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More from our favourite Minister – see below. He is proof that talent will get you to the top. He is in no way proof that neck will win out over talent everytime.
Cullen still to sign-off €139m commuter upgrade
By Sean O’Riordan
TRANSPORT Minister Martin Cullen, still hasn’t signed the Railway Order which would enable work to start on Cork’s €139 million commuter upgrade.
Nearly five months after a four-day oral hearing into the project was completed, the minister hasn’t signed off on the order.
He has also refused to outline whether there is any reason for the delay in replies to two DÃ¡il questions.
It looks increasingly unlikely that IarnrÃ³d Ã‰ireann will be able to complete the reopening of the Cork-Midleton line by the target date of July next year — just 15 months away.
Midleton-based TD David Stanton has repeatedly asked the minister what the position is and he has become increasingly concerned that a cohesive plan to make the project as attractive as possible to commuters is not coming together properly.
The delay is puzzling many people, especially as nobody objected in principle and any problems encountered at the oral hearing seem to have been dealt with almost there and then by senior IarnrÃ³d Ã‰ireann officials.
In March 2004 then Minister for Transport Seamus Brennan said he hoped the railway would open in two years. Later IarnrÃ³d Eireann officials said early 2008.
Yesterday a spokeswoman for Mr Cullen said he was still studying the inspector’s report, but couldn’t say when he would make a decision on the Rail Order.
“It is quite an extensive report,” she said.
While the railway corridor remains intact, IarnrÃ³d Ã‰ireann will still have to put down the lines, erect signalling, bridges and three fully automated railway stations with park and ride facilities along the line.
These stations are to be built in Midleton, Carrigtwohill and North Esk, near Glanmire.
In addition there is to be an upgrade of the Mallow line with new stations in Kilbarry and Blarney, but that won’t be completed until some time after the Cork-Midleton line is up and running.
“As it stands, it looks unlikely that the Cork-Midleton project will be finished by the target date of July 2008. The population of Midleton continues to increase, leading to worsening traffic congestion on all roads in both the town and surrounding area, in particular during rush hours. There is clearly a demand for an efficient and affordable rail service to Cork, which should help combat the traffic problems,” Mr Stanton said.
Midleton Town Council member Ken Murray said he didn’t believe that a vital piece of infrastructure, namely the town’s northern relief road, would be anywhere near ready to coincide with the opening of the local railway station.
“The CPOs have been done, but there’s no start-up date for the project. Without the relief road people won’t be able to get through the town to the railway station. There’s been a lot of ranting and raving at town council meetings about this. It’s imperative the railway and northern relief road are done together,” Mr Murray said.
He added that he was “very disappointed” Mr Cullen was taking so long to sign off the Railway Order.
At the four-day oral hearing, which started in Midleton Park Hotel in late October, a number of IarnrÃ³d Ã‰ireann officials said they hoped to start construction on May 21 this year and commence driver training in 2008, with the official opening on July 29.
In its first year of operation the service is expected to carry 1.74 million passengers, rising to two million by 2010 and four million by 2015.
PUG me ol’ china, I didn’t say a word about councillors, it was our TDs, alleged national legislators, I was referring to……
Cork only has itself to blame. No point in pointing the finger at everyone else and blaming them for our multiple cock-ups and our associated chip on the shoulder. We have a city and county council that is nothing more than a talking shop and we elect TDs who tend to disappoint. Who is to blame for that? Surely not Dublin!
I wouldn’t agree entirely but certainly the standard of Cork TD is shocking. Of the 10 city TDs, I’d only rate Dan Boyle and Michael Martin as national politicians – and only one of them seems to be performing. The others make me cringe when I hear them in the Dail. They can’t be the best advocates for Cork save for getting that troublesome fence at no. 57 fixed. Of the other city candidates this time out, you could possibly add Deirdre Clune and Michael McGrath (of the candidates I know of) as being at least half impressive.
If only we had more decent TDs we’d probably have a lot more seats at cabinet which in turn would help prevent Cork from being being urinated upon from on high as Cork has been for the last 10 yrs.
Anyone have any images of Beth Gali’s design of this Street? Her website has some images from 2004 which look fantastic but the resolution is awful. Are the 2004 plans those chosen and anyone have any clearer images?
the other major transport article this morning (aside from M Cullen granting â‚¬22m to waterford to develop its airport) was M Cullens announcement that CIE had announced the redevelopment of Galway railway station, and the city quarter around it with a â‚¬1bn plan.
We get â‚¬4m for Cork for some canopies.
Ah but they are lovely and white. Martin picked them himself so they’ll be top notch!
prediction: CAA to get dumped with the debt (i.e. FF to break its promise) , Ryanair to let them all run around in circles, then come in with cut price offer for old terminal, in one swoop CAA can reduce their 100m debt and ryanair open up europe
Just to say I’m not sure having Ryanair flying out of your airport is necessarily good for it or the customers (long term anyway). Depends on what terms you have Ryanair there on. For example I don’t know but suspect the Shannon deal isn’t working out well for that airport. Ryanair’s deal with them is outrageous – a â‚¬1 landing charge or something. It doesn’t surprise me then to hear Shannon made an operating loss last month and would have made a yearly loss in 2006 except for our state sponsorship of US terrorism in the middle east. In fairness to the CAA i think they’ve actually rejected Ryanair to date as Ryanair have offered them a similarly lousy deal. That said, I am envious of all the shannon routes….but I do wonder if they’ll disappear when the current deal is up.
I’d actually be interested to know if anyone can shed light on whether Shannon is happy with how the deal is panning out……..
Anywhere outside the “Greater Dublin hellhole” suffers in the same way..Its not a Cork thing.
Agreed. And anyway, as I’ve said before, I don’t blame Dublin for this. The rest of the Country (including and especially Cork) are the fools letting them away with it. If Cork or Waterford or Limerick or Galway could get away with such disproportionate treatment we’d grab it with both hands……….
just wondering why people think the DAA should pay for 40m of old debt and 180m of debt related to the terminal before they hand over to CAA? Surely if Cork Airport is to be a stand alone entity and has as much potential as people here believe, surely it should pay for some of the new facility that it has at its disposal. Why should the DAA/government pay for all of it?
Political promises always have been worthless in this country and contrary to what is often hinted at here, Cork is not the only place to fall foul of this. (Reading some of the hard done by Cork posts on here recently you’d think its getting nothing)
Just curious to the logic here as I dont know much of the history (political promise aside)
vkid, answer me this, if the daa wasn’t to pay for the debt why then was it given, in toto, the Great Southern Chain and Aer Rianta international? How come Cork & Shannon didn’t get 1/3 of those? In any event the project over ran fromâ‚¬140m to â‚¬220m. Who was supposedly surpervising the project at the time? The DAA of course. My good sources inCAA tell me they have run Cork airport into the ground for thelast 2 yrs vetoing any decent proposal – as of course you’d expect the to because they are the competition!
That is even before you recall that the DAA and Shannon got their airport upgrades through the purse strings of Aer Rianta, a state body with tax money from everywhere, inc Cork, funding those upgrades. We should have been upgraded 20 yrs earlier but the delay in giving us an upgrade is being used to justify us having to pay for it!
Don’t get me wrong, the question you ask is valid (this isn’t a begging bowl issue I promise) but so are the answers to it. I think the government has no idea of the strength of feeling about this here. The promise (and I know – politicians break these all of the time) is being seen as a bell wether of whether this gov could give a flying f**k about Cork (we already had our doubts). The answer is a resounding no.
Please God the good people of Cork will actually think likewise. I am not politically affiliated before anyone asks but can anyone explain how last time out we had the same debacle with the School of Music and the two City constituencies returned 6 FF TDs out of 10? If you ask me we are the lap dogs. FF must crack themselves laughing at the “loyalty” we provide to them in return for being treated as fifth class citizens. Just think of the Airport, our â‚¬4m railway station upgrade instead of the 9 figure upgrade promised, the decision to remove funding from the Sarsfield and Bandon Rd flyovers, the fact that they haven’t even carried out a feasability study on trams here, the 280 reannouncements of the opening of the Midleton railway with a 2008 opening date which changed silently last month to 2010, the shabby treatment of people in Watergrasshill over the toll road, our shambolic bus fleet (sic), the lack of any movement on trans-atlantic flights eventhough even bloody knock now has them, and all of this in transport alone. Compare this with the â‚¬15bn or so being spent on projects in the the Greatest City in the World Ever (TM) 165 miles up the road. It is 5 times bigger so give it 5 times more funding (or less if we are serious about counter balances). The ratio on transport funding between dublin and cork must run 100:1 at this stage.
The fact that this is a forum on transport doesn’t allow me to refer to other debacles such as failure to include any provisions in the Finance bill to encourage dockland development (despite EU approval to do same – do you think they’d dawdle like that if The Greatest City in the World Ever’s future was involved?), seepage of quality jobs, the shocking lack of funding for Cork 2005 etc, etc, etc…..
If this city has a smattering of self respect, given the way it is continually treated by this government, we will return 2 out of 9 (1 seat gone in North Central) FF/PD TDs as a maximum this time and even that is 2 too many if you ask me. I’d vote Monster Raving Looney Party ahead of FF at this stage.
[*]There aren’t enough tourists in the city to justify it
[*]There aren’t enough people living on top of the hill to justify it
[*]There aren’t enough reasons to go to the top of the hill to justify it
I’m not totally against the cable car idea (or a funnicular train). Lisbon, Madrid, Budapest and Barcelona (and probably many other cities I haven’t been to) have them and they ARE a tourist attraction. Every city needs 5 or 6 brain dead tourist things to do and a cable car / funnicular is always a good one to have. I can’t see why a funicular / tram should cost that much, a cable car might be pricey though.
As for there not being enough tourists – that’s a chicken and egg tbing. Build it and you will have more tourists. I’ve gone on the version in the 4 cities listed above – none were v spectacular but if you are visiting for a weekend you feel obliged to try it. As for there not being enough things at the top to justify it, again this is true but I’m sure there would be coffee shops / bars / restaurants to beat the band from enterprising locals as soon as you opened such a thing. The barrio alto in Lisbon (a thriving bar / restaurant district in a similar place) would be a good template. I admit there are more pressing uses for city funds but we could do worse also.
BTW – re Stadium, this is my main ambition for Cork. It is also, pardon the horrible Americanism, a “no-brainer”. I e-mailed Ciaran Lynch to offer congrats on doing this and he has promised to keep me posted. I am completely apolitical but this is the kind of thing that might encourage me to fire a first/second preference his way come May………….
Regarding Castlemartyr, I was talking to a contractor on the job who told me it will be out of this world – they are going all out apparently, effectively building a 5+ Star resort. No idea of name but understand work is well under way – Early 2008 completion I’d guess.
Browser, I was somewhat playing devils advocate in relation to Lovettâ€™s.
I am glad to see that it is now proposed by CCC to include this building on the list of protected buildings in Cork, BUT it was almost (and still could be) lost forever due to the woefully weak……City Development Plan 2004-2009, a plan that our partying councillors nodded through without a thought……………
Can’t argue too much with that.
any chance of stopping that mullarkey? between cobh and kristallnacht and literature i’m fed up
Would anyone have the inside track on the airport debt? Ryanair were due to meet the cork councillors and td’s i think yesterday about taking over the old terminal
Rumour is that the DAA are getting more and more obstructive to the Interim CAA which basically can’t sneeze without getting DAA’s approval. It is a disgrace. The rumour I heard is that there is a serious chance that CAA board members will walk in protest and I think they should to be honest. The laws of libel prevent me from articulating what I think of Martin Cullen.
The planning application to CCC still seeks the demolition of Lovettâ€™s restaurant, but a notice in the Irish Examiner today (22-11-06) lists Lovettâ€™s as a possible addition to the list of protected buildings in Cork.
Well done to the Councillors of the area. NIMBYâ€™s are alive and well, and living in Douglas.
Most people on this forum are generally pro-development but not at all costs. This is an excellent move by the City Council. Ballinlough House / Lovetts is a fantastically preserved historic building – anyone who was ever in it would surely agree it would have been a tragedy if it was knocked and turned into more bland suburban apartments (whether they be 2 storey or 30 storey). Just because a developer proposes something doesn’t mean we should all back it unquestioningly. I live in the Douglas area (not near Lovetts) and I do not have a problem with most development proposals nor would I object to a high rise building in Douglas if appropriately located. This is not a NIMBY issue.
Any sign of a design for the proposed Blackpool/Kilbarry Station? Isn’t that supposed to open in 2008 also?
I thought I’d just add a link to a presentation given at the Cork Chamber of Commerce Annual Conference by Sean O’Driscoll, CEO of Glen Dimplex. The link is
He had some very interesting things to say I thought. As I said the whole speech is at the above link but I have cut out an extract below as it gives a flavour. For the record, Pat McGrath of Project Management gave a more architecture/design orientated speech which was also excellent but I can’t find a link at the mo….
“Let me pose a few questions at this juncture:-
1. When the IDA brings potential overseas industrialists to Cork, Politicians, City Officials and Business people play their part in promoting the region. What about potential domestic investment, for example; when last has Cork gone to Dublin to meet the large financial institutions to sell Cork and encourage them to relocate some of their business activities to Cork.
Senior Executives, Department Heads like to live in desirable cities and their high paying jobs create more jobs!
2. Due to its success within the next few years Ireland will need a second Financial Services Centre. Will Limerick be that location or will Cork? Today professional services is the biggest employer in Cork city but it is time to move this sector into a higher gear. Much as I admire it, the South Mall will not provide the essential physical infrastructure for a second Financial Services Centre in Ireland.
3. Why are the vaults of the National Gallery in Dublin full of paintings when they could be on display in Cork.
For decades London had a monopoly on the Imperial War Museum. Not anymore, today Manchester has its own.
4. Why is the West of Ireland constantly advertising its quality of life and encouraging people to relocate to the West, under its Lookwest programme. Is Cork?
5. Worldwide, forward looking University cities are putting great emphasis on retaining its college graduates â€“ the dream demographics of a fast growing city and tomorrowâ€™s entrepreneurs. What is Cork doing to retain more of tomorrowâ€™s entrepreneurs?
6. Within a few years Dublin will have two world-class sports stadia â€“ What will Cork have?
I am aware that there is a recent Cork marketing initiative with the formation of the Cork Marketing Partnership. However, to do what is necessary for a city in a hurry; its budget should be a multiple of what is proposed”
🙂 Todayâ€™s announcement by Minister Martin of European funding for the Cork Docklands Development will no doubt be welcomed by City Manager Joe Gavin who has endured years of foot dragging by the Cork Mafia, vested interests, uninterested city â€œfathersâ€ (councilors) and the Munster Agricultural Society thus delaying his ambitious plans for this vital development for the city.
Any other City Manager in the past 20 years would have washed their hands of this development, went for a pint in the Market Bar, drew his 3 grand per week salary, and declared a curse on all their houses.
Love him, or hate him, you have to admit that Mr. Gavin has balls (and neck!!)
p.s. his performance related pay bonus may have something to do with this? (11 million in development levies last year alone for CCC??)
Can anyone shed light on the significance of this. Does this mean Cork is getting its own IFSC or some such? Does it come down now to what tax breaks the gov allows? When could we expect these, in the next budget perhaps? Alternatively, is this just hot air……:confused:
For the record, this is what the Gov website says
“Cork Docklands to be designated as an urban regeneration area
European Commission Approves Irelandâ€™s Regional Aid Map for 2007-2013
The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, MicheÃ¡l Martin, T.D., has announced that Ireland is to retain significant scope to grant investment aid under a new Regional Aid Map approved by the European Commission for the period 2007-2013.
County Cork will be designated for regional aid for small, medium and large firms for 2007-2008. In addition, the docklands area of Cork has been designated as an urban regeneration area and will also retain entitlement to aid for small and medium firms until the end of 2013 in order to facilitate financial supports for urban regeneration in the area over that period.
Minister Martin said he welcomed the designation of Cork Docklands as an urban regeneration area. â€œThe Cork Docklands area represents one of the last major redevelopment opportunities in the city and the area has the potential to become a model for sustainable urban living. The current situation of Cork Docklands provides an opportunity to address the high levels of disadvantage in the area through the provision of employment opportunities, an integrated living environment with adequate social and community supports, and a good environmental quality of life. There is also the potential to build a new high quality urban quarter adjacent to and integrated with the city centre. â€œ
“Plans will now be formulated for a high density residential development with minor retail frontages”
Great, just what the world needs, more apartments! I’m glad the developers aren’t wasting their time on building conference centres, train stations, museums, public spaces and other things we already have too many of in Cork.
Radioactiveman, post Lexington you seem to me to be the most informed poster on this site re impending development. Am v depressed with what I read on this site these days. Is there anything in the pipeline to cheer me up (ie. anything other than apartments in Suburbia – and yes I do welcome urban renewal in Blackpool etc but you know what I mean…).
thanks in advance.
From the following link it looks clear that Irish Rail are not going to carry out the original plans 🙁
Why does nobody kick up about this kind of thing? We were supposed to get a reconfigured station on the quay thus bringing it much nearer to town. The main bus station was to move there too with Horgan’s Quay being a feeder station. It was supposed to be a huge project, not a â‚¬4m temporary fix-it.
I’m telling you, we really should declare Independence down here and take our oil/gas reserves to our new State. The chances of getting any proper infrastructural investment in this Country anywhere other than Dublin are zilch (and no, a road linking Dublin with Cork is not infrastructural investment in Cork. Our “National” roads merely link Dublin with everywhere, that is it). In fairness to the Dubs, fair play if they can get away with siphoning the nation’s taxes for their own use. I just cannot believe the rest of the country, including “Rebel” Cork, is so docile when it happens.
Rant over. Have a good weekend.
must say I think knocking Lovetts is a disgrace. When you look at some of the stuff that is listed (apparently the old science building in UCC is!) its amazing this isn’t.
Just generally, is it that post-Lexington this site doesn’t capture all the development news in existence or have things gone this quiet? the city needs something big to happen asap (CIE are you listening).