PRAISE was forthcoming for the Cork City Council staff making safe the burnt-out mill building at the Regional Park, Ballincollig, which was set alight last weekend.
The mill went up in flames early Saturday morning, and Gardaí are investigating.
Speaking to The Echo, David Haskett, founder of the Powdermills app, created during the pandemic to enhance the natural history of the park, and engage people in the artefacts in the amenity, said there was great work being done by the parks department.
“Really great work by Cork City Council parks department for making safe the burnt-out incorporating mills structure,” he said.
“The remains of the roof have been safely dismantled using specialist cutting equipment, and the mechanism to drive the mill wheels are still in place, attached to the original ceiling beams.
“This effort allows pedestrians to safely pass the building without fear of falling timber from the burnt building.”
The building had been built in 1993 as part of efforts to commercialise the history of the gun powdermills at the park, along with a heritage centre and café that closed down in the late 1990s.
The mill had been fully working with handmade turn wheels that have now been destroyed, along with millstone inside the building that cracked under the pressure and heat of the fire.
Mr Haskett said the damage that had been done was irreparable.
“They have not just destroyed the building, they have destroyed the possibility of getting the building back to its former glory.”
The Powdermills app committee, which recently received a grant of €2,000 for its work with the local history, suggested fronting the money as a reward for information about the cause of the fire.
However, the group has since decided to ringfence the funds to restore the mill as best as possible.
“People suggested setting up a GoFundMe page and said they would gladly contribute to see the mill restored. It’s wonderful to see the community spirit that is coming together.”