Poor mobile reception restricting access to emergency services

Many villages throughout North Cork have little or no mobile phone reception and the situation, it has been alleged, is deteriorating.

Many people cannot contact ambulances, doctors or gardaí in emergencies.

County councillors are to write to ComReg, which regulates the industry, and to ministers and mobile phone companies pointing out the reception problems.

A meeting of the local authority’s northern division heard claims from Fianna Fáil councillor Frank O’Flynn he had recently been inundated with complaints from people living in Doneraile, Shanballymore, and Castletownroche.

“They can’t get in touch with the emergency services which is a very serious issue. They are really badly hit and paying for a service they’re not getting,” he said.

Fine Gael councillor Noel McCarthy said he received similar complaints and said it had to be sorted out.

“You’d expect technology to be improving, but the service from mobile companies seems to be deteriorating,” said Fine Gael’s Gerard Murphy. “I wonder if [mobile phone] companies amalgamating [on the use of masts] are reducing their coverage instead of expanding it.”

Independent councillor Timmy Collins said his village of Meelin was badly served. He disclosed a mobile phone company which left him without an adequate service in Meelin for six weeks had still billed him.

“I transferred to another company and on the same evening I did get coverage,” Mr Collins said.

Charleville-based councillor Ian Doyle said he was aware of very poor coverage all over the region. Mr Doyle, who is chairman of the northern division, said the council would write to various organisations and people in charge of regulating mobile phone coverage advising them of the serious situation and seek to have it rectified.


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