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Sheriff asked to re-think voting plan

January 30th, 2021 7:05 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Cllrs want the Ballyheada NS station to stay open.

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Councillors have called on county sheriff Sinead McNamara to rethink plans for the closure of a polling station in Ballinhassig parish, because they said it would force voters to travel several extra miles to Riverstick.

Councillors were discussing the draft polling scheme which had been prepared by Cork County Council, when several voiced their objection to proposed closure of the station at Ballyheada National School.

Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind) said it would involve moving over 600 voters from 19 Ballinhassig townlands to another parish, and he rejected the proposal.

Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) said that people in Ballyheada who want to vote would have to travel eight or nine miles away to the nearest polling station in Riverstick.

‘We still should ensure this anomaly whereby people are passing their own school in Ballyheada to drive into Riverstick to vote doesn’t occur. ‘A common sense approach is needed here and we should ask the county sheriff to change this immediately,’ said Cllr Murphy.

Cllr Aidan Lombard (FG) suggested that they should reject the proposal and said that there are 1,200 votes in Goggins Hill and said it was ‘illogical’ that they would have to go to Riverstick to vote and pass another polling station on the way.

Council chief executive Tim Lucey said that it was his understanding that any changes that were sought had been incorporated into the proposal and that it had been before Council weeks earlier, and everything that was raised had been covered off.

Mr Lucey said he was surprised to hear submissions being made on this.

County mayor Cllr Mary Linehan Foley said they would defer this issue and write to the county sheriff about it.

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