COMMUNITY and political representatives from Ring to Timoleague claim they have been ‘shafted’ by the Boundary Commission ruling.
Stephen Finn, the chairman of Courtmacsherry Development Association, said the decision to move areas – including Courtmacsherry, Timoleague, Butlerstown, Lislevane, Darrara and Ring – from the West Cork Municipal District to the Bandon Kinsale Municipal District makes ‘no sense.’
Mr Finn said: ‘We are geographically closer to Clonakilty. It is our natural hinterland, but now we are being asked to look to the east to have our concerns and issues dealt with.
‘We have always been associated with the town of Clonakilty and by moving us away from it, we will be in unknown territory,’ he said.
‘We will have to deal with different councillors who will, we are told, still have to revert back to the Council’s administration offices in Clonakilty, which, to us, makes no sense at all.
‘Here, everyone goes to secondary school in Clonakilty, so we have educational and commercial ties to Clonakilty. The same goes for health and recreation. And we shop in Clonakilty too.’
Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) was deeply critical of the decision.
He said: ‘With the stroke of a pen, Courtmacsherry, Timoleague, Butlerstown, Ring, Darrara, Lislevane and other areas have been moved out of West Cork.
He described it as a ‘farcical decision’ by Minister Phelan and the Boundary Commission.
‘Despite numerous submissions requesting that these areas would remain within the West Cork Municipal District, the minister has turned his back on those requests.’
Whether he stands in the West Cork division or the Bandon Kinsale division in the next local elections, Cllr Hayes, who lives in Courtmacsherry, said he will continued to represent his electorate: ‘If re-elected, I will continue to work for the people of West Cork, and my neighbours and friends in Courtmacsherry and Barryroe, despite what the minister and others are trying to impose.’
Cllr Hayes said he was both ‘frustrated and angry by this development’ and is currently liaising with colleagues in Leinster House to see if amendments can be made to these plans before it is ratified by a vote.