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Skibbereen ready to roll out The Rock as community space

May 19th, 2024 12:10 PM

By Southern Star Team

Skibbereen ready to roll out The Rock as community space Image
The Rock area which will be officially opened on Monday.

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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 – will be officially opened at 3.30pm on Monday May 20th.

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.

The Rock suffered from a lack of maintenance over the years and the Skibbereen Development Plan identified it as an area that should be promoted.

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

This report proposed the development of the Rock 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 of €230,000 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.

‘The opening on Monday will be the culmination of all that we have been working towards,’ said Declan Groarke, secretary of The Friends of the Rock committee. It will be a signal day for the entire project.’

Once it is officially opened, the park will contribute to the life of the town as an outdoor performance, annual events and festival area, as well as a place that will focus on education, art, heritage, tourism, ecology, and biodiversity.

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