Having fun at the American Pier in Whitepoint in Cobh ahead of the launch of the American Pier Project.

Plans launched to protect and repair Cobh pier

A community group have launched plans to repair and protect an historic amenity in Cobh and ensure the area remains safe for swimmers.

It's the last physical publicly accessible reminder of the US Navy's presence in Cork Harbour and it's the American Pier at Whitepoint in Cobh.

The American Pier Cobh Project was launched recently in the Sirius Arts Centre Cobh. The project is being driven by a group of residents from Whitepoint in association with Cobh Tidy Towns and other community groups, who commissioned a consultant’s report on the repair of the pier.

The existing pier at Whitepoint, which dates from the late 1870s/early 1880s, was used to ferry the sick and injured from naval ships to the hospital. To facilitate their transportation, the pier was widened slightly and raised considerably by the US Navy. As a result, it became known as the American pier.

The American Pier was used by the United States forces in 1918 to land servicemen for treatment in the US Navy Base Hospital No 4 located in Whitepoint.

Since then, it has been used by generations of Cobh families for swimming at this beautiful and sheltered beach amenity area close to the town, which is the only such amenity in the area.

The pier, which over the past 50 years has deteriorated into a very poor condition, requires immediate attention. The report by Southgate Associates, Heritage Conservation Specialists, outlines three possible repair options. The most sympathetic is estimated to cost €110,000. To fund the project, the committee have set up a GoFundMe page and associated social media platforms.

Attendees at the launch were given a brief history of the US Navy Hospital and pier, details on the report and there was an address by Bob Savage, Vice President, Regional CIO for EMEA and Cork Site Leader Dell Technologies who supports the initiative.

In June 1919, the last remaining ship, the Corsair, departed. In November 1919 the US naval vessel Yankton arrived in Queenstown. In 1921 the US naval stores at the Deepwater Quay were demolished, except for 10 one section, which was retained by the Cork Harbour Commissioners and used as a customs’ clearance shed for trans-Atlantic passengers until the 1950s.

For more information see Facebook.com/americanpier or search for American Pier Cobh on GoFundMe.