Part of the area that has been proposed as a new park.

Calls for major northside park

Katie O’Keeffe

Northside residents are calling for a regional park to be established on a 200 acre wetland site that is currently being looked at for partial development.

Locals say the Murphy's Rock area has been a green haven for decades and hope it can be established into a regional park.

The land which was previously owned by the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) is now the property of the Land Development Agency (LDA). After the land was proposed for development in the Cork City development plans, locals formed the Murphy's Rock and Bride Valley Support Group.

Council officials who have spoken to members in the group have all been in agreement that there is potential for a regional park on the land; however they want to add housing there which the group feels will ruin the Bride Valley.

Chairwoman of the group Joan Sutton and member Patricia Carroll spoke to the Cork Independent.

Patricia said: “If they start building, we could end up with a dead valley, we're not against building in the area, but this isn't about housing, this is about having a 200 acre regional park that could service the whole northside.”

If the area was developed into a regional park, it would facilitate Farranree, Knocknaheeny, Blackpool, Mayfield, Glanmire, Carignavar and White Church.

“If you stand inside the centre of those fields you can see Shandon, the North Cathedral, the city and even the airport,” Joan explained.

She added: “Anyone we have taken down there is just blown away by what they see.”

In recent weeks Green Party City councillor for Cork North Central, Oliver Moran has been able to secure a new objective to be added to the development plan, which will establish a new Glenamought River Valley was set to be agreed at a full meeting of Cork City Council that was to take place on 14 March to agree the final stage of the development plan.

Cllr Moran explained: “The proposal is in two parts. The first is to establish a new Glenamought River Valley Park. This will be recognised as a key 'green and blue infrastructure' asset for the city for the first time.The new park will form a linear wildlife corridor and riverside amenity encompassing Murphy's Rock near Dublin Hill. This objective will be added to the relevant maps of what are called green and blue infrastructure plans for the city. So, it will be fully acknowledged as a top tier amenity for the city.”

He added: “The second part is that the text of the development will say that any development in this area would have to safeguard access to the riverside, protect biodiversity and preserve this ecological and visually sensitive asset.

“The LDA lands will have to be master planned in that context and integrate the amenity, as well as the heritage and social history of the area, which includes Murphy’s Rock. Consideration will also have to be given to the historic, cultural and social landmarks of the area in that plan,” according to Cllr Moran.