One of the biggest remediation projects ever undertaken in this country, which has transformed a toxic waste steel dump into a large public park at Cork Harbour, is now being used as a template across Europe as the way forward in reconstructing challenging sites with an industrial past.
The former East Tip on the old Irish Steel site at Haulbowline has been converted into a 22 acre amenity and recreational site, with 4km of fully accessible walkways, a jogging route, wildflower meadows, picnic sites, over 200 native trees, and seating areas which look out on majestic views of Cork Harbour.
Haulbowline, which is the home headquarters of the Irish Naval service, was also the location for Ireland's only steelworks from 1939 until its closure in 2001.
More than 640,000 cubic metres of by-products and waste were dumped into the East Tip over 40 years of Irish Steel's production life.
Following years of activism by local residents in nearby Ringaskiddy, and by the Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment or CHASE group, extensive remediation works costing €26m were undertaken by Cork County Council over the past four years, transforming the steel graveyard with thousand of tonnes of soil materials and rock armour to protect the shoreline.