Govt expected to give update on 'state of play' of Cork's stalled event centre

Govt expected to give update on 'state of play' of Cork's stalled event centre
File photo of some of the work at the site of the proposed events centre

The Government is expected to announce an update on the stalled Cork event centre after a special Cabinet gathering in the city on Wednesday.

As well as Cork, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will visit Waterford and Limerick this week as campaigning ramps up for the local and European elections.

While a final announcement or opening commitment date for the near €80m project is not expected after the weekly government meeting, ministers will discuss an update to the project.

“It will be about the state of play [of the centre] and where to from here. It is not expected to be a final decision,” said a source.

An artist's impression of the proposed events centre.
An artist's impression of the proposed events centre.

The Government meeting is also expected to be marked by protests by members of the Irish Farmers Association who have concerns about the high price of beef.

While it is expected that ministers will gather in Blackrock Castle in Cork for the meeting, a government spokesman did not confirm final details for the gathering.

There have been calls for a decision on the Cork centre to be delayed until a new council take their seats after the May 24 poll.

However, there are also problems with a €30m state-funding package for the facility.

Mr Varadkar will tomorrow visit Waterford city. He is leading canvasses and townhall events across the three cities this week as part of Fine Gael’s campaign for a Yes vote in Directly Elected Mayor plebiscites next month.

Voters there as well as in Cork on Wednesday and Limerick on Thursday will be able to hear discussion on reasons why the Government believe a directly elected mayor will benefit cities and surrounding regions.

The plebiscites will take place in Waterford and Limerick city and county electoral areas and the Cork City Council area on May 24 – the same day as the elections.

Meanwhile, Tánaiste Simon Coveney is expected to update the Cabinet on efforts by the Irish and British governments to get the North's power-sharing administration up and running again. The fresh impetus follows the shooting dead last week of 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee in Derry.

The governments have called all-party talks in the North for May 7.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has suggested that a referendum on marriage equality should be held to solve the political impasse in the North.

Same-sex marriage, which Sinn Féin sees as a red line issue, remains a thorny and unresolved matter with the DUP vehemently opposed to it.

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