Calls for a full audit of Cork's derelict buildings as North Main St remains open for business

Calls for a full audit of Cork's derelict buildings as North Main St remains open for business
Buildings to be demolished on North Main Street. Pic: Damian Coleman.

NORTH Main Street will remain open for business as demolition begins on two derelict buildings in the coming days. 

Though the street is closed to car traffic, pedestrians and cyclists still have access and traders doors are still open. 

The closure follows the partial collapse of a building on the southern end of the street.

The City Council has intervened at the site, with demolition due to begin shortly. 

Sinn Féin city councillor Thomas Gould said that the council has failed to manage dereliction in the city and that this collapse could have had fatal consequences.

"There are homeless people squatting in derelict buildings around the city. This could have been a tragedy.

"As any of the people who work with the homeless community will tell you, they don't all sleep in doorways. They go into derelict and old buildings. A lot of these buildings are not safe," he said.

He has submitted a motion for next week's City Council meeting calling for a full audit of properties on the derelict site register to ensure that they are not in danger of collapsing, and for the council to add other derelict properties to the official list.

"I'm looking for a full audit of all the over 100 sites on the list at the moment, and I'm also looking for any other derelict buildings to be added.

"We should be using compulsory purchase orders on these sites to use them for housing. 

"You can see the condition on North Main Street, the way it had been allowed to deteriorate for the last ten years. 

"There are serious questions to be asked about these. There are also other properties around the city that we know are derelict," he said.

He said that leaving derelict sites for too long always led to the same thing.

"We had the same issue with St Kevin's Hospital. We had the same issue with the Good Shepard Convent in Sundays Well. The two of those burned down. We had the same issue with Vernon Mount in Douglas," he said.

Green Party councillor Dan Boyle said that the soon to be demolished buildings on North Main Street are a "missed opportunity" for the redevelopment of the city centre.

"The building that collapsed on North Main Street, at the heart of our city, is a very sad site. The only upside of the situation is that thankfully no one was hurt as the building collapsed.

“We are in the midst of a terrible housing crisis, and there are hundreds of unused properties that could be renovated, fixed up and turned into affordable social housing. The buildings that collapsed last week were on the derelict sites register, and for buildings that are so central it’s simply unacceptable that they’re left to fall into this state,” he said. 

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