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'It's a big mistake' ... 'It's great news': Cork councillors divided as new city boundary deal agreed

A row about the boundary between the city and the county has been rumbling for months.

Image: Shutterstock/Madrugada Verde

A DEAL IS finally on the horizon for the first extension of Cork’s city boundary in 50 years – but it’s being met with a spate of contrasting opinions from local councillors.

Last night, Cork City and Cork County councillors gathered in County Hall to hear the latest progress regarding the proposed boundary changes.

It was announced that a compromise has been met by the chief executives of both councils on a scaled-down version of the government report – called the MacKinnon report.

The report – which was commissioned by the Department of Housing - proposes extending the current remit of the city council to include Ballincollig, Carrigrohane, Blarney, Glanmire, Carrigtwohill and Cork Airport, which would see the population of the city almost double to 225,000 people.

However, the new agreement proposes that Cork Harbour, Little Island and East Cork will remain within the county.

It is understood that the chair of the Implementation Oversight Group (IOG), John O’Connor, will this week deliver his report defining a revised city boundary to the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy.

The compromise follows months of tense negotiations between city and county councillors.

Contrasting opinions

The agreement has been warmly welcomed by city councillors, but anger continues to rumble within county councillors.

“I’m very cross with what’s being proposed. As a member of the County Council for 26 years, this is the biggest mistake in relation to local government ever to be made,” Cork County councillor Derry Canty told TheJournal.ie. 

“We are 18,000 people being sucked into a city which is partially dying a slow death. There was no proper planning over the past few years. All the major businesses moved out to the outskirts of Cork so the lifeblood was drawn out of the city centre,” he said.

Cork County councillor Marcia D’Alton was similarly dissatisfied but understood that a compromised had to be found.

“I’m not happy but an agreement had to be reached and it has been reached,” D’Alton told TheJournal.ie. 

“I thought a combined deal between city and county was the best deal but that has been left behind long ago.”

In contrast, Cork City Councillors have welcomed the proposal, along with both the county and city lord mayors.

City Councillor Joe Kavanagh told TheJournal.ie that it was an important move for investors.

“It’s great news for the Cork region. We’re trying to grow the city outwards and it’s how most European cities are growing outwards. We’re a long way to go yet but hopefully we can have it resolved from here,” Kavanagh said.

Unlike his councillors, County Mayor Declan Hurley has expressed his satisfaction that both sides have achieved considerable progress.

Both councils have invested significant time and effort in recent weeks in reaching a solution, and the fact that a proposal has been identified is testament to the desire on the part of both councils to conclude the matter locally.

Read: ‘It belongs in the bin’: Expanding Cork city has potential to be destructive across rural Ireland say TDs

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

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