No progress on future of Baltimore’s old railway building

October 15th, 2021 7:05 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Community ‘waiting in the wings’ to use the former railway building, Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) told a Council meeting.

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DELAYS in sub-letting a building to a community group in Baltimore are making the elected members of Cork County Council’s Western Division anxious.

Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) raised the issue saying there is a community waiting in the wings to use the old railway building, which was also a former Glenans Sailing School, for the benefit of the entire community.

He said the members of the Council had been given a briefing about the Fáilte Ireland-owned building 12 months ago but there had been little or no progress since then.

He pointed out that Fáilte Ireland has agreed, in principle, to lease the property to a group called Cuas, who have a proposal to turn the building into a visitor centre and tourist attraction.

The divisional county manager, Clodagh Henehan, reminded the councillors that Fáilte Ireland was ‘happy to lease the property but in ‘an unusual ask’ they requested that it should be leased to Cork County Council on the understanding that the Council would then sublet it to Cuas.

She said the Council is happy to work with Cuas but the Council members had previously given instructions that the Council ‘would not carry liability for the property.’

She was referring to the fact that ‘significant works’ are required to bring the building into public use and that it could cost in the region of €500,000 to get the property up to standard.

The manager pointed out that the estimate was completed in May 2020 and that the cost of construction and materials have increased since then.

She said the Council is ‘awaiting evidence to hear they have the resources in place to make sure the building can come into public use.’

If the terms and conditions are agreed, she added, Cork County Council will take on the lease from Fáilte Ireland and provide a sublet to a third party.

Cllr Carroll was of the opinion that the money could be raised locally but called for better communication between all parties.

Cllr Karen Coakley (FG), who previously raised the matter as a notice of motions, said people need to know what is going on.

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