Cork County Council in Trojan horse-style ‘stroke’

A veteran Cork City councillor has accused the county council of a Trojan horse-style ‘stroke’ designed to delay and frustrate the implementation of a city boundary extension.

Cork County Council in Trojan horse-style ‘stroke’

Fianna Fáil councillor Tim Brosnan made the comments yesterday following confirmation that members of Cork County Council have unanimously agreed to submit a formal boundary alteration to the city council. The process could take several months.

“It is cynical, myopic, and self-serving,” he said.

His comments are the latest salvo in the war of words between the city and county over the boundary.

The county council’s latest move was sanctioned following a four-hour closed-door meeting in County Hall on Monday. It came ahead of yesterday’s second meeting of the group tasked by the Government to implement the Mackinnon report.

Following a review of the 2015 Smiddy report on Cork’s local government structures, which recommended a merger of the city and county councils, the Mackinnon group recommended earlier this year the retention of Cork’s two local authorities, and a substantial city boundary extension.

If sanctioned, the extension would bring parts of Douglas, Donnybrook, Grange, and Frankfield, as well as Cork Airport, Ballincollig, Blarney, Tower, Rathpeacon, Glanmire, Little Island, and Carrigtwohill, into the city, boosting its population by some 100,000 to 225,000.

The county council is opposed to the scale of the Mackinnon extension.

The map presented by Cork City Council showing the exact detail of the enlarged city boundary.
The map presented by Cork City Council showing the exact detail of the enlarged city boundary.

On Monday, county mayor Declan Hurley confirmed plans to submit a formal boundary alteration proposal to Cork City Council for consideration. He said it would be a statutory proposal.

“This approach provides for public consultation whereby all stakeholders — including community groups from across Cork — can have their say,” he said.

The council has also decided to seek immediate advice on the legal options available to it in the event Local Government Minister Eoghan Murphy decides to proceed to alter the city boundary in line with the Mackinnon report, he said.

Mr Brosnan described the county’s latest proposal as “disingenuous” and said its sole purpose is to delay and frustrate the Mackinnon implementation group’s work.

“Management and councillors in the county have been well aware of the need to expand the city’s boundary,” he said.

“The boundary extension is needed not alone for the benefit of Cork but also in the national interest as Dublin is grinding to a standstill in terms of housing, traffic, and commuting times.

“The fact that the county council has opted to play Russian roulette with the local and national interest shows a lack of political and managerial leadership. I don’t believe that the county council’s latest stroke should be taken seriously by anyone.

“County councillors and TDs are all over the place with Glanmire, Blarney, and Douglas being thrown about in Monday’s Irish Examiner survey.

“For the life of me I cannot point to any one of the TDs actually delivering anything at all to Cork, apart from Micheál Martin during his term as Minister for Education.”

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