Cllr Deirdre Forde.

Drunk tanks needed in city?

A call was made this week for a drunk tank to be included in future plans for Cork city centre.

Fine Gael Cllr Deirdre Forde made the call during a discussion on a new report furnished to councillors during Monday’s Cork City Council meeting called Cork City Centre Revitalisation Action Plan.

While she welcomed what was included in the report, she said she would have liked to have seen more about how to make the city centre safer as well as more consultation with An Garda Síochána.

She said: “It’s a great document and it covers a lot of bases. I was particularly pleased that it mentions all of the good things that can happen in the city, and I was delighted it mentioned water taxis.

“The most complaints I get about the city centre is of safety. This is not to take away from the plan as the plan is a wonderful one. I cannot get away from the complaints I’m getting about safety in the city late at night.

“I would like to see whoever is involved in this plan to consider having discussion with gardaí to see about the feasibility of having an area for a trunk tank or an area where you could take people who are breaking the law either through drink or drugs and take them off our streets immediately. Night after night we hear stories. This city is for the young and old and not just those who wish to destroy it.”

The plan was prepared by KPMG after Cork City Council engaged its services to develop the independent report about the continued development and activation of the city centre.

Fearghal Reidy, Director of Services Strategic and Economic Development said KPMG assigned experts in economics, town planning and policy analysts to assist in the drafting of the plan.

He said: “This plan charts a course for land use and economic development in Cork city centre. It will build on the work and progress achieved in Cork city centre which had been delivered since the first City Centre Strategy was published in 2014.

“The range of measures undertaken in Cork City Council’s Reimaging Cork initiative further enhanced the city and firmly established Cork city and the city centre as a destination during the last 18 months.”

The key actions in the plan are:

1. The city experience

• Character development and community

• Age friendly and accessibility

• Culture and the night-time economy

2. Assets and amenities

• Efficient use of building stock

• Natural and heritage assets

• Greening and urban resilience

3. Infrastructure and the economy

• Hard infrastructure

• Mobility and connectivity

• Economic sector growth

Speaking about the future of the city, Independent Cllr Mick Finn said he would like to see more gardaí on the street and a plan for the former Debenhams building on Patrick St.

Green Party Dan Boyle said although it’s important it’s not all about the retail offering in the city and said he would like to see Cork as a living city centre.

Fergal Dennehy, a Fianna Fáil Councillor, described the plan as an “exciting vision of what Cork city could be”.