A PUBLIC demonstration to show support for Cork City Fire Brigade and to demand the reopening of Ballincollig Fire Station is planned for 6.30pm tomorrow on Ballincollig’s Link Road.
The demonstration has been organised by locals to highlight that Ballincollig Fire Station has been closed since November 2021 as efforts to recruit retained firefighters have been unsuccessful.
Over a fortnight ago, Siptu members employed as firefighters in Cork City commenced limited industrial action in a bid to see the station reopened, with members claiming that a lack of resources is “endangering members and public safety”.
Cork City Council had asked the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) to get involved in the dispute.
Last week, a Siptu spokesperson said the union was “ready, willing and able to engage but, as advised to the council both verbally and in writing, we require sight of the proposal that is being referred colloquially as ‘Plan B’ before we engage with the WRC”.
One of the organisers of tomorrow’s demonstration, Mags McKenna, told The Echo that when Ballincollig was incorporated into Cork city in 2019, it had a working fire station and was promised an “equal to or better” service after the boundary extension.
“Ballincollig’s population and that of our wider community of places like Ovens, Aherla, and Kilumney is over 20,000. We need a full-time service.”
Ms McKenna said it was hoped people would turn out in big numbers to show support and demand the full-time reopening of the station.