A CALL has gone out to preserve Bantry’s original cobblestone quayside and make it a heritage and tourism focal point for the town.
At a meeting of the West Cork Municipal District, Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) said a feasibility study is needed to assess how best to preserve and enhance the area for local fishermen, as well as an amenity for the community.
He asked the Council to register ownership of the site because, at present, it has no owner. But area engineer, Ruth O’Brien, said the Council had been advised that the public have as much right to access the quayside as the local authority.
It was also suggested that the Port of Cork, who administer the local harbour, should seek ‘first registration’ but the public right of way would also be an issue for them.
Without a feasibility plan and investment, Cllr Collins said the quayside – which is believed to be 180 years old – is at risk of falling into decline, especially as it is now being used intensively for parking.
At a recent public consultation meeting of Bantry’s Operation Slob Transformation, there it was suggested that the area could be developed as an outdoor museum. But Cllr Collins warned that ownership had to be established before any work could begin.