep,” Mr O’Leary said.

“There is a growing fear that in the current weather, [the grass] will be set on fire. It is now becoming a health and safety hazard.

“The Council have cut a little bit of green space nearby for the céilí that is coming up in the next few weeks but the rest of it is enormously overgrown. It is dry out and the fear is, because we have youngsters messing about there, that it will go up like a matchbox.”

 The overgrown green area in front of the former Ursuline Convent in Blackrock, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
The overgrown green area in front of the former Ursuline Convent in Blackrock, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
Cork City Fire Brigade have dealt with multiple outdoor fires during the recent heatwave and have warned that glass bottles in green areas can be the cause of a blaze, with the sun shining through glass igniting dry grass. Firefighters found several empty glass bottles in a ditch after extinguishing a fire near Clonakilty on Tuesday.

There is no fencing or other barrier closing off the area so it can be freely accessed, both by young people looking for somewhere to congregate and people who wish to dump rubbish.

Mr O’Leary said it is also a blot on the landscape at a time when many people are visiting the area.

“You have people coming to concerts and to major sporting events and this is what they are seeing,” he said.

“If you are in the new Blackrock village development, sitting down to have a nice coffee, you are looking straight across at it.

“It is definitely not something you would put on a postcard.”

Mr O’Leary has written to numerous members of the city executive, including CEO Ann Doherty and Deputy Chief Executive Pat Ledwidge, asking for the area to be properly maintained but has received no response. The Council did not respond to a request for comment from the Evening Echo.