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Afghanistan war ‘didn’t take as long as attempts to get bye-laws changed’

May 12th, 2022 5:10 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The Council says it has been in the High Court on a case recently but must wait to see if it is being appealed. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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THE war in Afghanistan didn’t last as long as the wait for a decision on the casual trading bye-laws, according to one councillor at last week’s meeting of the Western Committee.

Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) made the remark when the topic reared its head and he said that they have been ‘years at this’ and still no decision has been made.

‘There are places in West Cork that are out of control when it comes to casual trading and the war in Afghanistan didn’t even take this long,’ said Cllr Carroll, who added that he’s ‘thrown his hat at it’ long ago.

Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) had initially raised the issue and sought an update on the Council’s position on the matter and said they are waiting the best part of 20 years for on a decision on it.

‘How nearer are we now to finalising it than we were 10 years ago?’ asked Cllr Murphy.

Senior executive officer Mac Dara O h-Icí said that the last public consultation on the bye-laws happened in 2016 and a number of district court cases were ongoing.

He said that they were in the High Court as recently as last February with a trader from Bantry.

‘We are waiting on the outcome of that case before progressing with the new ones and that decision has come in favour of the Council. We’re waiting to hear if there is an appeal on that. Even if there isn’t, we will be meeting with our legal team to get the system up and going again,’ Mr O h-Icí.

Cllr Murphy said he gets ‘umpteen calls’ from people calling for some control on how these traders set up their stalls and work and behave.

‘In some cases, scenic areas are being taken over by chip vans and food outlets and they could be taking over three or four car spaces. That’s having a detrimental effect on our ratepayers. We’d want to get our act together,’ said Cllr Murphy.

Cllr Carroll noted his colleague Cllr Murphy raises this issue ‘three or four times a year’ and there is still no progress on it. And he said the Council should take the issue a lot more seriously.

‘It’s annoying and sickening to think that people can do what they like from time to time with certain public spaces,’ said Cllr Carroll.

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