LEGISLATION to give effect to extending the Cork city boundary is currently in preparation for the next Dáil term and, like it or not, will bring about a new dynamic between the city and county local authorities.
Therefore, it is good to see the city’s Lord Mayor and the County Mayor teaming up and lobbying government for a multi-million euro stimulus package for the region over the next three to five years. There is a precedent for this dating back to when the Limerick’s city and county councils were amalgamated into one local authority.
With Dublin bursting at the seams, there is a need for a lot more investment in regional development and Ireland’s second city and largest county deserve a decent share of anything that is going. To make sure the money comes this way, Lord Mayor of Cork Mick Finn and Mayor of County Cork Patrick Gerard Murphy have been conducting a series of meetings with Cork-based ministers to plead their case and seeking an audience with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue.
The most senior Cork-based minister, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, was one of the main drivers behind the city boundary extension and he needs to support the change financially at government level in order to ensure balanced development. It is vital also that the county – with its bigger population – does not become the poor relation of the city.
We trust that Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Macroom’s Michael Creed, will be sympathetic to the cause of rural areas that cannot afford to suffer further decline and have not felt the benefits of the economic recovery to the same extent as their urban counterparts. A stimulus package is vital in order to facilitate the transition process and to drive the economic performance of the Cork region as a whole.