Poll: More than half favour boundary extension

Poll: More than half favour boundary extension
The various boundary proposals being considered.

A social media poll conducted by the Evening Echo has found that just over half of readers are in favour of towns such as Ballincollig, Blarney and Glanmire becoming part of the city in a boundary extension as outlined in the Mackinnon report.

The poll which ran for a week, and had over 550 votes, saw 52% of readers say that they would be in favour of those towns joining the city. 46% voted against, while 3% responded that they did not care.

Cork County Mayor Declan Hurley has said that the people of Cork should be allowed to have their say in a public vote but Lord Mayor of Cork Tony Fitzgerald declined to comment on the poll.

However, Mayor Fitzgerald said City Council will hold meetings with the public to explain its version of the boundary extension but would not confirm if these meetings would take place in the city or county or both.

Former Lord Mayor Des Cahill said the poll's slender tilt in favour of a city extension to county towns shows that public opinion still favours the Mackinnon report despite “negative” commentary from Cork County Council.

He added the issue of a boundary extension should not be put to a public vote as the issues involved are too complex.

“The poll is interesting despite the overwhelmingly negative comments from the county and the press. The fact that the poll still came out 52% in favour is surprising because the county has probably had 90% of the air time," said Mr Cahill.

“To still come out behind the curve is something for them to sit back and reflect on.

“It's totally inappropriate to go to a public plebiscite as it depends on how the question is put. It's such a complex issue in the sense that we've spent five years debating it," he added.

Ballincollig representative Derry Canty said the poll did not reflect the feeling in his own constituency.

“Regardless of where you go here at the moment, whether it's to mass, shopping or down the town meeting your neighbours, people do not want to become part of the city.

"I don't know where the [Evening Echo] poll results are coming in from but people here are definitely against Ballincollig being taken into the city," he added.

The Mackinnon report by the Cork Expert Advisory group is accepted by both the Government and Cork City Council and proposes Ballincollig, Blarney, Glounthane, Carrigtwohill, Glanmire, Little Island and Cork Airport be subsumed into the city with Cork County Council's jurisdiction vastly scaled back.

However, in a counter proposal to the MacKinnon report County Council is willing to part with lands to the north and south environs of the city with areas such as Frankfield, Grange, Rochestown and Ballyvolane.

An Implementation Oversight Committee, appointed by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, is currently in Cork discussing details of a city boundary extension with Cork City Council.

County Council has declined to engage in deliberations. County chief executive Tim Lucey said this is because county councillors have rejected the Mackinnon proposals.

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