Passage West greenway may stay in county

Passage West greenway may stay in county
The Great Railway Run on the old Passage West railway line last summer. Cork County Councillors want the amenity to remain in the county. Picture: Adrian O'Herlihy

THE group responsible for finalising the details of the Cork city boundary extension will be asked to allow a greenway from Hop Island to Passage West to remain within the county jurisdiction.

The city boundary is set to take in Ballincollig, Blarney, Tower, Rochestown and Douglas and is expected to be discussed in Dáil Eireann before being finalised.

Councillor Marcia D’Alton (IND) said the greenway - a walking and cycling route - was key to the future of Passage West and ceding it to the city could compromise its growth in the future.

“The boundary of the city was proposed to have been at the Rochestown Inn. My understanding is that the Lord Mayor had requested that Hop Island would be included within the boundary of Cork city because he regarded the Mayor as the admiral of Cork Harbour,” said Ms D’Alton.

“The original Mackinnon report stretches right down to the development boundary of Passage West. The implication is that the greenway from Hop Island to Passage West would become separated from the town of Passage West and then would be maintained and governed by the city authority.

“Passage West has a lot to do to reclaim its former glory and the greenway is part of what we need to do and will make our job very much more difficult if we are to be separated from it. I have written to every relevant actor,” she added.

Seamus McGrath (FF) said it was his understanding that the line was drawn unilaterally by City Council officials and the Implementation and Oversight Group were tasked finalising it but they hadn’t made any changes in regard to the area.

“If they want Hop Island so badly, they can have it but they are not having the area further west of it toward Passage West,” he said.

“It encompasses a much wider area up in upper Rochestown places like Knocknamullagh, Ballymot and Monkstown and so on. It’s crazy, the rural area which has been taken in by this. We should try in every possible way to salvage the Greenway,” he added.

Deirdre Forde (FG) said she understood the need for Passage West to retain the Greenway but was worried it would be to the detriment of Rochestown and could split community groups – including those in the Rochestown Inn area.

Ms D’Alton replied that she was proposing the boundary would be on the Passage West side of Hop Island so all the community in Rochestown would remain together.

The specific boundary lines need to be addressed immediately, according to Derry Canty (FG).

“We’re accepting the lines on the whim of city councillors. I’m cross about it,” he said.

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