In the second night of drama in Cork Harbour in the space of 72 hours there was a massive fire in a building at the Irish Naval Service headquarters on Haulbowline Island last night (Tuesday).
Several units of the Cork County Fire service from Carigaline and Crosshaven were joined by units from Cork city and a fire-fighting tug from Cobh in an attempt to control the fire which was fanned by gale force winds. The Cork City Fire Brigade's 'snorkel' extension platform tired to douse the flames at the top of the building but it was clearly out of control and the roof collapsed before 11pm.
The damaged building was under renovation and was being used by UCC for its Coastal marine research department while an upper floor was being converted for use by the naval service itself.
Hundreds of onlookers gathered in Cobh and other towns around the lower harbour and at one stage there was a traffic jam at the carpark in Cobh which directly overlooks Haulbowline. The fire is still burning as I write but has been brought under control. Luckily there were no injuries and naval service personnel were safe.