Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ceisteanna (365)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

365. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when the newly developed public park on the site of a plant (details supplied) at Haulbowline, County Cork, will open to the general public; when the land in question will be formally transferred to Cork County Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48900/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I assume that the Deputy is referring to the former waste disposal site known as the East Tip on Haulbowline Island.  I am sincerely impressed at the transformation that has taken place there since contracts were signed in July 2017 to deliver remediation works.  All of the works have now been completed and it really is incredible to see that where there was once a bleak post-industrial vista there is now a beautifully landscaped park.  It was heartening to hear last weekend that Engineers Ireland conferred the project with their highest award and I offer my congratulations to all involved in the Council, in my own Department and the contractors who delivered this project.

As of October, charge of the site has been returned to Cork County Council which acts as my Agent for operational matters at Haulbowline.  The Council has requested permission to operate the site as a public recreational amentiy.  It is important to note that the main occupancy of the island is the headquarters for the Irish Naval Service and the Government has accordingly decided that ownership of the island will ultimately transfer to the Minister for Defence.  My Department, as the current owner of Haulbowline Island, is actively engaged with representatives of the Department of Defence and Cork County Council to put in place the appropriate mechanisms, including a lease for the Council, to facilitate the operation of the recreational amenity. 

The ultimate opening date of the facility will be a matter for Cork County Council in due course.