Councillors to seek answers on collapsed Cork city wall

Councillors to seek answers on collapsed Cork city wall

Industry street was closed to traffic after a 300-year-old wall collapsed. Picture: Cork City Fire Brigade/ Twitter

CORK City Councillor Mick Finn has revealed he will pursue matters with the council following a collapsed wall on Industry Street which occurred in the early hours of this morning.

Fire crews quickly dealt with the collapse, as the street was closed off to traffic, and rubble from the structure was cordoned off. Thorough examinations of the wall were also conducted to ensure there is no possibility of further collapses.

The 300-year-old wall is part of the remains of Cat Barracks, which is formerly part of the nearby Elizabeth Fort. Large shrubs and roots growing through and around the structure led to it becoming unstable in recent years.

Cllr Finn intends to pursue matters in the near future. 

“No one was injured thankfully which is the main thing. We might have to do a review of the whole thing. It is something we will have to look at. It is an old stretch of wall that backs on to other people’s yards and gardens. It is hard to legislate for it. In a lot of cases, there is probably a mixture of public and private responsibility. I will pursue matters with the council and find out what can be done and who is responsible,” he said.

Cllr Kieran McCarthy who has a keen interest in history and archaeology gave a brief history of the buildings in that area of the city.

“It is the site of an old fort called Cat Fort from the 1690s. Cat Fort was an additional barracks to Elizabeth Fort which was created around 1698. It is said that it began its life as some sort of ditch on a waterless moat on that side of Elizabeth Fort. It developed into a barracks and over time that barracks closed on Prosperity Square. I have a feeling that part of that wall that collapsed is probably over 150 years old at least if not older. It is quite a prominent structure in that area. The last investments in those areas probably occurred around 1870. The foundations could definitely be the remains of the Cat Barracks from 300 years ago,” he said.

Old buildings and walls collapsing have become more prevalent in parts of the city in recent months which has promoted the councillor to call for more inspectors. 

“I have been asking the Director of Services for Planning to have a look at dereliction in South Main Street, North Main Street, Washington Street, and Liberty Street so I have an impending report on those. It also looks like some of the older suburbs such as Barrack Street also need to be looked at. We need more inspectors on the ground to check the walls. There are issues and they need to be maintained,” he said.

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