Cllr Terry Shannon: ‘Cork Chamber gala dinner shouldn’t be facilitated’

An outspoken Cork city councillor wants City Hall to stop hosting Cork Chamber’s annual gala dinner given its support for the controversial super-council plan.

“If the chamber wants to take us on, that’s fair enough. But I don’t see why we should be facilitating them,” said Fianna Fáil councillor Terry Shannon.

“They can go away and get their own hotel and have their do there, and entertain the Taoiseach and whoever elsewhere, without using City Hall as a base, considering they want to abolish us.”

Mr Shannon has also suggested a local authority boycott of Chamber Ireland’s Excellence in Local Government awards pending clarification of its view on council mergers.

This is despite the city council being honoured by the awards scheme several times in the past, with two departments up for awards again in November.

“Chambers Ireland should make their position [on council mergers] very clear,” he said. “Until then, I see no reason why we would attend the ceremonies of an organisation who want to see amalgamations and councils disbanded.”

He was speaking after the council voted unanimously in favour of mounting a legal challenge against the merger of the city and county councils proposed by the Cork Local Government Review (CLGR) group.

Mr Shannon also criticised Cork Chamber for describing those with an opposing view as “adversaries to unification”. He said: “To describe anybody who differs from the chamber view as ‘adversaries’ seems to me to be extraordinary language. It is intemperate and should be withdrawn.”

In a statement yesterday, Cork Chamber said it has at all stages throughout the CLGR process focused on the underlying theme of what is best for both the city and the county and has never sought to “abolish” the city council.

“In fact, we have advocated a unification of both city council and county council, with a strong metropolitan division at its core to further strengthen and protect the city into the future”, said the chamber president, Barrie O’Connell.

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