THE decision by two members of the group that recommended a merger of Cork city and county councils not to accept an invitation to appear before an Oireachtas committee to discuss their controversial findings is at the very least disrespectful and adds another layer of doubt and questioning to a process already cast in a poor light.
The former chairman of the Cork Local Government Committee, Alf Smiddy, and senior counsel John Lucey — who with former Kerry county manager Tom Curran supported the report advocating a merger — have said they are unavailable to appear before the Oireachtas committee on the environment despite being offered five dates in October or November. Each cited work or travel commitments. Mr Curran, who is believed to be abroad, did not respond.
This is a huge issue and will define the region and its potential for decades to come. Members of the Smiddy team gave generously of their time but is is difficult to accept that they are unwilling to have their conclusions tested by their peers in a public forum. They should reconsider their position.
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