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Cork Lord Mayor says closure of city's train station on jazz festival weekend is 'unfortunate'

The Cork Jazz Festival runs from 22-25 October.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

CORK OFFICIALS HAVE encouraged revellers to travel to the city for next weekend’s jazz festival despite the news that there will be no direct airport or train services there on the Bank Holiday weekend.

Work on the runway has meant that the city’s airport will be closed until November and the city’s Kent Station will be closed next week as works are underway on a new signalling service. 

The pandemic prevented the festival from taking place last year and it is due to make a comeback next week.

But Iarnród Éireann has apologised after announcing that Cork’s Kent Station will not be open to intercity trains from Dublin and that commuter links from Cobh, Midleton and Mallow will not be available.

Instead, train users will be bussed into the city from Mallow and other surrounding areas by the rail service. 

Cork Airport will likewise not offer a solution to festival goers, as no flights will land or taking off from the facility overlooking Leeside due to essential works. 

cork-airport-cork-ireland-27th-september-2018-aer-lingus-flight-ei710-to-london-heathrow-takes-off-in-fog-from-cork-airport-ireland-credit-david-creedonalamy-live-news There will be no flights into Cork Airport over the Bank Holiday. Source: Alamy Stock Photo

Colm Kelleher, Lord Mayor of Ireland’s second city, said the move represented a loss of connectivity for one of the city’s biggest entertainment weekends of the year.

“The airport is essential works – they have to be done – to quite honest it’s just unfortunate that it is happening during the Jazz weekend,” he said.

“Nonetheless, we won’t cry over spilt milk but it’s unfortunate what’s happening with the rail station as well. But that being said Cork is open for business.” 

Kelleher said that the City has solid connectivity routes on the M8 motorway and other routes which connect the region to the rest of the country.

“We didn’t have the jazz weekend last year on account of Covid but I’ve spoken with hoteliers, hospitality and restaurant owners and retailers across the city and they are gearing up for a great weekend,” he said.

“We’re going to have live music back in the city, in the traditional manner that we had it in previous years.

“We may not have the international reach we’ve had in previous years, but I would implore anyone who is interested in jazz or just in a good time, to head for Cork next weekend.” 

irish-rails-kent-train-station-cork-ireland-with-a-dublin-train-waiting-to-depart-with-copy-space There will be no rail services at Kent Station for the October bank holiday. Source: Alamy Stock Photo

Helen Murphy, with the Cork Business Association, said that businesses in the city see the airport and rail works as a sign of the State building up Cork for the future.

“There’s a great buzz, a great atmosphere on the streets here at the moment – it’s a great place to be at the moment. We’re vibrant, we’re here, we’re trading,” she said.

“The work being carried out at the airport and on the rail network is very important work.

“There’s never an easy way or a good time to get these multi-million euro projects and investments completed but once they’re completed these transport hubs will facilitate much better connectivity, both nationally and internationally.” 

Iarnród Éireann spokesperson Barry Kenny said the €8m project was being completed during the Bank Holiday weekend as it was determined it would cause the least amount of disruption. 

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“The commissioning of signalling is the culmination of a major project which has been ongoing for two years,” he said.

“With 11 days required for full commissioning, impact on services was unavoidable, and planning of resources for completion during October has been in place for many months.

“This was to ensure the mid-term was used, a time of lower travel, and was also planned at a time when it was understood there would be no Jazz festival this year.” 

Kenny added that Irish Rail will have extensive bus arrangements in place for people travelling across the weekend to facilitate those attending the festival.

A Cork Airport spokesperson said that the DAA, which runs the airport is investing €40m in “future proofing” the facility in Ireland’s second city. 

To do this there will be no operations for ten weeks from 13 September to 22 November.

 This work includes a new electrical sub-station, an upgrade of its Hold Baggage Security screening system and also the runway works.

“The reconstruction of Cork Airport’s main runway will be the fastest large-scale construction project undertaken in the State in recent years – 12 months from funding approval to the completion of the main works – encompassing EU tendering, design, regulatory approvals and construction.

“The project is running to schedule and we look forward to reopening at 02.00 on November 22, 2021 in anticipation of a busy festive season ahead,” a spokesperson said. 

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