FORMER Fine Gael Senator and Lord Mayor Denis ‘Dino’ Cregan has said that Cork’s Oireachtas members should hold quarterly summits with the City Council and other stakeholders to prioritise local issues.
Mr Cregan, the fast-food chain owner who retired from politics at the 2009 local elections, said that Cork’s politicians are too focused on their parties and not enough on their region.
He said that their inability to work together meant that Dublin is getting far more investment.
“Cork people are aware they could be left behind. We need to fight to get our fair allocation,” he said.
“The amount of money being spent on Dublin is stunning. There are 46 Dáil seats in Dublin, but you can be sure that the representation that they are getting is worth more than those 46 seats,” he said.
Mr Cregan said that one of the reasons he left politics was because it was getting “too party political” and people were no longer working together on behalf of their city.
“In my day, we always had an understanding that we spoke as one on behalf of our community,” he said.
“Before I left the City Council, I was quite annoyed. The floor was becoming too political,” he said.
Mr Cregan said that ending the dual mandate and stopping people from serving in the Oireachtas and on the local council was “a massive mistake.”
He said that in his time Oireachtas members would work together in the council on a Monday night, and then discuss how to bring those concerns to a national level on the train to Dublin on Tuesday.
He said that people worked together on Cork issues, regardless of their parties.
He said that Oireachtas members should hold quarterly meetings with the City Council and other stakeholders and agree to work together on a list of priorities for the city.
He said that fighting for investment to rebalance the country away from Dublin should be easy, as the average Dubliner wants to see that too due to the commute times caused by so much being based in the capital.