Fears hotel’s demolition may set a precedent
A Cobh group dedicated to the preservation of historic buildings says it is “very concerned” the recent demolition of a 150-year-old former hotel in the town may set an unwelcome precedent.
In its heyday, Rushbrooke’s Rinn Ronan was one of two hotels serving Cobh, with household names from all facets of society among its guests. Broadcasters Gerry Ryan, John Creedon, Ian Dempsey, and Mark Cagney made public appearances at the Ringers’ nightclub.
The hotel closed in the early 2000s and fell into disrepair. A demolition order was obtained in 2015.
Belinda Shaw, spokeswoman for the recentlyformed Great Island Historic Preservation Group (GIHPG), said the fact the building was allowed to depreciate was “worrying”. Belinda, who celebrated her wedding there in 1980, says its demolition sparked a lot of discussion and disillusionment locally.
She describes it as being “a wakeup call” about the risk to other historic buildings.
The GIHPG was formed following a planning application for restoration work and other developments to the town’s Titanic Pier, to which it is partly opposed. The group will host a public meeting in the town’s Sirius Centre next month to discuss the issue.
“There are several historic premises in the Cobh area and it’s disturbing that they too could be lost, without any opportunity to preserve them,” Belinda said.
The new group plans to map all historic and heritageinterest buildings in Cobh.
“Ideally, the county council would include them in a database so they would be flagged if and when a planning application was lodged to any of them,” she said.