Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the project taking place?

The project is being carried out for a few reasons.  Firstly, Cork City Council has a long-standing ambition to make improvements to the public realm at Fr. Mathew Quay and Morrison’s Quay. For many years, the quays locally have been used exclusively for car parking.  The quays have huge potential especially given their south facing aspect located in the heart of the city.  Cork City Council is seeking to improve the presentation of the quays and unlock the potential of the area.  Secondly, Morrison’s Island suffers from frequent tidal flooding.  The project includes integrated flood defences which will provide flood protection to over 400 properties. 

Will I be able to park my car on Morrison’s Quay or Fr. Mathew Quay during construction works?

There will be limited on street parking available along Morrison’s Quay and FR. Matthew Quay during the construction works, but this will depend on what areas the contractor will be working in at any one time.

Will parking be available on Morrison’s Quay/Fr. Mathew Quay when works are completed?

When the project is completed, there will be some parking on both Morrison’s Quay and Fr Mathew Quay.  However, the number of spaces will be less than there is presently.  Space is being reallocated to create public open space and a high quality riverside walkway. 

Will the long-term traffic arrangements be changing?

Yes, some long term changes will occur.  Firstly, the streets on Morrison’s Island (including Morrison’s Street, Morrison’s Quay, Fr. Mathew Quay, Keeffe St., Catherine St., Fitton Street East and Fr. Mathew Street will all become one way (clockwise).  Traffic will enter Morrison’s Island via Morrison’s Street only.  Traffic will leave the island via Fr Mathew Street (on to South Mall) or via Fr Mathew Quay (on to Parliament Street). 

 Also, the existing vehicular access between South Mall and Morrison’s Quay (located between Parnell Plaza and No 1 South Mall) will be closed permanently for vehicles.  Pedestrian/cycling access will remain. 

Are any changes proposed on South Mall?

Yes, some changes will occur at the eastern end of South Mall near the South Mall/Parnell Place junction.  The changes are being carried out to improve safety for pedestrians using the junction.  The main change will involve removing one of the left turning lanes between South Mall and Parnell Place.  When the works are complete, there will be 2 lanes on South Mall, one turning left onto Parnell Place and one turning right onto Parnell Bridge.  The existing 2-way cycle lane will be reinstated as part of the works.

Will roads be closed during the works?

For the works on South Mall, some temporary lane restrictions will occur.  The works on Morrison’s Quay, Fr. Mathew Quay and part of Union Quay will involve some temporary lane closures or temporary road closures.  Local access will be maintained, and the works will be of limited duration.  Advance notice of any lane or road closures will be given in traffic notices, print media, social media, street signage etc.  

Will pedestrian access be maintained during the works?

Yes, pedestrian access will be maintained along Morrison’s Quay and FR. Matthew Quay during the works.  Pedestrians will be routed around the works as the construction work takes place. 

Can deliveries, taxis, bin collection etc still access the quays?

Yes, local access will be maintained but local diversions may be required. 

What conservation measures will be in place during the works?

The Morrison’s Island area is rich in heritage.  The area has been comprehensively assessed by a conservation architect to identify the heritage assets locally and to inform conservation works which form part of the project.  Some examples of the conservation work that will form of the project include

  • The existing cut limestone quay walls will be cleaned, repointed and grouted to ensure future stability & integrity;
  • Repairs to the existing steps including handrails;
  • Conservation work to existing quayside bollards, railings and cast-iron mooring bollard;
  • Refurbishment of historic cast-iron lamp posts

What is happening at Parnell Plaza?

Parnell Plaza will be completely refurbished and redesigned.  New paving, lighting and seating will be provided throughout.  New railings will be installed on the quay side.  Steps in the existing plaza will be removed and replaced with gently sloping pavement to improve access for all.  A new balcony over the river is being developed to provide a focal point in the new plaza.  The planters/seating has been designed to also function as flood defences.  Some demountable flood defences will be installed temporarily when extreme flooding is expected. 

Will trees be removed during the works and will these trees be replaced?

Yes, six existing trees will be removed at Parnell Plaza to allow for the construction of the enlarged and improved public space at Parnell Plaza.  Approximately 25 new trees will be planted at Parnell Plaza, on Morrison’s Quay and Fr. Mathew Quay.  Each tree will be planted in suitable tree pits to ensure their support and healthy future growth within the public realm.  The planting scheme at Parnell Plaza will also include pollinator friendly herbaceous planting and shrubs. 

What is happening the existing sculptures on Parnell Plaza?

There are two sculptures on Parnell Plaza.  These are ‘City’ by Pat O’Sullivan and ‘Lilíoch’ by Mick Wilkins.  These pieces will be removed, safely stored, cleaned and reinstated in the refurbished plaza.

What is happening at Trinity Bridge?

Trinity Bridge is being retained but it will be refurbished.  The existing bridge is relatively narrow, and the entrance/exit has a poor configuration.  The works will involve widening both ends of the bridge to improve the flow of pedestrians across the bridge.  The bridge will receive new railings, lighting, timber decking and feature seating.  A short section of new boardwalk will be constructed on Union Quay (local to the bridge).  The bridge piers will be repaired. 


Will Trinity Bridge remain open during the works?

The bridge will remain open for most of the works.  However, it will be necessary to temporarily close the bridge to carry out some works.  The timing of this temporary closure will be done to minimise disruption to bridge users and it will be notified in advance. 

How many properties will be protected from flooding?

Approximately 400 properties will be protected from 1 in 100-year tidal flood events. 

What will be done to the quay walls?

The existing quay walls need repair.  The quay walls will be cleaned and carefully inspected.  The gaps between the limestone blocks will be pointed.  The quay walls will be strengthened.  This strengthening work will involve excavating behind the wall and constructing a concrete backing wall.  Some drilling and grouting works will also take place.  Flap valves will be fitted to all outlets to the river.  These flap valves will prevent water from flowing up the pipes at high tide. 


Morrison’s Quay and Fr. Mathew Quay are some of the lowest quays in Cork City and this is why they suffer frequent tidal flooding.  Ground levels along both quays will be carefully re-graded to ensure that the solid element of the parapets will be no higher than knee height (600mm) above the new walkway level, thus maximising the sense of visual connectivity with the river.

What will happen the existing steps and ladders to the river?

There are 3 existing steps leading to the river.  One is located at Parnell Plaza, one on Morrison’s Quay and one on Fr Mathew Quay.  The steps are largely inaccessible.  As part of the project, the steps will be cleaned, inspected and where necessary repaired under the direction of a conservation specialist.  The handrails will be refurbished or replaced.  Access from the quay side will be provided by means of a gate.  The existing ladders on the quay walls will be inspected and repaired. 

What is happening to the existing timber fenders on the quay wall?

The existing timber fenders are generally in poor repair.  The fenders have been carefully assessed by a conservation specialist to devise a suitable strategy for the fenders.  Some sections will be replaced with new fenders, some will be removed and replaced with a substantial timber marker post (at the same spacing as the fenders), some fenders will be removed entirely, and some will be spot repaired in situ.  In most cases and to allow for the quay wall repair works to be carried out, the existing fenders will be removed from the quay wall, and safely stored for inspection and possible reuse on the project or for salvage. 

Will the TFI bike share facility be reinstated?

Yes, there will be new TFI bike share facility installed on Morrison’s Quay. 

How long will the works last?

The works will last approximately 20 months.

What are the working hours during the construction phase?

Normal working hours will be Monday to Friday 08:00 to 18:00 with a half day (08.00 to 13.00) on Saturday.  However, some work may be undertaken outside of these hours (including night work) to make best use of tidal working conditions or, for example, to carry out works when traffic is light.

Will there be any works in the river?

Yes, there will be some works in the river including works to the quay walls, the new balcony at Parnell Plaza and on Trinity Bridge.  The contractor may use a variety of boats, barges and pontoons which may be visible in the river locally while works are being carried out.  Some of these works must be done at low tide. 

Can I still attend Mass at Holy Trinity Church?

Yes, access will be maintained to Holy Trinity church.  However, some local traffic or pedestrian diversions may be in place. 

What measures are in place to minimise noise, dirt and dust levels?

The contractor is required to comply with a strict code of conduct that includes noise and dust mitigation.