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Haulbowline Island East Tip Remediation Works Completed

14th December 2018
Haulbowline Island East Tip Remediation Works Completed

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., joined by Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy and Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey, has visited Haulbowline Island to mark the substantial completion of the remediation of the former East Tip.

Haulbowline Island, in the heart of Cork Harbour, is home to the headquarters of the Irish Naval Service and was formerly the location of Ireland’s only steelworks, Irish Steel (later Ispat) from 1939 until its closure in 2001. Around 650,000 cubic metres of by-products and waste from the steel production was deposited over a 40-year period on the 9ha (22 acres) shallow sand spit, extending eastwards from the Naval dockyard.

Haulbowline East Tip Site(Above and below) The East Tip contains approximately 650,000m3 of steelworks waste that was deposited on a sand spit over a 40 year period Photo: Bob Bateman

Cork Harbour ISPAT site

The Government approved a proposal to enable the clean-up of the East Tip on Haulbowline Island in 2011. The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine was appointed to lead on the project on behalf of Government and commissioned Cork County Council to act as agents for the supervision and execution of the remediation works. Over the course of the intervening period the Council and the Department have overseen a series of works, starting out with upgrades to the bridge and road infrastructure to facilitate construction traffic, and the extensive works on the former East Tip site itself commenced in October 2017. The land on the East Tip has now been remediated with 47,000 tonnes of rock armour material brought onto the site to protect the shoreline and a further 180,000 tonnes of subsoil and 37,000 tonnes of topsoil brought onto the site to bring the history of exposed waste on the site to a close. Featuring playing pitches, walkways and cycle ways, the site has also been landscaped with over 200 trees, woodland mix planting, native mix planting and wildflower areas. A number of seating areas are located at strategic points to capture the key viewing points, while bird screens offer ideal wildlife observations.

Commenting on the transformation, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD referred to the environmental benefits of the project: “The comprehensive remediation works which have taken place here at Haulbowline Island have transformed a site which previously was a blight on the environment of Cork Harbour, renewing this part of the island. The benefits of these works will resonate with the near neighbours and surrounding areas of Haulbowline Island for generations to come. I have followed the progress of the works with great interest since my site visit last December and am very pleased to be back again to see the impressive results. I would like to pay tribute to the principal contractor PJ Hegarty & Sons Ltd., the officials in my Department involved and the Cork County Council project team, for delivering such a large, complex project in such a modest timeframe.”

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy noted the significance of the project and how the result will benefits residents and visitors alike, “Haulbowline Island is hugely important from both a local and national perspective. We have come a long way with this and ultimately, the Council want to see this site fulfil its potential to become a fantastic park for the people of Cork which will also offer another jewel in the crown for Cork tourism.”

Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey highlighted how the Council have been committed to ensuring that the remedial solution and amenity development was completed in accordance with current relevant national and international best practice and guidance, “This project has been many years of waiting and a tremendous amount of work but the result is clear to see. In the future, Haulbowline Island Recreational Park will be an enormous benefit to local communities and will join the ever increasing number of amenities within Cork Harbour.”

Cork County Council is actively taking steps to secure the future of the site to operate as Haulbowline Island Recreational Park with a view to being opened in 2019, pending approval of any necessary consents and outstanding works.

The Government approved a proposal to enable the clean-up of the East Tip on Haulbowline Island in 2011. Cork County Council is acting as agent of the Minister in the remediation of the site. Key milestones of the remediation project were the planning application for works on the East Tip, lodged with An Bord Pleanála in October 2013 and the waste licence application, submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency in November 2013. The approval of both planning and waste licence applications, which involved complex and detailed preparatory work, cleared the way for the completion of the project in the East Tip. Enabling works included improving the roadway leading onto Haulbowline Island and strengthening the bridge connecting it with Ringaskiddy to allow the removal of heavy scrap metal and the hauling capping materials for the East Tip.

Haulbowline Island is located within Cork Harbour, between Cobh to the north and Ringaskiddy to the south. The East Tip contains approximately 650,000m3 of steelworks waste that was deposited on a sand spit over a 40 year period. Access to the Island by road is from Ringaskiddy via bridges which traverse Rocky Island.

Published in Cork Harbour
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Cork Harbour Information

It’s one of the largest natural harbours in the world – and those living near Cork Harbour insist that it’s also one of the most interesting.

This was the last port of call for the most famous liner in history, the Titanic, but it has been transformed into a centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.

The harbour has been a working port and a strategic defensive hub for centuries, and it has been one of Ireland's major employment hubs since the early 1900s. Traditional heavy industries have waned since the late 20th century, with the likes of the closure of Irish Steel in Haulbowline and shipbuilding at Verolme. It still has major and strategic significance in energy generation, shipping and refining.

Giraffe wander along its shores, from which tens of thousands of men and women left Ireland, most of them never to return. The harbour is home to the oldest yacht club in the world, and to the Irish Navy. 

This deep waterway has also become a vital cog in the Irish economy.

‘Afloat.ie's Cork Harbour page’ is not a history page, nor is it a news focus. It’s simply an exploration of this famous waterway, its colour and its characters.

Cork Harbour Festival

Ocean to City – An Rás Mór and Cork Harbour Open Day formerly existed as two popular one-day events located at different points on Cork’s annual maritime calendar. Both event committees recognised the synergy between the two events and began to work together and share resources. In 2015, Cork Harbour Festival was launched. The festival was shaped on the open day principle, with Ocean to City – An Ras Mór as the flagship event.

Now in its sixth year, the festival has grown from strength to strength. Although the physical 2020 festival was cancelled due to Covid-19, the event normally features nine festival days starting on the first week of June. It is packed full of events; all made possible through collaboration with over 50 different event partners in Cork City, as well as 15 towns and villages along Cork Harbour. The programme grows year by year and highlights Ireland’s rich maritime heritage and culture as well as water and shore-based activities, with Ocean to City – An Rás Mór at the heart of the festival.

Taking place at the centre of Ireland’s maritime paradise, and at the gateway to Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way, Cork is perfectly positioned to deliver the largest and most engaging harbour festival in Ireland.

The Cork Harbour Festival Committee includes representatives from Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Port of Cork, UCC MaREI, RCYC, Cobh & Harbour Chamber and Meitheal Mara.

Marinas in Cork Harbour

There are six marinas in Cork Harbour. Three in Crosshaven, one in East Ferry, one in Monkstown Bay and a new facility is opening in 2020 at Cobh. Details below

Port of Cork City Marina

Location – Cork City
Contact – Harbour Masters Dept., Port of Cork Tel: +353 (0)21 4273125 or +353 (0)21 4530466 (out of office hours)

Royal Cork Yacht Club Marina

Location: Crosshaven, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0) 21 4831023

Crosshaven Boatyard Marina

Location: Crosshaven, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0)21 4831161

Salve Marina Ltd

Location: Crosshaven, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0) 21 4831145

Cork Harbour Marina

Location: Monkstown, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0)87 3669009

East Ferry Marina

Location: East Ferry, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0)21 4813390

New Cove Sailing Club Marina

(to be opened in 2020)

Location: Cobh, Co. Cork
Contact: 087 1178363

Cork Harbour pontoons, slipways and ramps

Cork City Boardwalk Existing pontoon

Port of Cork 100m. pontoon

Cork city – End of Cornmarket St. steps and slip;

Cork city - Proby’s Qy. Existing limited access slip

Quays Bar & Restaurant, Private pontoon and ramp for patrons, suitable for yachts, small craft town and amenities

Cobh harbour [camber] Slip and steps inside quay wall pontoon

Fota (zoo, house, gardens) Derelict pontoon and steps

Haulbowline naval basin; restricted space Naval base; restricted access;

Spike Island pier, steps; slip, pontoon and ramp

Monkstown wooden pier and steps;

Crosshaven town pier, with pontoon & steps

East Ferry Marlogue marina, Slip (Great Island side) visitors’ berths

East Ferry Existing pier and slip; restricted space East Ferry Inn (pub)
(Mainland side)

Blackrock pier and slips

Ballinacurra Quay walls (private)

Aghada pier and slip, pontoon & steps public transport links

Whitegate Slip

Passage West Pontoon

Glenbrook Cross-river ferry

Ringaskiddy Parking with slip and pontoon Ferry terminal; village 1km.

Carrigaloe pier and slip; restricted space; Cross-river ferry;

Fountainstown Slip

White’s Bay beach

Ringabella beach

Glanmire Bridge and tide restrictions

Old Glanmire - Quay

Cork Harbour Festival & Ocean to City Race

Following the cancellation of the 2020 event, Cork Harbour Festival will now take place 5 – 13 June 2021, with the Flagship Ocean to City An Rás Mór on 5 June.

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