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Skibbereen rolls out The Rock as new community space

June 1st, 2024 10:30 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Skibbereen rolls out The Rock as new community space Image
The Rock in Skibbereen has a new amphitheatre.

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AN exciting project in Skibbereen town – which saw the Windmill Rock, or simply The Rock as it is known locally, developed as a community amenity and historical area – was officially opened on Monday.

The 4.5-acre area is in an elevated location to the east of the town – at the rear of North Street and High Street – and boasts excellent views of Skibbereen town and the surrounding countryside. The Rock was a location for small cottages and cabins in the Famine times and a memorial provides a reminder of the historical significance of the site.

A preliminary report on the development of the Rock was undertaken by Skibbereen Tidy Towns in conjunction with the Town Council in 2010.

It proposed development in three phases which entailed litter and site clearance, landscaping and resurfacing of access routes; installation of public lighting, seating and signage, and the construction of new access steps behind the Town Hall to a lookout area.

In August 2010, The Friends of the Rock, which includes Bryan Harris, Declan Groarke, and Con McCarthy, was established, under the auspices of Skibbereen Tidy Towns, to further progress the proposals outlined in the report.

Planning permission for the entire project was granted in 2019, and funding was used to enhance the overall site.

Among the many improvements carried out, the paths have been resurfaced, the amphitheatre has been developed, and public lighting installed.

More than €300,000 has been spent on the project to date. The Department of Rural and Community Development provided €243,000 funding through the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2022 which is 90% grant funding with Cork County Council providing the remaining 10%.

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