Minister says new Cork city and county boundary must be finalised within weeks

Minister says new Cork city and county boundary must be finalised within weeks
Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy TD, with local residents during his visit to one of Cork County Council's latest housing schemes in Carrigtwohill. Picture: David Keane.

MINISTER Eoghan Murphy has said that a new boundary between Cork's two councils will have to be finalised in the coming weeks.

Speaking at the launch of the Bishop's Lodge student accommodation in Curraheen yesterday, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government said that the Mackinnon implementation group needed to be given the time and space to do its work, but that a solution was needed quickly.

The implementation group held a meeting yesterday, but Mr Murphy declined to comment on Cork County Council's decision not to engage with the process, pursuing its own border solution instead.

"We have a report, we have a committee that's doing its work. It's important that we give it a bit of space and time to do that work. We're talking in the next number of weeks," he said.

He said that other areas of local government reform hinge on this issue being concluded.

"It's very important that we come to a resolution on that in the coming weeks. It needs to be resolved shortly because an awful lot of other things are depending on this issue being resolved, so we can move onto other aspects of local government reform that we want to do - empowering local authorities, empowering local systems of government, and everything else that will flow from that."

Former Minister for local Government, Simon Coveney also spoke on the issue yesterday saying the current dispute between Cork City and County councils over the boundary is bad for the area as a whole and it was time to make a decision and move on.

"What we seen over the last number of weeks is not good for Cork, where councils are arguing with each other and trying to make different cases," Mr Coveney said. 

"I hope within the next few weeks we will get a recommendation coming to cabinet so we can make a final decision and move on from there."

Earlier this month, Cork County Council issued a formal proposal under Section 29 of the Local Government Act to force their city counterparts to consider an alternative plan for the boundary and the County Mayor has said legal action is a possibility.

But Minister Coveney suggested the time for debate over alternatives has passed.

"We've already had a series of reports that have involved a lot of consultation and I think the MacKinnon report is by far the most credible of those."

"This is a decision that the Government ultimately has to make. We need to get on and do that, we can't go through another long consultation process."

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