Petition calls for boundary decisions to be undone

An online petition has been organised in the hope the Boundary Commission examining electoral areas in Cork will undo some previous “incomprehensible” decisions which literally divided main streets in a town and village.

Cllr Seamus McGrath

In the local elections of 2014, the southern side of Carrigaline (everything south of the Owenabue River) and all of Crosshaven were transferred from the Ballincollig/Carrigaline municipal district to the Bandon/Kinsale district.

Given the proposed new city/county boundary, a local electoral boundary committee has been tasked with reviewing the local electoral areas in Cork and is now accepting public submissions up to May 9.

Cllr Seamus McGrath said Carrigaline should certainly be reunited into one electoral area as part of this review.

“The division of Carrigaline in 2014 must rank as one of the worst decisions ever made regarding electoral boundaries. It was incomprehensible. The boundary is the Owenabue River which runs through the heart of the town. It has been very difficult in practical ways also, such as for community groups and clubs who find themselves spread over two municipal districts,” said Cllr McGrath.

As a local representative who lives in Carrigaline it has been very frustrating. There are many issues which require an ‘all of Carrigaline’ solution, such as traffic congestion, yet the town is spread over two electoral areas.

Cllr Alan Coleman, who represents the Bandon/Kinsale district said he is in total agreement with Cllr McGrath. He said the 2014 decision breached the very core value of local government, which is that a municipal district should be centered on a town or towns and their hinterlands.

“This divide has put Carrigaline at a huge disadvantage and has to be rectified for the next election. It created an administrative nightmare for council staff and indeed for individuals, voluntary groups and clubs dealing with the council,” said Cllr Coleman.

Cllr Frank O’Flynn said he hoped some uniformity would also come to the village of Watergrasshill.

The electoral line was drawn in a zig-zag way throughout the village. In one case two sections of the one bar are in different general election constituencies. One is in Cork North Central and the other in Cork East.

Cllr Frank O’Flynn said there were also anomalies in the village when it came to municipal district boundaries.

Anybody wishing to make a submission can email boundarycommittee@ housing.gov.ie


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