THE city boundary extension agreed by Cork city and county councils has been described as “illogical”, “bonkers” and an agreement borne out of fear that a Ministerial order would have been worse according to county councillors.
During a tense meeting with the county chief executive, a number of councillors walked out of the chamber at County Hall to avoid a vote being taken to push the proposals through.
They will now vote on December 15, ten days after the chair of the Implementation Oversight Group passes the proposals onto Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.
A number of county councillors say they will vote against endorsing the extension. Padraig O’Sullivan (FF), whose area of Little Island will remain in the county along with Carrigtwohill said the new extension makes no sense for communities in rural areas to the west and north of the city.
“I’m irate. People were bandying around the accusation that others were looking after their own patch, but if I’m perfectly honest, from a political point of view, I should be reasonably happy with the boundary as my core area of Little Island and Glounthaune remains in the county.
“But it is just wrong. I don’t know how anybody can justify a border not extending east at all, bar Glanmire, and then extending 15 or 20 miles in the west, it’s completely bonkers.
“If people are trying to genuinely suggest Little Island and Glounthaune don’t belong in an urbanised area and then places out toward Iniscarra, Tower and Ovens do, then I don’t think we are being very honest with ourselves, really.
“The worst is this was presented to us a fait accompli. We were told the chief executive made this agreement with the chief executive of the city council and came back with a result which, I would say, half the council were unhappy with it. The other half were afraid to refuse it on the basis it could get worse. The decision has been reached by fear. The compromise proves to me that money is more important than communities,” he added.
Blarney-Macroom representative Bob Ryan said Blarney and Tower have been sacrificed so the county can hold on to the rates generated by industry in Little Island and Carrigtowhill.
“We’ll be doing everything we can in our power to stop it,” he said. “I do favour the extension of the city boundary and I think it’s very important that the city would develop in an organised and proper fashion but the amount of land that they have got in this proposal will never be developed. It’s a rural area. “This was Cork County Council sacrificing Blarney and Tower and that general rural area to save the rates bases in Little Island. I think it was a soft option. It’s a total imbalance.
“We haven’t finalised a plan of action but we are vehemently opposed. I oppose it for no other issue than I think it’s illogical to extend the city in that direction,” he added.