Muddy Hill car park to reopen 'within days'
A senior Cork County Council official has confirmed that safety works at the Muddy Hill car-park in Mallow have been completed and the facility should re-open 'within a matter of days'. Kanturk/Mallow municipal district officer Liz Donovan told The Corkman that the authority is waiting on the ESB to sign off on electrical circuits and connect the public lighting before they can remove the barriers at the entrance to the facility.
That will finally bring down the curtain on a saga that forced the closure of a section of the car-park in 2015 and restricted access to the grotto on health and safety grounds after debris began falling from the adjacent rock face.
"We had no real option but to close the section of the car-park as the falling debris posed a danger to the public," said Ms Donovan. Over the following years numerous calls were made for the Council to take action to stabilise the rock face so that the badly needed car-parking spaces could be opened up again. It is understood that the main stumbling block had been trying to secure funding for the repair works. However, in January the authority confirmed that a contractor had been appointed to the project, with the council covering the €160,000 cost of the project from its own coffers.
Work finally commenced in the spring, with contractors closing the entire facility to stabilise the rock face and cover it with a mesh netting tethered to a low support wall at its base. The project also involved works to stabilise the base of the grotto and existing walls as well as resurfacing the car-park. Ms Donovan said construction of the support wall would mean that cars would now be parked parallel to the rock face, with the resultant loss of seven parking spaces. "While this is unfortunate, the re-opening of the car-park is to be welcomed as it will free up spaces and ease the pressure on parking in the town, especially now that the schools have returned after the summer holidays," she said.