Multi-million euro revamp of Cork’s MacCurtain St treated as a car park and “getting worse”

Visuals supplied by Cork City Council showed happy faces and streets with the odd car, in reality, the revamp of MacCurtain St and surrounding streets has resulted in chronic levels of illegal parking.

Councillors, business owners, members of the public and campaigners have complained but they say that enforcement is still lacking and at times nonexistent.

The redesign of the streets as part of the MacCurtain Street Public Transport Improvement Scheme has resulted in motorists dumping their cars around the streets, especially when traffic wardens are off-duty.

Cllr John Maher (Labour Party) said that despite councillors, businesses and street users highlighting the issue, including him bringing it up at the most recent Joint Policing Committee meeting in the city, the situation is getting worse.

Cllr Maher said: “I’ve contacted the Gardaí when I see people being anti-social behaviour with car parking outside of council traffic warden working hours. The Victorian Quarter area is abused most evenings.”

He said at the Joint Policing Committee meeting, which is attended by senior Gardaí, he highlighted how “Gardaí on the beat could kill two birds with one stone, protect the people using the street and penalise people who are parking their vehicle wherever.”

He added: “In my experience, it is getting worse which is frustrating considering the money spent on the area and numerous elected reps, business owners and street users highlighting the issue.”

Michael Wall, a business owner on the street, is one of the people who have taken to Twitter to highlight the issue.

He tweeted: “If you’re short of sight, have a disability, use a wheelchair, or have a buggy etc….. give it your best shot!!”

“It’s like match day,” Wall said separately on Twitter. “No feedback from @GardaTraffic despite many traders making complaints.”

A spokesperson at the Garda Press Office said: “An Garda Síochána does not comment on remakes made or material circulated online by third parties. It is the responsibility of every motorist to obey road traffic legislation including illegal parking. Where instances of illegal parking are detected by members of An Garda Síochána appropriate action is taken.”

“Through our close working relationships with various stakeholders including local authorities and associations representing persons with disabilities, An Garda Siochána is acutely aware of difficulties and dangers caused to all members of the public by illegal parking. ‘Operation Enable’ is a Roads Policing initiative established in co-operation with the disabled driving associations and local authorities to tackle the issue of disabled parking permit and disabled parking bay and footpath misuse,” the spokesperson said.

They added: “Local authorities also have enforcement powers in relation to illegal parking.”


  1. I work just off MacCurtain Street. It is absolutely chaotic in the area at the moment. Lower St Patricks Hill seems to be finished and is now oneway uphill. There is no provision for a contra flow cycleway down hill and the pavement on both sides has a series of steps (original) so impossible to wheel a bike down over the pavement.
    I don’t have a clue what is going on on MacCurtain Street but I think many of the parked cars belong to the construction workers on the street renewal project.
    The project is almost complete and once the contractor leaves a Garda and Traffic Warden presence on a daily basis would be great.
    Illegal parking was kind of institutionalised on the bus lane on MacCurtain Street of old. Illegal parking really needs to be stopped absolutely when they cut the ribbon on the redesigned Street.
    And also illegal on street parking at night when all the restaurants, bars and the theatre are open. The cars will ruin what ought to be a great predominantly pedestrian streetscape. A vibrant street with plenty of space for pedestrians and outside dining etc.
    I am also not seeing any sign of a TFI Bike Share Station? There was one on the corner of Bridge and Cobourg Streets but it has not been replaced, now I have to walk to St Patricks Street to find a bike.

  2. The problem with these scenarios, as in many areas of Dublin, is if you don’t nip it in the bud early it just gets completely normalised and gets worse and worse.

    It’s the Irish way unfortunately. We still just don’t get that urban living comes with rules for it to work for everyone. Until people develop that sense innately, you need enforcement to make these changes work.

  3. Ban private cars from cork city except residents with permits.more park and ride services.those in charge just don’t have the guts to lead on this.time to elect those who do.


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