Cork council agrees to mediation on boundary dispute

Move boosts hopes that boundary extension dispute can be resolved

Cork City Council CEO Ann Doherty said in her letter that a “call for some form of mediation has merit” and welcomed the acknowledgment by Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy (above) that the IOG “is well positioned to perform any required mediation”. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Cork City Council CEO Ann Doherty said in her letter that a “call for some form of mediation has merit” and welcomed the acknowledgment by Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy (above) that the IOG “is well positioned to perform any required mediation”. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

 

Hopes of resolving the proposed Cork city boundary extension dispute have received a boost with confirmation by Cork City Council that it has agreed to engage in mediation.

The local authority has confirmed that its CEO, Ann Doherty, has written to her counterpart in Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, agreeing to mediation under the aegis of the Implementation Oversight Group (IOG), a body appointed by the Government.

Ms Doherty said in her letter that a “call for some form of mediation has merit” and welcomed the acknowledgment by Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy that the IOG “is well positioned to perform any required mediation”.

According to a statement on Wednesday afternoon from Cork City Council, Ms Doherty’s letter acknowledges “that both councils are so widely at variance in relation to the scale of the extension that it requires matters to be brought to a head”.

The dispute stems from a report by a Cork local government review group set up by Mr Murphy’s predecessor Simon Coveney which recommended an expansion of Cork city that would see the size of the city increase seven fold and its population grow from 125,000 to 225,000.

The Mackinnon report recommended an expansion of the city to include suburbs adjoining the city such as Rochestown, Frankfield, Grange and Ballyvolane as well as surrounding satellite towns and villages such as Ballincollig, Killumney, Blarney, Glanmire, Little Island and Carrigtwohill.

However the report, which was welcomed by Cork City Council upon publication in June, provoked huge controversy in Cork County Council with councillors warning that implementing the expansion will result in the county council losing a major section of its revenue earning base around the city.

Cork County Council later responded by offering to cede land in Rochestown, Grange, Frankfield and Ballyvolane to the city while retaining Ballincollig, Blarney, Glanmire, Little Island and Carrigtwohill, but this was rejected by Cork City Council which argued Mackinnon was not up for debate.