Fears ho­tel’s de­mo­li­tion may set a prece­dent

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Christy Parker

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.

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