Morrison's Island scheme opponents may take further action

Morrison's Island scheme opponents may take further action
Flood Defence Public Realm upgrade for Morrison's Island

OPPONENTS of the Morrison’s Island flood defence and public realm scheme say they aren’t ruling out taking further action after councillors opted to move ahead with the €6 million project.

The plan, which is expected to start before the end of the year and be finished within 12 months, includes public realm improvements in the Morrison’s Island and Father Mathew Quay area, as well as flood defence works which aim to eliminate 80% of the tidal flooding threat in the city. Councillors voted 22-6 in favour of the plan, claiming it will kickstart a regeneration in the area, despite significant opposition from groups such as Save Cork City, who claim that the project is the first step in the OPW-led walls scheme of flood defences on the river.

How the public realm upgrade of Morrison's Island will look.
How the public realm upgrade of Morrison's Island will look.

A spokesperson for the group, which was responsible for a significant volume of the 1408 public submissions made during the consultation, said they were disappointed by the outcome.

“We fundamentally find that there is confusion of whether it is Cork City Council or the OPW and we think it shouldn’t be built. We are going to take a few days to collect our thoughts but we’re not discounting anything,” he said.

The spokesperson described the Morrison’s Island, George’s Quay area as ‘one of the last historic landscapes’ in the city.

Members of the Green Party in Cork also criticised the consultation process.

Oliver Moran, the party’s representative in Cork North-Central, claimed that the process did not take into consideration the vast numbers of submissions made by the general public.

Of the 1,408 submissions, 746 were issued via an online platform developed by Save Cork City, representing 52% of the total number received.

“It should be noted that the online platform... did not provide access to any of the proposals and, in fact, used an outdated/superseded photomontages as its cover photo of the proposed scheme,” a report compiled by City Hall noted. Mr Moran criticised the report which, he said, focused more on parking concerns raised by city businesses than it did on issues noted by the general public.

He said: “We have an amazing civic group in Save Cork City. They are wholly engaged in the re-development of Morrison’s Island. And still, they came away from the meeting feeling like they hadn’t been listened to and their ideas had been dismissed by city council officials.“

"Half of the 1,400 submissions that were made through their website were rejected by the city council out of hand on a technicality.“

"The section of the city council report that dealt with their concerns was essential a rebuttal of their proposals, rather than engaging with them and listening to what they had to say. Contrast that to the efforts made to accommodate the submissions that called for more parking. That’s an incredibly dismissive attitude to what is supposed to be a public consultation.”

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