Cork City and County Merger

Merging Cork City and County Councils – A dream for some and a nightmare for others. City and county alike are divided.

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In September, Cork City Council, after voting unanimously to object the proposed merger, wrote to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, to inform him that they would be proceeding with a legal challenge against the plan. Quite a significant move, considering such action received widespread cross-party support from across City Council.

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Tense times in Cork City Council (Source: lauramcgonigle.ie)

The people of Cork were then informed that plans would not proceed until after a General Election. Fast forward to now and Cork City and County remain in the dark.

How did we get to this and what implications do the plans have on Cork city? – Lovin Cork investigates!

The Smiddy Committee, led by Alf Smiddy of Cork’s Beamish and Crawford, were tasked to objectively investigate the positives and negatives of a potential merger and released the Smiddy Report in September 2015. Since being published, the Report has caused much controversy, even uniting 18 former Cork City Mayors, from across the political spectrum to take a stand against the plans… If anything, the plan provides opportunity for politicians to co-operate and act proactively!

While it is justifiable to say that such a merger would contribute to preventing what the Report describes as,

“A management structure where the city council is managing only part of the ‘effective city and a county council which is managing a chunk of the ‘effective‘ city and a vast rural area with country towns”

Criticism emerges from the likes of the Centre for Local and Regional Governance, founded this year, who are calling for more open and greater engagement on the plans, between experts and the people of Cork.Considering how long it took to form a Government post-election, let alone proceed with plans, the people of Cork City and County alike will have to wait and see if the last Government’s plans for Cork come into fruition.

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