LEGAL advice is being sought by City Hall on its right to hand over a portion of land in Mayfield where a school is being built.
Construction of a permanent building for Gaelscoil An Ghoirt Álainn, in Mayfield, on a 1.9-acre section on the western side of 11 acres of land known as the Tank Field, has been ongoing for the last number of months, but has been the subject of a bitter dispute between residents and supporters of a school.
A group called Save the Tank Field claims their amenity, one of the last remaining green spaces in the area, will be lost.
The school currently has 360 students and numbers have grown in recent years.
Cork City Council agreed to seek legal advice into the validity of a disposal order for a portion of the land, on the eastern side of the Tank Field, in September, in order to clarify whether this was done on “materially incorrect and incomplete information”.
Issues yet to be resolved include the ownership of the portion of the Tank Field to be disposed of and whether the school extension would contravene the zoning of the Tank Field, which is currently zoned for public amenity.
Councillor Joe Kavanagh (FG) has asked the council to expedite the legal advice.
“This has been dragging on since last September and if it’s left go, it will probably go on until the council finishes.”
Mr Kavanagh added that the council has “dragged its feet” and claimed that he offered to seek the legal advice himself, but was told he would have to pay for it from his own pocket.
He believes local residents have been “left high and dry” on whether they can still access the green space. “Loss of green space anywhere in the city or county is a no-no.” he added.
City Hall chief executive, Ann Doherty, said a barrister should be appointed in the next three weeks. “I appreciate the councillor’s frustration, but there is no attempt to delay anything. There has to be a sourcing of external legal advice. We can’t ask a barrister for legal advice; we have to go through a solicitor. The first thing we had to do was secure a solicitor and that solicitor is now securing a barrister. Because it is public money, we have to go through the proper channels,” she added.