Cork County Council is to carry out an in-depth analysis of a proposal to have lighting installed at the Carrigaline Skate Park so it can be used at night and during the winter.
The idea, which has been raised before by local councillors and robustly dismissed for a number of reasons, was raised again by Fianna Fáil Councillor Seamus McGrath.
Mr McGrath said the skatepark is one of the major success stories of the Carrigaline Municipal District and it was an important facility that provided an outlet to the younger population of the area.
“Everyone knows the skatepark has been tremendously successful, the level of activity there is really breathtaking from early morning to late at night, at this time of the year. Unfortunately in the winter, that is not the case as it won’t have lighting.”
MD officer Carol Conway reiterated that the MD office has looked at the idea, and carried out a survey with other local authorities that had skateparks which were overwhelmingly negative in response.
“We did a survey of different local authorities with skate parks and they weren’t in approval of it either.”
Ms Conway outlined that floodlighting had the potential to interfere with traffic on the busy road adjacent to the skatepark and explained that lesser lighting would result in shadows on the surfaces which would be dangerous.
“Unless we could floodlight it, which would be very bright beside the road and lesser lighting would involve shadows.”
Mr McGrath said that he understood there were issues around the wildlife in the area and the protected environment in close proximity to the facility but asked that it was reexamined.
“I absolutely believe these issues can be addressed, there have to be technical solutions to all that, so it doesn’t impact on the wildlife in the area. This facility has been one of the massive success stories of the Carrigaline area and I would strongly ask that we look at this.”
The councillor asked the local authority to benchmark internationally a similar scheme in order to see what solutions are available to make the park safely visible by night.
“I understand there would be funding issues, but we can look at that at a later date if we can address the technical issues first.”