A total of 80 park rangers are to be deployed to 17 sites across Cork city in order to maintain social distancing in parks during the ongoing Covid-19 emergency.
The council staff will be available to advise people and to inform them of the regulations that have been put in place by the government.
Park rangers will not have legal enforcement powers but can ask for garda back up if an issue arises or if there is concern for the public’s safety.
The park rangers are staff who are already employed by the council, some of whom may have been working in other non-essential capacities and have been redeployed in light of the government’s latest measures.
Lord Mayor of Cork, John Sheehan said that the newly deployed park rangers will offer guidance and advice on social distancing to ensure people using parks are adhering to restrictions and that everything continues to run smoothly.
He said that the improving weather conditions was one of the major factors in the decision to deploy more park rangers across parks such as Ballincollig Regional Park, The Lough, Fitzgeralds Park and Tramore Valley Park, to name a few.
“I suppose this is going to go on for a considerable period of time so it’s just to get that message out there and to keep reenforcing it.
“With the good weather, large numbers of people may go out and we want to avoid the situation where we may have to close parks because they’re regarded as an essential part of the city’s infrastructure.
“People need to get out and need to get exercise, they need to get some space and we need to ensure that we can continue doing that and not have to close them,” he said.