MEMBERS of Cork County Council have held ‘positive’ meetings with three senior Cork ministers to discuss the level of funding received by the council.
The meetings were initiated by council members following the publication of an AIRO (All-Island Research Observatory) report in 2021. The independent report, commissioned by Cork County Council, showed the local authority wasn’t getting its fair share of funding for its size and population. The report also indicated the county council lagged behind other counties for Leader and Clár funding, and had fallen behind on roads funding.
The Mayor of the County of Cork Danny Collins and councillors Seamus McGrath, John Paul O’Shea, Alan Coleman, Danielle Twomey and Alan O’Connor, along with four executive members, met with Tánaiste Micheál Martin and Finance Minister Michael McGrath on Monday morning, before they met with Enterprise, Trade, and Employment Minister Simon Coveney in the afternoon.
Mr Collins said, after his election, that it was his priority to get working on the AIRO report, carried out by Maynooth University.
“We have the longest length of road in the country. Director of services for roads, Padraig Barrett, explained that Cork County are getting €1,000 less per kilometre than any other local authority. We are getting just over €6,000 per kilometre for our roads, while other local authorities are getting €7,000 per kilometre.
“That is why our roads are falling behind so much. Every local authority gets three applications when the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund opens. We get three local applications, while small counties, like Laois and Louth, also get the same number of applications. It is very unfair for the size of our county. It is the same with Clár funding and the Town and Village Renewal Scheme. We are only getting dribs and drabs,” he added.
Mr Collins said the onus is on councillors and executive members to go back with recommendations to the three Cork ministers. “It was a positive meeting. They told us to come back with recommendations and, hopefully, we will see results. They also told us to reach out to other large local authorities, such as Galway and Mayo, and work with them to make a stronger case. We don’t want funding to be taken away from other local authorities, but we just want more applications for our local authority.”