A co-author of a minority report which helped sink plans for a Cork super-council has broken his silence to urge the Government to move quickly and extend the city boundary.
UCC professor Dermot Keogh spoke out after the Mackinnon review endorsed the dual-local authority, boundary extension stance he adopted with UCC’s Theresa Reidy as part of the 2015 Cork Local Government Review process.
Prof Keogh said repeated failures to extend the city’s boundary over the last 50 years has hurt the region’s economic development.
“Without delay, the Government should extend the Cork city boundary and allow the city to take the full economic leadership role it has long been denied,” he said.
His comments came as the standoff and dispute over the region’s local government arrangements look set to continue.
Cork County Council insisted again yesterday that it is not in a position to accept the Mackinnon findings.
It described the proposed boundary extension as “excessive”, and said if the recommendations are implemented, it could create a “weakened, unsustainable county, with an adverse impact on the suburban towns and villages whose hard won and valued pride and identity could be damaged”.
Cork City Council last night voted unanimously to accept the findings.
Prof Keogh said Mackinnon’s recommendations “appear to be very much in line” with the minority report.
“Cork city has not had a boundary extension since 1965 when Sean Lemass was the Taoiseach and Ireland had yet to joined the European Economic Community,” he said.
“Can you imagine the hue and cry if there had not been local government boundary reforms in Dublin for over 50 years? It is a truism to say that Ireland has changed radically since the 1960s.
"Urbanisation and population increases combined should have triggered a decision by successive Irish governments to extend the boundary of Cork city.
“The repeated failure to do so has had serious consequences for economic development in the region.”
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