'It’s happening year-on-year': Calls for ranger following multiple fires in northside park 

The latest in a series of fires was dealt with by Cork City Fire Brigade, who warned that the lighting of fires in the park could have dire consequences for local residents.
'It’s happening year-on-year': Calls for ranger following multiple fires in northside park 

Members of the Cork City Fire Brigade dealing with another large gorse fire on Thursday, which was burning close to houses at the Glen River Park, which runs between the Glen and Ballyvolane. Pictures: Damian Coleman

A CITY councillor has called for a park ranger to be appointed to patrol Glen River Park after a gorse blaze came close to houses on Thursday.

The latest in a series of fires in recent weeks between the Ballyvolane and Glen areas was dealt with by Cork City Fire Brigade, who warned that the lighting of fires in the park could have dire consequences for local residents.

Green Party councillor Oliver Moran, who lives in the area, said the local suspicion is that the fires in Glen River Park are being set deliberately.

“If the fires are set maliciously, that’s not a minor issue of antisocial behaviour,” he said.

A number of fires this week and last weekend have burned the scrubland overlooking the park. Cork City Fire Brigade third officer Gerard Ryan told The Echo that this has become almost a regular event.

“The kids lighting fires don’t understand that it’s only by the grace of God if the wind is in the right direction, because on a dry day a fire can spread very fast, and it can threaten houses on the periphery too."

Mr Moran said he visited the park during the week to view the damage caused by the fires, and he described it as large-scale destruction of one of the city’s key green and blue infrastructure assets, which he noted was located right next to people’s homes.

“It also highlights the need for the city to assign a park ranger to supervise the Glen River Park,” he said.

“The park became a haven during the pandemic and began to enjoy the citywide fame it deserves, and now, as we emerge from the pandemic, we need a constant presence in the park to ensure incidents like this don’t become the norm again.”

Mr Ryan condemned the antisocial behaviour, and has appealed for public vigilance.

“It does look fairly bleak at the moment from the burning, but it’s nearly an annual occurrence at this stage, and it’s down to just pure antisocial behaviour,” said Mr Ryan.

“Last weekend we were in the Glen Park numerous times, mainly on the side of the North Ring Road, but on the Sunday we had fires in the valley too, top and bottom, we had two units battling a fire there for nearly an hour.”

He said they had similarly battled a fire for an hour last Saturday, and on March 24 there had been two incidents in the park.

“It’s happening year-on-year in the Glen, unfortunately, and the problem is that those ferns and bushes are brittle-dry at this time of the year,” he said.

A Garda spokesperson said: “The area surrounding the Glen River Park is a vast wasteland with many areas of wild gorse, it is surrounded by high-density urban housing.

“Local gardaí will continue to conduct ongoing mountain bike and foot patrols throughout the spring and summer months.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content

EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more