corcaighboy wrote:Goldiefish - Great photo and whilst I realise that opinions on the building's architectural merit vary, I for one concur that it is not appropriate. I feel that it jars completely with the red brick of the railway station.
Gianlorenzo - You hit the nail on the head. Cobh, despite having one of Ireland's most interesting architectural and visual landscapes, has a tardy, beat-up look to the place. When one contrasts it with Kinsale and what they have done with relatively little in comparison, it is plain to see Cobh has missed the boat. Although we can blame the planners, the UDC, and other state bodies, I for one feel that the people of Cobh have to bear the blame since they have simply let their town slide into the mess it is today. Litter seems to be a perennial problem, and the place has always had a rough edge. Given that the town has so many natural physical advantages, it is doubly depressing. Youghal suffers from similar problems and in my view, the two towns have given up the ghost folloiwng their glory years when they were fully fledged garrison towns. Incidentally, the Cobh Cruiser Terminal (in front of the railway station/Queenstown Experience...and close to the river boat garda station!) disgorge hundreds of weatlhy passengers whenever a ship docks....who are promptly whisked off to either Kinsale, Blarney, or Killarney! Says it all really.
I have no doubt the building works perfectly for the Garda and having been in (thankfulyl just getting passport updated) it is functional, even a pleasant experience. The building in itself is interesting in shape but soemthing than may look well in say the Little Island Business parks in the foreshore there, no offence to Little Island but its intertesting shape might blend in nicely with the many box developments there.
My gripe is that with the Railway Station, Heritage Centre red brick and the numerous Victorian houses behind it, above it etc. , is is totally out of place.
Cobh itself, have lived here all my life and moved my business down here form Cork City after 10 years in traffic each morning. I have to agree that all blame cannot go to the planners and indeed the people of Cobh have to share much of the blame. Post its Garrison town days and post Liner days as the exit point for much of Ireland, its economy did suffer and by say 80s it most certainly was not a wealthy town and buildings were left go
into disrepair and at times title of property has been a nightmare where many older buildings beneficial owners had passed through non resident inheritances etc. Not all but it didn't help and to this day, many a building one finds can still have unclear title etc.
However now in 2006, the population has increased dramatically with numerous new housing developments on the Island and at last there are signs of a greater wealth or spending power if I can call it that and I genuinely feel that new blood so to speak may in time bring the town back to some better level of repair and prosperity.
It is encumbent on our town elders /planners faciltate this and as their name suggest PLAN and not bleed any
would be small business with ridculous planning conditions that would not appear to apply to others.... A Level playing field when it come to planning.
Parking..... Don't start me.... Where we are not one more space has become available due to the Traffic Warden as there was and still are many free. Instead we disruption to our business as we have to move our cars, like musical chairs when he is spotted...madness and as I say hasn't done anything to create more spaces j,ust annoyance and hassle to clients seeing us and uping the council coffers on parking fines..when our spies miss him coming along the road.
Visiting cruise vessels and passys whisked away, you are right but much of that has to do with the marketing and business acumen of tour operators based outside of the town and we cannot knock them for that.
As we see more vessels coming in on repeat visits, this does seem to be changing, not hugely but more and more are spending their days in the town. Of course its the off-duty crews that give most benefit to the town
as once the punters are bused away, the crews get their time off and stay around.
Its open to debate as to whether US warships should be coming here, but when they do 80% of the crews
stay in Cobh.... many take train to Cork but by eve most back in da pubs of Cobh... spending and the most well behaved gangs we ever see.
anyway just to give you some local thoughts...