‘Butter Exchange must be revamped’

‘Butter Exchange must be revamped’

Cllr Thomas Gould, Dominic O’Callaghan, SARA, and Linda O’Halloran, of Shandon Street Festival, looking at the collapsed roof of the old Butter Exchange building, Cork. Picture: Denis Scannell

A NORTHSIDE councillor has criticised the long-term dereliction of the Butter Exchange. He wants City Hall to restore it.

While Cllr Thomas Gould welcomed the €400,000 confirmed for the Shandon area — to be spent on a public realm upgrade and enhancements at the Firkin Crane — he pointed to long-term issues at the Butter Exchange building, which suffered a partial roof collapse in 2016.

Talks have taken place between City Hall and state bodies, such as Fáilte Ireland, to identify a funding stream and use for the building, but no solutions have been found. Mr Gould said: “It is very disappointing that it is still in the state it is in.

“Major works are required at the building to fix the roof and to bring it back to its former glory.”

Local groups have also sought to secure use of the building in recent years, again without agreement.

Mr Gould continued: “We have failed to look after our heritage. It is one of the most historic parts of the country and it has been let slide into this condition. I know that Cork City Council have not had the funding to do the works in recent years, but a solution must be found. Until it is, these renewal projects will never be finished.”

The announcement of the public realm enhancements was welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald.

He said: “[Shandon] has a growing reputation for the summer Shandon Street Festival, the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival, and the Dragon of Shandon Festival, so any public realm benefits should be enjoyed by the city’s festival-goers.”

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