Notes from the meeting of Cork County Council, 28th July 2014

1. Confirmation of Minutes of full Council meeting held on 14th July 2014

Cllr R McCarthy (SF):  Question on Bandon not minuted and question on Kinsale Main Drainage not answered.

CE:  Kinsale Main Drainage should have been answered at committee level.

Tenders opened for several road works schemes.

2. Votes of Sympathy:

Two from Cllr K Murphy and Cllr Mary Hegarty

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

a)     Disposal of 14 Barry’s Terrace, Glanworth, Co. Cork.
b)    Disposal of Carrigabrick Viaduct, Fermoy, Co. Cork.
c)     Disposal of land at Stag Park, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, to Kevin King.
d)    Disposal of land at Carrigane, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork.
e)    Disposal of land at Stag Park, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, to George Fenton.
f)     Disposal of land at Ballynamona, Shanagarry, Midleton, Co. Cork.
g)    Amendment to Disposal of Site No. 7 Cloughmacsimon Industrial Park, Bandon, by the substitution of “Site No. 7 including Right of Way “279-1” in lieu of “Site No. 7” being the situation of said site and the inclusion of “Property Ref: EST 10-3 SLD 09/14.”

 Proposed and seconded.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Glanworth property – sum of €45k received for this.  Would it have been suitable for social housing?

CE:  Money received will go into the social housing fund.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  No names attached to the transfer of some property.  Why?

SO’C:  a) doesn’t say it is under the tenant purchase scheme.  If this was a social house that is being disposed of, the money has to be put back into social housing purposes.  Will check what the position was if it wasn’t a social house.

4.  Local Government Act, 2001:
a.     Section 85 Agreement with Waterford City and County Council – Munster Bridge Joint Replacement Contract 2014 – Contract 1

 b.     Section 85 Agreement with Limerick City and County Council – Munster Bridge Joint Replacement Contract 2014 – Contracts 2 & 3.


5.  Local Government Act 2001 (as amended by Section 59 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014) & Local Government (Audit Committee) Regulations 2014 (S.I. 244/2014):

In accordance with Regulation 4 of the Local Government (Audit Committee) Regulations 2014 the Corporate Policy Group nominates the following persons for appointment to the Council’s Audit Committee:

Mr. Larry O’Dwyer
Professor Ciaran Murphy
Ms. Edel Clancy
Ms. Eileen O’ Shea
Councillor Mary Rose Desmond
Councillor Susan McCarthy
Councillor Declan Hurley

 CE:  Those appointed will take the positions for the 5 years of this Council.  The Audit Committee comprises 4 external reps and 3 members of Council.  Also provision to have those agreed between the CE and the CPG.  The CPG is recommending the members above to the Audit Committee for the next 5 years.  Two of the external reps continue from the last Council for continuity.

Cllr Forde (FG):  The audit committee is a very high-powered committee.  Presume the members chosen have a certain expertise in this area.

Mayor:  All the legislation requires is gender balance.

Proposed and seconded.

6.  Establishment of 3 no. Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) in Cork County

In accordance with the provisions of Section 36 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014, and Sections 4(1) and 4(2) of SI No. 234 of 2014 in relation to the establishment of Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs):

 Regulation 4 (2) The list of recommended nominees to the Committee, to which section 128C(3)(a) of the Act relates, shall be submitted for resolution of the local authority no later than the first meeting of the local authority following the meeting at which the members of the local authority were nominated to the Committee.

SF nominates Cllr Rachel McCarthy instead of Cllr Paul Hayes to Western LCDC.

Udaras is active in both the South and West divisions so they will be represented on both LCDCs.

7.  Appointment of Members to the West Cork Development Partnership.

Joe Carroll (FF)
Mary Hegarty (FG)
Michael Collins (Ind)
Paul Hayes (SF)

All of the above proposed.  Using the grouping system, Cllr Carroll (FF) was elected.  A vote saw Cllr Collins (Ind) elected.  In second vote for the third place, FF proposed Cllr Murphy O’Mahony also.  When the vote was counted, Cllr Murphy O’Mahony was elected.

8.  Appointment of Members to the following Committees:-

Coastal Management Committee                  14
(From Cobh, East Cork, Bandon/
Kinsale and West Cork MDs)
County Library Committee                                    8
European Affairs Committee                              12
Rural Water Monitoring Committee                8
(1 from each MD)
Traveller Consultative Committee                     8
(1 from each MD)
CASP Policy Committee                                    12                  (Ballincollig/Carrigaline – 2; Blarney/Macroom – 2; Cobh – 2; East Cork – 2; West Cork – 1; Bandon/Kinsale – 1; Kanturk/Mallow – 1; Fermoy – 1)
Southern Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force   1
County Cork Sports Partnership                                  3
Irish Public Bodies                                                                 1

Cllr D’Alton (Ind) asked why Ballincollig – Carrigaline which has 29 km of coastline was not represented on Coastal Management Committee.  Mayor says that it was decided at CPG.  Cllr McGrath said that he did not agree at CPG that Ballincollig – Carrigaline would not be represented on the Coastal Management Committee.  Mayor says the decision of the CPG can be overturned by the full Council.  Proposes to second my suggestion.

Agreement to make 15 positions available.

Coastal Management Committee:
FF: O’Sullivan, Murphy, Coleman, Murphy O’Mahony, Carroll
FG: Mary Hegarty, Barry M Hegarty O’Donovan
SF: Hayes, K McCarthy
Ind: Cullinane, Collins, D’Alton

County Library Committee:
External positions are decided by the committee itself.
FF: McGrath, Fitzgerald, Doyle, N McCarthy …
(Missed the rest of this.)

European Affairs Committee
FF: O’Flynn, O’Keeffe, Coleman
SF:  R McCarthy, Frick Murphy
Ind: Joe Harris, JP O’Shea
FG: Dawson, Michael Hegarty
Labour:  N McCarthy

Rural Water Monitoring Committee
Need subs on this committee.
Ind: T Collins, Mary Linehan-Foley
SF:  O’Grady, Murphy, K McCarthy
FF: Moynihan, O’Keeffe, O’Donnabhain, Carroll
FG: Sheppard and 2 more

Mayor made sure that all areas of the county were covered.

Travellers Committee:
FF: Doyle, N McCarthy
SF: Mullane
Ind: Harris, (O’Shea sub)
FG:  J O’Donovan, Canty, Dawson and Lucey (subs)

Geographically distributed
FF: McGrath, Fitzgerald, Desmond (Ryan and O’Sullivan subs)
SF: O’Laoghaire, Keohane (subs Mullane and Buckley)
Ind: Conway, D’Alton, Hurley (sub Cullinane)
FG: Collins, Forde, Barry (sub N O’Donovan, Lucey, Michael Hegarty)

Regional Drugs & Alcohol Task Forum:
Kevin O’Keeffe

Cork County Sports Partnership
FF: Ryan (sub Moynihan)
Ind: O’Shea
FG: Canty

N McCarthy (FF) elected by vote.

Cobh Heritage Trust
Cullinane (Ind), Barry (FG) and K McCarthy (SF) proposed.  Lombard proposed that it should be at MDC level.  O’Shea (Ind) and McGrath (FF) disagreed.  Cllr Cullinane was elected by vote.

National Monuments Committee being reviewed.  Presumes decision will come at September CPG.

9.  Approval of Strategic Policy Committee Scheme.

Planning SPC
FF: McGrath, O’Sullivan, Ryan B Moynihan, O’Sullivan
SF: Frick, O’Grady
Ind: D’Alton, T Collins
FG: Lombard, M Hegarty, Forde, J O’Donovan
Lab: Rasmussen

Environment SPC
FF: O’Flynn, O’Keeffe, two Moynihans
SF: Mullane, Frick Murphy
Ind: Cullinane, D’Alton
FG: J O’Donovan, Barry, Dawson, Canty, K Murphy

Economic SPC
FF: O’Flynn, Doyle, Desmond, Fitzgerald, Ryan, O’Donnabhain
SF: Murphy, McCarthy
Ind: Harris, O’Shea
FG: Forde, Lombard, Hegarty, G Murphy

Tourism SPC
FF: Coleman, O’Sullivan, Carroll, O’Keeffe, ?
SF: K McCarthy, Hayes
Ind: Cullinane, Hurley, Conway
FG: S McCarthy, Sheppard, Canty, Mary Hegarty

Housing SPC
FF: McGrath, Fitzgerald, Murphy o’Mahony, G Murphy
SF: Mullane, O’Laoghaire, R McCarthy
Ind: M Collins, O’Shea
FG: S McCarthy, N O’Donovan, G Murphy, Sheppard
Lab: McCarthy

Transportation SPC
FF: C O’Sullivan, Murphy O’Mahony (+2)
SF: K McCarthy, Hayes
Ind: Hurley, T Collins
FG: Creed, Barry, K Murphy, Lucey

Social SPC
FF: Doyle, Desmond, O’Donnabhain
SF: Murphy, Buckley, O’Grady
Ind: O’Shea, Collins, N Collins, ?
FG: Creed, Dawson, J Collins

Arts SPC
FF: Moynihan, Carroll (?)
SF: Buckley, O’Laoghaire, Keohane
Ind: Linehan Foley, Harris, ?
FG: Mary Hegarty, N O’Donovan, Canty

10.  Reports under Section 179 Planning & Development Act, 2000:
a)     Conservation of Mitchell Gaol & Shell Store, Spike Island, Cobh, Co. Cork
b)    Improvement Works to the Pier, Spike Island, Cobh, Co. Cork
c)     The Café Toilet Block (Old Gymnasium), Spike Island, Cobh, Co. Cork

Cllr Fitzgerald (FF):  Mallow Castle and Buttevant Town Scheme – proposes to have these included.

SO’C: 3 items on agenda.  2 items added subsequently.

All agreed.

11.  Southern Committee:

Approval of Community Fund 2014.

Proposed and seconded.

12.  Department of Health:

Letter dated 9th July, 2014, in response to Council’s letter of 11th June, 2014, regarding water fluoridation.

Cllr N Collins (Ind):  Very disappointed that the government intends to continue this practice.  Has been fighting this over the past 40 years.  Have failed in this mission to date but will keep trying.  Fluoride is an industrial by-product added to our water supplies for almost 50 years.  We are the most heavily fluoridated country in the world.  Most countries have banned practice.  Linked with all sorts of health issues.  Dr. Malusi estimates that many deaths in the US annually are due to fluoride.  This should surely be good enough evidence for government.  Human life is sacred.  Request that we send back the letter and request alternative.

Cllr Hayes (SF):  Echoes Cllr Collins’ sentiments.  Vote in the Dail for stopping fluoridation was put forward by SF.  Is going to be followed up in the Dail again.  EU ambassadors visiting Dublin recently have been recommended not to use the tap water in Ireland and especially not to make bottled milk for babies not using tap water.  Amazing that government persists.

Cllr A Moynihan (FF):  Echoes frustration with this issue.  Department’s letter is in response to the letter which we sent.  Hasn’t addressed fundamental issue of choice.  People should have that choice.  FG said there would be an international dimension to the review board.  Twice the Minister has responded but there has been no mention of this international dimension.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  There are a number of issues relating to water.  People are out protesting in towns around the country against water meters.  People are under financial pressure.  SF position was always underinvestment from government to maintain the water supply.  Also SF held position on issues like this about water quality.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Department’s letter says that a report done by the European Community on Health and Environmental Risk has concluded there to be no health risk from fluoridation.  This is not what the report says.  What is actually says is:

“Water fluoridation as well as topical fluoride applications (e.g. fluoridated toothpaste or varnish) appears to prevent caries, primarily on permanent dentition. No obvious advantage appears in favour of water fluoridation compared with topical prevention. The effect of continued systemic exposure of fluoride from whatever source is questionable once the permanent teeth have erupted…

…The efficacy of population-based policies, e.g. drinking water, milk or salt fluoridation, as regards the reduction of oral-health social disparities, remains insufficiently substantiated…

…Water fluoridation as well as topical fluoride applications, e.g. fluoridated toothpaste or varnish, appears to prevent caries, primarily on permanent dentition, but topical application is the more efficient measure…

…In children, a very narrow margin exists between achieving the beneficial effects of fluoride in caries prevention and the adverse effects of dental fluorosis.

Asks that we send the letter back and draw the Department’s attention to what the report actually says.  The government is introducing water charges.  It cannot expect people to pay for medicated water.

Cllr Cullinane (Ind):  Has been working on this issue for 20 years.  Suggests we follow through what has been asked in this letter.  Give whatever proof we have against fluoridation.  Send it to the Dental Research Board and cc it to the Minister.  We have to keep pressure on.

Agreed to return the letter and say that we are not happy with it.

13.  Notice of Motion: Councillor Seamus McGrath:

“To request a written report from the CEO on the implementation of the ‘Adopt a Road Scheme’ across the County.  The report should outline the number of organisations participating in the scheme, an assessment of its success and to suggest ways of revamping the scheme to improve participation.”

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Supported the scheme when it was brought in in 2012.  The scheme has been a success overall.  Thinks the scheme supplements the Council’s role.  Important at a time of limited resources to use all the help that we can get out there and if it is a scheme like this is mutually beneficial then it is worth taking part in.  The scheme is to support iconic areas such as roundabouts.  Would like to see the scheme rolled out into roads as well.  Is put into practice at a local level.  Tidy Towns groups doing it at an informal level as well – have divided up areas between clubs, etc.  Asks that it be taken to SPC to see if we can enhance it further.

Cllr McCarthy (Lab):  Agrees.  Involvement in the scheme should be encouraged more.  People who are involved are happy with it.  When business people do get involved there should be more reference to the efforts they make.

Cllr Forde (FG):  Would like to commend Council for the efforts they are making in rolling out this scheme.  Thinks litter element could be extended.  When Council cuts hedgerows in rural areas, sometimes there is fly tipping there.  The machines cut the litter and make the problems worse.  Also think the airport roundabout should be included.  Pivotal roundabout.

Cllr Canty (FG):  Fantastic scheme.  Ballincollig was used as a benchmarking in relation to what can be done and should be done.  Good to see that businesses have adopted roundabouts around the area and it makes such a difference.  We give grants to local Tidy Towns groups.  Puts a lot of pressure on them to come up with the goods and to justify the money given.  They are undertaking work that is covering Council work and the aspects of H&S has to be considered, especially with cutting grass on roadside.   But overall thinks many more businesses would be interested in taking this scheme on.

Cllr Dawson (FG):  Because it is 2 year scheme we need to watch that the ongoing maintenance afterwards is at the same standard that it started out at.

O’Flynn (FF):  V beneficial scheme.  Thinks we should be giving this scheme more publicity.  Do a PR scheme.  Moorepark roundabout.  Kildorrery also.  Tremendous potential for other County towns and villages to get involved.

Lombard (FG):  Fantastic scheme.  Real  issue is participation.  Need to push it out maybe through the Chamber of Commerce and other business community organisations.  Are pivotal roundabouts throughout the entire county that could benefit from this scheme.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  Great value to the scheme but agrees with Cllr Canty – need to proceed carefully because it is not the role of the Council to outsource core work to the voluntary community sector.  So certainly a role for businesses and community groups, have to be careful of the burden we place on the community groups.

Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG):  Great scheme.  Someone complained about the island at the Crows Nest.  Maybe we could write to the City and ask them to maintain.

Cllr Harris (Ind):  Concerned about impact on morale of Council workers.  Thinks we should be trying to create extra Council jobs.  No substitute for proper full time work.  Plenty of people would do this job if they could.  Are we going down the road of cheap labour?

Cllr Conway (Ind):  Agrees that we should publicise the scheme more widely.  Wasn’t aware of it and knows much of this work is done by community groups.

Agreed to send motion to SPC to work on publicity.

14.  Notice of Motion: Councillor Joe Carroll:

“That this Council provide an office (section) dedicated entirely to our coast and staffed with people with marine experience.”

Cllr Carroll (FF):  Believes Cork County Council underestimates the value of the coastline.  If more harbours had better facilities, believes these places would sustain themselves and provide reasonable employment.  Gave example of Baltimore Harbour and the need for a breakwater.  Facilities are hopeless without shelter.  A planning application was to have been lodged in 2012.  To date it has not been lodged.  Simon Coveney said he was willing to help and support but we had no planning application ready.

Coastal Management and Flooding – reckons that any funding coming through here would go to flooding, not to coastal management.  Accepted in West Cork that Kerry County Council has a far more proactive approach to its coastline than we do.  Pontoon sitting in Skibb with the last 6 months.  No good.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Seconds the proposal that we provide a Coastal section within the County Council.  Disagrees though that progress is slow.  In his area, progress is good.  Think harbours better off as a result of County Council takeover.  But thinks we need to ensure that everyone who has a mooring must check it, be responsible for it, etc.   There are examples right across the county where a marine section within the County Council would have relevance and reap benefits.  Had experts in-house, they are no longer with us.  Would like to set up a committee within the Coastal Management Committee to work on this.  Huge responsibility now that we have taken over Kinsale and Baltimore.  Thinks Cork County Council needs to put one or two people with expertise in such a department.  Thinks expertise is already in house.

CE:  We have a coastal management unit in place under the remit of the County Engineer.  This Is combined with flooding so it gets quite a bit of capital investment.  Looks after piers and harbours, etc. and got a good bit of money after the flooding.  South and West Cork has significant investment in coastal areas.  That we have now taken over the harbours, we will make sure that there is no change for residents or those who use the harbours.  Cork County Council put considerable investment in showers, toilet facilities, etc. in Baltimore, including investment in the sailing club.  Will continue as we are and thinks Cork County Council is well structured to prioritise the coast.  Thinks Coastal Management Committee will be an active committee and should have a sub-committee if required.

County Engineer:  Thought there was synergy between coastal management and flooding.  So he has put the 2 together.  There are now 8 engineers (increased from 2).  Dealing a great deal with storm damage.  One of the contracts being opened at today’s meeting relates to Belvelly Bridge.  €5m to be spent over two years when Cork County Council took over Baltimore and Kinsale.  Deals only with capital works, not day to day maintenance.

The Baltimore breakwater happened as the take over was also happening.  That was unfortunate.  They have to go to An Bord Pleanala.

Cllr Carroll (FF):  Thanks for this.  Funding that was got when takeover happened was secured by Cllrs Murphy and J Carroll.  It was the sole intention that €2.5m would be used for providing breakwater but the Department wouldn’t allow it.  All the lovely work done in Baltimore is no use without a breakwater.  Yachts spend a fortune in Baltimore when they come in for a couple of nights.  The sooner shelter comes to Baltimore, the better for commerce in Baltimore.  The Baltimore breakwater is the backbone of his motion.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  No database and no inventory of buoys, their safety, etc.  People are being charged a fortune to lay down buoys and then have no comeback.  Have to have a certain level of expertise to know what we talking about.

Cllr Carroll (FF):  It was recommended that a Harbour Forum would be established meeting a few times a year when this takeover happened.

15.  Notice of Motion: Councillor Melissa Mullane:

“That Cork County Council gives a report of the number of houses currently vacant in Cork County – that will be refurbished under the recent funding announced by Government of EUR 1,181,000 on the 8th of July 2014.”

Cllr Mullane (SF): €15 million put in place to pay for the refurbishment.  In Cork County Council 187 houses with €1.81m value being funded to Cork County Council.  When will they be provided?  Who will do the work?  Tender guidelines?  Is €13k enough for every house and if it is not, will we get more?

O’Laoghaire (SF):  Long running issue.  Creates frustration when people are wiating on houses for a long time.  Also very much affects morale of the community.  Thinks will make a dent in the houses that are needed but remains to be seen whether it will be sufficient to sort out this significant problem.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Has been a long-term critic of long term vacancies across county.  Voids are generally over 12 months.  Unacceptable.  Had been great work in bringing this issue to the fore heretofore.  Thinks funding is not enough from a cursory viewpoint.  Need to turn around faster.

Cllr Forde (FG):  Mary Ryan issued us with a list of houses approved under this scheme.  That was issued only this morning.  Have to keep finger on pulse to see what else we can do.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Although we might feel the funding is not enough, we should be grateful for it because it is more than we have seen for a long time.  Disappointed there is no report from management.

Cllr Hayes (SF):  Funding is only a drop in the ocean.  In Clonakilty, some places have been vacant for up to 10 years.  People crying on the phone to you.  We are at the coal-face.  So many houses that need work done.  If there is any hope that the Council could ease up on the refurbishment policy?  There are many people willing to do light work themselves.  Not talking about electricity, plumbing, etc.  Would ask the Council to relax its policy and permit light works to be done to speed up the process.

Cllr Conway (Ind):  Is the list we received from Mary Ryan this morning a complete list?  Also supports the motion.

CE:  Progressing as quickly as we can.  Likely that will be done by tender to get greatest efficiency.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  Tender or private contractor?

CE:  We don’t have staff to do this work.  €2.2m worh of funding there.  Will progress this by way of tender.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  Intend to draw down all funding by end of year?

CE: That is what we intend.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  Concerned that social inclusion aspect of the monies awarded is not being acted on.

Mayor:  We have to use the money before end Nov.  Couldn’t achieve that timescale if we were to take any route other than tender.

This budget is specifically for vacant schemes.

Can use contractors working in former Town Council areas.

Cllr K McCarthy (SF):  Can we get a commitment that the contractors in former Town Council areas actually WILL be used?  Received email from former contractor to Cobh Town Council and he is just thrown on the scrap heap.

Mayor:  Will be opened in new framework.  Whoever applies under that framework will have the same opportunity as everyone else.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  How many houses are vacant?

Mayor: 155 vacant houses to be refurbished UNDER THIS SCHEME.  Report given.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  There are lots more houses needing refurbishment than just those to be refurbished under this scheme.

CE:  The way the numbers fall, the most urgent houses are looked after first.  If the list is there, the list is fixed based on the number of houses available.

16.  Notice of Motion: Councillor Paul Hayes:

“That this Council writes to Failte Ireland asking that the route of the Wild Atlantic Way be extended to include the coastal route from Timoleague to Clonakilty.”

Cllr Hayes (SF):  The Wild Atlantic Way by-passes a very obvious headland.  Courtmacsherry has had an annual festival running for an entire week.  It has a Storytelling Festival every September.  It will celebrate the Lusitantia sinking next year.  A racetrack is plotted out on the sand when the tide goes out.  It offers kayaking, sailing, fishing, etc., cycleways and walks.  It has amazing landscape and views.  It offers bars and restaurants, including a rated restaurant in Ring village.  It has shops, guesthouses and many other rate-paying businesses.  Failte Ireland appeared slightly concerned about roads on the headland but gave the impression that this was only a small concern.  People on the headland are very upset at not being included in the Wild Atlantic Way.  This area has already been affected by post office, pub and shop closures.  It is vital that it is not left behind.

Cllr M Collins (Ind):  Supports entirely.

Cllr Hurley (Ind):  Thinks good idea to get delegation down there to see what is on offer.  Is a hidden gem.  Supports entirely.

Cllr R McCarthy (Ind):  Courtmacsherry Rowing Club held rowing club all-Irelands 2 years ago.  One of the best run events she has ever been at.

Agreed to write to Bord Failte to get the headland included in the route of the Wild Atlantic Way.

17.  Notice of Motion: Councillor Noel Collins:

“That this Council call on the Government to introduce the necessary legislation to protect the interests of small businesses who are paid considerable sums by concerns who have gone into liquidation.”

Cllr N Collins:  Small businesses are having to act as unsecured creditors.  The law is not on their side.  The banks get personal guarantees, but small businesses are last on the list to be supported.  Revenue Collectors are preferential creditors.  There must be change in relation to trade creditors and limited liability.  Small business owners struggle with accessing loans, premises, rates, etc.  Asks the manager whether any progress has been made on rates reform at government level.

Agreed and seconded.

18.  Notice of Motion: Councillor Pat Buckley:

“That this Council write to Irish Water and request that a compensation scheme be put in place for householders living in hard water areas.”

Cllr Buckley (SF):  In the year 2000, the Water Framework Directive was passed to improve water quality.  There has been no improvement to date.  East Cork is suffering from bad water.  Water is so hard that in one house, 4 washing machines and 3 shower units have had to be replaced.  If it is causing this damage to appliances, what must it be doing to pipework.  It also reduces the efficiency of appliances because of scale build-up, so there are more costs on electricity.

Cllr N Collins (Ind):  Seconds and fully supports proposal.  Asks that we might also add for a compensation scheme for those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.  It is proposed to reduce the size of the toilet cistern to 2.5 litres per flush.  Often with irritable bowel syndrome you have to flush again.

Cllr M Hegarty (FG):  Supports both proposals.  Hard water is a major problem.  Costs houseowners a lot of money in replacing appliances.  Believes some grant needs to be given to hosueholders to either replace appliances or to provide a filter.  Appropriate filters are not cheap.

Cllr Murphy O’Mahony (FF):  Own town of Belgooly is in a hard water area.  Applicances have to be replaced regularly.  Suggests that reduction in charges the way to go.  Rang Irish Water this morning and was told a report is coming and that people can make submissions.

Cllr B Moynihan (FF):  Wants to raise issue of water quality in Ballydesmond.  Supports motion.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Supports motion but thinks very hard to administer.  Should be looking and requesting Irish Water to grant aid Cork County Council a water softening plant.  Would be an absolute nightmare to try to do rebates on charges.  Much easier to make sure that water would be usable at source.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  Prefers individual approach.  Supports Cllr Buckley’s motion.  Have written from N Cork many time about this issue.  Is there a grant system available in a related field which could be used here?

Cllr Lombard (FG):  Very important motion.  CER key to this.  We need to be corresponding with CER as a County Council.

Cllr Dawson (FG):  Has to disagree with Cllr Murphy.  Hard water needs to be treated in the house.  The problem Is when you heat the water, it releases deposits.  (Gave a really good explanation.) So treating it at source is not good enough.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  Mallow has two treatment plants.  One delivers hard water and one delivers soft.  At the moment, those on the soft water have been switched to hard and they are really noticing the difference.

Mayor: CER had a public consultation.  Thinks it would be good to write to Irish Water as well.

Cllr Buckley (SF):  We don’t have control over water or wastewater any more.  He has contacted Irish Water but cannot get a response to his questions.  They will not engage.  But they will talk all about the installation of water meters.

Agreed to write to Irish Water about the issue of hard water.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  There are two issues here.  Cllr Collins also raised the issue of those suffering from IBS.  People such as these were supposed to be a special category called vulnerable users – people who for medical reasons need more water than normal.  Those vulnerable users have never been defined.  So we need to also write and ask for definition of the medical conditions that categorise someone as being a vulnerable user and to include IBS in that category.

Agreed to write about this also.

19.  Notice of Motion: Councillor Michael Collins:

“That the Cork County Council call on the Minister for Transport to seek immediate funding for improvements to the N.71 from Cork to Glengarriff via Clonakilty/ Skibbereen/ Ballydehob for long over due improvements and also the R586 Bandon to Bantry Via Dunmanway for immediate improvements also.”

Cllr M Collins (Ind): People in West Cork pay their motor tax same as any other road in Ireland.  Would like to like to ask the Minister to come to see the condition of West Cork roads.  If he cannot come, we will send a delegation.

Cllr Carroll (FF):  Improvements to this road were debated well at the last meeting.  We agreed that a deputation would go to the Minister.  How are we with setting up the deputation?  Supported motion.

Cllr Murphy (FF):  Supporting motion.  Was given good airing at last meeting.  Serious underinvestment over many years.  Joke to call it a national route.

Cllr K Murphy (FG): Supports but thinks we should just include the whole of the N71 from the Bandon roundabout all the way to West Cork.   Gives very bad image coming out of the city.

Cllr Hurley (Ind):  Thinks we should get the minister down.  All very well to go to Dublin, but the Minister needs to see the condition of the roads in West Cork.  We are losing the battle for roads in West Cork.

Cllr Lombard (FG): Any update since the last meeting?  Also thinks County Engineer should have a list of infrastructural needs that we could bring if we were going to Dublin with that deputation.

Cllr Hayes (SF):  Supporting.

Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG):  Supporting.

Mayor also supporting.

Cllr R McCarthy (SF):  Wondering what the communication is between the NRA and the Cork County Council?

CE:  All the NRA works are done through the NRA design office which is based in Cork and staffed largely by Cork County Council personnel.  Can get someone to contact Cllr McCarthy on the issue she raised.

20.  Councillor Des O’Grady:

That Cork County Council expresses its deep concern at the ongoing violence in Gaza, in particular, it’s anger at the disproportionate use of military force by the Israeli Government and the IDF against the people of Gaza, which has resulted in the deaths of over 576 persons, the overwhelming majority of them Civilians, with more than 25% of them being children, and which have included atrocities such as the attack on the Al Aqsa Hospital.

Cork County Council therefore calls on the Irish Government to expel the Israeli Ambassador as an expression of the outrage felt by the Irish people.”

Cllr O’Grady (SF): Each life lost is as important as the next.  All death is a tragedy.  But we cannot excuse Iraeli actions.  They say they have a right to defend themselves.  Do the people of Gaza not have the same right?  The people of Gaza have been under assault in some way for the last 7 years.  Israel has put the people of Gaza under siege.  This is now supported by Egypt.  Placing the health of the Gaza people under severe pressure.  Palestinaian children in Gaza suffering horrendously.  Malnourishment, stunting, etc. Increasing.  Nutritional deficiencies in children, especially due to lack of clean water.  Anaemia big issue, including in pregnant women.  Anaemia contributes to 20% of all maternal deaths.

The media failed to note the uneven distribution of power and suffering.  There is a Palestinian narrative that must be given equal airing.  The Israeli Prime Minister claimed that the Gaza Palestinanians one of the great injustices of the modern era.  Many have lived in refugee camps all their lives.

1.65m people living in the Gaza strip.  Refugee camps have one of the highest population density in the world.  Population also young.  Soft target for the US army.  The UN Hugh Commissioner for Human Rights said that last week that Israel may be violating international law.  Urges all parties concerned to respect their obligations under this international law.

Ireland abstained in its vote last Wednesday.  Thinks our government is not defending the civilian popuation of Gaza.  Accepts to expel the Israeli asmbassador is an unusual step but  believes it essential to send message to Israeli government that its treatment of the Palestinians is totally unacceptable.

Cllr K McCarthy (SF):  State terrorism.  Israeli spokespeope say Hamas are shielded behind innocent people.  We can hope it will all go away or we can back it up.

Cllr Desmond (FF):  Condemns the government’s abstaining from the vote.  It wasn’t a one-sided thing – it was to have been balanced.  It is dialogue that is needed to solve this crises and so thinks expelling the ambassador is probably not a good thing to do.  Asks that the Minsiter would be asked to officially summon the ambassador to convey the feelings of the Irish people directly to the Gaza Minister.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  Always two sides to every story.  Concerned about expelling.  Agree with sentiment but maybe the action is too heavy handed.

Cllr Harris (Ind):  Broadly in favour of the motion.  Wants to make sure we don’t come across as anti-Semitic.  So should be addendum that similar caution should be given to the Egyptian government.  Feels the responsibility is on Israel to exercise restraint because it is the stronger military force.  We have to include the Egyptian ambassador in that.

Cllr Doyle (FF):  Second Cllr Desmond’s proposal.  Thinks dialogue more important than sending people home.  All disgusted by atrocities.

Cllr Lombard (FG):  Very important motion.  One of the biggest worldwide issues.  1.7m people trapped into an area one eighth the size of Tipperary. Have to have great concern about it.  As a nation, we’ve seen how we can learn from the troubles in Northern Ireland.  We had the opportunity to learn from this.  Talks solved the problem.  We have always been suportive of the people in Gaza with aid, etc.  We should be talking – building bridges.  Expelling the ambassador will do nothing for the people in Gaza.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Sympathy to people in Gaza.  Outrageous what is happening at the moment.  So supports the first part of the motion.  But cannot support the second.  Cannot see any benefit to expelling the Israeli ambassador.

Cllr A Moynihan (FF):  Damning indictment of governemnt not to vote at UN last week.  Is tempting to expel the ambassador but thinks hugely important that people would be at the table to create dialogue.  Supports proposal on calling in both ambassadors.  Message is we want to keep the channel open.

Cllr Forde (FG):  Congratulates Member on putting down the motion.  Would have been more impressed if there had been an equal motion down about the atrocity in the Ukraine last week.  If we are going on a principle that we cherish and need to protect peace, is all for it.  The only way to move forward it through dialogue.  Need to give the people in Israel an opporunity to do that.  Hamas also has a responsibility here.  Hamas built those tunnels knowing there was going to be a response.

Cllr R McCarthy (SF):  Thinks we cannot support one part of the motion without the other.  Protest in Bandon last Saturday.  Some attendees were political, some were not.  Was well attended.  Is also a mass in Kinsale coming up in support of the people in Gaza.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  Very significiant action to expel an anbassador.  But onus on international community to lay down  a marker.  Israel has got major funding for arms and defences.  Yes we can assist in the facilitation of dialogue but that dialogue hasn’t happened.  We have an opporunity to show that their actions have consequences.  Context is that Israel has been acting against international laws and norms.

Cllr M Hegarty (FG):  Asking Cllr O’Grady to have a rethink on the text of the motion.

Cllr J Murphy (SF):  One of their own ministers said that they want to specifically target women and children.  Completely supports the motion.  Need to send clear message that Ireland will not tolerate slaughter of innocent children.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Long running dispute which has reached critical stage.  Agrees that government stance last week was highly regrettable.  Thinks the national parliament, not the local authorities should be discussing this issue.  Will be calling for the Dail to reconvene to discuss this.  Is not the only atrocity in the world today.  Exclusion does not work.

Cllr Coleman (FF):  Shocked that the Minister completely missed the mood of the Irish public.  Negotiations and discussions always seem to back the Israel side.  High time Europeans adopted their own position – not the American position.  Hopes the Parliament is recalled this week and the situation is righted.  Thinks would be a strong step to ask for the expulsion of an ambassador.

Cllr O’Grady: Will not accept the amendment.  Appreciates that most agree with the first part of the motion and thanks them all for that.  This is the 3rd time since 2007 that atrocities have arisen here.  What about Ireland having an indpendent foreign policy?  We used to.  It will not harm dialogue if the ambassador is expelled.

First part of motion agreed by everyone.  But Cllr Desmond’s amendment to the second part was voted on.  The amendment was agreed (28 – 11).


Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): – ?
Cllr Hayes (SF) – Model railway village celebrating 20 years of opening.
Cllr MF Murphy (SF) – Passage West Rowing Club on County Finals
Cllr K Murphy – Hurling


Cllr MF Murphy (SF):  Delighted to see planning notice put in for pontoon in Passage West.  Thinks down to the hard work of River Users Association.  Also doesn’t see the Passage West garda station listed in the Council Tenants Handbook.

Mayor: This is an issue for the Southern Division.

Cllr Carroll (FF):  Japanese Knotweed – Please provide a progress report with regard to its control.   It is going out of control.

Cllr Forde (FG):  Asks that the male members would not wear very strong deodorant.  Affecting her asthma and others with similar conditions.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  CE said he would revert to the value of land – from last minutes of meeting.  Also NAMA housing.

CE:  LAG – €53 million worth of debt on books.    Still working on NAMA housing.

Cllr Linehan-Foley (Ind):  E Coli warning on Youghal beaches.  Shocking seeing as Youghal depends on tourism so heavily.  Is there any system in place in the summer months that water quality could be checked every 2- 3 days.  So that as soon as it clears it can be given the all clear?

CE:  As a result of a number of tests there were raised incidences of E Coli detection, Youghal being one of them.  Being tested again today.  Have 10 tests every 2 weeks for blue flag beaches.  Other beaches done 5 times in that period.  But today’s samples will go back for testing within 24 hours.

Cllr Linehan-Foley: What was the cause of the E Coli detection?

CE:  There is still raw sewage going into the harbour there, so it could possibly have come from that.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  Public submissions to motions on property tax.  Notice was published last Friday on Examiner.  Would management please get a copy of the advertisement circulated to all Members?