Cork street vacated after parapet fall


Cork Corporation yesterday ordered the owners and occupiers of a section of Washington Street to leave their premises until they are made safe. A section of two buildings collapsed last week, killing a young woman and injuring her sister.

Ms Aoife Bell (20), from Kerry Pike outside Cork, was fatally injured when masonry from the parapets of two buildings at No 33 and No 34 Washington Street collapsed and fell on to the pavement below.

Yesterday evening Cork Corporation staff issued notices to vacate to the owners and occupiers of 10 buildings - No 30 to No 39 inclusive - on Washington Street in the interests of public safety.

Among the premises affected are the Washington Inn pub, two restaurants, a fast-food outlet, a newsagent, a nursery shop, a print shop, a film services business and a phone shop.

Also affected are a number of solicitor firms and several barristers who have offices in the 150-year-old terrace, as well as the Cork branch of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, which has offices in one of the four-storey buildings.

"Some of the properties in this section of the terrace are deemed dangerous and others are within the vicinity of dangerous buildings and would present an unacceptable danger if not vacated," the corporation said in a statement.

It said it would consider withdrawing the notices when individual buildings were made safe. An estimated 100 people work in shops and offices in the affected area.

Ms Frances Murphy, a newsagent, said she was stunned by the notice to vacate and would have to close indefinitely as a result. "We just got it this afternoon. We're closed now and I'm not sure what we're going to do," she said.