Cork city population to increase to more than 200,000 under deal

Councils agree deal to expand city to include satellite towns and Cork Airport

Agreement has been reached between Cork City Council and Cork County Council on a proposed expansion which will see the city's population increase to more than 200,000.

The agreement will see Cork city expand to include satellite towns and villages such as Ballincollig, Blarney, Tower and Glanmire as well as Cork Airport.

The expansion, agreed on Monday night between Cork City Council chief executive Ann Doherty and her Cork County Council counterpart Tim Lucey, also involves the city boundary extending to include suburbs such as Rochestown, Grange, Frankfield and Ballyvolane which are contiguous to the existing city boundary.

John O'Connor, chairman of the implementation oversight group set up by Minister for Local Government Eoghan Murphy, will deliver his report this week.


But the expansion does not include Carrigtwohill and Little Island to the east and Killumney to the west which had been recommended for incorporation into an expanded city by an expert local government review group set up Mr Murphy's predecessor, Simon Coveney.

The Cork Local Government Review had recommended in June an expansion of the city that would see it increase from 38sq km to 280sq km and its population grow from 125,000 to 225,000.


A compromise proposal agreed between the city and county councils was unanimously endorsed by Cork city councillors following a briefing on Monday night. No such endorsement was forthcoming following a lengthy meeting of Cork county councillors.

However, the two councils issued a joint statement in which they said the meeting held on Monday, involving political and executive representatives from both sides, had provided an agreement for Mr O’Connor to present a report to the Minister.

Lord Mayor of Cork city Cllr Tony Fitzgerald described the outcome of Monday's engagement as positive and one that offered the city council and county council the opportunity to grow Cork in a way that would provide a counterbalance to Dublin and the east coast

"The scale of the boundary extension discussed yesterday represents a significant reduction in the boundary originally proposed by Cork City Council to the Cork Local Government Review group," said Cllr Fitzgerald.

He said the process had been protracted and complex and although the compromise proposal had not met with all the city council’s expectations, it represented “a historic opportunity for Cork – both for the city and county, and, indeed, the wider Cork region,”

Mayor of County Cork Cllr Declan Hurley said both councils had invested significant time and effort in recent weeks in reaching a solution and the compromise was a testament to the desire of both councils to conclude the matter locally rather than having a solution imposed by the Minister.

"Everyone involved has adopted the approach that any boundary alteration must deliver what is best for Cork, its people, its communities, its future," said Cllr Hurley, adding that the result was a good compromise given it was unlikely that both councils could ever achieve all that they wanted.

“While Cork County Council is ceding significant territory to the city, it will continue to retain responsibility for a large portion of its overall strategic employment areas – for example, areas such as those surrounding the entire Cork harbour, Little Island and east Cork will remain in the county,” he added.

“Yesterday’s developments provide a solid basis to move forward – on a joint collaborative basis – to drive the entire city and county of Cork as the leading economic region outside of Dublin and that is great news for Cork.”

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times