As the report of the Cork Local Government Committee into local government arrangements in Cork was launched today, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Chris O’Leary expressed his disappointment at the Committee’s proposal to relegate the country’s second city to the status of a district, within a division, within a new merged organisation.
“This is nothing short of a major missed opportunity for Ireland” said the Lord Mayor. “It defies belief that as a nation we consistently fail to learn from the experience of other countries, and by not extending the city boundary, redressing current imbalances, and placing it at the heart of driving the region, that is exactly what this committee has done”.
He went on to say that the City Council waits with anticipation to see how the Government will treat a report of a committee, which, under the chairmanship of Alf Smiddy, has failed to reach a consensus position. He says that this is an unprecedented situation in the context of other recent mergers in Ireland.
“The necessity to include a minority report is extremely unsettling. It points clearly to the fact that the case for a boundary extension was fully accepted by two out of five members. These two members, Professor Keogh and Theresa Reidy, are experts in analysing evidence before coming to a position. There is no unanimity here. The future of Cork deserves better than this. This report raises far more questions than answers for the people of Cork”.
He concluded by saying that the contents of the report of this committee, though not unexpected, realise the City’s worst fears for the future of Cork as a second tier European city.
Cork City Council Chief Executive, Ann Doherty said she and her team consulted widely and openly with stakeholders to inform the City Council’s position. “We went to great lengths to ensure our submission was completely evidence based for the benefit of the Committee. We will continue to work with our Elected Members in the consideration of the recommendations of the report.”
Minister Alan Kelly’s response to the report can be viewed by clicking on the link below: