The Friday View 24/06

A new school cycle bus gets underway in Ballincollig, upgrades planned for the Marina and a Dairygold subsidiary gets approval to build hundreds of homes in the city, but will it build them?

Cyclists of the inaugural Ballincollig School Cycle Bus making their ay through the traffic to Scoil Eoin in Ballincollig. Credit: JJ O’Donoghue

Inaugural Ballincollig Cycle Bus

Tripe+Drisheen took a trip out to Ballincollig this morning where a handful of locals, Cork City Council reps and elected officials gathered at Ballincollig Rugby Club for the the town’s inaugural school cycle bus (see video above). Ballincollig is following in the footsteps (cycle lanes?) of Bishopstown and Ballinlough which regularly run school cycle buses.

Despite the rain, the cycle bus made its way through Ballincollig stopping off at Scoil Mhuire before terminating at Scoil Eoin: the youngest cyclist, or passenger, on the cycle bus was a two-year-old boy, out for a spin with his father.

While it wasn’t the best of weather, organiser Tom Hennessy, a Balincollig resident and member of Cork Cycling Campaign, told T+D it was important to get the cycle bus up and running and get the message out there.

“The whole idea here is that we’ve kicked off and people can see what we’re doing and we can build on it,” Tom said.

Tom said they would use the summer to plan for the school year ahead and possibly run another cycle bus before schools open back up in September.

Martina Callanan, deputy chair of Galway Cycling Campaign, who was volunteering at Ballincollig’s first ever school cycle bus, said that the town is ideally suited for cycle buses as the journey is quite flat throughout, there’s a mix of cycle lanes and bus lanes and the primary schools in Ballincollig are all located relatively close to each other.

Those interested in finding out more about the Ballincollig School Cycle Bus can get in touch with Tom here.


News in brief

The new Marina via Cork City Council

Cork City Council released images of the planned upgrade for the Marina this week as part of a Part 8 planning permission notice. (You can view those plans and make your views or objections known via a submission here).

So, what’s in there? Well, the Italian-sounding promenade will stay pedestrianised, but it will be resurfaced. Lighting will be added, as will plazas and more public seating. It’s a shared space: runners, dog walkers, pedestrians and cyclists all use the Marina, and in the plans it doesn’t appear as if there will be demarcation, as in cyclists using one side with pedestrians taking the other side of the path. This is likely the right decision - it’s a shared space, and there’s no need to go at speed along there.

The city council are also planning to build access roads serving the Lee Rowing Club, Páirc Uí Chaoimh/Atlantic Pond and “the lands in between.” Once complete, the Marina will feed into the new Passage West Greenway, and will be the “lungs” for the Docklands development.

More buses, more bus lanes, more people on buses: The National Transport Authority released another BusConnects report this week which gives a fuller picture of what changes are coming for the bus network in Cork city. The top line is that frequency has been increased, as well as the addition of new bus routes servicing areas such as Waterfall and Upper Glanmire and the addition of another 24-hour bus route so that there’ll be one going east-west (Ballincollig to Mahon), and the other north-south (Carrigaline to Hollyhill).

More city-centre bound buses will now terminate at Kent Station, where there is more space than at Parnell Place, where space is limited. The long and the short is we need more people to switch from the car and onto the bus when and where possible. Funding public transport is a way to get there.

A (relief) road by any other name: The good people of Carrigaline are being asked to come up with a name for the Carrigaline Western Relief Road (cue thoughts of Boaty McBoatface, or as the NYTimes called it “What You Get When You Let the Internet Decide”).

But to safeguard against a Reliefy McReliefface winning entry, elected officials in Carrigaline stipulated that the entries should “recognise the links to Carrigaline’s past while also considering the towns future.” Five of the best entries will be chosen with an overall winner to be announced later in the year. You can enter the competition here.

But will they build it? Watfore Ltd were back in the news this week with the announcement that the company has received a green light to build at Creamfields, the former CMP site on the Kinsale Road.

T+D readers might recall Watfore from a magazine piece last winter in which JJ looked at the vacant site at the end of South Terrace which was also owned by Watfore before Dairygold (Watfore’s corporate parent) sold it to UCC for €17.25m in 2019. The plan is to build upwards of 600 homes (a mix of houses and apartments) on the site at Creamfields, but whether Watfore will ever build anything remains to be seen? History would suggest not.

Also this week

Chain reaction: Eimer McCauley wrote about a protest by Con O’Leary, an 81-year-old West Cork man, who this week chained himself to a water pump in Coolcower, near Macroom. Con was protesting the decision by Cork County Council to replace the pump with an ornament, according to The Irish Examiner. While the water pump is not working, Con wants the council to restore the water supply. He ended his protest when council workers said they “would halt any plans to replace it.” Full story here.


Photo of the week

Time out from the Cork Midsummer Festival parade which passed through Oliver Plunkett Street this week. Credit Terry McAuliffe

Out + About

🎨Life drawing: Over at Rebel Reads this Sunday you’re invited to try your hand at life drawing. It’s a great space full of books and potential. You’ll need to bring your own drawing and/or painting materials, but a model will be provided!

Time, date, place: 5pm, Sunday June 26, Rebel Reads

🖼 Members and Friends Exhibition: The annual summer exhibition at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre opens this weekend in Skibbereen. It’s been running for 35 years and showcases work by artists from across West Cork - and beyond - at all stages of their careers. More information here.

Time, date, place: Opens Saturday, June 25 and runs until July 14 at Uillinn.

⛲️Eat and greet: The volunteers at St. Luke’s Garden will be meeting this Sunday for a “street feast”. It’s a straightforward concept: locals meet up and share food. On Saturday, June 25 there’ll be yoga in the garden from 11am and the street feast kicks off on Sunday from 12pm - 2pm.

Time, date, place: St Luke’s Garden, June 26.

🎸Coughlan’s Live: It’s a day of great free music over at Coughlan’s on Douglas Street this Sunday as the White Horse Guitar Club take to the stage in the afternoon. They’ll be followed later in the evening by another well-known local group: The Frank & Waters. Both gigs are free. More information here.

Time, date, place: WHGC at 2:30pm and F&W at 6pm, Coughlan’s, Douglas Street

🎭 Cork Midsummer Festival: The festival wraps up this weekend, but there’s still time to catch some of the many events including “Whale” from Cork director John McCarthy playing at the Opera House. Also, if you’re in Cobh drop by St Colman’s Cathedral to see the great world spinning. Full list of what’s on here.

Time, date, place: various venues across Cork until June 26


This week on T +D

On Monday we published a report from the Joint Policing Committee which meets quarterly. It’s generally a review of crime stats in the city as well as any other notable developments. News story here.

On Thursday we published a review of Guests Of The Nation which finishes this weekend. Also, we had a podcast featuring some of the artists and organisers who are behind a new project to celebrate the Glen River Park on the Northside. That podcast is here.

We’ll be back later this evening as Cork City Council will officially announce the new Lord Mayor and we’ll have a short news story from City Hall.

As always any tips, news or events you’d like to share with Tripe+Drisheen, you can contact either of us at jj.odonoghue@gmail.com or emailellieobyrne@gmail.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.

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