AN INDEPENDENT general election candidate is calling for €50 million state funding to be withdrawn from the Cork events centre project.
The long-stalled project is viewed widely by business groups and civic leaders as a critical piece of infrastructure that can help propel the local economy forward.
Should the 6,000 seater venue finally go ahead, the average annual turnover is expected to be worth around €36 million to the city in annual spend over the first five years.
However, Independent Cork North Central candidate Diarmaid Ó Cadhla described the events centre as a “glorified concert hall", stating that it will be “fully privately-owned" after the public has paid over 60% of the cost.
Mr Ó Cadhla says that there should be higher priorities for public spending.
He said that just €10 million of the funds would pay for the refurbishment of 300 boarded-up houses in the city, providing much-needed homes for families.
A further €20 million could be used to upgrade existing public housing, he said.
Last year, Cork City Council had to borrow €11 million just to deal with essential maintenance tasks.
Mr Ó Cadhla said: "I'm all in favour of an events centre for Cork, but why not ask the billion dollar multinational companies to cough up. The events centre would be small change to them. There are enough demands on public funds, we shouldn’t be handing €50 million to private developers."