Privatising Deepwater Quay / Five Foot Way

The Port of Cork Company (PoCC) have been following a strategy for many years, to, in effect, privatise Deepwater Quay.

In 2014, as part of the Planning Application to install extra bollards for tying up Cruise Liners, PoCC submitted a Traffic Management Plan in which they explicitly say “A public right of way (pedestrian only) passes through the site with separate pedestrian access gates at the site entrances, east and west.”

It is difficult to be more explicit.

This was part of the conditions submitted on which Planning Permission was granted for their works.

However, since then, in their strategy, PoCC submitted a new Traffic Management Plan in which the words “right of way” are replaced with the non-legal term “walkway”.

In the following years there were several exchanges between senior Council officials and PoCC management, in which they openly discuss locating the much mentioned “2nd Cruise Terminal” at the Five Foot Way – the Save Cobh’s Righ of Way group has copies of this correspondence.  This rings alarm bells for the car park and even the Camper Van park, and the Playground – how can cars be parked on a quay where a Cruise Liners is docking?

PoCC have also invited “expressions of interest” from outside investors, to build enhanced Cruise Liner facilities on the Quay.  When any investor hears the words “right of way” they jump in horror, imagine what that would do to the value of any investments!?!?

The first person to raise the issue of the public’s Right of Way at Council level was Cllr Claire Cullinane (RIP), she sought assurances on several occasions.  Following her untimely death Diarmaid Ó Cadhla replaced Claire on the Council, she had requested that he would. 

Claire and Diarmaid were the only two members of Council to defend this important amenity for the people. 

Six years ago, bully tactics were used to re-direct walkers away from Deepwater Quay, over the railway bridge.  When this failed, because people would accepting their dictate, PoCC started proceedings in Cork Circuit Court, case number 2019/ 01998.

PoCC have asked the Court for a DECLARATION that NO Right of Way exists on Deepwater Quay.

If they win, it means that, in effect, Deepwater Quay is PRIVATISED.

This is where PoCC’s strategy has been going, it is nothing less than a land-grab, and shamefully, the Council are facilitating it.

Since pulling back from Council in 2019 Diarmaid Ó Cadhla has continued to stand with the Save Cobh’s Rights of Way group, sadly, none of the existing Council members have had the courage to do their duty and represent the community in this matter – had they done so the issue could have been resolved overnight.

The Save Cobh’s Right of Way group is supporting Diarmaid Ó Cadhla in the coming Local Elections, so that this issue can be discussed and decided where it should be – on the floor of Cork County Council.

Diarmaid needs support, the issue if huge, especially for Cobh town, but for all visitors who enjoy the free and unhindered use of this public Right of Way.