Notes from a meeting of the full Council, 25th January 2015

Suspension of standing orders proposed for 1pm by Cllr Hegarty (FG) on the flooding in Waterrock and by Cllr O’Flynn (FF) on the lack of a water supply in Fermoy over the weekend.


1.  Minutes of Meeting of the Council held on 11th January, 2016.

Proposed and seconded.


[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.

Two votes of sympathy were offered.


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

(a).          Disposal of 54 Belmont Avenue, Rochestown, Co. Cork.

Cobh Municipal District, 10th December, 2015:

(b).          Disposal of Substation Site at Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork to ESB Networks.

Proposed and seconded.

4.  Statutory Consultation on Draft Flood Maps – South Western CFRAM Study.

OPW consultation




5.  Capital Programme 2016 – 2018 prepared in accordance with S.135 of the Local Government Act, 2001.

The Capital Programme was distributed: Capital Programme 2016


  • This is a three-year capital programme.
  • We have done one-year capital programmes previously. The one-year process was benficial because it allowed us to be accurate in our predictions.
  • We have this year tried to be as accurate as possible but we are aware that we don’t know what grant aid we will get in 2017 and 2018.
  • We are presenting a programme which captures the works and the value of those that we deem to be already underway and those contractually committed to over the next three years.
  • €402.48m = total programme of works over the three years.
  • Housing work is largely funded through housing capital programme
  • Roads work is largely funded through national roads programme
  • Flooding is largely funded from the Department of the Environment and the OPW
  • The €34m to be spent on flooding includes the Skibbereen scheme which the County Council is running but not the Bandon scheme because that is being progressed directly by the OPW
  • Of the money to be spent on Environment, €49m of this related to Haulbowline remedial works.
  • There are €120m of works in this table that are not funded.
  • The programme is presented for information. It does not have to be approved by Council. Proposes that it should be presented in more detail in divisional meetings.

Cllr Hegarty (FG): Fleet replacement – thought we were leasing a lot of our fleet, not purchasing?

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): Public lighting commitment – how long are we contracted for this and who is the contract with?

Cllr MCGrath (FF): €442m over three years is a significant sum of money. Is concerned that so much of it is already committed. It doesn’t leave much wriggle room and other projects will arise over that time. The footpath programme is welcome. The public lighting is also welcome.

Cllr Creed (FG): Welcomes the listing of the Ballyvourney bypass.

Cllr O’Grady (SF): Welcomes this and the 3 year programme. Can‘t understand how we have managed to produce a 3 year programme when we could only produce an annual progamme before. Concerned about roads and housing strategy. On housing, is worried that our figures do not correlate with the Department’s planned figures for Cork. The Department’s target is 401 over 3 years. But we have only 43. How will the €80m from the Department be spent over this time? It is meant to be spent over 2015 – 2018. Voids are in limited supply. There are 229 voids listed here and that is nearly 50% of houses that were acquired during the year.

Cllr Murphy (FG): Extraordinary sum of money provided for.

Cllr Coleman (FF): Compare this to previous years please? What proprotion is coming from the Department?

Councillors expressed lots of worries expressed about lack of funding for roads in West Cork.

Cllr Carroll (FF): The Town Council in Skibbereen was taken over 2 years ago and at that time the refurbishment of the Town Hall was with the architects. It has not advanced since then. Irish Water says that the County Council has not yet handed over its assets to them.

Cllr Forde (FG): Compliments the executive. Difficult to divide up and to be fair. Wants more clarity on the €89.5 which may be progressed based on business need.


  • €1.2 m of the public lighting is our own programme. The remaining is a projected expenditure subject to matters being dealt with at national level. Ogoing work is being done at national level between the CCMA and various partners to see how we could replace light heads with LED. At the moemnt that programme is not funded. This projection is a guesstimate based on how much money we might be granted if the programme goes ahead.
  • Social housing: We have achieved our 2015 targets.
  • Coastal protection funding is subject to our getting funding from DAFM. That funding is shown as being noncommitted because the funding is not in place.
  • Irish Water – all assets of Cork County Council have been transferred legally to Irish Water. That is the case for all local authorities across the country. There is an ongoing process which will take time across every local authority to conclude that process on the ground. We held development contributions and debtors for water services on the transfer overdate and finalising this balancing statement has been going on for the last 15 months. Is expected to be complete within the next month. We had the biggest book of customers of any local authority.
  • An indicative figure has been included for the Carrigaline Relief Road. Again, there is no funding.




6.  Corporate Policy Group:
(a).          Approval of attendance by Council members at Conferences on the Conference List for January, 2016, approved by the Corporate Policy Group at their meeting on the 12th January, 2016.

Proposed and seconded.

(b).          Approval of the following contributions:-
Muintir na Tire – €10,000
Cork Camogie Club – €50,000
Cork Opera House – €25,000 per annum for next 5 years

We are not taking the Cork Opera House contribution today.

Contributions to Muintir na Tire and the Cork Camogie Club were approved and seconded.


7.  Ballincollig Carrigaline Municipal District:
“This Committee recommends that the Council would develop a policy concerning the safety of trees along public roads in each Municipal District.”

Cllr Canty (FG): This has come up at a lot of the Municipal Districgts over the last number of years. Many landowners do cut their hedges and hanging trees. But there are many who don’t. Bus Eireann have had to revert to single decker buses along certain roads. Artic trucks are going into rural areas and the hedges are tearing canvas sides. We’re asking that something positive is done. Not writing to people year in year out and expecting something to be done. Need a policy to make sure that landowners take care of their hedges.

Cllr McGrath (FF): This was my motion. Trees on public roads as an issue is raised with us regularly. We don’t have an adequate policy on this issue. Hopes to forward it to SPC. There is a responsibility on landowners obviously. Asks that the Council would take a more proactive approach in advising landowners of their responsibility. If that responsibility is not taken seriously, that the Council would then act again. Perhaps undertake a survey to inform on the health of trees, etc.

Cllr M Collins (Ind): Supports.

Cllr Forde (FG): The Department published a report on this and thinks this Departmental policy goes a long way to resolving the problems but it needs to be enforced at local level. If we are going to send it on to SPC, the Department should have an input into this policy. There is plenty of room for us to input into it at local authority level. The planning department has responsibility in relation to planning applications which allow certain species of trees not suitable for urban areas.

Cllr Conway (Ind): Agrees and points out that enforcement is too slow. We have to come up with a better system than the enforcement system that is there at the moment.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF): It is time the CE took control of this issue. We need to have one policy document for maintenance of our roads. One document for the verge up to the tree. Is the SPC fit for purpose if it cannot do this? Knows the Area Engineer writes to landowners about their trees and generally gets a good response. We seem to have one policy in West Cork, one in North Cork, etc.

Cllr Keohane (SF): Speaks of overgrwoth at a junction. Overgrowth prohibits street lights from working.

Cllr Hayes (SF): This was discussed at the Roads and Transport SPC.   There were over 20 applications to the pilot hedgecutting scheme in West Cork. Legislation is there already to deal with overhanging limbs. Enforcement of the legislation is the issue. The Council is obliged to contact landowners and if they are not forthcoming in doing the work, the Council can cut down the limbs and charge the landowner. Give the landowners a chance to do what they are supposed to do.

Cllr Murphy (FG): Repeats what Cllr Hayes says. Maybe we could get a report from the Municipal District Area Offices as to whether there is a decision made to write to the landowners involved. Wants to know how many have been prosecuted who did not follow through.

Cllr N O’Donovan (FG): Cllr Hayes is right. Wonders if internally we could put an extra member of staff on enforcement. If we write to the landowner to cut the trees, the impetus is on us to prove that tree is a danger. Area Engineers have enough to be doing. Is a serious issue alright.

Cllr Canty (FG): Is the embargo in relation to the chainsaw still in place? Does a subcontractor have to work for the Area Office? Any way we can alleviate that problem?

CE: The intention of the motion was to have it referred to the Transport SPC. Landowners know what their responsibilities are. Area Engineers have been active in writing to landowners. Clearly follow up takes time. The issue is resourcing enforcement. We will do what we can with existing resources. Will ask each Area Engineer to brief the Municipal District Committees on their activity in this area.




8.  Consideration of the Chief Executive’s Report on Submissions Received to the Proposed Amendment No. 4 to Carrigaline E.A. Local Area Plan 2011 – Shannonpark Framework Masterplan.

It was agreed at the Development Committee on 15th January, 2016 that the following recommendation to make minor amendments to the Proposed Amendment would be made to the meeting of the full Council to be held on 25th January.

  • Remove the indicative connectivity arrows between the proposed new development and Herons Wood housing estate on the map. (N.B.: This would not affect the red arrow across the R611 and the proposed greenway at U-13.)
  • In paragraph 1.4.38, delete the second sentence of the bullet point as follows:- “It is critical that the layout and design of this area allows for connectivity with the existing Herons Wood housing estate to the south”
  • The proposals made in the Chief Executive’s Report to insert an additional bullet point in 1.4.26 will not be pursued.
  • Insert additional text in paragraph 1.3.4: “The masterplan proposals have been included in this Electoral Area Local Area Plan by amendment in order to accelerate the delivery of much needed new housing. The review of the EALAP’s and the preparation of the new plan for the Municipal District presents an opportunity, in consultation with the public, for the County Council to refine the detail of the proposed development.”

Cllr McGrath (FF): This is a major proposal for Carrigaline. The discussions already held are welcome. The town is facing major challenges in terms of infrastructure, etc. It is a very important masterplan and something we should get right. Outlines the two main issues (connectivity and linking to the N28 upgrade). The executive has listened carefully to our concerns about connectivity and has moved successfully to allay fears. Is also concerned about the lack of a link between the N28 upgrade and the development. The executive and himself don’t agree on this. I don’t say the development shouldn’t start, but do believe say that linking must happen at some stage. As of this morning, was still undecided on this issue. Wants to be able to send out a positive message that Carrigaline is a positive town in terms of development. Knows we are in a housing crisis. Wants to weigh it up against the fact that Carrigaline has been left down. We have no certainty on the N28. Appreciates the executive has moved on the public’s concerns in relation to the Masterplan. Welcomes the new wording to include a reference to the Local Area Plan. Sent an email on Thursday to the executive suggesting additional 3 words on the end of that: “including infrastructural requirements”. Thinks that would send the message that we are prepared to look at the infrastructural issue in the LAP.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Appreciate also the litany of discussions we have had in relation to this issue. Not just those in front of the full Chamber but also at Municipal District meeting every step of the way. My particular concern is not the linking of the development with the N28 but its linking with Carrigaline. Carrigaline is a great town. It has grown massively in size, particularly in the last 15 years. It is a lovely place to live with some super community facilities. But Carrigaline now has a population of over 15,000 people. The town is so congested with traffic. This is nothing new. The problem was recognised back in 2007 when the Carrigaline Area Transportation Study was drawn up to try to resolve the problem. Some of its recommendations were that there would be an inner Western relief road, an outer Western relief road, a town centre strategy incorporating a pedestrian-friendly main street, horizontal traffic calming measures and gateways from side streets to the main street. There would be three table top ramps across pedestrian crossings on the Main Street delivering a total of seven pedestrian crossings on the main street. A comprehensive Cycle Network Plan was to be drawn up for the town. Off street parking was to be developed to encourage park and walk. The first hint of the recommended Park and Ride facility would in the new Shannonpark development. And there was to be a feasibility study done on a figure of eight town bus service which surveys showed would be popular. Virtually none of these recommendations has been delivered. To be fair, it is not in the County Council’s gift to deliver many of these. Dedicated funding from government is needed. But that hasn’t come. Of course we need houses. We are in the middle of a national housing emergency. But the County Council is expected to pick up the tab for that. Just as the residents of Carrigaline are expected to pick up the tab for the traffic impact of yet 1,000 more houses – that is at least 2,000 more residents. It is just not fair on the existing residents of Carrigaline. It is not fair on people generally that they should have to continually pick up the tab for government failure to invest. And it is not fair on future residents of the Shannonpark development who, because of traffic congestion, will be so removed from the town of Carrigaline that they may struggle to become part of the Carrigaline community. So I too had not made up my mind by this morning how to vote on this.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): Believes not enough has been done towards committing to social housing in the development. Doesn’t hold the view of the executive in terms of social housing. Doesn’t think we should be restricted to Part V. Issues of connectivity were taken on board by the residents. The issue of infrastructure remains very significant. We spoke recently of a new transport plan for the town. Traffic is the highest issue on the agenda in the town and the biggest influence on quality of life. Thinks N28 is crucial to Carrigaline. Has serious concerns about going any further than Phase 1 without the N28 in place. Also pointed to the need for the western relief road. There is a significant housing crisis. A large part of me is keen to support a well planned Masterplan. Other councillors have expressed reservations about the Masterplan approach but it is a step away from the developer led approach which characterised house building in the past.

Cllr Collins (FG): I proposed a new upgraded and updated transportation plan for Carrigaline at our last Municipal District meeting. The relief road isn’t going to happen. It was primarily developer-led and the Council was backed into a corner to agree with it. Doesn’t think it is in the right place. Shannonpark is a phased development over 10 years. There will not be 1,000 houses or 2,000 cars immediately. Doesn’t agree that the dearth of infrastructural development in Carrigaline was the cause of the government. In the last 15 years Carrigaline did take off but linking the proposed development with the N28 is not an issue. The developer in question is prepared to construct a slip road. Has no issue with Cllr McGrath’s three words at the end if it will move on this Masterplan. We do need infrastructural development. Much is stitched into the greater plan for the development.

Cllr Forde (FG): Seconds Cllr Collins’ proposals. Masterplans were never meant to fall on one issue. The major issue in Carrigaline when she spoke to the people was connectivity. Glad that the executive has acceeded to our request. The Masterplan is in phases. We all know there are people sleeping on the streets. We know there are people homeless. Quality of life is first and foremost a roof over our heads. The Masterplan will go a long way towards providing much needed housing stock. The Masterplan should not fall on a single issue. But this Masterplan has been in gestation for so long, the crunch comes now. Lets not parry any more. We can through other mechanisms sort out the kinks we have with other issues. The people of Carrigaline are so resilient. We come to meet them half way. This is not a political issue.

CE: The Masterplan has come a significant way. Concerns raised here this morning are infrastructrure generally in Carrigaline and the N28. We have a Local Area Plan process in which matters such as these are dealt with. The Masterplan underpinned by extensive traffic modelling. It will allow for development on a phased basis. Has no problem with the extra three words. The traffic modelling indicates that the N28 is not required for the development to proceed.

Inclusion of the three words was formally proposed and seconded.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): But what good is including an intention to deliver infrastructure in the new Local Area Plan? That intention is already there in the existing Local Area Plan drawn up in 2011. It says that one of the challenges for Carrigaline is “rebalancing Carrigaline town centre to include better traffic management, car park provision, pedestrian access and general improvements to the public realm”. A commitment in the Local Area Plan does not mean the infrastructure is going to be delivered.

The Mayor shut down the discussion, saying that the Masterplan was passed.


9.  National Road Grant Allocations 2016.

Letter from the CE regarding funding for non-national roads: Roads damage from adverse weather

Director of Roads: Funding from TII is down on last year. The main reason is because the only allocation for pavement works is that in Lissarda. TII says they are currently reviewing the pavement programme and what funding is available. They say they will be able to notify us in the near future. They speak of priorities. Last August they asked us to advance the design of 8 or 9 different schemes. They will tell us what the most urgent needs and priorities of these are.

Cllr Creed (FG): This is a massive cut in funding. The original programme we got was from 2013 – 2016. Money has been allocated to Cork County Council but has redistributed to other roads. The survey on these roads was done in 2012. The standard of the roads in Macroom-Blarney are in an appalling state. To do this to us and to expect the people to suffer huge consequences. Our area is not hugely populated, but has long lengths of roads. Totally unacceptable for this to happen year after year after year.

Cllr N O’Donovan (FG): Disappointed to see the reduction but understands from the Director of Services that the full grant hasn’t been announced yet. The Leap section along the N71 is the only oustanding stretch left along this road. What is the priority here? Spoke of a dangerous stretch of road in West Cork.

Cllr C O’Sullivan (FF): Disgust that there is no funding again for the N71. People of West Cork are left emptyhanded when it comes to this year after year. It is the main artery into West Cork. We rely on it for tourism, for investors and there is the safety aspect of it.

More members spoke about the N71. Cllr O’Flynn’s motion on the Mallow Relief Road was taken:

“That Cork County Council immediately call on the Minister for Transport and Transport Infrastructure Ireland to make the necessary finding available to ensure that the much needed Mallow Relief Road can commence as was promised by the Minister in November 2015.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF) spoke about the dire need for the bypass and wants a consulting engineer to be assigned to draw this up to design this as a matter of urgency.

Cllr T Collins (Ind): Spoke in support. You’d have to be around Mallow to realise how bad it is. As a former haulage contractor, drove into that town before.

Lots of members spoke in support of the motion.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF): If you’re going to cut back funding for roads in rural areas – we have spoken about increasing milk production, etc – basic core of our work is maintaining a good road network.

CE spoke on distribution of grants for non-national roads:

  • Allocating funding based on the condition of the road is the only way to do this.
  • In 2013 when we were allocating funding, it was based on the condition of the roads then. That basis for the distribution of the money is now out of date.
  • It is true that some areas have benefited more than others, even though those areas may have had better road surfaces.
  • We have better information now which classifies the road condition. If we don’t redistribute based on our current knowledge, we could undermind our current level of funding from the Department. They may say we are not using the best information available. Value for money would be called into question.
  • East Cork is the area is suffering most from this reallocation. Perhap we could transition the allocation in over the 3 year life of the programme?

The Director of Roads said that TII asked us to prepare designs on 10 pavement schemes on natioanl roads last August. We are progressing these.

It was agreed that we would write to the Minister objecting to his leaving the Mallow bypass out of the funding for this year.

Cllr O’Grady (SF) proposes that the survey on non-national roads is undertaken again. We need a new survey.

Cllr Conway (Ind) seconds that, especially for Blarney-Macroom.

The Department’s requirements for surveying are that:
Regional roads are to be surveyed every year
Local primary roads are to be surveyed every 2nd year
Local secondary are to be surveyed ever other year
Local tertiary are to be surveyed every 5 years

It was agreed that the programme transition period would be spread over 3 years, not one.


Suspension of Standing Orders:

Cllr Hegarty (FG): Meeting at Waterrock Golf Club on recent flooding. Concerns are about where water is currently discharging from Waterrock. A local resident put in some dye. Tried it on high, medium and low water levels and no dye appeared where it usually discharged. There is quarrying at John A Wood. Water used to be pumped there in the old days. There is a culvert under the Railway line that was closed by Irish Rail a few years back. This used to be a discharge point for surface waters. Residents called for some form of stormwater drainage system to be put in.

Cllr Barry (FG): The problem is not the Masterplan site itself, but the effect the extra surface water and capacity of the gullies would have on existing residents in the area.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF): Maybe we should extend the remit of the consultants (Arup) to examine Midleton town. Going forward here, what contingency plans can we have for this time next year if flooding comes about again. We must have something in place.

Cllr McCarthy (FG): Drainage of the roads there is very important. Dye was put into the caves. Three tests were done. No dye appeared on the other side of the N25 by the wastewater treatment plant like it should. Residents mentioned closing of the culvert by Irish Rail. We need to talk to Irish Rail about this.

CE suggests that we would ask the OPW to include the Waterrock Area in the Midleton Flood Relief Scheme.

Suspension of standing orders continued on the proposal Cllr O’Flynn (FF) to discuss the water outage on Saturday in Fermoy main street. Dreadfully difficult on the traders. No information coming from Irish Water. Members agreed generally that notification from Irish Water on water supply issues generally amounted to a tweet on Twitter and that is simply not good enough.


At 2.45 pm, the meeting was suspended with other items deferred until the next Council meeting.




10.  Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government:

  • Letter dated 4th January, 2016, in response to Council’s letter of 10th December, 2015, regarding decisions by An Bord Pleanála.
  • Letter dated 19th January, 2016, in response to Council’s letter of 16th September, 2015, regarding legislation governing the rental market.

11.  Department of Justice & Equality:

Letter dated 5th January, 2016, in response to Council’s letter of 16th December, 2015, regarding promotion of gambling.


[h]           NOTICES OF MOTION

12.  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.”

[Deferred from Council Meeting on the 11/1/16]

13.  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.”

[Deferred from Council Meeting on the 11/1/16]

14.  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.”

[Deferred from Council Meeting on the 11/1/16]

15.  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.”

[Deferred from Council Meeting on the 11/1/16]

16.  Councillor Susan McCarthy:
“Following the devastation experienced by communities across our County wreaked by storm Frank on properties, businesses and residences, as well as extreme damage to our roads network, I would like to commend Cork County Council on its response, considering the unprecedented levels of damage caused. Notwithstanding these efforts, in anticipation of further events of such an extreme nature, that

a.) Council facilitate the setting up of a designated taskforce for each Municipal District, with a dedicated two-way channel of communication for Elected Members, and

b.) A direct phone line be made available to elected members in the event of such crises, with a facility for reply on reported events in order for members to more effectively feedback information to the public.”


17.  Councillor Des O’Grady:
“To request a written report on recent flooding of areas zoned for housing in the Metropolitan Area. The report to focus on the residential Masterplan sites and other areas zoned for housing (outside of once off housing) in the relevant Local Area Plans.  The report to contain information on the extent of any recent flooding that took place in these zoned areas outside of those sections previously designated as ‘susceptible to flooding’ on the 2011 Local Area Maps.”


18.  Councillor Michael Collins:
“I call on the Minister for Health to immediately publish the Capacity Review Report on our Ambulance service. Morale is at an all time low with Ambulance staff and it is high time that they are treated with some respect similar to other Emergency services in Cork County.

I call on my fellow Councillors to call on this Government for an immediate review of Ambulance staff pay and conditions to reflect the pressure these people work under.”


19.  Councillor Frank O’Flynn:
“That Cork County Council immediately call on the Minister for Transport and Transport Infrastructure Ireland to make the necessary finding available to ensure that the much needed Mallow Relief Road can commence as was promised by the Minister in November 2015.





  1. ESB:  Letter dated 11th January, 2016, in response to Council’s letter of 16th December, 2015, regarding the introduction of fees for electric vehicles.


  1. Irish Water:  Letter dated 11th January, 2016, regarding the Bandon Water Main and Sewer Network Project Update.