Projects funded countywide under 1916 Commemorative Programme

Full list of groups, their projects, their location and funding awarded: Projects to be funded countywide

  1. Carrigaline Tidy Towns: Garden of Remembrance
    Ballincollig – Cork Nature Network: Irish Nature in 1916 “Creating a Vision 2016”
  2. Ballincollig Twinning Association: Visit of Twinning Partners (Mechterstadt in Germany and Saclay in France) to join in the centenary commemoration of 1916
  3. Carrigaline Community Association: History Through the Ages – A Parade with Reenactments
  4. Kinsale History Society: Kinsale Remembers 1916
    Ballinhassig: John L. O’ Sullivan re-enactment of march, erection of monument
  5. Crosshaven – Camden Fort Meagher:  1916 Commemoration – Remembrance Weekend
  6. ACR Heritage: “Aghabullogue & 1916 – Lectures and an exhibition”
  7. Béal Átha An Ghaorthaidh and Inchigeela Historical Society: Easter Sunday Re-enactment, exhibition and unveiling of plaque
    Carriganima Community Development: “Carriganima Easter Sunday 1916 Commemoration –  On Easter Sunday 1916 one hundred plus Volunteers mobilised at Carriganima, having come from Ballyvourney, Kilnamartyra, Ballinagree and Clondrohid; the  local Carriganima Volunteer Company was also present. It is proposed to re-enact this gathering by contacting representatives/descendants of these volunteers and the gathering will include the unveiling of commemorative plaques and light entertainment”
  8. Blarney: Brian O Donchú publication on Frank Busteed, lecture
    Cúil Aodha: Coiste Litríochta Mhúscraí Comóradh ar ócáid a thuit amach I gCúil Aodha I Mí Iúil 1918
  9. Timothy R. Murray Memorial Plaques, re-enactments, heritage projects and publications
  10. Baile Mhúirne: Mary Keane “A Question of Language” – a Video Exhibition with some of the former attendees of Coláiste Iosagáin in Baile Mhúirne
  11. Kilmurry Historical and Archaeological Association: Commemoration and reenactment of volunteer march through Kilmurry village (teaming up with Ballinhassig Historical Assoc.)
    Múscraí – Coiste Litríochta: Mhúscraí Foillsiú Féilire (Calendar based on 1916 heroes, poets and writers)
  12. Baile Mhúirne: Studio Eas Coille Art Exhibition (showcasing the prominent places in the Múscraí Gaeltacht that featured prominently between 1916 and 1921)
  13. Macroom: Ted Cunningham Cumann na mBan
  14. Baile Mhúirne:   Slí Gaeltacht Mhúscraí Cathaoir Cuimhneachán ar 1916 a thógaint ar Slí Galetahct Mhúscraí (1916 Remembrance Chair along the Muskerrry Walking Way)
    Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh: Coláiste na Mumhan Oireachtas an Éirí Amach (arts and the Rebellion in Irish and English)
    GDI Productions: Production and Performance of a new play about Michael Collins – working title “The Big Fella”
  15. Cobh: James Connolly Remember Group Cobh Music and Lectures celebrating James Connolly in Cobh
  16. Cobh: Youth Services Documentary Film entitled “Reflections on the 1916 Easter Rising and past connections to present day Cobh”
  17. Knockraha Historical Society: “The Secret Landscape of Knockraha” – War of Independence Heritage Trail
    Cobh 1916 Commemoration Committee: Reenactment of Cobh Volunteers’ assembly and march. This event will see the unveiling of a plaque; the opening of a memorial garden and the erection of a monument
  18. Cobh: Museum Two exhibitions one re Scuttling of the Aud/Queenstown involvement in 1916 and the other on the history of Irish Dance
  19. Cobh: Tourism Ltd Display of Anchor from the Aud with suitable interpretation signage
  20. Cobh: Animation Team Mothers Day Afternoon Tea (Mná na hÉireann/Women of the Rising) Event
  21. Castlemartyr Family Carers and Disability Support Group: A Celebration of the Music and Musicians of 1916 (Ireland and Worldwide)
  22. Killeagh Inch Historical Group: Community Commemorative Event involving local school and relatives of Ristéard Ó Foghlú of Knockmonlea for his contribution to the Irish language and the part he and his family played in 1916
  23. Midelton: Pamela Morrison Documentary looking at the youth’s opinion of the Irish flag, what qualities a leader should have and what they would change about the 1916 proclamation
  24. Youghal: Comhaltas Garden of Remembrance
  25. Youghal Celebrates History: Youghal 2016 – Degrees of Seperation (Seminar and Publication)
  26. Matthew McAteer: Discovering the People Featured in the Horgan Film Collection circa 1916
    Ballymacoda Ladysbridge Community Council: Centenary Remembrance and Celebration
  27. Rostellan Development Association: “Thomas Kent Memorial Park” and community gathering with music and display of dancing, etc.
  28. Youghal Comhaltas: Musical Pageant on the Young Life of James Connolly
  29. Castlelyons Bridesbridge Tidy Towns and Heritage Group: 1916 Trees of Remembrance
  30. Fermoy St. Colman’s College: Thomas McDonagh Plaque at school where he once taught
  31. Glanworth Players Community Theatre Group: Commissioning and Stating of Play entitled “The Wearing of the Motley” – written to commemorate those throughout the country who were primed to join the Easter rising, but who ultimately did not due to the countermanding order
  32. Glanworth Community Council: Garden of Remembrance
    Kildorrery Community Development Association: Erecting a Monument and associated Events
  33. Ballyhoura Development: Military Graveyards Project
    Conna Community Council: Special Events including Military Ceremony
  34. Castlelyons Community Council & Barrymore Players Drama Group: “The Kents of Bawnard” – A Drama Production
    Charleville Heritage Society: commemorating the Charleville Battalion (Old I.R.A.) by inscribing their names on a panel to be erected in the Garden of Remembrance, plaque to Éamon de Valera
  35. Fermoy 1916 Commemoration Committee: Parade, laying of wreath, Garden of Remembrance, souvenir programme
    Castlelyons 1916 Commemoration Committee: Cork County ‘Ireland 2016’ Commemorative Ceiliuradh at Castlelyons
    Bruach na Carraige Cultural and Heritage Centre: “The Path to 1916” – A Commomoration in music (song and dance) by Ceoltoirí Sliabh Luachra
  36. St. Brendan’s N. S. Rathcoole: “A Celebration of Life in 1916”
    Mallow Field Club: Digitisation of 25 past Mallow Field Club Journals
  37. Mallow Field Club Lecture
  38. Bernard Moynihan Commemoration Committee: Memorial/plaque and lecture
  39. Millstreet Country Park: Historical Trail(guided tours), Festival, statues
  40. Freemount 1916 Commemoration Committee: memorial, garden of remembrance and publication
  41. Mourneabbey Community Council: Mourneabbey Community 2016 Centenary Celebrations
  42. Kilbrin Community Council: A weekend of celebreations and dress of the time, memorials and plaques
  43. Newmarket Development Association / Duhallow Heritage Society: Lasair na Saoirse – A Duhallow Garden of Remembrance
  44. Duhallow Choral Society: “The Risen People” Duhallow Remembers
  45. Cullen 1916 Committee: memorial and garden of remembrance involving local schools
  46. Millstreet Monument Committee: Lecture, Publication launch, plaque and monument
  47. Kiskeam Brass Band: Restart the Kiskeam Brass Band
  48. Boherbue 1916 Centenary Commemoration Committee: Gathering, Plaque, exhibit, art installation and TV documentary and booklet
  49. Domina Commemorative Committee: ‘Who We Are’ Dromina 1916-2016 Commemorative Community Festival
  50. Mallow Development Partnership: Various – Exhibition, “Irish Night”, unveiling of plaque to Volunteers, Remembrance Garden; showing of Movie Wind That Shakes the Barley
  51. Beara Historical Society: Erection and unveiling of plaque to Padraig O’ Laoghaire, Gaelic League scholar and author and the Irish teacher of Padraig Pearse
  52. Colm Scully and Conor MacManus: “Breakfast with Padraig” Spoken Word and Film Performance
  53. Oileán Cléire: Éamon Lankford Remembrance Ceremony at Sea (off Gascannane Rock where O’ Donovan Rossa is said to have composed some famous lines of Irish poetry), exhibition
  54. Clonakilty Historical Society: erection of memorial, publish a historical journal on the Lyre Company
  55. West Cork Oral Heritage: Oral History Project
  56. Castletownbere Scoil Phobail Bhéara: Oral History Project
  57. Clonakilty:  Conradh Na nGaeilge Cnoch Na gCoillte refurbishment of grave of Máire Ní Shíthe in (Gaelic Authoress)Timoleague, erection of a plaque in Clonakilty
  58. Inchigeela Tidy Towns: Garden of Remembrance. Inchigeela Tidy Towns will undertake a garden of remembrance
  59. Cork County Council: Michael Collins House Permanent exhibition reflecting the life of Michael Collins from his birth in Woodfield to his death at Beal na mBlath.
  60. West Cork Maritime Heritage Company: Exhibition of Fishing Vessel  “The Free State” – the first fishing boat to be registered in Cork at Independence, Registration No “C 1”
  61. Courtmacsherry St. Patricks Day Festival Committee: week long historical and cultural festival event with strong Irish language aspect
  62. Oileán Cléire: Éamon Lankford publication in Irish and English of John K. Cotter’s poems as well as a lecture and the Cape Clear connection with the landing of guns from the Asgard
  63. Bantry Historical Society: Reenactment march and historical lecture
  64. Ardfield National School: Garden of Remembrance, exhibition of children’s projects, lectures, re-enactments
  65. Rosscarbery National Committee: Remembrance Parade and Commemoration of Easter Rising (particular mention of Michael Collins and Seán Hayes)
  66. West Cork Arts Centre: 1916 to 2016 – 100 years in History and Art (Working title
  67. Skibbereen & District Chamber of Commerce: 2016 St. Patrick’s Day Parade/Pageant
  68. Skibbereen 1916 Commemoration Committee: Commemoration of both Gearóid Ó Suilleabháin (raised Tricolor over GPO) and Jeremiah O’ Donovan Rossa
  69. Skibbereen Arts Festival: The People’s Museum of Skibbereen 1916 – 2016
  70. William Rossa Cole: “Rossa Irish Rebel” – a documentary film
  71. Bantry Development and Tourism Association: “Bantry Celebrates and Commemorates:  A  community commemorative event will take place in Bantry over Easter Weekend 2016. Activities will include historical lectures, an exhibition of memorabilia and photographs, musical performances, church ceremonies and a children’s art camp entitled “Remembering the Past”
  72. Clonakilty Duchas Heritage: Clonakilty Community 1916 Events
  73. Cork County Council – Architects Redevelopment of Béal na Bláth Site to include on-site interpretation
  74. Drinagh Seán Ó Muirthile Historical Society: Seán Hurley Commemoration Day
  75. Cork City and County Archives Book for the 1916 Easter Rising Centenary based on documents for the 1912 – 1918 period held in the Cork City and County Archives
  76. Cork Genealogical Society: Genealogy Conference “Your Family in 1916”
  77. Uileann Ceol: Ancestral Connections – Roots to the Rising 2016 in association with the Irish genealogy Summer School, University College, Cork
  78. Cork County Council – Library: The Culture and Entertainment of 1916 (variety event with song, poetry and drama)
  79. Ortús Chamber Music Festival: Commission and Performance of a new chamber music work “Pause” by Sam Perkin in commemoration of the 1916 Rising

My motion to full Council on the Strategic Infrastructure Act, 14th December 2015

“That a planning application to An Bord Pleanala made under the Strategic Infrastructure Act can be made no more than twice for the same nature of project on the same site.”

Projects that are really big; projects like an incinerator, a landfill, an airport, a port, a refinery, a power station, a super-large wind farm don’t follow normal planning permission procedures. They follow the procedures outlined in the Strategic Infrastructure Act of 2006. Such projects have massive potential to impact on both humans and the environment. So companies proposing these projects can spend up to two years in pre-planning consultation with An Bord Pleanala and a further year and more preparing the necessary planning documentation.

When the planning application is advertised, the public – those most at risk of impact – have 6 weeks within which to make a submission. So they put aside their lives, spend every waking minute interpreting the technical data that it took specialised consultants and year and more to prepare and submit their expressions of fear to the Board with the requisite fee.

When the Board is ready, it calls an oral hearing. Again, the public – those who are most at risk of impact – put their lives on hold. Frantic recruiting of grannies and childminders, hasty booking of time off work, postponing business appointments, rescheduling plans. Panic-stricken seeking of experts who may back their concerns and fears with technical data. Research and preparation each night into the early hours of each morning.

An oral hearing can take anything from a few days to a few weeks. The company proposing the project does not have to be present. Their evidence is generally delivered by their consultants and managed by their legal representatives. The concerned public who were lucky enough to find childminders and get time off work attend all day every day. Those who were less lucky pop in and out during lunch hour and any time during the working day that they can. All go home in the evening, catch up on normal daily life and when that normal daily life is over, prepare for the following day’s hearing.

After the oral hearing is over and generally after several months of a wait, the Board delivers a verdict. If a project is refused permission to proceed, the concerned public is much relieved but their work is not done. They must now start fund-raising to pay for experts they may have employed to support them in the oral hearing. In some communities, this fund-raising can go on for years, so the legacy of a project stays with a community long after it has been refused.

But a company proposing a strategic infrastructure project invests heavily in a site and has tremendous hopes for the profits that project may bring. It will not let this investment go to waste. So some years later, the company tweaks the planning application and begins the process again.

The impact on the community is phenomenal. A community can rarely garner the same level of public support the second time round. People are tired and still in the process of recovering their lives years after the first application. But they rally, draining themselves of their energy and resources in the process.

Some communities in our county are enduring this merry go round, not for the second, but for the third time. They are fighting a third variation of the same project, on the same site, already refused twice by the Board. Can you even imagine the impact on those communities? The planning process was designed to be democratic. To repeatedly apply for permission for a development in this way is neither constructive nor democratic. It is simply bullying.

For the sake of democracy, fairness and communities, I ask this Council’s support to request of the Minister that the planning acts be amended so that a planning application to the board under the Strategic Infrastructure Act can be made no more than twice for the same nature of project on the same site.

Notes from a meeting of Cork County Council, 14th December 2015

Meeting of Cork County Council, 14th December 2015


1.  Minutes of Meeting of the Council held on 23rd November, 2015.

Cllr Hegarty (FG) would like amendment to page 9 – Waterrock and Carrigtwohill Masterplan – “which will include”.

Minutes proposed and seconded.

CE: Capital budget will be 2nd meeting in January.


[b]           VOTES OF SYMPATHY

2.  Votes of Sympathy (if any) to the relatives of:

  • members or employees of the Council,
  • dignitaries of Church or State, or
  • members of old I.R.A. and Cumann na mBan.

Votes of sympathy from:
Cllr Murphy O’Mahony (FF)
Cllr Dawson (FG)
Cllr Doyle (FF)
Cllr McGrath (FF)
Cllr McCarthy (FG)

Cllr Murphy (FG) welcomes Cllr Noel McCarthy (formerly Lab) to Fine Gael.  Speaks about his vast experience.  FG started off with 16, now we’re 17 and the door is always open for others!

Cllrs Collins (Ind) and O’Keeffe (FF) also spoke.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF) asked for a suspension of standing orders at 1pm to discuss the recent Paris agreement on climate change.



3.  Disposal of Property: Section 183 of the Local Government Act, 2001:

Ballincollig/Carrigaline Municipal District, 16th November, 2015:
(a).          Grant of Wayleave at Bramble Hill, Castletreasure, Co. Cork.

 East Cork Municipal District, 7th September, 2015:
(b).          Disposal of 2 Woodview Court, Youghal, Co. Cork.
(c).          Disposal of 27 Rosary Place, Midleton, Co. Cork.
(d).          Disposal of lands at Laurence Kelly Terrace, Killeagh, Co. Cork.
(e).          Disposal of 10 Raheen Park, Youghal, Co. Cork.
(f).           Disposal of 43 Rosary Place, Midleton, Co. Cork.
(g).          Disposal of 2 & 3 McAllister Way, Castlemagner, Co. Cork.(h).         Disposal of 52 Liam McGearailt Place, Fermoy, Co. Cork.

(i).            Amendment to Disposal of The Quadrants, Ballincollig, by the substitution of “Co-Operative Housing Ireland” in lieu of “NABCO” being the persons to whom the properties are to be disposed.

(j).            Amendment to Disposal of Lands (5.857 acres) at Little Island, Co. Cork, by the substitution of “Patrick O’Driscoll” in lieu of “Val & Patrick O’Driscoll” being the person to whom the property is to be disposed.

Proposed and seconded.


4.  Section 4(2) and Sections 32-35 of the Local Community Development Committee (Section 128E) Regulations 2014 (SI No. 234 of 2014):
Filling of casual vacancy on the West Cork Local Community Development Committee

“A casual vacancy has arisen on the West Cork LCDC. In accordance with the provisions of Section 4(2) and Sections 32-35 of the Local Community Development Committee (Section 128E) Regulations 2014 (SI No. 234 of 2014), the approval of the members is sought for the appointment of Mr. Kevin Curran, Substitute Head of LEO as a replacement representative for Local Enterprise Office on the West Cork LCDC. The previous nominee Mr. Michael Hanley is hereby de-selected.”

Proposed and seconded.


5.  Section 5 of the Arterial Drainage Acts 1945 & 1995:   Consideration of and observations in regard to the proposed River Bride (Blackpool) Certified Drainage Scheme.

Report from the CE: Blackpool Drainage OPW

CE: This is a scheme that is advertised by the OPW for Blackpool. There is an opportunity for Council to make its observations on this scheme by early February. Council staff will give a briefing to the relevant Municipal District. 



6.  “That Cork County Council is authorised to borrow by way of overdraft a sum not exceeding €10m for the twelve month period ending 31st December, 2016, subject to the sanction of the Minister for the Environment and Local Government.”

Proposed and seconded.



7.  Corporate Policy Group:

(a).          Approval of attendance by Council members at Conferences on the Conference List for December, 2015 approved by the Corporate Policy Group at their meeting on the 8th December, 2015.

Proposed and seconded.



(b).          Nomination of Member to the Board of the Crawford Art Gallery.

Letter from Dept of Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht: Crawford Art Gallery

Claire Cullinane proposed by Cllr Hurley (Ind)
Susan McCarthy proposed by Cllr Murphy (FG)

Vote taken: Cullinane – 20; McCarthy – 23



(c).          Approval of Financial Contribution of €10,000 to Cork City Sports.

Proposed and seconded.

Cllr Conway (Ind): Recognition should be given on the day to Cork County Council contribution. No recognition was given on the day last year. Recognition was given to City Council only.

Cllr Canty (FG): We have always given a grant to Cork City Sports when we are asked. We present at one event only but we’re giving money and although it is a great thing for Cork City, the recognition we get is very minimal. Same with Cork Opera House. Time that the Cork City Sports Committee – who do great work – must acknowledge Cork County Council’s contribution.


8.  Development Committee:
“That Cork County Council supports the principles set out in the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Charter for Fair Conditions of Work.”

This motion arose from a presentation given to the Development Committee. Supported.

Cllr O’Grady (SF): When Cork County Council does business with outside contractors, please try to endeavour that they are in compliance with the Charter.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): Cork County Council should do what it can to support this in a practical way. We have already spoken about Gateway and a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. Public authorities should lead the way in terms of workers’ rights for a living wage.


9.  1916 Commemoration Committee: Approval of grants under Cork County Council’s 2016 Centenary Programme

Projects under the 2016 Centenary Programme: 2016 UPDATE


Cllr O’Flynn introduced this as chairperson of the 1916 committee. Spoke about the tremedous array of projects which have been grant-funded for 1916 commemoration.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF) and others commend Conor Nelligan, Cork County Council.


10.  Kanturk/Mallow Municipal District:
REPORT UNDER SECTION 179 PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT ACT 2000 – Traffic Calming Scheme R620 and L9045 at Gooldshill, Mallow, Co. Cork.

CE’s report: Gooldshill Mallow Part 8 Managers Report Nov15

Proposed and seconded.


11.  Environment & Emergency Services SPC:
“That Cork County Council condemns the recent announcement by the ESB that;   

  • From the 1st January next free access to electric vehicle charging points is to be removed
  • A monthly fee for such access is to be introduced
  • Additional per charge fees are to apply to use of high-speed three-phase charging points

The Council views the introduction of these charges as being unjustified and untenable and completely at odds with a policy that seeks to increase the use of electric vehicles.

The Council asks that the charges be immediately rescinded and that furthermore, so as to bring clarity to existing and potential users, a period of years be specified during which no such charges will be introduced.”

Cllr Murphy introduced the motion as chairperson of the SPC.

Cllr M Hegarty (FG): Totally supports. The ESB’s move defeats the whole purpose. Even the initial cost of electric cars is substantial.

Cllr Canty (FG): Chicken and egg situation. At the moment there is a charge and who is going to pay for the electricity in the long run? There has to be a charge because the ordinary electricity user will pay for it. If I drive my car I have to pay for petrol. At the end of the day, someone will pay for it and it will be the ordinary people who will end up paying for it through their taxes, etc.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Also a member of the Environment SPC and entirely supports what Cllr Murphy has said. Transport makes up more than 20% of our entire national greenhouse gas emissions. It is also the area of fastest growth in emissions. In the last 25 years – since the early 1990s – the number of cars on our roads has gone up 150%. Our transport is 99% dependent on imported fuels. This costs the country about €3.5 billion every year. Under the Renewable Energy Supply Directive, Ireland is obliged to have 10% of transport energy coming from renewable sources by 2020. So the government set a target of having 230,000 cars on the road to be electric by 2020.  But at the current rate of purchase, only about 50,000 electric cars will be on Irish roads by 2020 – miles short of our target. One of the reason for this is that the Nissan Leaf, one of the most popular electric cars, has a theoretical maximum range of 200km but a real maximum range of 120km. So if you are driving from Cork to Dublin you have to stop to charge? The batteries are not sufficiently developed to go the whole journey in one go. You cannot slow charge: that takes overnight, so you use a fast charging point in a garage. But in Ireland, there are only about 150 fast charging points available publicly. And now the price of using these fast charging points is going up. Why would we penalise those who are willing to take the inconvenience and make that extra effort to drive a cleaner car? In Norway, the goal was to reach 50,000 zero emissions vehicles by 2018. Their incentives to drive electric cars have been so successful that by September this year, they had over 66,000 of them on the road. Way past their national target. But in Ireland, we are not even close to reaching ours.

Cllr Hayes (SF): We have to incentivise people if we have to make a change. This needs a huge change of direction. With the Paris summit, we are going to be penalised for not meeting our targets. Is working with a group in West Cork who is offering a taxi service using electric cars. Very positive initiative. We have to put the infrastructrure in place to support the use of electric cars.

Cllr Coleman (Ind): Supports. If we had filling stations charging you to come into the filling station first and then charging you for the fuel as well, it would be totally unacceptable.

Cllr McGrath (FF):   Not merely do we have to import transport, spoke also of localised exhaust emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles which cause local respiratory issues. We need to encourage alternative modes of transport that do not rely on fossil fuels and so supports the motion.

Cllr Forde (FG): Local government was recognised as having a pivotal role in determining the outcome of what we will achieve arising from the Paris summit. Whatever we decide locally will be of utmost importance and those at national level will have to recognise that. All week when the media was talking about the flooding, not one associated the flooding with climate change. We always heard that people were not doing enough. There is a responsibility on every one of us and the Council should have programmes at local level to highlight this.

Motion passed and we will write to the ESB.


12.  Tourism SPC:
Approval of Draft Trails for Tourism – A Policy to maximise the economic benefit to the County.

Draft Trails Policy: Trails for Tourism Report December 8th

Cllr Coleman (Ind): Introduces as chairperson of the Tourism SPC. The aim of the policy is to maximise the economic benefit of trails to the county. The draft policy has eight key proposals. The appointment of a Trails Coordinator is the most important of these. We are hoping a European project we are involved in will fund this. That will propel the policy into a reality. It would be good both for the people of the county and for tourism. The aim is to try to make Cork a centre for walking tourism. Particularly want to focus on family-centric and child-friendly trails. Refers to the Lake District and how they have optimised on this.

Cllr Conway (Ind): Welcomes the document. There seems to be a deficit of trails in Cork. Take the source of the River Lee all the way to Cork Harbour: there is massive potential there to develop trails for cycling, walking and others. Is hoping these will be thought of as the trails policy develops. Wishes the Tourism SPC the best with this.

Cllr M Hegarty (FG): Welcomes the document. Sheeps Head walk is worth €18m to the local economy. Hopes we will see a Camino type walk in Cork in due course with all the trails linked up.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Draft policy is very good. Refers to the National Trails Office register. Was very disappointed to see that the National Trails Office register does not have any cycling trails in County Cork marked at all, even though we have some excellent both on road and off road trails.

Cllr Canty (FG): Congratulates those who put draft policy together. A few trails are indeed left out but these can be amended. Spoke of Ballincollig trail. Document will be ready for the incoming tourist season.

Cllr PG Murphy (FF): Many of our trails have been recently fitted with counters. The counter at Dursey Island showed the highest amount of passers of any walks in Ireland. We need to provide the services associated with walkers as we are expanding the trails.

Cllr Hayes (SF): Delighted to see this coming together in the last few months. West Cork is very proud of its natural heritage. This is a way of putting it all together, increasing signage, etc. Will be a very impressive package to bring to the market. The Sheep’s Head Way is very positive and the Clonakilty Cycle Scheme will be expanded next year.

Mayor: Very inspirational document and will be great for the county in terms of its future.

CE: Commends the staff for taking this opportunity in conjunction with the SPC. Key to this is not just listing what trails we have but linking the various elements of the tourism product we have to the trails. We are fully supportive of the partnership approach taken to this. We need to capture and brand. We are starting to emerge as a leader in tourism development. Looking forward to working on this going forward.

Cllr Coleman (Ind): Acknowledging the work put in by Louis, Rose and the team in putting this together.

Taking all flooding motions together:


13.  West Cork Municipal District:
“The Members of the Municipal District of West Cork call on the OPW to review the existing Arterial Drainage Districts in West Cork to assess their capacity to cope with severe weather events”.


14.  Bandon/Kinsale Municipal District:
“This Council calls on the Office of Public Works to engage in the following manner with the members of the Municipal District of Bandon Kinsale in relation to the proposed Bandon Flood Relief scheme: –

1. to meet urgently with the members of the Bandon Kinsale Municipal District and give an update on the progress of the scheme to date
2. to identify any interim works that can be carried out, before the main scheme is completed to alleviate any possible future flooding
3. to carry out interim works indentified
4. to give a project progress time line to the members of the Bandon Kinsale Municipal District outlining the key milestones in the project and when they are expected to be delivered
5. to meet with the members of the Bandon Kinsale Municipal District and provide regular updates on the progress of the scheme.

This Council also calls on Simon Harris T.D., Minister of State at the Departments of Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of the Taoiseach with Special Responsibility for the OPW, Public procurement, and International Banking (incl. IFSC) to ensure that the Office of Public Works engages as set out above with the members of the Bandon Kinsale Municipal District.

Bandon Main Drainage

This Council calls on Irish Water to engage in the following manner with the members of the Municipal District of Bandon Kinsale in relation to the proposed Bandon Main Drainage Scheme: –  

  1. to meet urgently with the members of the Bandon Kinsale Municipal District and give an update on the progress of the scheme to date
  2. to give a project progress time line to the members of the Bandon Kinsale Municipal District outlining the key milestones in the project and when they are expected to be delivered
  3. to meet on a regular basis with the members of the Bandon Kinsale Municipal District and give updates on the progress of the scheme

This Council also calls on Alan Kelly, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to ensure that Irish Water engages as set out above with the members of the Bandon Kinsale Municipal District.”


24.  Councillor Rachel McCarthy:
“That this Council acknowledges the damage caused to businesses & homes in Bandon as a result of the flooding on Saturday 5th December. In relation to same, that the businesses which have been affected will immediately be exempt from paying rates until such a time that the Main Drainage and Flood Relief schemes have been delivered for the town.”


Councillor Michael Collins:
“I call on the Cork County Council to provide emergency funds for businesses severely effected in the last number weeks and months by flooding either to their business premises or to roads leading to their businesses. These people who are paying rates and employing people have had a serious loss of income due to these major disruptions.   I call on the Cork County Council to grant aid these businesses through a fund like the town development fund or if not freeze rates for these people until they get back on their feet again. It is in the interest of the Cork County Council that we give all the support we can to these businesses so they can continue to carry on through this difficult time.”

Cllr J O’Donovan (FG): Introduced the Bandon-Kinsale Municipal District motion as the chari of the Bandon-Kinsale Municipal District. There was an emergency meeting in Bandon Town Hall last week.   The Council is at the mercy of the OPW on the Bandon flood relief scheme. We want an up-to-date progress report on the scheme to date. We want interim works which can be done to be identified. Because the scheme will take two years even if it gets the go-ahead. It has to go ahead in May. We want that confirmation. We want regular updates every 6 months so we are not kept in the dark as we have been all along. We are meeting with Simon Harris later and we are also asking him to urge the OPW to meet with us.

The second half of the motion deals with Irish Water and the main drainage. We now understand it is being pushed out again. This scheme cannot be pushed out any more. It needs to go ahead in tandem with the flood relief scheme. Bandon is being held to ranson. It can’t surface roads, it can’t do anything. We want to meet with Irish Water.

Glad of the €5m put in by the Red Cross. Commends the staff in Cork County Council who worked through the night to help the local traders. Thanks all those who were involved, including the traders and the people of Bandon. Last night, the Friends of Bandon organised an event. It was very well supported and the Christmas spirit was restored.

It is key that we will no longer be held in the dark with regard to commencment dates for both schemes. We need answers and progress.

Cllr Murphy O’Mahony (FF): Sat Dec 5th, Bandon was badly flooded again, five and a half years after flood relief was promised. We have had legal challenges, design changes and start-stop situations.   Both of the two schemes were to have run in tandem. They have – the tandem of zero delivery. Previous flood victims cannot get insurance. People live in fear of flooding. The town is held to ransom. The OPW and Irish Water need to act. Will also be fighting to get the flood relief works in Skibbereen commenced.

Cllr O’Sullivan (FF): Speaking on Item 13 on the agenda. After the September/October heavy rainfall, it came to light that the engineers who came to the Municipal District meetings shared our concerns with regard to the prospect of more rainfall. There was much Council money spent in emergency works after these rainfall events and there was a fear that they would all be washed away in the next rainfall event. They were. The old Arterial Drainage Scheme would go a long way towards preventing more damage to roads. Supports those in the Bandon-Kinsale Municipal District. Message needs to go loud and clear to government. Drainage works are being carried out in Clonakilty in terms of surface water on the street. Even still, people of Clonakilty were on edge during the recent storm events.

Cllr R McCarthy (SF): We watched the water resurface on the streets of Bandon with horror. Had just been elected to Bandon Town Council in 2009 when the last major flooding happened. Had no faith in the dates we were given at that time with regard to implementation of the flood relief scheme and that has sadly come to be true. The dates Irish Water delivered last week were horrifying. They will not be going to tender until 2016, with the contract awarded in February 2017. Possibly the main drainage will be finished in 2018. That’s a disgrace after waiting since 2009. We acknowledge the flooding in other areas and our thoughts are with those affected but we have to look to our own and support the businesses in the town. People came to march on the streets and that wasn’t just traders. A great show of solidarity. Hoping for a good meeting with Simon Harris today. There are 60 businesses in Bandon petitioning on a no floods relief, no rates basis. They are looking for an investment in Bandon.

Cllr M Collins (Ind): Calls on Cork County Council to have a serious look at the situation we have found ourselves in in the last number of months. We have had flooding in Mizen, Goleen and Crookhaven which had a serious impact on businesses. They literally closed down.   Doesn’t call for rates relief lightly. This is what the people are asking for. They are under severe pressure leading to loss of jobs and closure of their business. The Town Development Fund perhaps should be looked at as a compensatory package. Welcomes that Simon Harris is coming to West Cork.   Welcomes the compensatory packages that have been put in place but there are many who need help from those packages that it is not reaching. If some of these businesses go out of business there is a loss to the Council. If we can’t pull off a rates rebate, we should examine what we can do through the Town Development Fund.

Cllr Coleman (Ind): The flood relief scheme has been in the tender prcess since November 2013. It is being managed by the OPW and their consultants. Is there incompentence there that the tender was legally challenged? The OPW and their consultants backed down in court – that indicates that they were wrong. This has been repoted as being a very poorly managed tender process. There may well be further leaks in the process. With respect to Irish Water and the main drainage proposals, since Irish Water took this project over, they have been constantly moving the goalposts. Their consultants are now talking about reviewing the mains water pipe going through the town. There is a proposal for a rates freeze but both schemes are being funded out of the national purse, not the local purse. Would prefer to look at relief on VAT and income tax which is what is really funding these schemes. That is where will hurt the most.

Cllr Murphy (FG): Cork County Council has come under a lot of blame for the flooding in Bandon. They should be exonerated. The OPW has a huge role to play here in informing the members who will in turn inform the traders and residents of Bandon. Agrees that the delays are unacceptable. We need to contact Irish Water immediately and agrees with the sentiments expressed so far by all the members.

Cllr M Hegarty (FG): Welcomes the Minister who is coming to Skibbereen. Hopes to speak first hand on what we have said already. Arterial drainage is very important. Would like to see a scheme like the arterial drainage scheme put in place again. Our engineers are doing everything they can but this is an opportune time this afternoon to speak to our Minister. Feels for the traders because this is the busiest time of the year.

Cllr PG Murphy (FF): It appears the OPW is not fit for purpose. This is not the first time. They have also made a mess of dealing with old buildings. We need to plan for these events. They will happen and we know they are going to happen.

Cllr Hayes (SF): Gives support to all the motions on the floor on this topic. Send sympathies especially to the residents in Bandon. Very upsetting to see people losing so much of their livelihoods. Commends the Council and emergency services who helped. We need to put pressure on the OPW. Is pleased to see Minister Harris visiting Bandon and Skibbereen today. We have had huge frustration in both towns and the buck stops with the OPW. There have also been cuts of €16m to the OPW in recent years. This is not helping. Asks that the Minister would provide the €40k needed to provide pumps for the Dunmanway area in particualr. At present, the area is being kept pumped through the goodwill of local contractors. Had a motion to the Municipal District last year about clearing of rivers. All these measures help.

Cllr Lombard (FG): Concurs with all sentiments. Yesterday’s street festival was a great credit to Bandon and to those who supported them. A meeting with the Irish Water officials and with the OPW is very important. The districts need to move with these people to progress the situation. The flood relief scheme is a €25m project from the OPW. It needs to be driven forward.

Cllr Hurley (Ind): This is a very serious debate that comes up time and time again. Ministers Kelly and Harris need to be here to listen. We are six years waiting for flood relief schemes that have still not yet started. We hear now there is another year at least before the Bandon scheme goes to tender. There is massive silting of the rivers. The Minister should not leave West Cork today without commiting that work will be done on the ground.

Cllr A Moynihan (FF): There is substantial funding left unspent and it is so frustrating for local residents and traders. Low cost cleaning, etc. is valuable but it is not enough. The overall flood defence is really what is needed. We need to see those overall flood defences advanced, whether on the Lee or whatever.

Mayor: Spoke in sympathy with the people.

CE: Circulated a report which details our level of preparedness, our response, etc. Such a report is normally done after a major event like this. Cork County Council was working all weekend to assess the situation because the severe weather had not gone away. We had expected this weekend to be worse. It was controllable, partly because the rain did not fall as heavily as expected and partly because of people’s efforts on the ground. This impact was not just in Bandon and Skibbereen; it was all over the county. The number of people impacted in the county is probably the highest in the country. Commends all those in Cork County Council and our fire and emergency services. Civil defence is also part of our organisation. Important that the work of our own staff does not get lost in the response of the other agencies. Knows some staff were up for 24 and 48 hours. Knows many business people were also. We need clarity on what the next phases are. Bandon and Skibbereen flood relief schemes are probably the most advanced in the country. They are both out to tender and tenders are due in in January. The next 5 – 6 months are critical for both of those schemes. The need to communicate is paramount. We will write on foot of the motion to the OPW. Knows from discussions at the highest level with the OPW that the need for communication is recognised. The government’s humanitarian scheme is targeted at small businesses that have been unable to get flood insurance. Will be administered through the Red Cross. The government will make initial payments prior to Christmas to return buildings to their pre-flood condition. The scheme does not give compensation. It is targeted at small businesses with up to 20 employees.   There is a link to this on the Cork County Council website. Compensation is capped at €20k. There are qualifications. Applications under the scheme will be made to the relevant local authority.

On rates: We get through times like this as an organisation. We have always been respectful of businesses. Business needs also to recognise that Cork County Council provides an excellent service, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The businesses funds pay for this. The flooding is not Cork County Council’s fault. We can put in place a range of flexible measures to help businesses in difficulty. Legally we would struggle to do it and as an organisation we have never done it. Emergency funds have been put in place by government – rightly so. We have already responded to a specific request from the Bandon-Kinsale Municipal District over the weekend. There is a case for examining what the Town Development Fund can do. Any business that has been impacted negatively and has a difficulty in paying rates, contact us and we will come to an arrangement with them. Cork County Council is not the body that has not performed in this sitaution. We performed admirably and we will continue to do so.

Cllr J O’Donovan (FG): Thanks everyone. Hopes we can go on and talk to the OPW and to Irish Water.

Cllr R McCarthy (SF): Is aware the rates system is an old one. The request for a stop on rates came from the traders themselves. If the traders cannot trade because of their overheads and outgoings, …. We don’t want to see any businesses close. The €5k went a long way. Is there something we can do through the Economic Development Fund to support businesses specifically? We need a support mechanism in place for businesses. Cork County Council did have involvement until 2013 with the main drainage. 


I had to leave the Chamber for a few minutes.



14.  Consideration of the Chief Executive’s Report on Submissions Received to the Proposed Amendment No. 2 to the Bantry E.A. Local Area Plan 2011 – Retail Development in Bantry Town.



15.  Department of Social Protection:
Letter dated 26th November, 2015, in response to Council’s letter of 21st September, regarding those who are unemployed and not on the Live Register.

Letter from the Dept of Social Protection: Dept of Social Protection



[h]           NOTICES OF MOTION

 16.  Councillor Joe Harris:
“That this Council register it extreme concern at the targeting of young people by the Gambling industry through aggressive marketing both on and off line. Furthermore that this Council communicate to the government that urgent action must be taken to protect people from the massive onslaught through all forms of media advertising that promote gambling.”

Cllr Harris (Ind): Online gambling addiction is equivalent to crack cocaine. Massive advertising campaign on TV during sporting events is obscene. Targets young adults in particular. Addiction clinics are reporting a massive increase. People on lower incomes are more vulnerable. Property and social crimes increase. There are mental and emotional issues to the families involved. Asking that the Council would register its extreme concern at this. This issue seems to be completely ignored and the feedback is that it is becoming a major problem.

Cllr Conway (Ind): Supports and seconds the motion. We are all aware of the effect this has on young people.

We will write to the Department.


17.  Councillor Des O’Grady:
“That this Council calls for the establishment of a Housing Co-Ordination Task Force for the supply of Social and Private Housing in Cork. The task force to comprise of representatives from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, the Department of Finance, both Cork Local Authorities, Irish Water, the National Transport Authority, NAMA and Voluntary Housing Agencies as well as elected members from both City and County Councils.”  

Cllr O’Grady (SF): Is disappointed to see how many councillors are not present in the Chamber. This is a very serious situation. There has been very little action taken since this crisis really kicked in. There is a shortfall of over 10,000 homes. Targets continually fail to be met. There are no greenfield development lands available in the city. There is only modest availablility of brownfield lands. Spoke of Docklands and Mahon – will take years to develop. Future housing need in the county is to be undertaken by private developers in nine Masterplan sites. Some have been in the planning process for more than 10 years with no progress. Some have fragmented land ownership which creates huge challenges for their development. As a long term strategy, masterplans may help. But they will not alleviate the current crisis. Private developers are facing huge constraints to the provision of housing. Constructing on some already-zoned land is not financially viable. Getting Irish Water to provide infrastructure is a problem. The old model of relying on developing levys to frontload infrastructure is no longer an option due to cost. Cork County Council will build some small scale housing developments but Council policy says that Council should be aimed towards housing management rather than housing construction. The voluntary housing agencies central unit has been disbanded. Was located in the Department of the Environment. The housing associations say they cannot fulfil their role because of the lack of coordination, …

Minister Kelly set up a Dublin Housing Supply Task Force in 2014. Now a Delivery Task Force has been estalbished to build on the recommendations of that. We don’t have the time to do a two-stage approach such as they have in Dublin. We need to free the present bottleneck as it is clear the present strategy is not working. We need a coordinating body that will have the ear of government.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): Agrees with what Cllr O’Grady has said. He has put the issues very well. Cork Simon is dealing with 12 people sleeping rough every night in the last year. There has been a 35% increase in those sleeping rough.   This is not just a social crisis. Lack of housing is going to become a strategic issue. The County Council’s Metropolitan area does not get adequate recognition in terms of the difficulty of housing supply. It has implications for Cork’s economy also.

Cllr Forde (FG): Supports this motion. The CE has said there was potential to deliver housing. It could not be delivered overnight but will happen. Has a particular problem in relation to NAMA and receivers and the land they control. Receivers were interacting with the Planning Policy Unit. We were told they would come back to us and report on whether there was an improvement in circumstances. Had particularly asked that a receiver inolved in the Ballincollig Carrigaline Municipal District would come to the Municipal District meeting. Is there any feedback? We had a national building agency which was disbanded in an attempt to do away with quangos. There would be potential for a regional or county strategic task force. We have to have some positive outcome in relation to the delivery of houses. The setting up of a task force can only be for the good.

Cllr McGrath (FF): As chair of the housing SPC, commends Cllr O’Grady for raising this issue. Shares his concerns in relation to the supply of housing. We had a presentation recently from the CIF in the Development Committee meeting. There was general agreement that this problem is going to get worse before it gets better. Should the task force be a county or a national task force? Many of the problems are national problems and they require an approach from government. E.g. mortgage rules, finance, the cost of building. Developers are saying it is not viable for them to build outside of Dublin. Supports any initiative which helps to improve this position. But points out that many of the issues are outside the control of this Council.

Cllr Carroll (FF): It is high time a task force was put together to deal with this. There will be a crisis in our housing. Has concerns about NARPS and properties in housing estates being handed over for social housing. Not fair to those who bought houses in those estates at expensive prices. They must have consideration for those who invested their money as well.

Cllr Dawson (FG): Young couples are not qualifying for the social housing list, but they cannot borrow money. These are a lost group that we need to be looking at.

Cllr Mullane (SF): Does not feel that people in social housing detract from a location. Wants Cllr Carroll to retract what he said about people’s properties being devalued if social housing is brought into an estate. There is an issue like this in Mallow at present which is stopping people from getting social housing. Will not accept this attitude from elected reps.

CE: We are making progres with the targets that have been set. The shortage of supply from the private housing sector is creating difficulty. The issue is across the county, not just in Metropolitan Cork. Cork County Council has led the way here in terms of its analysis of the challenge. The Dublin Housing Supply Task Force did an analysis of the challenges facing Dublin. We did a similar analysis and it has been recognised nationally by the Department and NAMA as being as robust as any analysis done on the Dublin challenge. In fact, ours is probably more in-depth. The outcome of that is that in a recent government announcement, Cork has been referenced in the Dublin support package. No other urban centre has. Cork will be treated the same way as Dublin if there is a government package to come to tackle this problem. We have met DoELG, NAMA, NTA, TII, IW (workshops even with the agencies) over the last year to outline the challenges and to get all the ducks lined up. There must be careful alignment of programmes to ensure various tracts of land can be brought to the market. There is fragmented ownership of the masterplan sites and yes, this is a challenge. The public infrastructure is indeed a challenge. It is important to point out that the CIF is at the table with us on a quarterly basis. The CIF fully concurred with what we have analysed. They concur that the land we have zoned is the most suitable for zoning. They also agree that if these lands do not take off, it will be very difficult to find equally good alternatives. There is a major challenge. We need alignment of the infrastructure agencies. But the level of investment from those agencies is actually quite small. We estimate that €7- 8m of investment in different elements of public infastructure is needed in Cork to ensure that the lands we have are opened up in the next 2 – 3 years.

Cllr O’Grady (SF): Thanks the CE for his comments and wasn’t criticising the Council with the motion. The task force would have to be a national body. Lists the people one would need on it. Such a task force is something we have been discussing at SPC level. The CIF gave the impression that whilst lands are zoned in the county, they are not zoned in viable areas. The reality is we are 2 years behind Dublin if the government are now recognising that Cork also needs housing urgently. For example, the 20k new homes for construction announced by NAMA are all to be built in Dublin. Anything that helps us catch up would be great.

CE: At a social housing level, we have a joint oversight group between City and County which is attended now and again by the DoELG and various housing bodies. This helps all understand what is going on in relation to the social housing market. On receivers: we could come back in the new year and given an update on this. Discussions are ongoing with banks and liquidators and we will clarify in due course. We are making good progress.


(4 FF, 9 FG, 6 Ind, 4 SF present)


Suspension of standing orders

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF): We are coming out of climate agreement talks in Paris where we have agreed to a less than 2% reduction in temperature increase worldwide. We spoke of floods a little while ago. Is concerned that whatever measures we agree as a country will not have a major impact on agricultural production. Hopes agriculture will drive on ahead. It is a major contributor to our economy. We need to acknowledge the part the government played in signing this. This is hugely important from now on and what happens on the ground.

Cllr Hayes (SF): There was a very serious debate on this over the weekend. It will have serious implications for the farming industry. Spoke of new social houses bieng built in Clonakilty. We were querying the heating aspect of the houses in the West Cork Municipal District meeting. They are to be heated by oil but because they have no side gate, the hose from the oil truck is to come in the front door and out the back door. What plans do the Council have to look into less dependence on fossil fuels for our own houses going forward?

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): The outcome of the Paris talks is better than what could have been but a lot less than what should have been. Agriculture and transport are major areas we have to tackle. Insulation, etc. is the best way of reducing domestic emissions. In a report published this morning, 82,200 people in Cork County alone suffering from fuel deprivation. Believes that much of this comes from lack of insulation.

Cllr McGrath (FF): Agrees that the outcome of the Paris talks are meaningful and will inevitably impact on agriculture. Supports what Cllr O’Laoghaire says about insulation.

Cllr Murphy (FG): Agrees with Cllr O’Keeffe

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): The real test for Ireland in the aftermath of the Paris talks will be the agreement that must now be debated with the rest of Europe on burden sharing. So often Ireland goes into these debates playing the poor mouth. But we have no business doing that any more. We are not special. Our economy is growing at the same rate and in some cases faster than other European countries. The measures necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must become part and parcel of every aspect of what we do from now on. With regard to agriculture, we had a presentation last year made to a meeting of the Development Committee on the opportunity for increasing dairy production. I pointed out at that meeting that cows poo and unless we want to deal with the increased impact of their methane emissions, we will have to take measures to manage their slurry. I haven’t heard one word to advance that since. We must build more efficiently, to better standards. Yet Minister Alan Kelly is proposing to amend the building regulations to lower apartment standards. And on transport, the Port of Cork was granted planning permission last year to build a major port facility in Ringaskiddy. This will relegate all port goods to road transport for ever more. There will never be a rail line to Ringaskiddy. Yet An Bord Pleanala granted that planning permission without any assesssment of the impact on climate from that proposal. So the measures to achieve greenhouse gas emissions must become part of everything that we do such that they are as natural as breathing.

Cllr O’Keeffe: Thanks all who have contributed. Thinks Cllr D’Alton has hit the nail on the head with regard to controlling emissions from agriculture.


18.  Councillor Seamus McGrath:
“To seek a report outlining the number of Litter Wardens employed in each Division of Cork County Council.  Given the ongoing and widespread problem of illegal dumping and littering, to request that additional Litter Wardens be appointed across Cork County. “

Report: Response to McGrath’s motion on litter wardens

Cllr McGrath (FF): This is a battle we are not winning and that requires more resources. Thanks for the report received from the executive. We have three full time wardens in the county. There is a shortage of resources being applied to this issue. If one of these wardens is on leave, there is no warden operating in that division. It is a very serious issue that we as an authority would leave such a serious issue unmonitored. We are not doing enough in relation to enforcement. We are not preventing the problem from happening. The report has thrown up some nomalies. Midleton, for example, has 3 part-time wardens. Other large towns have no part-time wardens and even no full-time warden at some given times. This is an urgent issue. Had hoped that the Civic Amenity Sites redeployment of staff would produce additional staff resources for the enforcement side of litter control, but no, they have been redeployed to the reactive side.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Seconds the motion and cannot support it strongly enough. There is tremendous need for additional litter wardens, particularly in South Cork. Litter wardens can help to raise awareness of the litter issue which has not just a negative visual and social impact but will also ultimately detract from commercial life in our towns. There are many downstream benefits from improved control of this problem.

Cllr Forde (FF): Supports the motion. People ask what is the property tax doing for me? If we can say the grass is being cut, the trees are being topped, the litter is being collected, footpaths are being installed and lighting is sufficient, then people know they are getting value for money. That is what local government is all about. Please, let the CE focus on that question when he is deciding where to put extra staff or resources.

CE: We will be advertising in the early New Year to ensure the situation in South Cork is remedied. We are trying to increase part-time wardens. There may be other opportunities for us to do more in this area. The public is aware of the scourge of litter. Those who litter are extremely difficult to catch.

Cllr McGrath (FF): Thanks. Wants to keep this on the agenda. Remedying the South Cork issue is one thing but there needs to be greater addressing of this issue across the county.


19.  Councillor Deirdre Forde:
“That this Local Authority welcomes increased Government investment of €5 million in policing to tackle burglaries and related crime and calls on the Garda Commissioner to ensure that Cork is prioritised in her spend.”

Cllr Forde (FG): Please give us a chance to contact the Minister directly in relation to getting new gardai for Cork. Thinks this Minister for Justice will be one of the most pivotal for many years given that there is so much money now available for more garda recruits. Spoke of money being spent on garda cars. Very important for local communities that tbey would have confidence in the gardai. Wants us to write to the Commissioner and ask that these new recruits would be placed in Cork. Very reassuring for people to see gardai taken away from desk jobs and put out in the communities.

Cllr Collins (FG): Supports the motion. There are assets that are being used in stations where 1,000 gardai are doing work when they should be out in the open doing policing work. Very pleased to second the motion.

Cllr O’Donnabhain (FF): Welcomes the motion and the increased investment in policing. Although there has been recruitment, the bulk of the resources appear to be directed towards Dublin. €5m is a drop in the ocean in relation to what is required. Garda resources are very thin on the ground. What must be happening in the county areas when the impact of insufficient gardai in the city is so obvious? Millions were found to build a courthouse in the city centre which no elected official called for yet people on the ground in rural areas are terrified. Last Friday, a judge pointed out the breakdown in confidence in the criminal justice system.  The strategy of the government in that investment must be examined.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): Supports the motion. Togher/Gurranebraher has been very badly hit by reduced garda presence. Commends the gardai who have had succes in recent months but more investment is needed.

Cllr Harris (Ind): Welcomes the motion. Morale among the gardai is not great. Income is very low. We hear of some gardai sleeping in their cars when they go to training sessions. The focus of the money and the best way to spend it is important.

Cllr Forde (FG): Thanks Members. Confirms that letter will go to the Garda Commissioner.


20.  Councillor Kevin O’Keeffe:
“That Cork County Council calls on the Government to ensure that Irish Water does not renege on the Service Level Agreement already in place for its workforce. This is to guarantee there will be no immediate redundancies of staff given the current deficiencies in the existing water and sewerage infrastructure.”

 Cllr O’Keeffe (FF): The workers who went to Irish Water were mostly from the county councils. Now their SLA is under threat. Wants the Chamber to support that Irish Water would support the workforce being kept in place.

Cllr G Murphy (FG): Doesn’t think the Council should be overconcerned about this issue. One of the flaws in Irish Water is the good job the City and County Managers did in negotating the SLA for their workforce. They wanted to make sure it would serve ex-Council workers into the future.

Cllr P O’Sullivan (FF): Disagrees with Cllr Murphy. If Irish Water workers are voting in favour of industrial action, their interests cannot have been catered for adequately. Irish Water proposed two months ago to go back on the SLAs. They don’t consult with the unions. They are steamrolling ahead with the privatisation of our water networks. All will be at the expense of local authority workers.

Cllr Harris (Ind): When Irish Water was set up, one of the pulls was that investors would come in and put money into the upgrading of the system. But investors don’t come in without a promise of money in return. This is a classic privatisation tactic.

We will write to the government and Irish Water in relation to the SLA.


21.  Councillor Marcia D’Alton:
“That a planning application to An Bord Pleanala made under the Strategic Infrastructure Act can be made no more than twice for the same nature of project on the same site.”

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Text of motion under separate post.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): Supports the motion. Cllr D’Alton said it really well. The Strategic Infrastructure Act is angled against communities.

Cllr Conway (ind): Strategic Development Zones should be included as well because they have the same effect, the same outcome and the same expense to the ordinary person. This is the second time they have had to go through this in Monard. Twice is enough and more than enough for democracy.

Cllr McGrath (FF): Suports the spirit of the motion. Understands the frustration of communities fighting the same battle over and over again. Needs to change to some extent to level the playing field. Large companies can go back for second and third bites at the planning process. Supports the motion in what it is endeavouring to do. Concerned that developers will try to change the “nature of the project” to come around it. There is an unlevel playing field at the moment, especially with pre-planning consultation. This unlevel playing field extends across the whole whole planning area.

Cllr G Murphy (FG): Has no problem with the motion but has a problem is with the process. It takes too long. There should be a definite end ot the process. We were talking about climate change and the need to move things along fast. That will involve infrastructural changes. If we haven’t the processes whereby we can make decisions quickly, then were are not going to succeed. So we can’t have it both ways if we regard climate change as hugely urgent.

Cllr Buckley (SF): Wants to be associated with the motion and supports.

Cllr Forde (FG): Current system is a David and Goliath. The little person has to take on the big. Motion deserves support. Has many problems with An Bord Pleanala – we are too late to make submissions to the review of the Board. Thinks the Board should be overhauled completely. If there is a particular project that someone wants to take on, e.g. with the delivery of a school in her area where there are problems with site, would love to have a process similar to the SIA. But is not allowed under current planning law.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF): Too much power has been taken from the local authority. Companies have to be given a fair opportunity. Compares it to private house. How would the private landowner feel if he could not try again and again for planning permission for a private house?

Cllr Harris (Ind): Supports. Articulated well.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Thanks all for contributions and support. Particularly agrees with Cllr Forde about the need for a formal Council input to the review of An Bord Pleanala. Suggests that we might request permission to do this, even though the date for submission has passed. The consultation was in a pre-prepared form with specific questions. Understands and appreciates Cllrs Murphy and O’Keeffe’s concerns. Perhaps the restrictions on reapplying for planning several times should be hinged on the site. If planning is refused because of the unsuitability of a site, maybe this should be the reason developers should not be permitted repeated applications. But it is absolutely the case that applying for planning permission three times is simply too much for communities and very unfair.

We will write to the department.


22.  Councillor Ian Doyle:
“In view of the extreme weather experienced in Cork County recently, that Cork County Council through the municipal districts would undertake a comprehensive roadside drain and dyke clean-up. The poor condition of these drain and dykes is due to lack of maintenance following on the staff embargo in place for a number of years. As a consequence of this there is a devastating impact on the condition of the regional and local road network especially in rural areas.”

Cllr Doyle (FF): We have all seen the effect of heavy rainfall with our dykes completely full of water. This has happened since the man left the shovel. There had always been Cork County Council guys with a shovel and they kept the dykes low and drains clear.  Passed a road with a river of water running down it this morning. A single private owner was out with a shovel trying to avert the water.   He succeeded. You cannot beat the shovel. Knows funds are limited in the Municipal Districts. Knows staff are put to the pin of their collar to do what they do. But we spoke of putting money towards verge cutting. Can we do the same as an urgent proposal to keep dykes and drains clear?

Mayor: This is probably a discussion we need at Municipal District level. If we have 20 roads on our programme for 2016, it is important that we put money into a proper drainage programme for these roads.

CE: We’ll have the money we’ll have. We will know that in early January/late February. It will then be up to each Municipal District to decide how that fundiing should be allocated. If we need to increase roadside drainage, that impacts on our work programme too. It is a debate that needs to be taken at each Municipal District.


23.  Councillor Paul Hayes:
“That this Council explores the practical steps required to introduce water harvesting systems in its future social housing plans, in a bid to conserve treated water for drinking purposes, and reduce the cost to the state of treating mains water, much of which is used for cleaning and for flushing of toilets. Plans for private houses should also be encouraged to use water harvesting systems, the cost of which may be offset by a grant, similar to previous sustainable energy grants for installing solar panels on houses.”

Cllr Hayes (SF): There is an opportunity for Cork County Council to lead the way in this one. Last year, the government announced plans to include rainwater harvesting in building regulations. They then went down a different road in setting up Irish Water. We are on the cusp of a housebuilding scheme in Clonakilty. We can make these houses environmentally friendly, using cost efficient measures.

Cllr Doyle (FF): In Fermoy Municipal District, we had a display of rainwater harvesting. Very impressive. Much potential.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Just want to briefly support this motion. 55% of water we use in a domestic setting could be replaced by greywater. 85% of water used in commercial and industrial settings does not need to be fresh. This is a no-brainer. Tremendous motion.

CE: We will look at this for our future social housing stock. Also at issue is whether the department will be willing to fund.

Cllr Hayes: 45 houses are to be built in Clonakilty. Local experts are willing to speak to the Council and advise how rainwater harvesting could be incorporated in these houses.


 No further motions were taken. All others are deferred until after Christmas.


24.  Councillor Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire:
“That this Council requests that Transport Infrastructure Ireland come before the Council, to outline the Demand Management Study currently being undertaken by them on the N40, and to respond to reports recently following their meeting a committee of Cork City Council, that TII is considering tolling the road, and to discuss related matters.”


25.  Councillor Kevin Murphy:
“That Cork County Council seeks an immediate meeting with the Minister Kelly, Minister for the Environment and Local Government and Minister Coffey, Minister for State, to address the serious anomaly that has arisen in regard to the limits on County Council’s House Purchase and City House Purchase Scheme.”


26.  Councillor Noel Collins:
“That this Council call on the Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform to consider an early change in the Inheritance Tax Laws.”


27.  Councillor Aindrias Moynihan:
“That Cork County Council calls on the Minister for Social Protection to end the age discriminatory way the contributory pension levels are being calculated.”



30.  Office of Public Works:
Letter dated 13th November, 2015, regarding Display of Books of Draft Flood Maps.

Letter from OPW: Draft Flood Maps OPW

CE: 20th January – closing date. We will discuss these at the Development Meeting in January. They are on display in the foyer in County Hall. 




Cllr M Hegarty: Lily de la Coeur – world champion kickboxer
Cllr O’Laoghaire: Ireland’s cross country women’s team in European championships
Cllr S McCarthy (FG) – Midleton U15 football team



Cllr Doyle (FF): Had asked that we would give a civic reception to the Navy for their work in the Mediterranean. Where is that at now?

Meetings administrator: We have written to the Navy.

Cllr Keohane (Ind): Nash’s Boreen is to be reopened. Judge ruled that it should be opened to vehicular traffic. We have a six week window to counteract that measure. If this boreen is opened again, there will be death, serious injury and dumping. These were all the reasons the boreen was closed.

Mayor: We will refer this to the Cobh Municipal District.

Happy Christmas to all!


Submission to the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government on the next round of River Basin Management Planning

WFD SWMI Consultation,
Water Quality Section,
Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government,
Newtown Road,

3rd December, 2015.


RE: Significant Water Management Issues in Ireland – Public Consultation


Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for the opportunity to input into the preliminary consultation for the next cycle of River Basin Management Planning in Ireland.

I have read the Significant Water Management Issues in Ireland document in full. It identifies most of the primary issues affecting water quality in Ireland. The introduction of the Integrated Catchment Management Concept is welcome. I support it strongly as the only way by which good water quality management will be achieved. The increased focus on community involvement is long overdue and also very welcome.

However, like so many of our responses to European Directives in Ireland, the document is very strong on identifying targets to be achieved, problems to be tackled and not so strong on the ways in which we in Ireland must change our modus operandi by which to achieve these targets. But we will never hit the environmental targets we set with a “business as usual” approach.


  • Agriculture

One of the aims of Food Harvest 2020 is to increase milk production by 50% now that milk quotas have been abolished. Cork County Council has also spoken positively about the potential the rich grasslands of the county offer for massively increased dairy production. Significant Water Management mentions the difficulty of achieving the Water Framework Directive targets in the context of Food Harvest 2020. It does not dwell on this issue, other than to comment on how research work currently underway will identify better how agriculture impacts on water at a catchment level.

Whilst research is always valuable, we already know how agriculture impacts on water quality, both at the individual stream level and at catchment level. The fact is that to increase the numbers of cows is to increase the volume of slurry produced. It is to increase poaching along riverbanks where cattle get direct access to flowing water. It is to increase the need to intensify grassland management. There is no getting away from this and if we are to attempt Food Harvest 2020 with any cognisance of the Water Framework Directive, Ireland will need to invest heavily in farmer education, slurry treatment and guidelines to protect watercourses from direct access by cattle. It will also be necessary to build centralised biogas plants similar to those in Denmark and Germany for improved management of agricultural slurries. These could offer tremendous potential to rural communities but have never been incentivised in Ireland.

Incentives such as planting of riparian zones and the designation of buffer zones for water source protection are only ever offered to farmers availing of agri-environmental schemes. It is necessary to introduce them across the board. Most farmers are stewards of the countryside. With education and guidance, they will be happy to work towards achieving better water quality. But it is no longer good enough that such agri-related water quality measures are conducted only on farms participating in agri-environmental schemes.


  • Urban Wastewater Treatment Discharges

Irish Water is putting investment into several of the major wastewater treatment schemes without which Ireland continues to fail the requirements of the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive. The Cork Lower Harbour wastewater treatment plant is a stark example of a long-awaited wastewater treatment scheme which, when delivered, will end the discharge of significant volumes of raw sewerage.

However, the discussion of urban wastewater in the Sustainable Water Management Issues document does not link wastewater with land use policy. I believe this link is critical. We as a country need to carefully examine our policy of one-off house construction. In particular, we need to consider the impact on the environment of disparate house-building in rural areas. Haphazard siting of houses requires installation of a septic tank or biocycle unit. Treatment of wastewater in discrete units in this way is less effective, less efficient and more difficult to monitor than treatment of wastewater in a communal treatment plant. Planning houses in clusters rather than scattered or in a linear form along a country roadside would allow far greater control of domestic wastewater treatment and discharge.

We are also culpable at all planning levels of building on flood plains. Flood plains perform an essential riparian function. Not merely do they allow vast areas onto which a full river can spill. They also soak rainwater running towards a river, filtering sediment and other pollutants from it before it reaches the water. Yet because they have been constructed on, many floodplains in our larger towns are no longer available to perform this essential function. It is critical that the impact of building on floodplains would be acknowledged as being highly retrograde in terms of water quality.


  • Hazardous chemicals

Issue 13 discusses hazardous chemicals, particularly heavy metals and PAHs, in our watercourses. It is essential that endocrine disruptors would also be considered. These insidious chemicals strike at the heart of many of the most fundamental aspects of nature.

It is critical that we examine the source of these chemicals in our discharges to water.

One of the key contributors to hazardous chemicals in the water environment is urban wastewater. When wastewater is treated, much of the hazardous content is captured in the sludge. Irish government policy is for the beneficial use of sewage sludge (biosolids) in agriculture. Although the Code of Best Practice advises for the spreading of sludge at a rate which optimises the trapping of these hazardous compounds in soil, it is an indisputable fact that the sludge to land policy may permit levels of hazardous compounds in our agricultural environment to accumulate. The assimilative capacity of soil is limited and so, ultimately, these compounds will make their way to watercourses.

Ireland’s sludge to land policy was drawn up almost 20 years ago. It is well past time that it was revisited. In 2013, almost 24,000 tonnes of untreated sludge was landspread in Ireland. Septic tank sludges are regularly disposed of by landspreading. Research, technology and the microchemical composition of sewage sludge have all moved on. The Sustainable Water Management Issues document needs to identify this sludge policy as being in need of updating.

The Sustainable Water Management Issues document does not identify the link between industry and hazardous chemicals in our watercourses. Producer responsibility dictates that industry must take cognisance of the ingredients of cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, etc. It is time that Ireland focused on this link with a view to reducing the ongoing build-up of hazardous compounds such as these in our environment generally.


  • Road drainage

Runoff from roads is not mentioned at all in the Sustainable Water Management Issues document. Yet this is a significant source of water pollution. Rainwater running off our impervious urban surfaces contains petrol, oil, heavy metals and PAHs. Fertiliser use on golf courses and residential gardens increases the nutrient load of runoff. Runoff also raises the temperature of smaller water bodies, often with adverse effects on fish life.

Drainage in Ireland typically involves collecting as much stormwater as possible and removing it quickly to avoid flooding. But this approach not just maximises the direct introduction of these pollutants into surface water, it also causes flooding further downstream.

There are many best practice methods by which road drainage and stormwater generally can be more effectively managed. Many local level policy changes can make a real difference. These include incentives towards the installation of green roofs, the development of neighbourhood-constructed wetlands, bioretention systems and infiltration basins.

Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems need to become the norm rather than the exception in Ireland if we are to combat the unsustainable effects of our “collect and dispose” method of stormwater management.


  • Determination and the allocation of resources

The very first issue listed for consideration in the Sustainable Water Management Issues document is affordability. If the starting point towards achieving any targets is what we cannot afford, then we will never achieve those targets.

The hesitancy of the “Can we really do it?” ethos is reflected throughout the document. Thus the document lacks determination, punch and the will to succeed. It is essential that resources are dedicated to achieving compliance with the Water Framework Directive. It is essential that if additional tasks are to be undertaken by local authorities, they would be adequately staffed and financed. It is essential that all community stakeholders buy into achieving Ireland’s targets under the Water Framework Directive.

But equally and perhaps more important is that the same level of buy-in is committed to by both industry and the government. Industry is the source of much of the cyclical and difficult to treat compounds found in Ireland’s rivers and lakes. Policies and strategies of other governmental departments have the potential to significantly impact on achieving the targets of the Water Framework Directive. It is not sufficient to address achieving these targets in an integrated way merely at catchment level. A multi-sectoral, cross-departmental approach is also essential.

Yours faithfully,


Marcia D’Alton, B.E., M.Eng,Sc.,
Independent Member, Cork County Council

Submission to the National Roads Design Office on the Carr’s Hill Interchange proposal

Project Engineer,
M28 Cork to Ringaskiddy Motorway Scheme,
Cork National Roads Office,
Co. Cork.

29th November, 2015.


RE: Proposed Carr’s Hill Interchange and associated works


Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to proposals for a new interchange at Carr’s Hill to facilitate the anticipated upgrade of the existing N28 to motorway status.

The N28 connects the Strategic Employment Area of Ringaskiddy to Cork City and beyond. As of An Bord Pleanala’s decision last year to grant planning permission to the Port of Cork for relocation and construction of new facilities at Ringaskiddy, the N28 will also need to connect port traffic to the rest of the country. This is a significant ask for a road that is already suffering extreme congestion. Much investment has gone into the Ringaskiddy cluster and both the relevant authorities and the local population put tremendous store by what Ringaskiddy can deliver for employment and the economy generally. There is widespread support for upgrading the N28 such that it may ease current traffic congestion and help Ringaskiddy to become more efficient in every way.

Despite this widespread support for the upgrade of the N28, the current proposals for the Carr’s Hill Interchange and associated works have engendered an unprecedented level of concern. Socio-economically, the local population is dominated by working families who are well educated and who contribute significantly to the local economy. They are busy people who devote the majority of their lives to their children, their work and to the commuting associated with both. Typically, these people simply do not have the time to engage in public consultations.

There is a clear message being delivered to the Cork National Roads Office when these people, in their hundreds, have expressed their massive concern about the Carr’s Hill Interchange proposals. These are people who live in the N28 corridor and who have an incomparable level of familiarity with the regional and local roads within the N28 corridor. They use those roads every day, at all times of the day. They use them for school deliveries, for getting to work, for shopping, for going to church, for calling to friends. With the single exception of the Greenway along the former railway line connecting Passage West to Cork City, the regional and local roads in the N28 Corridor are notably devoid of cycling infrastructure. The pattern of development is too linear to facilitate easy walking. Housing in and around Rochestown in particular is on steep hills. Local facilities are few and far between. Those that are available are generally at the bottom of these hills. It follows that, of necessity, these people are highly car-dependent.

This is one of the primary reasons that extreme congestion is not seen just on the N28. It is seen throughout the N28 corridor. Those who live with and negotiate that congestion every day are those most qualified to voice opinions on the proposed Carr’s Hill Interchange and associated works. I concur strongly with all of their concerns.


  • Inadequate size of roundabout at Maryborough Ridge

One key element of the Carr’s Hill Interchange proposals is the closure of the Mount Oval and Maryborough Hill slip roads. The Cork National Roads Office advises us that these slip roads are not to motorway standard. It is proposed that the thousands of commuters who use these roads every day will instead use the new Carr’s Hill Interchange. This means that Mount Oval residents would come out of Mount Oval, turn right, go up Garryduff and turn right down onto the new roundabout at Maryborough Ridge. Maryborough Hill residents would come up the hill to use the Maryborough Ridge roundabout. Carrigaline, Passage West and Monkstown residents who currently travel up Moneygourney to access the Maryborough Hill slip road would use the Maryborough Ridge roundabout instead. Many Douglas residents choose not to sit in the congested mess that is Douglas village traffic every morning and access the N40 by the Maryborough Hill slip road. It is simply not possible for the roundabout at Maryborough Ridge to accommodate this level of commuting traffic at peak. The roundabout is too small. It was not designed for this. The approach roads are too narrow. Neither the roundabout nor Maryborough Hill will ever accommodate more than one lane of traffic. The Carr’s Hill Interchange proposal falls at this very first hurdle. The Maryborough Ridge roundabout and its approach roads are too small.


  • Unacceptable volume of traffic through Maryborough Ridge

To drive all this traffic through Maryborough Ridge is extremely unfair. Maryborough Ridge is a residential estate. It was always planned that a distributor road connecting Maryborough Hill to the N28 would run through it. But even the proposal for that distributor road generated concern when the development was at planning stage:

The proposed through road will become a link road serving the N28 and will result in large volumes of traffic travelling through a built up area at high speed ad will cause segregation of the overall estate into the future. Also such a proposal endangers users of the open green areas adjoining and pedestrians wishing to cross the through road.”

These were the comments of the Assistant Area Engineer of Cork County Council in April, 2004 when the construction of Maryborough Ridge was being considered by Cork County Council. These were concerns expressed about envisaged local commuter traffic even when there were other existing local alternatives by which the local traffic could access the N28. It is incomparable to what is proposed now by the Cork National Roads Design Office. The levels of risk to residents, noise and air pollution are incomparable. It is entirely unsustainable to propose bringing this level of traffic through a residential estate.


  • Closure of the Mount Oval slip road is unacceptable

The proposed closure of the Mount Oval slip road is unacceptable. The reason it is unacceptable is simple: the development of 800 houses at Mount Oval would not have been approved by the planning authority without the existence of that slip road. The road through Foxwood was always intended as a distributor road to the N28 and was shown as such in a 1999 variation of the 1996 County Development Plan. This variation was prompted by the Bacon Report. It signalled an acceptance of higher density development for suitable sites and made specific proposals for improved road access to lands that were accepting higher density development. The Mount Oval development was considered to be one such parcel of land.

In his comments in February 2000 on the planning application for Mount Oval, the Chief Planning Officer of Cork County Council said that: “This spine of distributor roads will facilitate traffic movement in the area with the off-ramp access from Sli Charrig Dhonn providing an alternative to the local road network. The connection through Foxwood … comprises an integral part of the original estate layout – the section of road through Foxwood has no frontage development and has obviously been designed to link into the spine/distributor road system.

The use of the word “integral” is highly relevant.

It was again reflected in the comments of the An Bord Pleanala planning inspector: “The construction of the spine road, while it will facilitate traffic management in the wider area, is an essential element of this development”.

The planning application for high density development in Mount Oval would have been looked at in an entirely different light were the spine road with off-ramp access to the N28 not available. This is because it was widely acknowledged by developers and both planning authorities that the local roads were in need of essential upgrading. It is 16 years since the first major planning application for Mount Oval was lodged. In all this time, with the exception of the short stretch from Garryduff to Maryborough Hill those local roads have not been upgraded in any way. But traffic has increased significantly in that time. So dependence on the Mount Oval slip road is greater than was ever envisaged. Frankly, the Roads Design Office has no authority to propose closure of a road that was deemed essential to permitting high density development. It would be far more appropriate were the plans for the upgrading of the N28 to incorporate proposals to develop the long-promised on-ramp to Mount Oval rather than to eliminate the existing essential off-ramp.


  • Congestion and inadequacy of local roads around Mount Oval

Because the roundabout at Maryborough Ridge would suffer intolerable congestion and because the journey to that roundabout would increase commuting trips by several kilometres, it is inevitable that local traffic would divert to the Rochestown Road. Mount Oval residents will come down Clarke’s Hill or Coach Hill to access the N28 via the on-ramp at the Rochestown roundabout.

The R610 is already massively congested. In his frustration, one resident of Passage West videoed and timed his movement along the R610 in the morning peak. Typically, it took him 7 minutes to travel 900 metres. Delays are caused largely by the pinch point that is the Rochestown roundabout. Cork County Council attempted to improve through-flow by providing an extra lane onto the roundabout west-bound. This helped ease congestion for a while but has shown no capacity to keep pace with car use generally. Tailbacks every morning stretch from the Rochestown roundabout to Hop Island. The R610 cannot accommodate more traffic. Drivers of cars on the R610 always co-operate with traffic from Clarke’s Hill attempting to join the Rochestown roundabout queue. But to expect cars waiting at the bottom of Clarke’s Hill to turn right through that westbound stream of traffic without any visibility of what is coming on the eastbound lane is utterly unreasonable.


  • Inadequacy of right-hand turning lane at the bottom of Clarke’s Hill

It is equally unreasonable to offer a right-hand turning lane at the bottom of Clarke’s Hill as a solution to the increased number of cars that would leave the N28 at the Rochestown road off-ramp. It would be insufficient. This right-hand turning lane is needed already to ease the tailback in the evening peak to and through the Rochestown roundabout. This congestion in turn creates a tailback on the N28 off-ramp. It is not right that provision of this essential right-hand turning lane should be considered only in the context of the N28 upgrade.


There are additional issues for cars attempting to leave the N28 off-ramp to get onto the Rochestown roundabout. Visibility is appalling. It is impossible to see traffic coming from the Douglas direction until it comes past the bridge supports. If increased commuter traffic were to use the Rochestown off-ramp in an attempt to avoid the longer route associated with the proposed Carr’s Hill Interchange, it would be essential to improve visibility and safety at this location.


  • Clarke’s Hill and Coach Hill cannot accommodate additional traffic

Clarke’s Hill and Coach Hill cannot safely and sustainably their existing volume of traffic. This has not been acknowledged in any part of the proposals by the National Roads Design Office. In fact, Coach Hill has not even been mentioned. At present, Clarke’s Hill is so narrow that a bus and car cannot pass simultaneously at the bend at the top. The pinch point in the middle of Coach Hill is sufficiently wide for only one lane of traffic. Visibility at the bottom of Coach Hill is appalling, particularly for right-hand turning traffic. It is not a panacea to say that upgrades for both Clarke’s Hill and Coach Hill are at design stage. Upgrading of these roads has been planned since Mount Oval was granted planning permission. In the intervening 16 years, it still has not happened.


  • Increase in noise pollution

What about the residents of Wainsfort, Newlyn Vale and all those who already have heavy traffic in their back gardens? All those whose exposure to noise already keeps them awake at night? Many of these are people for whom an existing tolerable situation was made far worse by TII’s recent destruction of trees along the Bloomfield Interchange and N40. The National Roads Design Office proposals do not contain one reference to existing noise levels currently endured by adjacent residents. That these noise levels will be intensely augmented by the volume and nature of traffic proposed for the M28 is a fundamental consideration. It is not a defence to say that the project is simply at route selection stage; that these issues will be assessed as part of the Environmental Impact Statement for the overall project. These are issues about which people have tremendous concern. Yet when one resident of Wainsfort asked at the public briefing about proposals to provide noise screening to his property as part of the overall upgrading project, he understood from an RPS representative that the Wainsfort section of the N28 may be regarded as existing development rather than a new development and may therefore not even be subject to assessment as part of the Environmental Impact Statement. This is entirely unacceptable.

The proposed leading of all N28-bound local traffic through Maryborough Ridge would also create significant noise pollution for the residents of this estate. Again, it is not adequate to propose noise barriers along either side of the distributor road through the estate. Noise barriers have an unpleasant visual aspect and would cut residents on the south side of the road off from neighbours, play areas and facilities in the northern part of the estate.


  • Increase in air pollution

The M28 is to carry a significantly higher proportion of heavy vehicles than the existing N28. Port of Cork figures indicate that by 2033, there will be an overall increase of over 3,350 HGVs travelling to and from the Ringaskiddy port facilities each day. That excludes either further port or industrial development in Ringaskiddy.


Air pollutants from cars and trucks are found in higher concentrations near major roads. People who live, work or attend school near major roads have increased incidence and severity of asthma, cardiovascular disease, impaired lung development in children, pre-term and low-birthweight infants, childhood leukemia and premature death. Particles largely generated by diesel exhausts have been shown by recent research carried out in the Netherlands to cause problems at levels well below those stipulated in current EU air-quality directives. It found that for every increase of 5 µg/m3 in annual exposure to PM2.5, the risk of death for men rises by 7%.

Yet yet this proposal for the Carr’s Hill Interchange involves accommodating a massively increased number of HGVs on a road running particularly close to residential housing in Rochestown. It plans to concentrate all N28-bound local traffic through the Maryborough Ridge housing estate. The proposal from the National Roads Design Office does not even mention the new school campus to be provided for both primary and secondary school children in Maryborough Ridge. It is not acceptable that the risks from heavy traffic are not assimilated into the route selection stage of a proposal such as this. It is essential that the adverse effects of air pollution on vulnerable residents are minimised from the outset by good design. Only residual effects should be dealt with by mitigation.



  • Proposal fails to comply with government policy

At the most fundamental of levels, this proposal for the Carr’s Hill Interchange is wrong. In 2009, the government produced an 11-year policy document for the future of transport in Ireland. This policy document, Smarter Travel: A New Transport Policy for Ireland, outlines the actions that must be achieved across all sectors in society to achieve defined goals towards reduced emissions from transport and modal shift.

Through this policy document, the government promises society that “individual and collective quality of life will be enhanced. It commits to actions which will help to “reduce health risks and the incidence of accidents and fatalities”. Above all, the government pledges that “land use planning and the provision of transport infrastructure and services will be better integrated”.

Despite these commitments from government towards more sustainable transport, the key elements of the Carr’s Hill Interchange proposal are to:

  • Eliminate two key local access ramps to the N28
  • Replace the two key local access ramps with an interchange system comprising four roundabouts and a longer distance of several kilometres
  • Attempt to force all local commuting traffic to the one point of access to the N28
  • Bring all local commuting traffic through a residential estate.

The on-the-ground reality of these proposals would lead to:

  • Traffic diverting to an already over-congested regional road in an attempt to avoid the unwieldy proposed interchange
  • Increased levels of noise endured by a significantly larger number of residents
  • Increased levels of air pollution endured by a significantly larger number of residents
  • Increased traffic congestion on local roads causing increased commuting times, increased driver frustration and, in turn, increased emissions from crawling traffic.

Each one of these outcomes is contrary to the government’s policy as outlined in Smarter Travel. It is well understood that the purpose of TII is to provide national road infrastructure and services. But the N28 does not exist in a vacuum. There are 7,000 people working in Ringaskiddy. These people do not live on the N28. They must all make their way their way to work and school on regional and local roads connecting to the N28. If the provision of a faster, more efficient N28 impacts negatively on those regional and local roads, the only beneficiary will be HGVs travelling to and from the port. Longer travel times and more congestion impacts negatively on worker mentality, worker delivery and worker wellbeing.

TII would be justified in saying that regional and local roads are within the remit of the local authorities. But fundamentally, Smarter Travel commits to better integration of land use planning and the provision of transport infrastructure. The National Roads Design Office with its close links to both Cork County Council and TII would be in an ideal position to plan for an upgraded N28 whilst delivering improved options to daily commuters on an over-subscribed regional and local road network.

Sadly, the current proposals are diametrically opposed to the Smarter Travel aims and make a mockery of the TII mission statement: to “contribute to the quality of life for the people of Ireland and support the country’s economic growth”. Certainly, it is important to facilitate industry and the port. But industry cannot function without the people that are the power behind the economic growth that industry is designed to drive.



The Carr’s Hill Interchange proposals are unacceptable. They would increase congestion on roads that would result in longer journey times for local commuters, thereby wasting time, generating stress, increasing sick days, diminishing family life, diminishing leisure time, fostering obesity and adding to noise and air pollution in established residential environments.

If an interchange is required for the M28, then it needs to increase commuter options, not eliminate them.

Traffic between Ringaskiddy and Cork City does not have to move fast; it simply has to move. I can see little logic in encouraging HGVs to hurtle into the Bloomfield Interchange only to be halted by a one-lane loop onto the N40 eastbound. Far safer to control their speed from further out. Some residents have suggested that if the motorway were to finish before the Maryborough Hill on-ramp, it would allow retention of the Maryborough Hill and Mount Oval slip roads. This appears to be a sensible option. It would allow HGV and other Ringaskiddy-related traffic the benefits of the motorway whilst retaining existing commuter routes for local traffic.

This proposal provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to sort out several long-standing problems in the road network in and around the Bloomfield Interchange:

  • Provision of the long planned Mount Oval on-ramp would reduce congestion on local roads and increase overall traffic efficiency for communities along the N28 corridor.
  • At present, traffic coming from the city and attempting to come off the N40 at the Rochestown off-ramp has to cross merging traffic coming from Mahon and the Jack Lynch Tunnel. Considerations to improving the safety of this treacherous manoeuvring would be very welcome.
  • As mentioned above, visibility at the bottom of the Rochestown off-ramp for traffic wanting to exit onto the R610 is very poor. This needs to be improved for increased safety.
  • Drivers attempting to exit from the Rochestown Church direction endure intolerably long delays whilst giving priority to traffic coming from Douglas and from the N40. Those enduring these delays several times each day deserve consideration as part of this project.

Please be open to the feedback received from all those so concerned about this Carr’s Hill Interchange proposal. It is not the right solution. There are better solutions which will encompass a wider range of needs and which will deliver far greater overall better value for money and quality of life.

Yours faithfully,


Marcia D’Alton, B.E., M.Eng.Sc.
Independent Member, Cork County Council.