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Paul Clerkin

September 18 2004: A stroll down Cork’s Ramblas
The Irish Times

Where once pedestrians looked “bullied and harassed”, now they are “kings and queens of their own domain”. That’s the verdict of the director of the Crawford Gallery in Cork, Peter Murray, on the remaking of the city’s principal thoroughfare, St Patrick’s Street – or “Pana”, as local people call it. Designed by Catalan architect Beth Gali, the €13 million project boasts that it “brings Barcelona socialism to Cork” by creating a new public realm for everyone. And indeed it does. The footpaths are so broad in places that they qualify as plazas in their own right and the traffic has been reduced from four lanes to two. No wonder it is being officially opened next Wednesday to mark European Car-Free Day. For St Patrick’s Street is a much more lively place these days. Le Chateau, one of its oldest haunts, has outdoor tables – and not just for smokers. People want to be outside on sunny days enjoying the ambience of the street.

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