PRESERVING the Beamish and Crawford site will pay for itself in tourism, according to the chairman of the National Conservation and Heritage Group.
Damien Cassidy, whose group helped preserve the famous Bewley’s coffee house in Dublin, last night described Beamish as “the heart and soul of Cork city” and said it was incumbent on all city residents to ensure that the heritage of brewery should be preserved for future generations.
Raising the idea that Cork people should do for Beamish as Dubliners did for Bewley’s, he said: “We campaigned for the retention of Bewley’s of Grafton Street by marching up and down the street and Cork people should do the same for Beamish.”
He said despite the fact that the Beamish structure is a preserved one, he had little faith in local authorities with regards to preservation. “What often happens, as far as local authorities are concerned, all that means is that the front wall of a building is preserved and you can do what you like inside.
“That does not mean that the integrity of the building is preserved and that is what is essential with regards to Beamish.
“This building and enterprise is the heart and soul of Cork city and must be preserved. When you think of its history, spanning hundreds of years, and the fact that it faced countless recessions and even depressions in its time while still providing good employment, it should not be let go.
“What Guinness has done in Dublin could be used as a model for what should be done in Cork and it will pay for itself in tourism revenue.”
“What is needed is some people power and the local authority should get behind and support any voluntary group that wants to see the Beamish heritage preserved,” he said.