THE long-awaited public park at the former East Tip on Haulbowline Island will open in the new year, it has been confirmed.
The park, which was redeveloped and remediated at a cost of €25m, has been signed over to Cork County Council to act as leaseholders of the amenity.
It will offer 4km of harbourside walkways, with a 1km looped track for runners.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Simon Coveney, congratulated the officials in the county council on their successful remediation of the former waste disposal site.
The minister acknowledged the key role the council played in not just ensuring the successful remediation of the East Tip, but also turning the disused site into a public amenity that will become a high amenity community asset and will be of benefit to the people of Cork for generations to come.
The project was undertaken in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine in response to the need to remediate the East Tip.
It has been confirmed that the local authority has now signed a lease with the department, which paves the way for the opening of this new public park early in 2021.
While the opening of the new park has been welcomed, a Cork councillor said that an explanation is needed on why it has taken so long to open the facility.
Speaking to The Echo, local Fianna Fáil councillor Seamus McGrath said that, while it was a great amenity and facility for the local community, an explanation should be forthcoming from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Defence with regards to an 18-month delay in opening the park.
“There should be an explanation for the indefensible delay in opening the facility,” Mr McGrath said.
Despite this, the councillor said the park would be a great asset to the area, offering fantastic views of the harbour.