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The Friday View 10/11
BusConnects is back - it never went away. Cork County Council has some Qs to answer about its storm preparedness and the Firemen's Rest is on its way back to the city centre.
Good morning and welcome to the Friday View on T+D
Death by a thousand cuts, BusConnects Round 3 is back!
The ongoing exercise in building a better bus and cycle network for Cork city continues as BusConnects ploughs on and the National Transport Authority (NTA) chop and change their plans for updating the city’s bus network.
Admittedly, some of the ideas they had included in that initial plan were never going to happen (i.e. the traffic bridge over the Mangala in Cork). But, we’re well past that now and into what surely is the last round of consultation before the diggers and construction workers can get to work in the €600m plan for building the 11 bus corridors and the cycle network.
I have been dipping and in and out of the revised plans as well as the submissions page, where you can get a flavour of the reactions and concerns which all wind their way back to the NTA.
Earlier this year I was at a public meeting held by concerned residents of the Douglas Road in Nemo Rangers and the (main) focal point of that meeting was alterations to the Douglas Road as part of the Maryborough Hill to City bus route. The meeting was well organised, very well attended and there was lot of political brass in attendance. There was many valid points and quite a bit of NIMBYism too; it was a lesson in how difficult a new bus network was/is going to be. NTA reps were not in attendance.
Memorably (to me anyway), one lady declared that she was “third generation resident of Douglas Road.” She was very much against any part of the plan which would have widened the Douglas Road and taken a few feet of her property.
Fast forward, a few months and to this (abridged) submission from another resident of the Douglas Road:
As a resident of Douglas Rd., I am highly disappointed in the revised plans (or lack thereof,) for the transport corridor from Maryborough to the City (STC I.) It seems to me that there is the opportunity to future-proof our city and create a modern, shared transport infrastructure but again it appears that drivers and cars have been completely prioritised, to an almost irrational and unreasonable extent.
The fact that you won't be able to cycle from the city centre to Douglas is untenable.
The fact that they are not widening the road is untenable.
I see very little in the most recent proposal that will do any tangible good for the area, and whilst I do not want to live among construction for several years, I accept that it is required to make Ballinlough/Douglas a more viable, accessible, and less car-reliant community. I do not accept that protecting old walls should come at the expense of the safety and liveability of our area. I am a homeowner and I would be happy to surrender part of my garden/my old walls if it meant that I could walk with more comfort and safety into Douglas (or better yet, cycle with some degree of comfort and protection.)
Douglas is a proxy for anyone one of the 11 proposed new bus networks. Yes, change is hard. But status quo is hardly the answer. As a wise man remarked to me this week while discussing BusConnects Cork, “if the NTA are to go with this plan the same people will be using the bus and the same people will be driving as there are now. There is nothing at all radical about it.”
That’s a pity and a missed opportunity on a grand scale if it turns out to be so (which I fear it will be). But, if the public meetings organised by the NTA and others have shown us anything so far, it’s that the loudest voices we are hearing from are from drivers. The NTA will be holding public information events this month across the city. Details below.
News in brief:
A bridge over troubled water: As you might recall, Valerie O’Sullivan, the acting boss of Cork County Council gave a strong defence of the local authority’s role in the floods that overwhelmed Midelton during Storm Babet, stating that they were "as prepared as any agency could possibly have been for this unprecedented rainfall event, particularly in the town of Midleton and its environs.”
But, as Barry Roche in the Irish Times wrote this week, the local authority is “being urged” to explain why a bridge over the Owenacurra river was not removed. That article quotes Cork East Sinn Féin TD Pat Buckley who said it “very clear” when “flooding hit the town on October 18th last that water was swelling up under the new bridge “and that’s because it was meeting resistance from the older, lower bridge just downstream.” That piece goes on to say:
The Office of Public Works (OPW) confirmed to the IT that Cork County Council’s application form 2006 included four additional sets of works – the “removal of a downstream bridge, modifications to the river channel cross section, provision of a compound channel and removal of debris and obstruction”.
We await what Cork County Council says in response re those preparations.
Zero: The number of tweets from Valerie O’Sullivan’s X/Twitter account since Cork County Council confirmed last week to T+D that their boss had her account compromised. That story here. Zero is also the mention in other media about news of the hack of the boss of one of the biggest council’s in Ireland. There have, however, been quite a few comments from readers asking how it happened and if there are more details. So far, no.
A piece of heritage returns: Readers will be glad to know that the Firemen’s Rest or the ‘hut’ (aka the busman’s shelter) which featured in one of T+D’s long reads from 2022 is making a return. For the past number of months the City Council has been restoring the ‘hut’- T+D asked to have a look at those restoration works a number of times, but no dice - but the good news is that quite soon we will all be able to see it when it is installed outside Cork City Fire Brigade’s HQ on Anglesea Street. It will be great to see this significant piece of heritage fully restored and returned to the city. Well done to all involved.
What goes up, must (eventually) come down: A reader alerted T+D to a notice on the on the planning section of the City Council website which contains a “Notice of Intention to Extinguish a Public Right of Way over a Section of Kennedy Quay, Cork City.” As the notice outlines the “extinguishment” is in line with planning permission to get busy building in the docklands at Kennedy Quay. It just so happens that this is the area around R&H Halls which have been cleared for demolition. More information here.
The annual winter Craft + Design Fair returns to The Glucksman today (Nov 10) and will run until Sunday. It features the work of more than 55 makers - including six emerging artists - with many of them located in Cork city and county. There’s a huge selection of work from ceramics and woodworking, to textiles and illustration. More information here.
Time, date, place: 10am - 7pm/6pm/5pm, Nov 10-12, The Glucksman, UCC
First Citizen. All are welcome for the launch of the latest Cork City Libraries publication “First Citizen; Seán French, Cork’s Longest-Serving Lord Mayor” by Aodh Quinlivan (a T+D contributor) and John Ger O’Riordan. The authors tell the story of a public figure who went from halls of power in City Hall all the way to the Dáil Éireann.
Time, date, place: 6pm, Tuesday, November 14, Council Chamber in Cork City Hall
Lifts are an art-rock band from Dublin, with influences which vary from trad to experimental rock to jazz. In 2022, they released their debut EP, ‘Evergrowing, Overflowing’. They’re currently touring Ireland and the UK, and play in Plugd on Saturday. Support comes from Belvedere Torso, an alter ego of eclectic local multi-instrumentalist Arthur Pawsey. Tickets and information here.
Time, date, place: 8pm, Saturday November 11, Plugd, Cornmarket Street, Cork.
Mary Sullivan is an artist who lives and works on Bere Island, and her work focuses on island life, women’s labour, and identity. Her work features at Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre this month, with ‘From the Inside Out and the Outside In’ exhibiting from Saturday until the 23rd. The exhibition explores the community on Bere Island, and their fragility, strength and resilience during the Covid-19 lockdowns. More information here.
Time, date, place: Saturday November 11-Thursday November 23, Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen.
As ‘Site of Change: Evolution of a Building’ closes up at the Crawford Art Gallery, this afternoon, at 1pm, Katherine Boucher Beug will be giving a talk to close out the exhibition. “To make open the eyes”: Colour, Bauhaus, and Cork takes place in the Long Room, and talks about Josef Albers’ Colour Theory. More information here.
Time, date, place: 1pm, Friday November 10, Crawford Art Gallery, Emmett Place, Cork.
Sarah Long examines the influences of Irish history and literature on collective memory, and as part of her residency at the Sirius Arts Centre, she presents W/w, a ‘multi-dimensional quasi-novella’ which explores space and territory, who gets to exist in those spaces, and why. Long will be performing this on Saturday between 3pm and 5pm. Meanwhile, Éanna Heavey, who is on a residency on Spike Island in partnership with Sample-Studios and Sirius Arts Centre, will be presenting his film, Seen/Unseen. The film draws inspiration from Spike Island’s time as a monastery, a barracks, and a prison, and ‘examines the inherent tensions and vulnerabilities of manhood from a psychoanalytical perspective’. A talk with both artists and Sirius Director Miguel Amado follows the performances.
Time, date, place: 3pm, Saturday November 11, Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh.
Maureen’s in Shandon have hosted the Sunday Song Exchange on a few seasonal occasions, and the Autumn edition happens on Sunday. Organised by Molly Garvey from a love of Irish song sharing traditions, participants first share a song and tell the story behind it, while the second half includes canons, rounds and songs to sing together. Tickets and information here.
Time, date, place: 2pm, Sunday November 12, Maureen’s, John Redmond Street, Shandon.
Maija Sofia is an alternative folk singer from Galway, with influences which vary from Aldous Harding to Kate Bush. She has received an array of nominations and awards, and has been commissioned to write songs for the National Concert Hall, the Sirius Arts Centre, Cork Midsummer Festival, amongst others. Following the release of her second album, ‘True Love’, last September, she plays in Coughlan’s on Thursday. Tickets and information here.
Time, date, place: 7:30pm, Thursday November 16, Coughlan’s, Douglas Street, Cork.
The Cork Decorative and Fine Art Society will be welcoming Dr Sighle Bhreathnach-Lynch, former curator at the National Gallery of Ireland, to give a talk at Nano Nagle Place on Saturday. The talk, titled ‘Mia Cranwill (1880-1972): Craftswoman of Distinction’, speaks about Irish designer and metal artist, Mia Cranwill, who was one of the leading artists of the Irish Celtic Revival. More information here.
Time, date, place: 11am, Saturday November 11, Nano Nagle Place, Douglas Street, Cork.
This week on T+D:
On Thursday we had a look into the report from Cork City Council on the CityTrees. Top line: they are not going to pull the plug on them. Ostensibly, they want more data from the “trees”. That piece here.
That’s it for this week’s Friday View. Before we go, a BIG thank you to our new subscribers. We’re a (very) small outfit, but well read and every bit of support goes a long way to supporting new and emerging journalists and writers.
Any tips, news or events you’d like to share with Tripe+Drisheen, you can contact us via at email@example.com. We are always happy to speak to people off the record in the first instance, and we will treat your information with confidence and sensitivity. Get in touch. Padraig is back tomorrow with an arts piece. Have a lovely weekend. We will!