Councillors criticise lack of oversight for Spike Island and Camden tourist operations

Cork tourist companies funded by local authority have turned down request to provide Cork County Council with updates on their operations
Councillors criticise lack of oversight for Spike Island and Camden tourist operations

Councillors representing the Carrigaline Municipal District had requested a meeting with representatives of the Spike Island Development Committee to explain why they had padlocked the pier there when ferries are not running, thus denying safe access to the island by other boat users. Picture: David Creedon

Cork county councillors have reacted angrily to news that two tourist-related companies they run and are which are funded by the local authority do not have to provide them in future with regular updates on their operations.

Councillors representing the Carrigaline Municipal District had requested a meeting with representatives of the Spike Island Development Committee to explain why they had padlocked the pier there when ferries are not running, thus denying safe access to the island by other boat users.

They had requested they appear before a meeting of the council’s Southern Division, as it is a higher authority and also controls the Cobh Municipal Council, which oversees Spike Island.

Senior council officials turned down this request, saying the day-to-day management of Spike Island is a matter for the company.

They later sent an email to councillors stating: "There are robust corporate governance procedures in place, requiring these companies to report on an annual basis to council management and that reporting/attending meetings of the elected council would not be keeping with correct corporate governance procedures."

They also pointed out that the board of directors of Camden have been informed of this position, which further annoyed members of the Carrigaline Municipal District Council, who had been promised regular updates at their meetings about plans to upgrade the coastal fort in Crosshaven to attract more visitors.

'Very unsatisfactory'

“This is very unsatisfactory that as elected members we don’t have more of an input. I don’t accept the reply we got. We need to action some follow-up on it. This is highly regrettable and retrograde,” Fianna Fáil councillor Seamus McGrath said.

Fine Gael councillor Jack White said: “I don’t think it’s good enough that we won’t be getting briefings from time to time.” 

Fianna Fáil councillor Audrey Buckley, who lives in Crosshaven, said the Carrigaline Municipal District recently agreed to cede 17 acres of land to the Camden company and as such a lack of future regular updates on projects there “is a huge issue to me”. 

“They can take from us when it suits them and now they won’t come into us [at council meetings],” Mr White said.

Fine Gael councillor Michael Paul Murtagh said there was a need for elected members of the council “to have oversight” of both companies' operations.

“From a public perspective, they [the two companies] are seen as being part of the county council. The council appoints the directors and funds them. If elected members are going to be sidelined I can’t see us agreeing to such structures in future. This needs to be brought up at the highest level,” Mr McGarth said.

Independent councillor Marcia D’Alton pointed out that in Britain there is legislation ensuring such companies report to elected representatives.

 

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

logo podcast

War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

Available on
www.irishexaminer.com/podcasts

IE logo

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox

LOTTO RESULTS

Saturday, July 2, 2022

  • 1
  • 15
  • 17
  • 21
  • 34
  • 42
  • 47

Full Lotto draw results »