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Cork's Glen - JCB protest halts demolition of bird sanctuary

category national | miscellaneous | news report author Dé Máirt Aibreán 29, 2003 10:54author by Sean - Reclaim the Glen (Cork) Report this post to the editors

City Council fiddle while builder demolishes protected habitat

Last Friday Cork City Council served an Enforcement Order on developers working at the former Murphy's Quarry in Goulding's Glen on Cork's Northside. This was a full week after the builders started to demolish the sandbank which is home to several hundred pairs of nesting sandmartins - a rare species in Ireland.

Incredibly the developers D&J Construction (D& J Coleman) ignored the Enforcement Order and work continued at the site over the weekend. Yesterday one concerned citizen risked personal injury by jumping on the JCB which was demolishing the sandbank. Gardai were called and the protester was taken to Mayfield Garda Station. He was released an hour or so later.

The JCB is continuing to work on the site, but has moved away from the most contentious area.

Goulding's Glen is an ancient glacial valley on the Northside of Cork. The Glen River and part of the River Bride flow through the Glen. In the 1850s it was the site of Goulding's Fertiliser Factory but was given as a gift to the people of Cork some decades ago by the late Sir Basil Goulding.

Since then part of the area has been developed as the Glen Amenity Park - with walkways, seating and plenty of green space in what is otherwise a totally urban setting.

Unfortunately this all under threat. In January 2002 Cork City Council inexplicably rezoned part of the Glen for housing by a private developer. The prime mover was Val O'Connor - Cork's top Funeral Director. Latest information has it that Mr. O'Connor sold the land because he couldn't stick the heat from opponents of the destruction of Goulding's Glen. Rumour has it that Val got a cool €2 million for the site - trebling what it cost him.

Cork Corporation could have bought the whole Murphy's Quarry site for a song in the 1980s but weren't interested.

Full details on the Goulding's Glen saga, including photos can be seen on the Indymedia Newswire at

http://www.indymedia.ie/cgi-bin/newswire.cgi?id=44718

The present situation is that the Builders D&J Coleman are continuing to demolish part of the sandbanks and the sandmartins are still under very serious threat. This is despite strict conditions being imposed on the development by An Bord Pleanala.

We urge you to ring the Developers and demand an end to their destruction of this unique habitat. D&J Coleman can be contacted at (021) 438 5198. Their address is D&J Coleman, Construction House, Kerry Road, Tower, Blarney, Co. Cork.

Cork City Council Planning Dept have been very slow on this issue. Ask them to wake up to the destruction of Goulding's Glen. Tel: (021) 492 4564. The reference No. for this case is TP.23/777/99.

author by Sean - Reclaim the Glenpublication date Máirt Aib 29, 2003 12:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

12.51am Wednesday: NEWS FLASH. The Reclaim the Glen Campaign has been informed that the Enforcement Order on Murphy's Quarry is to be lifted over the next few days despite the fact that the City Council made no effort whatsoever to ensure the order was complied with.

The diggers may soon be able to return to their destruction (not that they've stopped anyway, they just moved a few yards away).

Please Ring Cork City Council and demand that this Enforcement Order remain in place and is acted on.

Ring or E-mail the Department of Corporate Affairs at Cork City Council.
Telephone No. (021) 4924374
Fax (021) 4314238
e-mail: tclerk@corkcity.ie

THIS IS URGENT. THE SANDMARTINS AND THEIR YOUNG WILL BE DEAD AND THEIR HABITAT DESTROYED IN A FEW DAYS UNLESS PEOPLE ACT!

author by catpublication date Máirt Aib 29, 2003 14:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

tried mailing them at tclerk@corkcity.ie and at tclerk@corkcorp.ie but mail would not deliver to either address-So i guess i better stick to phoning, harder for them to ignore a phone call than a mail anyway! :-)

author by soloutionpublication date Máirt Aib 29, 2003 16:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Try :
planning@corkcity.ie.

author by dowtchapublication date Máirt Aib 29, 2003 21:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nice to know who won't be burying me.

author by Fergal O'Hpublication date Máirt Aib 29, 2003 22:00author email fohann at eircom dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

According to the companies Office website www.cro.ie, D and J Construction Limited, registered no. 150059, was dissolved in 1993 without filing any accounts. It may be that the building company is operating under a different name.

The CRO is a fantastic and underused source of information on companies giving names, addresses and related companies that directors are involved in.

author by Sean - Reclaim the Glenpublication date Déar Beal 01, 2003 16:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

May 1st, 4pm. For latest details including photos go to

http://www.indymedia.ie/cgi-bin/newswire.cgi?id=46065

This includes photos showing extent of destruction of the sandmartin nesting area.

author by John Baker - 'Regrowth'publication date Déar Beal 01, 2003 18:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

By chance while visiting the sand quarry this morning I met Tom O'Byrne. He is a local ecologist. He was commissioned by the developers to find a way for the development to continue after the original application back in 1999 was turned down on the grounds that it would affect the sand martins. He did this for them by proposing that they build a new habitat for the birds into the development. I disagree with him on this point. I feel that the quarry should have been left as it was and connected with the Glen Park, as the city council once voted for.
However, he did say that the sandmartins would not have laid their eggs yet, also that they are well able to cope with disturbance in their environment due to landslips etc. According to him the developers are still making allowance for the birds in their plans. and the eastern colony is still OK. To my eyes though they looked pretty upset, flying at the western cliff trying to find out where their homes had gone.
Let's hope Mr O'Byrne is right is all I can say, time will tell.
None of this alters the fact that another chunk of the Glen Park has been effectively privatised, folowing on from the playground that the City Council took over for their depot back in '99.
Anyone out there reading this who can do so please get up to the Glen to take a look. It's not just the sand quarry and it's not just the Glen. What's going on here is a microcosm of what's happening all over. We do however have a chance to change it. For more info see our website www.geocities.com/nororion/ Thanks

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