RESIDENTS in Ballincollig have rejected the recommendation that the town should become part of Cork city, according to Chairperson of the Ballincollig Tidy Towns Tom Butler.
Mr Butler said the majority of people are against the idea and worry the town will lose its identity.
“It is a big of a shock,” Mr Butler said, “We are very disappointed, we have a lot to lose.
"We are a town of 19,000 people, but we have a village atmosphere and that is very unique.” Mr Butler said he is worried for the Ballincollig community. “I have been living in Ballincollig for the past 31 years, when I first arrived it was a village and now it is a town.
“It is a very large urban area with a lot of character.” Local Fianna Fáil Councillor Daithí O Donnabhain said he had received a fair amount of concern from residents regarding the proposed changes.
“People have a lot of questions about the plan. What does it mean to the people of Ballincollig?
Mr O’Donnabhain also said that people were annoyed and frustrated that the local community was not engaged in the consultation process behind the decision.
“People haven’t had their say. They feel like they are being taken for granted.” The Fianna Fáil cllr said he was very concerned about moving under the management of Cork City Council which he described as “badly run.” “The dysfunctional running of the city council does not inspire confidence. They have let people down uniformly and made no attempt to correct or reform the way they do things.” Chairperson of the Ballincollig Business Association (BBA) Emer Cassidy said there are a lot of unanswered questions regarding the amalgamation.
“How do we fit in?,” Ms Cassidy asked, “Will we be subsumed?
“We don’t have same social problems as the city has - will we fall down the list of priorities?
“We are worried the priorities of the city will overcome the priorities of Ballincollig.” The BBA Chairperson said the town wants to protect its thriving retail space, which has prospered in recent times.
“We have strived so hard to promote our town. We have our own identity, which has grown in a very short space of time.
“There has been great work done in Ballincollig and we are immensely proud of it.
Ms Cassidy did say that one thing that might be improved by the proposed merger could be the bus routes.
“The bus fares to and from Ballincollig are astronomical. It is absolutely outrageous and the bus services to the area and very bad as well. That is something that could be looked at if we were part of Cork City.”