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Cork boundary row rumbles on as locals given chance to have their say

A public consultation will open tomorrow, and run for two months.

Image: Shutterstock/gabriel12

THERE IS NO end in sight to the dispute between Cork City Council and Cork County Council over proposed boundary changes, and the latter now wants the opinions of locals as to what steps should now be taken.

The Cork County Mayor, Declan Hurley, is urging people to have their say with proposals in a government report recommending extending the current remit of the city council to include Ballincollig, Carrigrohane, Blarney, Glanmire, Carrigtwohill and Cork Airport.

The county council is vehemently opposed to this however, and is instead offering areas as far as Doughcloyne, Donnybrook Grange, Rochestown, Kilbarry and Kilcully to be included city council limits.

Hurley said that communities in the areas beyond this would suffer from a reduction in funding, and said that for residents of Carrigtwohill to be regarded as city dwellers “is nothing short of a joke”.

He said previously that the plans in the government report – called the MacKinnon report – were “more reminiscent of a child’s scribble on a map than a logical, considered conclusion”.

Hurley wants Corkonians to have their say on the county’s own proposals, which he says would see Cork city become two-thirds the size of Dublin City Council’s area.

He said: “The proposal also supports the established community structures that have been developed and maintained across Cork county in recent times.

These community structures are vital to underpinning a successful Cork where quality of life is placed at the heart of everything that we do. This sense of community identity and pride must be sustained for the future.

City council’s stance

In contrast to Hurley’s stance, Cork City Council mayor Tony Fitzgerald recently wrote an open letter to the citizens of Cork, which claimed that county residents would experience a better quality of life within a city boundary.

In the letter to some 100,000 people who live in the county council area, Fitzgerald looked to reassure those affected by the proposals that being part of the city would offer Cork the best opportunity to grow.

Fitzgerald said that he was “deeply disappointed by recent attempts to whip up unnecessary fear in communities”.

“In Cork City, a growing economy has not led to a growing population as it was strangled by an outdated city boundary that had not been extended since 1965,” Fitzgerald said.

Cork City Councillor Sean Martin, similarly, told TheJournal.ie that the MacKinnon report is the “only show in town”.

“It’s about making Cork a global city,” he said. “What we want to see is the recommendations in that report implemented.”

Consultation

The consultation period is open for two months, commencing from Friday 15 September to 17 November. The proposal is available for inspection at County Hall, the local county council office and the local Cork County Branch Library.

Hurley added: “I am urging the people of Cork to examine this proposal and let their views be known.  We all want what is best for Cork, both for today and for tomorrow.”

Submissions may be made online here, or via post.

With reporting from Hayley Halpin

Read: ‘The lack of public consultation is deplorable’: Local concerns raised as Cork boundary row continues

Read: County mayor talks up ‘quality of life’ as Cork boundary row rumbles on

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Sean Murray

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