Cork and other cities outside of Dublin should have a dedicated minister to help deliver on the Government’s pledges under its 2040 investment plan.
The call comes from Cork Chamber president Bill O’Connell, who was speaking to an audience of business and political leaders, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, at its annual gathering in Dublin.
Mr O’Connell said Cork Chamber had a vision of a thriving and diverse Cork city region that was boosted by investments in light rail and other infrastructure.
“We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make Cork a global destination” that will complement Dublin, he said.
"From bus connects, to light rail, and density of urban housing, delays in delivery must not hamper Cork’s growth potential,” he said.
He said the designation of “a Minister for City Regions” who would be responsible for improving cities would reinforce the Government’s 2040 plan.
“City regions are playing an increasing role internationally in attracting people and showcasing Ireland as a viable home for global companies...Our vision for the future of Ireland is that of liveable cities to be proud of, where sustainable urban living is invested in, planned for and supported by Government,” Mr O’Connell said.
At the event, Cork business veteran Frank Boland was honoured with an Outstanding Contribution to Business award for his work as “a formidable advocate for Ireland and for Cork”.