Jobs threatened by Kinsale Road project
A Cork businessman says that five jobs have been lost and a further 22 are under threat as a result of Cork County Council plans to replace the bridge and culvert on the Kinsale Road.
Work has begun on the project which will see a new bridge installed and the road re-routed through the Carrigdhoun Business Park next to the Harvey Norman premises. The new road was supposed to go through the forecourt of the building that houses Supreme Tiles, Kitchen World, Fresh Valeting and Centra, meaning that these businesses would have no customer parking, threatening their future.
Landlord Dan O’Mahony had two businesses in Carrigdhoun Business Park but felt he had no choice but to close them down.
“I decided to close down Carrigdhoun Motors and Tree Care Services with the loss of five jobs due to the uncertainty over the future,” he said. Three of those jobs were full-time with two being part-time.
“I hold Cork County Council responsible for these job losses. Cork County Council are anti-jobs, anti-development and anti-jobs creation.
“We’re positive people here, we just want to create jobs,” he told The Cork Independent. Dan O’Mahony is a founding member of the Douglas Business Association and the Kinsale Road Business Association, which is now part of the Douglas body.
“There was no fella that demanded this bridge more than I did. The bridge has impeded our development to create jobs. I didn’t object to the Compulsory Purchase Order,” he added. However he does object to the uncertainty over the development.
Catriona O’Callaghan is the Cork manager of Kitchen World and has huge concerns over the situation.
“We have a big concern about where our customers will park but our main issue us not knowing about it. As far as we know, the development is going ahead. We’ve had no contact from anybody, except when I met Kevin Curran from Cork County Council here one day a few weeks ago.
Ms O’Callaghan is concerned that if the road is closed during construction of the bridge, clients won’t be able to access the business and they will go off elsewhere.
“It might mean losing some staff or perhaps all of the staff. Our busiest times are from September to Christmas," she explained. The roadworks are scheduled to last for almost another three months.
Marcus McHale, the owner of Fresh Valeting, employs four people in his business on the same site. He is considering moving his business, as he doesn’t think it can survive while the work goes on.
“I’m looking to find an alternative site at the moment. I’m doing promotions on the internet just to keep people employed at the moment.
“I don’t think it’s going to be viable to stay here to be honest. I’m going to lose my deposit on my lease,” he said.
He had to send away cars yesterday morning as the power had been cut due to the works. His business is also being affected as it looks “like a land mine down there”.
“There are construction workers' cars parked everywhere and there is no space for customers to park.”
Cllr Deirdre Forde says that she has been trying to act as a conduit between council, businesses and property owners.
"I spoke to a council official in the Roads Dept and she assured me that they would set out a meeting with businesses and the property owner this week. I don’t know why this hasn’t happened.
"I’m getting different accounts as to what is happening. I’ve asked to meet the engineer for a face to face meeting, as the situation is no clearer. Somebody is not communicating properly here.
"The whole thing is a complete mess and it’s not the way to do business. The whole situation is ridiculous. No matter who is at fault, it doesn’t do any good for anyone," said Cllr Forde.
Cork County Council was contacted for comment but did not reply by the time the paper went to press.