AN HISTORIC city lane at the heart of a €600m retail development was officially renamed last night after weeks of controversy.
Cork’s city councillors voted narrowly (16-13) in favour of renaming Faulkener’s Lane as Opera Lane – the centrepiece of Owen O’Callaghan’s Opera Lane shopping precinct in the heart of the city centre.
The retail project, which was officially opened two weeks ago, created 1,200 construction jobs. Some 2,000 jobs will be created once its units and Mr O’Callaghan’s nearby Half Moon Street project are fully let by early next year.
But concerns were raised last week that councillors were not consulted about the renaming proposal.
City manager Joe Gavin presented them with a report on the issue last night.
He said Faulkener’s Lane was significantly widened and developed by O’Callaghan Properties (OCP) into a "most attractive street".
He said in July 2008, OCP requested the name change and said that as the sole landowner, qualified elector and rated occupier on the laneway, the company was entitled to do so.
In May this year, the company suggested it be renamed Opera Avenue but following talks with city officials, it was decided that Opera Lane would be more appropriate.
Mr Gavin said OCP plans to commission a plaque commemorating the history of the lane to be erected on the gable wall of the Queen Anne building.
His report included a formal proposal to rename it Opera Lane.
OCP has said Faulkener’s Lane was a dirty, dingy, smelly and dangerous laneway that was avoided by Corkonians for generations.