The Mackinnon report’s recommendation of an extension of the Cork City boundary is “nothing more than an attempted rates and land grab”, residents in a Co Cork town have complained.
People at a public meeting in Carrigtwohill, 11 miles from Cork, were strongly opposed to being brought under the wing of City Hall.
Alf Smiddy, whose previous report recommending a single local authority for city and county was rejected, told the public meeting the Mackinnon report was an attempt by “a weaker city administration” to seize the rates and land of its “more dynamic” county equivalent.
The 2015 Smiddy Report had also envisaged an enlarged metropolitan district, forming one of three municipal divisions.
Before a widely supportive audience in Carrigtwohill, Mr Smiddy dismissed the Mackinnon document as “a rambling, cobbled-together report, born out of political expediency” and “tantamount to giving two fingers to Cork County Council”.
He found it “bizarre” that Minister Simon Coveney had welcomed his own report, before subsequently initiating the Mackinnon project.
The report, he added, had been “torpedoed” by co-ordinated attacks by city vested interests, including politicians and media.
It would be “shocking, appalling and terrible” if it was rammed through, he said, and suggested a countywide plebiscite to decide it.
More than 120 people attended the meeting in the local community hall, organised by Muintir na Tíre and Carrigtwohill Community Council. The community council’s Anthony Barry warned the Mackinnon proposal could dissect the Carrigtwohill area under two administrations.
Ballincollig, Blarney, Cork Airport, and possibly Cobh could also be incorporated into the metropolitan area where two local authorities are retained but with an enhanced city boundary.
A Ballincollig speaker warned of “OK Corral” type ramifications if Government tried to impose the recommendations on the suburb, while Cobh man Ken Curtin claimed Mr Coveney had already established structures to impose the report’s recommendations, as calls for a cross-county front to fight this were applauded.
Ballycotton’s Christine Lane said Mackinnon representatives had “shouted down” Public Partnership Network concerns.
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