PROTESTS greeting cruise passengers in Cobh are likely to continue after talks between the Port of Cork and locals failed to yield an agreement on rights of way.
Residents are in favour of cruise ships docking in the harbour but are at odds with the Port of Cork at a number of places around the Great Island including Marino Point, Kennedy Pier and at the Pilot Boat Pier on the East Camber. In each of these locations, Port of Cork has erected private property notices despite locals using them for generations.
Locals are outraged that the Port of Cork has been closing an area known as Five Foot Way on Deepwater Quay — from the Annie Moore statue to the train station at Whitepoint — when cruise vessels are docked.
A protest was carried out by locals on Monday as the Astoria cruise liner vessel — the first of the season — carrying 580 passengers docked at 7.30am. More protests are planned to take place throughout cruise liner season if rights of way are not recognised.
Councillor Diarmaid Ó Cadhla (IND) said the Port of Cork has agreed to the compromise to close the Five Foot Way walkway for 30 minutes when ships are docking and leaving but issues remain on public usage.
“The residents are OK in principal with the walkway being closed for the 30 mins while a ship is docking and again as one pulls off,” he said. “The question is the right of way, if that is recognised then there is no issue at all. Residents met with Port of Cork last Friday and were clear about that, there was no protest against any ship, another meeting is scheduled for April 15.
“The problem is that Port of Cork insist that the ground is theirs and any walking is at their discretion. That is not acceptable to the people of Great Island.
“The issue is complicated by related disputes at Marino Point, Kennedy Pier and the Pilot Boat Pier on the east side of Cobh town,” he added.
Legislation under the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 requires all rights of way to be registered before 2021.