Category Archives: Uncategorized

Notes from a full meeting of Cork County Council, 26th Jan 2015

Cllr R McCarthy and Cllr K McCarthy asked for suspension of Standing Orders because of:

1)     the delay in the Bandon sewerage scheme
2)     Irish Water as a company not looking after the water and sewerage needs of the people of Cobh.

respectively.  It was agreed that Standing Orders would be suspended at 1pm.


1.  Minutes of Meeting of the Council held on 12th January, 2015.

Proposed and seconded.


[b]           VOTES OF SYMPATHY
2.              Votes of Sympathy (if any) to the relatives of:

(i)             members or employees of the Council,
(ii)           dignitaries of Church or State, or
(iii)          members of old I.R.A. and Cumann na mBan.

There were no votes of sympathy passed.


3.              Presentation on the Abolishment of the Dairy Quota and the Opportunities for Cork – Presentation by Dr. Declan O Connor and Dr. Michael Keane.

This was work which Cork County Council commissioned.  Speakers are from the CIT.  They worked closely with the Executive in preparing the report and in particular with Tom Stritch (roads) .  The study was co-ordinated by James Fogarty (West Cork Manager).

Declan O’Connor gave the presentation.

This will be an important growth area in Cork in the next 5 years.

  • Milk quotas will be eliminated from April 2015.
  • We expect that Cork, which is an ideal place to produce milk, will be able to increase its dairy production substantially.
  • We produce > 1.4 billion litres of milk p.a. in the county, i.e. 25% of the milk produced in the country.
  • Cork has 4,500 highly skilled dairy farmers.  The county has very innovative dairy processes.  We have the likes of Dairygold and Carbery.  Also have leading R&D in Teagasc, UCC, CIT, etc.
  • We expect milk output to increase by 50%.  We expect dairy cows to increase from 306,000 to 400,000. (+94,000).
  • Investment commitments to achieve this – +€450m to farming and more to commercial side.
  • If we meet this target, it will create an additional 4,000 jobs with a net benefit to the exechequer of about €100m.
  • Constraints and threats – land scarcity, skilled labour, capital, herd health and fertility, weather, climate change, income, price volatility, EU policy, water quality, environment, GHG emissions.
  • All these constraints are manageable and are addressed in the report.
  • Infrastructural issues feedback from the industry were roads, water, GHG, energy, planning and commmunications (including broadband)
  • Highlighting the roads issue to the councillors.  The targets for extra milk production would mean an extra 1,000 milk lorries on the roads per week.  Also have to consider the implications of getting the dairy commodity back to the port for export.  There will be much more feed and fertiliser used.  Farm to farm transport will change dramatically.  More farmers will rent land away from the milking platform.  So they will be moving silage and slurry.  Contractors are going to be busier.  Everyone from the industry that was spoken to mentioned roads.  Turning areas not adequate for milk tankers, bridges, gullies, verges, blind bends, etc.  The targets for the industry would mean an estimated additional road maintenance cost of at least €4.2m to 2020 and €1.5m p.a. thereafter.  (Cost calculated by CIT.)
  • Each litre of milk requires 6 litres of water to produce.  Many farms have their own water but they also need a backup because water is so important.  Therefore water supply is crucial.
  • To consolidate this opportunity, we need everyone to roll in the same direction.  But we have to be aware of the infrastructural restrictions because these are real threats.  Have to help farmers through the nitrates legislation.
  • The prize would be Cork as a world dairy hub in 2020.

Cllr PG Murphy (FF):  If we haven’t quantiifed the restrictions and barriers we would not be in a position to seek support from national and local sources.  This was expressed as a concern in the Western Division.  Constraints need to be tackled one by one.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF):  Very exciting report and times for the dairy industry.  Road network is clearly our biggest constraint.  Mitchelstown to Mallow road at the moment can’t allow two lorries to pass at present.  Also Mallow badly needs a ring road.  Future development of Munster depends on the infrastructure around Mallow.  We will have to go to the Minister to ensure our road network is brought up to scratch.  Broadband also hugely important.  People coming to Mallow, Mitchelstown and Moorepark have nowhere to stay.  They want to live here and get involved in the local community.  But there are no houses available to either buy or rent.  The world is our market.  Hopes Cork County Council will not be found wanting.

Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG):  This is a follow up to a motion which she had at Council last year.  Compliments James Fogarty (divisional manager) on work he has done with the CIT.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Fabulous report.

Cllr Hayes (SF):  Report highlights our potential to go back to what we are good at – agriculture.  Highlights infrastructural deficiencies.  Great potential for the area.

Cllr A Moynihan (FF):  Very exciting time.  Cork always had a very strong connection with the dairy industry – butter exports – butter roads.  There is definitely a huge problem at the local road network level.  If there was a butter road network years ago, there is surely a need for a milk road network now.  We need to keep a focus on the need for a local road scheme to support tankers.  It won’t be happening on every local road.  We need to target the Departments – both Environment and Agriculture – for a milk road scheme.

Cllr Carroll (FF):  Thanks for report.  Roads in West Cork simply cannot support this plan, despite the fact that the plan is so welcome.  Roads aren’t fit to take Coillte trucks either.

Cllr N O’Donovan (FG):  Great to have the facts and figures.  Roads are in dire straits and something needs to be done.  Agriculture is the back bone of our economy.  Needs to be up there again.  Community involvement scheme was a major loss to West Cork.

Cllr Harris (Ind):  EU policy as an obstacle was glossed over.  Not confident that this will be easily managed.  What guarantees are there for people investing in this industry that EU policy will not wipe people out?

Cllr G Murphy (FG):  Glad to see this project initiated.  Infrastructural problems are county-wide.  We haven’t had funding for local improvement schemes for many years.  There are isolated farms with capacity to produce a lot of milk which creameries have said they will not serve into the future because of the road condition.  Report is great but it is what we do with this report is most important.  Lay down a timescale with the government for implementing this.  This government attaches huge importance to job creation so this dovetails with their agenda.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  My side of the cow is usually the tail end – my area of expertise was the slurry side of things.  Cows produce slurry and more cows means more slurry.  I have done much nutrient management planning in North Cork and I know that while the land has some nutritional imbalances, these are much easier to address more accurately with inorganic fertiliser.  At the moment, farmers have no option but to get rid of slurry by spreading it on the fields.  The land simply doesn’t have the capacity to absorb more without polluting rivers and other watercourses.  Welcomes the report but would also welcome concurrently researching whether it would be possible to establish a facility to assist farmers in slurry management.  Such a facility might be a centralised biogas plant, maybe drying.  But it is something that needs to be addressed alongside further intensification of the dairy industry.

Cllr T Collins (Ind):  If the contractors can’t get around, it makes things very difficult.  When hedges are meeting, the lorry cannot pass.  A mirror costs €800 to replace.  Now you meet limbs of trees, not hedges.  If a lorry is incapacitated, the milk already collected is left lying there because another lorry will have to come on stream to replace it.  Contractor is a very important person in this.  This report is welcome but there are some areas where roads that were built can’t cope with half the tonnage they are taking now.

Cllr B Moynihan (FF):  Needs to be a local improvement scheme for roads.  To enable all this to happen by 2020, there needs to be investment in the road structure.  People are quite willing to contribute to the council for the local improvement scheme.

Cllr Lombard (FG):  We’re 9 weeks away from the end of the quota period.  Next 18 months there will be 20% increase in milk volume.  Farmers and co-ops have been building to this for years.  Stock, herds and most of the infrastructure is already in place.  Is this report too late?  Should this have been commissioned 3 years ago?

Cllr Barry (FG):  Road issues well flagged.  Environment issues have been touched on.

CE:  We are the only local authority in the country who has done a detailed assessment of this issue.  Time to put this report into the right forum nationally, especially when it highlights the need for investment in certain areas.  Report well researched and robust.  This sector will create massive jobs and the investment required to support that is relatively small.  The issue with water is for Irish Water to deal with, with the County Council being an advocate of the sector.  We will be putting the investment into roads.

Michael Keane (MJKeane Agribusiness Research Services – – 087 2704586):

Councillors have rightly focused on roads as being the weak link in this plan.  There is a huge demand on the road network and it does require additional investment.  Wishes us all success in seeking the funds for that.

Couple of other comments in passing – Declan has a student doing a much bigger study which will be available in September.

Cllr Moynihan mentioned the fact that there are farmers facing superlevy bills.  There are schemes to help these farmers out.

EU policy at Brussels level is a very important point.  There are countries within the EU who have tried to stop the cessation of quotas.  Declan and he did a study on this before (2013) – were in Brussels for it.  Most EU Member States are in favour of quotas going but there are those who are not and this space needs to be watched carefully.

Issue of biogas and slurry very important.  Has taken off as a successful industry in other countries, but not so much here.  Worth investigating and advancing.

GHG – we produce milk outdoors, which has a far lower carbon footprint than producing milk indoors.

Planning – farmers speak of the narrow window of opportunity they have to get everything ready and done.  Want help from CCC where possible.

Massive feeling on the ground amongst farmers on the roads issue.

Declan O’Connor: James and Tom were a year ahead in the commissioning of this report.  They approached CIT last May.  Thanks all the contributors to the report, especially Michael who co-produced it in a 50:50 way, and all those who gave their time across the entire industry. – 087-6151284



4.              Disposal of Property – Section 183 of the Local Government Act, 2001:
Disposal of 14 Spa Terrace, Mallow, Co. Cork.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  Has no issue with this disposal.  The property is in shared ownership.  But the disposal did not come to the Northern Committee.  Just wondering what procedure is.

SOC:  The procedure is in the middle of changing.  Not sure why this one didn’t go to the Municipal District or Divisional Committee.  In some cases, especially in the issue of shared ownership, we’re under pressure to finalise for the client’s solicitor.  Maybe this is why.

5.              Local Government Act 2001 as amended by the Local Government Reform Act 2014 & the Local Government (Audit Committee) Regulations 2014:

Audit Committee Work Programme 2015

“In accordance with Section 9 of the Local Government (Audit Committee) Regulations the Annual Work Programme for 2015 for the Audit Committee is hereby adopted by Cork County Council.”

6.  Section 60 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014:
Report of the Audit Committee on its review of the Local Government Auditor’s Report for 2013.

Taking 5 and 6 together.  Both agreed.


7.  Local Government Act 2001:
Section 85 Agreement with Tipperary County Council – Control of Horses Act, 1996.

Agreed for renewal.


8.  Appointment of Members to the National Monuments Committee:

The Corporate Policy Group has decided that the Committee would have 8 members, 1 from each Municipal District.

Proposals were made from each party grouping for membership.  All were agreed.


9.              Corporate Policy Group:

(i)  Approval of attendance by Council members at Conferences on the Conference List for January, 2015 approved by the Corporate Policy Group at their meeting on the 14th January, 2015.

(ii)  To notify Members of the Municipal District Community Grants Schemes 2015.

Both we agreed. 

Mayor:  The proposal is that Municipal District Officers will advertise these grant schemes as soon as possible.  It is a good opportunity for Municipal District Officers to become visible in their districts.

Cllr R McCarthy (SF):  Is concerned that the grant application forms would be available as soon as possible because many groups require St Patrick’s Day funding.

SOC:  The intention was always to advertise as soon as possible.  Its up to the Municipal Districts to advertise.  The application forms will be on the website on Friday.

Cllr Conway (Ind):  There was tacit approval made at the Blarney-Macroom Municipal District meeting to fund Patrick’s Day either through this process  or otherwise.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Thinks it should be clear that no expenditure of any kind should be approved unless accompanied by an application form.

Cllr Conway (Ind):  Cllr Murphy is in the business long enough to know that an application form will be filled out for all funding that might be required.


10.            Ballincollig Carrigaline Municipal District:
“That this Council rejects the Minister’s Notice of Intent to Issue a Direction received by Cork County Council on 22nd December 2014 in relation to Objective ZU3-7 and resolves to uphold the previous decision of Cork County Council as agreed at its meeting of 8th December 2014 in retaining the original agreed wording of the Objective.”

Cllr Desmond (FF):  We discussed this at our Municipal District meeting last week.  We agreed that to comply with the process we have to put forward a proposal again today.  We have already voted on this.  There was cross party support.  Democratically the County Development Plan is one of the main pieces of work that is left to the Council.  So we believe we should take a stand.

Cllr G Murphy (FG):  Point of order – legal situation is that we have no power to overturn.  Is that correct?

Mayor:  We can make a submission up to Wednesday.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Asks that CE would make a statement at this stage.

CE:  Has no statement to make.  It is out for public consultation until the 28th of this month.  Reads the draft Direction in relation to consultation.  Members can make a submission if they wish.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Don’t want to redebate the issue.  Essence of this is the disregard for the democratic decision of the members.  The Minister is exhibiting unnecessary interference in the democratic process.  Public consultation is adding insult to injury.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  Affront to democracy.

Agreed to send a submission to the Minister supporting the Members’ original vote.



11.  Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government:
Letter dated 6th January, 2015, in response to Council’s letter of 26th November, 2014, regarding increasing rent supplement levels and issue of homelessness.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  About 20% of households in the state are living in the private rental sector.  The rent cap does not reflect reality.  Asks that the allowance would be increased and that there would be a rent cap to freeze the private rental market.  Lists out the disadvantages of a rent freeze that the Department’s letter describes.  But we have all these problems already.  The PRTB did this report.  A Red C poll found that 64% of tenants were aware of their rights.  That is good.  Thinks the education programme is a good idea.  People from 64% that do know their rights are still being made homeless.  Thinks the report is not up to the mark.  Need to write back to the Department telling them what the reality is on the ground.  This crisis is getting worse.


12.            Department of Justice and Equality:
Letter dated 20th January, 2015, in response to Council’s letter of 13th January, 2015, regarding the provision of a juvenile hostel in Cork.

Cllr N Collins (Ind):  Reply from the Department is infuriating.  The letter says we don’t know what we are talking about.  But we are dealing with this problem on a daily basis in the Cork region.  There was a top class facility in Spike Island.  It was closed.  The Lusk facility keeps getting funding.

(I had to leave the meeting to take a phone call.)


[f]            NOTICES OF MOTION

13.            Councillor Tim Lombard:
“To ask the Council to clarify the water quality in Fountainstown Strand and state what measures they are taking to ensure that the beach will be open for bathing in 2015.”

Cllr Lombard (FG):  Small businesses will close because of this.  Is a big issue and we need to get clarity on it today.  We need to ensure that people can be confident of their use of the beach throughout the summer.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Supports and seconds the motion.  Any suggestion of a closure of Fountainstown beach has implications.  Is vitally important for recreation and local economy.  We need to be as clear as we can early in the year.

Cllr Murphy-O’Mahony (FF) and Cllr K Murphy (FG) also spoke in favour.

CE:  Assessment to date is that Fountainstown is satisfactory for bathing and compliant.  As of now, there isn’t any issue with regard to it.  Will be kept under review.  Programme starts on June 1.  Ends September 15.  Results in Fountainstown are submitted to the EPA and will be assessed in conjunction with historical data.


Suspension of standing orders:

Cllr R McCarthy (SF):  The people of Bandon have waited for Bandon flood relief scheme for so long.  The sewerage scheme was to have separate systems for surface and foul water.  Irish Water has now decided that they will do a combined system.  Irish Water has said it will not accommodate new developments.  While she was on the Town Council for Bandon she remembers the various announcements that were made in relation to the schemes.  Has called for resurfacing of Bandon immediately.  It hasn’t been done for 2 years because we have been waiting for main drainage.  Has no confidence that it will be start.  Both schemes have been delayed.  Upsetting for everyone in the town.  Hope to meet with the Minister for the Environment to discuss.  Highlights the control that Irish Water has on development.  Will have serious consequences going forward for new developments across the country.  Hopes it can be resolved for Bandon straight away.

Cllr Murphy O’Mahony (FF):  Supports and seconds the motion.  Highights the plight of the people of Bandon.  They are being held to ransom with regard to any work done in the town.  Not good enough.  Traders of the town cannot sleep in nights of heavy rain in case there is another flood.  Calls on the Council to do anything possible to ensure both the schemes go ahead as quickly as possible.

Cllr J O’Donovan (FG):  Was a big shock to us all when we got the news.  Nothing can be done in the town until this goes ahead.  Also fears for the rest of the county.  The combined system approach may have a knock on effect throughout the county.  Surfacing in the town is desperate in some places.  Even a temporary job needs to be done to address this.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Unacceptable that Irish Water would hold up any future development in this way.  When will the scheme start?  One member of the Council drove through the town over the weekend and burst a tyre.

Cllr Lombard (FG):  Supports.  How is this issue going to be dealt with going forward?

County Engineer:  Irish Water has done a cost benefit analysis on the scheme in Bandon and they say it is not cost beneficial to separate the existing combined sewer.  So they will treat it at the treatment plant rather than separate.  It has raised its head only in Bandon but it is a national issue. Maybe the clinics should be used to discuss this with Irish Water.  Was told in August 2014 that works were to start in March 2015.  Now Irish Water is saying they will start in Q3 2015.

Cllr R McCarthy (SF):  Will the County Council be funding the separation of the scheme in lieu of Irish Water?

CE:  Yes, are thinking of it.  But if this arises in every other scheme, the County Council can’t afford it.    This is a matter that should be dealt with at a national level.  The Department needs to be involved.  It is not that we’re sitting back – the engineer is talking to Irish Water again this evening.  We may not be able to influence the flood issue because it is tied up in legal issues at present.  All we can do is press as hard as we can.

Cllr R McCarthy (SF):  Why can Irish Water not honour the commitment in the original plans?

County Engineer:  Tends to agree but they have said that they will review any scheme or reserve the right to redesign.  In the case of any pre-2014 planning permissions, they said they would honour those.


14.            Councillor Kieran McCarthy:
“This Council calls on the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys to recognise and act on her responsibility as Heritage Minister to protect and preserve the historic Moore Street area of Dublin City, including the terrace 10-25 Moore Street which was occupied by the Volunteers at the end of Easter Week 1916 and where the final meeting of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic took place. This requires the preservation not only of the National Monument 14-17 Moore Street but the protection of the terrace and of the integrity of the surrounding area which has been described as ‘the lanes of history’ and which has the potential to be sensitively developed as an historic quarter of our capital city, enhancing the living market trading tradition and bringing to life the area’s central role in the 1916 Rising.”

The motion was seconded by Cllr N Collins (Ind) who is from Dublin and spoke briefly and positively about the character and historical association of Moore Street.


15.            Councillor Michael Collins:
“I call on HSE to reverse the cuts to home help hours which were put in place over the past couple of years.  Many people who are receiving home help have been cut in the region of 50%.  Older people have a preference to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible but these cuts are making it impossible to do so. The end result of this is that our Community Hospitals and Nursing homes are full to capacity with a result that older people cannot be discharged from our acute Hospitals resulting in people remaining on trollies in our over crowded A&E Department.”

Cllr Murphy O’Mahony (FF):  Supports.  Any cut in home help hours is false economy.  In her area, the home help suppliers had to tell the old people of the cuts.  HSE offices did not even do this.  Many home help people are under pressure.  They are doing the other hour free to avoid friction with the client.

Cllr Conway (Ind):  Half an hour allocated to individuals in some cases.  Many of these home helps are working three times that amount of time.  Until all these agencies start working in tandem, we will never get rid of the trolleys.  Elderly are afraid to leave hospitals because they don’t know what to expect when hey get home.  Many of us are in the situation where we have dealt directly with home help for the sake of elderly relatives.  We know how difficult it is to work this.

Cllr R Murphy (SF):  SF had a motion in the Dail previously on this issue.  600,000 home help hours have been cut.  €10m has been cut from the disabled.  These are savage cuts on the most vulnerable in society.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Cannot support this motion strongly enough.  Old people have worked all their lives, paid taxes all their lives.  Then they are abandoned by the government at the time when they need support the most.  Anyone who has tried to deal with the home help office would know this is something old people could not do on their own.  Not merely have the hours been cut, but the duties the home helps can do have been severely limited.  They can no longer make a cup of tea, wash a cup after a cup of tea, make porridge.  They are limited to personal care only – getting out of bed, washing, dressing.  This upsets the home helps as much as the clients.  Limiting home help is incredibly short-sighted on the part of the government because it clogs everything downstream.  In any event, this county has signed up to the County Age-Friendly Strategy, so it is encumbent on us to support this motion.

Cllr Doyle (FF):  Need to increase training for home helps also.  FETAC level 5 courses into college that is closing.  Would ease so many downstream problems.  Also spoke of the County Strategy so it is our duty to support this.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  People would have the dignity to dress and undress – allowing 30 minutes for this duty of care seems to be lost by HSE.  The elderly need time.  Must meet the HSE face to face.

Cllr M Collins (Ind):  Thinking of Cllr D’Alton’s word – abandoned.  The elderly are being abandoned.  Knows home helps are delivering, but they’re doing it on a voluntary capacity.  Would be delighted if the HSE executive would come here to answer our questions.  But this is a fight that has been ignored for the last two years.  Minister Varadkar can shove beds into overcrowded rooms all he likes but he will enver solve the problem unless he solves it at source – in the home where people want to stay.


16.            Councillor Seamus McGrath:
“To request a written update on the Council’s plan regarding the ‘ Taking in Charge ‘ of a new round of residential estates.”

Link to Executive’s response to the motion: Response to McGrath’s motion

I left the meeting at this point and it was adjourned 10 minutes later.


17.            Councillor Noel Collins:
“That this Council request the Minister for Finance to amend the Valuation Act, 2001, to allow the business community to improve their premises, without excess increases in valuation.” 


18.            Councillor Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony:
That this Council writes to Bus Eireann to ascertain through which county towns their specially adapted buses pass through and on obtaining this information that we ensure that each of these towns has an adapted bus stop area.” 


19.            Councillor Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire:
“That in light of the significant lack of Housing available to low and middle income earners, Cork County Council agrees to explore the establishment of an Arms Length Housing Trust.” 


20.           Councillor Des O’Grady:
“To request a written report on the separate bank account held by Cork County Council to hold any monies accruing to the Council from the sale of dwellings. This report to list the amount of money currently held in this account, the amount held on 1st January 2014 and the separate amounts used for the provision of housing, the refurbishment /maintenance of existing housing, or any other related purpose during 2014.”



21.            Liadh Ní Riada, MEP:
Letter dated 12th January, 2015, in response to Council’s letter of 26th November, 2014, regarding the fluoridation of water.


22.            VOTES OF CONGRATULATIONS (if any)


23.            ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Notes from the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District meeting, 19th Jan 2015

1.         Deimhniú Miontuairiscí
To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Meeting held on 15th December 2014.

Proposed and seconded.


Matters arising:

Cllr D’Alton:  We had asked for an update on the proposed route of the N28 at the last meeting.  Some of us attended the public exhibition at the Carrigaline Court Hotel on 15th December where the preferred route was shown.  The people of Ringaskiddy are very unhappy with this latest preferred route.  The previously agreed route ran to the south of the peninsula.  This latest proposal has the route running along that of the pylons, thereby cutting Ringaskiddy village in two.  The people of Ringaskiddy have waited for so long for a road to take heavy vehicles out of the village.  Now they may get one, but at a very high social cost.  Some of us elected reps had written to the National Roads Office when the route options were being prepared asking that the route would not run along the line of the pylons because of the social cost to Ringaskiddy village.  We were very disappointed to see that our request had not been heeded.  Apparently the reason the new route is being chosen is cost and ecology.  Asks that we write as a Municipal District to the NRA stating our concerns about the potential social impact of this preferred route on the village of Ringaskiddy.

Also to ask whether the Area Engineer has spoken with the Garda Sergeant in Passage West about the double yellow lines on Strand Street.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Supports what Cllr D’Alton suggests in relation to the proposed route of the upgraded N28.  There are clearly issues with it.  There have been two significant changes from the previously agreed route.  One concerns the quarry/Fernhill Golf Club and the other is at the Ringaskiddy end.  The preferred route is much closer to the village and close also to a new school site.  Supports that we would write to the NRA and express our concerns.

Cllr Collins (FG): The proposal for 30 km/h speed restrictions in 5 pilot estates – how far along are we with this?

Maurice Manning (MM):  All Municipal Districts have come up with the list of pilot estates at this stage.  Not sure where it goes now.  Definitely has to go to public consultation.  Will check out and report back.


2.  Consideration of Reports and Recommendations:


3.  General Municipal Allocation.

MM:  Before the next meeting takes place, we are likely to be advertising for groups to apply to the general grant scheme.  New grants schemes/forms will come before full Council meeting next week.  There will be 3 separate schemes (capital grants, replacing Community Grants scheme), Amenity Grants and Community Contracts.  All of these will be funded from the GMA.  We will advertise early in February giving groups a month to respond.  Hope to make allocations in March or early April.  Any groups that would have got ongoing funding from TCs will be required to make applications again.

Closing date of early February applies to ALL groups – Francis, Dawn and otherwise.

Cllr Canty (FG):  Will there be an even playing field between Ballincollig which never had a Town Council and Passage West which did?

MM:  It is a general allocation.  When the budget was approved, the GMA was increased.  It is based on the population and the number of members per municipal district.  It is evenly distributed.

Cllr. D’Alton (Ind):  Believes Cllr Canty is asking that if 8 groups which always were funded from the Town Council are seeking funding, they will be guaranteed it but if another 8 groups from Ballincollig are seeking funding, because they never had a Town Council are they equally certain of receiving funding?

MM:  Yes, there will be enough in the GMA to go around.


4.         Cork County Council Litter Management Plan 2014

MM:  Making of a litter management plan is a reserve function of the Municipal District.  The next step is to advertise it, invite submissions.

Cllr Canty (FG):  Are we going to get any extra litter wardens?

MM:  There is no question of taking on additional litter wardens.  The litter function might be delegated to additional staff within the municipal district.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  When we advertise it and invite public submission, will we be referring the public to the draft Litter Management Plan that has been circulated today?  What is the status of this document?

MM:  Suppose we will be.  It has been approved by the Environment SPC.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  This was brought before the SPC before the election?

MM:  My understanding is that it was discussed at the January SPC meeting.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  But there was no discussion at all about it.  It wasn’t even presented.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Frustrating because we are to make a litter management plan with no additional litter wardens.  Had lots of complaints about the state of Carrigaline town over Christmas.  Have to back the litter plan up with resources.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  Objectives laid out in the shorter document make sense.  In general, shares the concerns that increasingly local authorities are looking to the community to take up work that the local authority is not doing.  Public expected an improvement in local services with the LPT and this is the kind of thing they expected the Council to do.  This weekend, people contacted him about litter blackspots.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  If the public submissions indicate that, for example, the way to deal with Objective 3 on advertising hoardings, is to put up a central advertising noticeboard in the town and, will it be the Municipal District’s GMA that will pay for it or will the county fund pay for it?

MM:  The intention with the GMA is that it would look after grants.  The Town Development Fund could perhaps help with litter.  There isn’t agreement yet on what the level of funding from the pay parking dividend will be but this will be additional to the Town Development Fund.  There is no particular litter budget.  There is a certain budget for clean ups but that covers individual areas and litter pickups that might be done in those areas.

Town Development Fund is for towns within the MD.  The pay parking fund is additional.  So if we have an idea under litter control that we think might be worh advancing, we can potentially fund it under the Town Development Fund.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  Thought the GMA was for more than the grants.

MM:  Correct.  If members want to spend the GMA on other things, that can be done.  Members may wish to take a different view.  As of now, if the intention is to offer the 3 grant schemes that we have operated in the past and we get a sufficient number of quality applications, there may be little GMA left.

The elected members may make submissions to the Litter Management Plan also.


5.         Chun na Ruin so leanas ón gComhairleoir a mheas:
To consider the following Notices of Motion in the name of:

Cllr S McGrath:
1)  To request a written update on the commitment to progress with the Lehenaghbeg / Lehenaghmore Road Improvement Scheme design work.

Municipal District Officer (MDO):  Road design office will prepare tender documents for the design to go out to consultants.  Got a reply back to this motion from the Road Design Office at the end of the week.  Will circulate to all Members.  Road lining has been done by the Area Engineer.  This will be finished when the weather improves.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  It is disappointing to hear that the tender hasn’t commenced at this stage.  Thanks the Area Engineer for the work done – residents are grateful but they ask for an on site visit also please.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  Supports what Cllr McGrath has said.  Regrettable that the design has not started already.  Welcome that there are markings done.  A number of other interim things were discussed at the residents’ meeting with the Executive – cats eyes in particular.

Cllr O’Donnabhain (FF):  Asked about salt/grit storage close to Lehenaghmore.

Area Engineer (AE):  Rochestown is the nearest salt/grit depot.  You can take it for granted that roads are salted at this time of year when it is necessary.  But if the residents want more, estates can apply for salt bins which for a sum of €50 will be supplied full of salt.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  The meeting between the residents and the Executive was on the 10th November.  That’s two months ago.  Not familiar with the detail that is involved in the preparation of the tender but as the Members are all in agreement as to how badly infrastructure is needed in the area, could they write as a group to the Roads Design Office to remind them of the urgency of the project.

AE:  They really are working on it in the design office in Ballincollig.  There is much liaison between many departments in the CCC involved in the preparation of the tender.  Assures that this tender preparation really is underway.

She has been talking to a contractor about cat’s eyes but it is better to have a meeting with the residents before advancing these further.


2)  To receive a briefing from the Engineer on the maintenance of Cemeteries.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Has received a number of complaints (over the summer and in relation to the cemetery in Douglas recently) about the appearance of cemeteries.  Would like information so as to be better able to help constituents.

AE:  There are 3 cemeteries in the Municipal District (St James, Ballinrea and Douglas) with a permanent caretaker in residence.  We will be putting a maintenance contract in place for the upkeep of the rest of the cemeteries (Ballygarvan, Passage West and some from Ballincollig).  Department caretakers would also take on duties in the bigger cemeteries but they wouldn’t be there permanently.  So most of the work in Passage West or Carrigaline would be picked up by private contractors.

Cllr Canty (FG):  Ballincollig is a lawn cemetery.  It used to have a permanent caretaker but no more.  The rules now seem to be relaxing because of the absence of the caretaker.  Asks that the AE would have a look at it.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  Signage at St Oliver’s where it says Relig is mis-spelt in a few places.

AE:  We are investigating the option of using the Gateway staff for cemetery maintenance.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Does the maintenance contract cover older graveyards such as the Old Church Cemetery in Passage West?

AE:  No, older graveyards like PW are not included but issues there will be considered on a case by case basis.


3)  To request that a cleanup be carried out on the public walkway between Ardcarrig and Mount Rivers estates.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Is aware that this is outside the Municipal District but it is in a very poor state.

AE:  We are aware of it and are going to get it cleaned.


6.         Aon Ghnó Eile           
Any Other Business

Cllr Desmond (FF):  Douglas pay parking – knows there is work being done on this at the moment.  But recent reports show that 1 in 5 parking fines and half the Southern Division parking fines are from Douglas.  On average, there are 47 parking fines a week in Douglas.  We are 12 months on from when the Transport SPC was to revise this.  Asks that the Municipal District would write to the SPC to encourage them to move the matter forward.

Also from Council meeting last Monday, we would like this Municipal District to put forward that Cork County Council would pass a resolution to reject the Minister’s notice of intent in relation to the CDP.   This will go to full Council on Monday.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Supports both of Cllr Desmond’s suggestions.  Attended the last Transport SPC where pay parking policy was being discussed.  Strongly supports that this Municipal District would ask full Council to make a resolution in relation to the Minister’s Direction.  Had wanted to raise a motion to request that signage in the Municipal District, particularly on the back roads, would be cleaned.  Some is very dirty at present.  Would this be possible?  Aware that the last cleaning took place about 2 years ago.  Could we at least start a programme of cleaning?

AE:  Is aware of this issue.   Hoping to use Gateway staff for this task.  But it will be some time before they are organised to do so – training and equipment are necessary.  So yes, it will be done, but not immediately.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Supports Cllr Desmond’s suggestions.  This is mid way in January – we are waiting on policy for pay parking since last February.  Supports that we highlight our annoyance at the ongoing delay.  Also trees in Raffeen – raised it before – but we have had high winds recently and the issue keeps coming up.  Knows the AE said it was actively being pursued.

AE:  Is meeting the contractor about the removal of the dangerous trees tomorrow afternoon.

MDO:  In relation to the recent report on parking fines, 1,276 parking notices related to play and display.  The others were for illegal parking or road traffic offences.  So there were under 5 notices/day for pay and display.  There were 117,802 pay and display tickets purchased over the same period.  So 1% of tickets purchased resulted in fines.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  Draft policy was discussed by the SPC.  Could we have a copy and comment?  Understands that the policy has a start point of the financial advantages that can be gained from pay parking.

MM:  No.  That will delay things further.  New policy is being drawn up and will be presented to them next week or so.  At the end of the month if the SPC cannot decide on all-county policy, it will have to revert back to the Municipal Districts to take their own decision.

Cllr Murphy (SF):  Would like to pass a vote of congratulations to Daniela Burke who won a cap in Irish U16 ladies team.

Notes from the Southern Committee meeting, 19th Jan 2015


(a)  To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the Committee held on 15th December, 2014.

Cllr Keohane (SF):  Concerned that three dangerous junctions that he mentioned are not noted.

DM: If there are issues with things not being mentioned in the minutes, could the Executive be let know in advance.

2 tenders for Haulbowline Island Site Investigation being opened.



  • Housing Operational Reports.
  • Housing Capital Reports.

Cllr Canty (FG): Concerned that the same number of houses is still vacant in Innishmore.

Mary Ryan: Repairs and refurbishment 2014 report shows the work that has been done.  22, 23, 25 20, etc. has had work done.

Cllr Conway (Ind): What is meant by casual vacancies?

Cllr Creed (FG):  There are a number of houses that haven’t been done in 2014.  Is that a question of money?

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Vacant housing report – some of the units listed for which works have not commenced since August.  Is that simply down to funding?  Do we have a new funding stream now for 2015?

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Long term voids – funding that was received from the government before Christmas was to have been drawn down before Nov.  Was this done?

Mary Ryan:  A casual vacancy is less than 6 months.  Points out the work that has been done in 2014.  We drew down allocated funding from the Dept.  There were allocations for certain streams of money.  There was a shortfall funded by the Council to the tune of €800k.  Got €1.3m from the Dept.  We’re getting a better bang for our buck by doing it this way.  There are indications that there will be another funding stream for 2015.  Waiting for a meeting with the Dept.  The fastest way to provide units is to refurbish existing stock.  Construction is important but refurbishment is faster.  We don’t know how much funding we will get.

Cllr Buckley (SF):  East Cork MD – work hasn’t started yet.  His dad’s house has been idle since last June.  The house was turnkey.  What is the delay?  Especially when houses are at a living standard.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Agrees that refurbishment is the way to go for speed.  Thinks awful that 3 months after the national budget that the Council hasn’t been notified of extra money this year.  We are working on vacant units at the moment.  IS that being

Mary Ryan:  Standards for rental have changed and this means we have to get each house certified and up to current building standards.  We will check out this particular house

We are working on preparing tenders and having a tranche of work ready.  This takes time.  Specifications have to be prepared and inspections have to be made.  This background work is being done and we will be ready then when we go to tender to use whatever money we get.


Affordable housing:

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Report 4 – p2 – Ballincollig: no details given as to how many times it was offered or refused.

Cllr McCarthy (FG):  Update on Maple Woods development in Midleton please?  Any completion date?

Angela Murphy:  Maple Woods – lease signed for phase 2.  Nominations for all 25 units.  2/3 of tenants selected.  Going through selection for remainder.  Expect units to be occupied in February.

Vacated late last year – was offered in last week or so.  Nominations were given to the voluntary body and interviews were held.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Seems a long time for a unit to be vacant.


RAS and HAP:

Cllr Buckley (SF):  If someone gets on to the HAP scheme, does HAP pay the month’s rent in advance for the deposit?

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  31 people transferred to the HAP scheme since the beginning.  Are they all new applicants?  How many transferred from social welfare lists?

Cllr McCarthy (SF):  Must a tenant apply to HAP before they get a transfer.  Many of his people have been refused.

Cllr Linehan-Foley (Ind):  HAP – if you are in a voluntary housing body, can you transfer for overcrowding reasons to HAP?

Angela Murphy: Deposit is not looked after by HAP.  In exceptional circumstances, perhaps the CWO might.

Bulk of 31 people on HAP are new applicants.  About one third are transferred from social welfare.

You cannot apply for a transfer from a social house or a voluntary house into HAP.  HAP does not cover this type of transfer.  Allocations policy sets out conditions under which person can get a transfer.  Individual cases can come directly.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Do they feel the HAP process is moving forward well?  Seems targets have not been reached.  Rent threshold seems to be the biggest stumbling block especially close to the city.

Angela Murphy: It’s early days to comment on the progress of HAP.  Was introduced on 15th September.  None of the pilot authorities have reached the targets set for them.  The target was also revised early in December to 500.  That target was reached.  Every new applicant approved for social housing receives a letter of approval and there is a section in that letter that tells the applicant they can apply for HAP.  So it is up to the person whether they want to apply or not.  We meet with the DSP regularly about transfers to HAP.  We will be talking about other people on our waiting list and contacting them directly.  The DSP people are generally 18 months + on rent supplement.  Many of the new applicants are working (27) and could not have availed of housing support if it wasn’t for HAP.  Our experience has been that the numbers are increasingly slowly.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Welcomes the 27.  Better than rent supplement from this regard.  Finds it astonishing that the targets were revised downwards.

AM:  The revision for the targets was in the context of starting very late in the year.  The start date had been revised several times.  Targets for this year are 1800.  A lot of the people on our lists had never heard of HAP before so there is a steep learning curve.  There will be no revision downwards in the current year.  The Council made a submission to the Department about the rent limits.  There will be another letter going from last Friday’s SPC about the same issue.


Serviced sites:

Cllr Conway (Ind): Site in Blarney in state of dereliction.  What will happen to it?  (Station Rd)

Cllr Hegarty (FG):  Cork Road, Killeagh.  Registered site but not on the list.

AM:  Debit balance on all of these sites.  Keep looking at the market value.  Up to now, we’d be at a loss if we sold.  We’ve asked the Dept about a site subsidy which would assist us with the sale of the sites.  We’ll be asking them again.  We’ll look at the Station Road site and see if we can do anything.

Cllr N Collins (Ind):  This is the worst housing crisis he has ever experienced in his time as an elected member.  Encountered 6 cases of homelessness on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Fixed them up with families eventually.  Overcrowding also a real issue.  Many cases on housing list.  One family of 7 members living in 2 bedroom house.  Family is approved for housing with Cork County Council.  Council is trying to help with 4 bedroom house.  The need for 4 bedroom houses was never more urgent.  We will have to move on this or we’ll be back to single beds and birth control.

Financial reports:

Cllr Buckley (SF):  Efficiency works – are they private or council?

Karina:  222 works carried out on Council houses.  We made a submission last week to look for extra money for this in the coming year.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  Is there a list of estates already drawn up should funding come on stream?  Mentions specific estate needing attention.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Commends the Council on the 222 houses.  Is there a figure for the number that need to be done in the future?  Can a list of the estates waiting to be done be circulated?

Karina: Phase 1 of energy efficiency is a rolling programme.  7,000 houses so will be done over years.  Have identified houses for 2015.  Please tell us if you know of any in particular.  Submissions are welcome.



(a)  By Councillor Noel Collins

(i)  “Council report on the number of private leaking Waste Water Treatment Plants serving Housing Estates in South Cork, and if these will be submitted to the Department of the Environment , as requested, so works can be prioritised.”

Cllr Collins (Ind):  Thanks John O’Neill for comprehensive report.  DoE has asked for a list of all these estates to be sent to the Department.  Lists additional areas that should be included in the list.

Cllr Buckley (SF): Supports the motion and the inclusion from Cllr Collins of specific housing estates.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  This is a huge problem.  Seems from the report that we are a long way off a solution.  The whole issue seems very much up in the air with Irish Water.  What about bonds?  What role do they play?

Cllr Linehan-Foley (Ind) and Cllr Moynihan (FF):  Supported.  Latter notes that these come to the fore only when there are problems and where the Council is called in to sort them out.  When will they be progressed?  Where these plants exist in developments belonging to Cork County Council, will Irish Water take them in charge or will Cork County Council keep responsibility for them.

Divisional Manager (DM):  Well aware of the estates that are causing problems and do have stand alone infrastructure.  Many of these would have been put in place on a temporary basis and weren’t envisaged to be a long term solution to servicing of the sites.  Delays in available money for investment and the whole Irish Water transition has left these facilities in place for longer than expected.

We generated a priority list of 20 and wrote to Irish Water before Christmas.  Seeking a way forward.  We have an issue with bringing these plants up to standard.  The whole thing has to be sorted out between the Department and Irish Water as to who is going to pay for what.

When we see a way forward ourselves, we have taken the bold move of doing works.  The estates then come to Cork County Council for taking in charge.  The formal process for taking in charge is that we would submit these estates to Irish Water.  The County Council took 170 estates in charge in the last year and we hope to do more this year.

Bonds have been an aid in dealing with financial institutions.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  What happens when the bondholder doesn’t co-operate?  And is it not the case that the County Council prefers when the bondholder carries out the works because they can generally achieve greater efficiencies than the County Council?

DM: When the bondholder doesn’t co-operate, they can always call in the bond themselves.  Cork County Council hasn’t done this to date.  They don’t really care whether better efficiencies can be achieved through the bondholder doing it or not.  They’re not attempting to make money on this!


(ii)  “That Council request the Government to lift the embargo on staff recruitment in Local Authorities, to allow the employment of social workers, to help with the many social issues resulting from the social housing crisis. ”

Cllr Collins (Ind): We have no social workers or doctors working with Cork County Council any more.  There used to be, when he was elected first.  Asks that the embargo would be lifted to allow employment of these services.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  A lot of local authorities do employ social workers.  There are 4 in the City and since the embargo was introduced here the 3 that were employed have resigned or retired.  The embargo is indeed a blunt instrument.  Remembered the traffic wardens we spoke of at last full Council meeting.

Cllr McCarthy (SF):  Thinks embargo should be lifted generally.  Now we have people on Gateway and other such demeaning schemes.

Cllr Hegarty (FG):  Is it true that in certain areas we can make a special case through the Department to apply for certain positions?

Cllr Buckley (FG):  Issue has to be raised at government level.  We as Councillors seem to be the social workers at the moment.  Needs to be raised at top level.

Cllr Linehan-Foley (Ind):  Please confirm that there is an anti-social behaviour officer.

Mary Ryan:  We have 1 social worker and the other 2 took redundancy.  But we have staff area officers dealing with rent arrears.  There are staff of other grades and other people that are well able to deal with these issues.

DM:  Exceptions – CE is an example of an exception.  There are certain cases where the Department will sanction an employment but they are limited.  Reiterates what Mary has said – there is a restriction against re-employing social workers because the other 2 lost took redundancy.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  We were told before that there were no social workers with the Council.  Supports Cllr Hegarty’s suggestion that we write as a test case to the Department requesting the re-employment of social workers.



Cllr Conway (Ind): Asked for a list of estates in the County that have not been taken in charge.  Has been asking for months!

Cllr Cullinane (Ind):  Has also asked for the same list.

Cllr Collins (FG):  Can the top table assure that garda checks are done on all transfers before they are implemented?

Cllr Sheppard (FG):  An issue with a number of houses in an estate in Cobh in relation to lead in the water.  Brought this up on the rural water committee 3 times to date.  Has rung County Hall and Irish Water.  2 residents in the estate are on bottled water since before Christmas.  Was assured that someone would be out to test the water.  How can this issue be resolved?

DM:  Asks Cllr Sheppard to give the details.  Recalls there was work done in Cobh some years ago in relation to lead.  Standards have dropped in recent years so maybe that is causing the problem.

Karina:  Garda checks are carried out prior to all allocations, whether applicants or transfers.

DM:  Have noted the fact that a list of estates not taken in charge has been asked for.  There are a lot of estates built in the 1950s/60s which have not been taken in charge yet.  Easier to provide a list of the estates which have been taken in charge.

Notes from a meeting of Cork County Council, 8th December 2014


  1. Minutes of Budget Meeting of the Council held on 24th November, 2014.
  2. Minutes of Meeting of the Council held on 25th November, 2014.

Minutes were proposed and seconded.


[b]            VOTES OF SYMPATHY

3.              Votes of Sympathy (if any) to the relatives of:
(i)            members or employees of the Council,
(ii)          dignitaries of Church or State, or
(iii)        members of old I.R.A. and Cumann na mBan.

  • Sympathies were extended to Jackie Healy Rae’s family.  Lots of Members associated themselves with the vote of sympathy and spoke highly of Jackie.
  • Archdeacon O’Brien.  Others associated themselves with this too.
  • Mick Barry
  • Derry Alaistair, Cork County Council on the death of his sister.



4.            Section 12(10) of the Planning and Development Act, 2000:

“That in accordance with Section 12(10) of the Planning and Development Act, 2000, as amended, having considered the Draft County Development Plan, the submissions thereon, the material amendment made on foot of theses submissions  at the Council Meeting on the 25th July 2014, the further submissions made thereon, the Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment of the Material Amendment and submissions made thereon, and the modifications to the material amendments made at the meeting of Council held on 8th December 2014, Cork County Council hereby resolves to make  the Cork County Development Plan 2014 which shall consist of;

The Draft County Development Plan agreed on 25th November 2013

The Proposed Amendments to the Draft Plan agreed on 25th July 2014

The Modifications to the Proposed Amendments agreed on 8th December 2014.”

Before we started, we were given a presentation on a new planning app going live today.

It is available to the general public and can be downloaded from the App Store.  Search for “Planning Viewer Cork”.  The app has approval from Apple and has been licenced.

Introduced and designed in-house with the code written by an external consultant.  Significant addition to the customer service support.

Presentation given by Martin Crummy, IT Department:

Odyssey System (Internal Planning Workflow) – we are the only local authority in Ireland to have this.  Was developed in 2010/2011.  So every application in 2011 is online and available to see (with the exception of confidential files).

Can be got on Google PLAY or APP STORE.  Has been tested on the iPAD 2 and up.  It is an iPhone developed app but works also on the iPad.

Live from this morning.


Discussion of draft County Development Plan:

CE: Important to reflect on where we have come to.  Guides th development of the County for tne next 6 years.  Is a robust response to the challenges facing the Council particularly as we emerge froma period of economic uncertainty.

Over the last 2 years there has been a series of rounds of public consultations.  Were stakeholder consultations, many submissions received, involved development and strategic planning committee meetings.  Plan is ready for adoption and there has been significant consultation.

Even as late as last week we had an in-committee debate on the amendments.

Expresses appreciation to the mayor, members of this and previous Council and to the staff of the PPC and to those who made submissions.

Plan provides a strong framework for economic renewal.

Recent court decisions have interpreted that there can be only a very limited review of amendments at this stage.  Recommends that they are adopted.


Mayor goes through Amendments:

Chapter 2

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  Amendment 2-4 – worried about population restrictions in the Blackwater catchment with regard to the pearl mussel.  Belives will have a dire consequence on development.  The Department could have done the study on this by now if it wanted to.  Will not be accepting the amendment.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF):  Echoes the concern of O’Keeffe.  Development is needed in these towns.  There is not one single house available in these towns to rent or purchase.  New housing is needed and it cannot happen because of a mussel.  There is no proof that the mussel is in his area.  There is a modern treatment plant in Fermoy and there should not be a problem with it.  We have 26 acres of zoned land in Fermoy owned by Cork County Council; we know the list of social housing in Fermoy.  Now we cannot respond to that need?  Asking that we have a definite timeframe so that we know how long this will take.  And give us flexible wording.

Cllr McCarthy (Lab):  Agrees.  Causing major concern in the Blackwater valley.

Cllr Hegarty (FG):  There are serious worries around this.  Need a time indication.

Cllr G Murphy (FG):  Obviously a genuine concern that this clause is being included in the County Development Plan.  Appreciates the County Council’s hands are tied somewhat because of the EU Directive.  But that is not going to alleviate the problem that people have.  Planners need to try to explain that this is an issue that deals with water quality and population density rather than development as a whole.  Need to say that studies will go ahead quickly.  Hopes the studies will show that development will not be restricted.  We must look at what the best outcome here is today and we are constrained on what we can achieve legally.  In that context we need clear direction.  If we do not adopt the plan and revert to the original wording we will be putting the plan outside the control of the Council and we will be leaving it up to other agencies to set the pace of development.  So we need to be very careful about how we proceed today.

Cllr Dawson (FG):  If we are telling people we cannot build their houses because of a mussel, there will be major concern.  We need to be able to give people clarity.

Cllr Fitzgerald (FF):  Would like to hear guidance from management on what we can do wtihin the Plan.  If we revert back to the original pPan, what are the implications of that?  We want to be on the right side of legislation, but we don’t want to delay applications either.

Cllr B Moynihan (FF):  There is a real need for development in some of these areas of North Cork to sustain schools, etc.  Need clarity on this.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  We do not want something like mussels to be coming against planning.  Needs clarity.

Mayor:  Very serious issue.  This is something that has not been created by the County Development Plan, but by EU legislation.  The County Development Plan must deal with it the best it can.

Cllr T Collins (Ind):  In my area we’re doing a pilot scheme in Duhallow on the River Blackwater.  We’re tidying up the channel and modern drinking stations are being put in for cattle.  The river is being wired off.  Would this be a help in other areas?  We have an agreement with the landowners and there have never been any problem.

Senior Planner:  Sensitive and difficult for the Development Plan and one of the bigger issues remaining to be resolved at this stage of the making of the Plan.  The reason for this issue is that we have to do a Habitats Directive assessment in relation to the Plan.  The effect of this amendment is that it is proposing a clause in the implementation of the population targets for the affected areas while a technical assessment of the freshwater pearl mussel is underway.  Consultants were appointed on the 19th December.  Preliminary report expected beginning of February.  We hope to come to Council in February with a proposed variation of the Plan to deal with downstream.  At that stage, we hope to conduct a second consultant’s report to make recommendations for upstream.  If we revert back to the old Plan, the difficulty we face is in completing the Habitats Directive assessment of this Plan effectively.  The Department has said that if we make this amendment as proposed today, we will satisfy the Habitats Directive requirement.  If we do not, we will not.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  This is draconian.  Major repercussions in Fermoy.  No ghost estates, so clear demand for property.

Mayor:  Deal with the issue, not with the consequences.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  Can we have a trade-off where there are areas where planning has been granted down through the years but not activated.  Could this be used?

Cllr B Moynihan (FF):  Very concerned about area west of Kanturk.  We are hugely dependent on people to build houses, etc. to hold schools, etc.  I cannot say that planning will be held up because of a mussel.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Upstream of Mallow is a critical area?  Then why will this will be the second part of the study?  Why not the first part?  Also not clear about what happens if we revert back to original document.

Senior Planner:  Habitats Directive assessment of the draft Plan said the Plan was deficient because it didn’t deal with the conflict between the pouplation targets and water quality in the Blackwater.  Yes, upstream of Mallow is critical but the conservation objective for the river includes the whole of the catchment, upstream and downstream of Mallow.  So the Department thinks the upstream towns are critical but we think the whole catchment critical.  So we haven’t commissioned the upstream study yet because we want to resolve this.

Cllr G Murphy (FG):  My understanding is that small developmetns will not be affected.

CE:  Your concern is shared by us.  But believes we are approachingthis in the best manner we can to achieve the right outcome for the areas that may be affected.  The variation refers to population targets, not development.  So it doesn’t say that development should be put on hold.  Development can proceed if it can be proven that there is no adverse impact.  Population targets to 2022 provides for an increase in new units in Mallow and Fermoy.  That doesn’t mean that the new units cannot go ahead.  The Plan is supportive of minor development going ahead as long as it doesn’t have an adverse impact.  Urges the Members to adopt the amendment as recommended.  If we revert to the draft Plan, we will go against the recommendation of the Habitats Directive assessment.  This County has always taken a strategic approach and to go against the amendment would not be to do that.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF):  There is no proof that there are mussels in the Fermoy area.  Takes some small consolation from the Manager’s words.  If “needs to be put on hold” is in the Plan, it will have major repercussions for any planner who is looking at allowing further development in Fermoy.  Asks that “needs to be put on hold” is taken out or that “subject to ongoing review” is inserted.

Cllr Moynihan (FF):  Thanks the CE for the comments.  Accepts the advice he gets from the top table but needs to clarify – one-off housing and small developments will not be impacted by this.  Is that correct?

CE:  As long as it doesn’t have an adverse impact.  Can’t debate whether a single house will have adverse impact or not, but thinks it unlikely that it will.

Cllr Hegarty (FG):  Minutes need to reflect that minor developments can proceed.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  Reading between the lines of what is being said, it seems possible that we might be in breach of legislation were we not to adopt the amendment.  Most councillors would be attracted to the original text but if we had a better idea of what hazard might be involved for the Council to adopt the original, then it might guide us more clearly towards the amendment.

Director of Planning:  We have to acknowledge the EU Designation as part of the County Development Plan and if we revert back to the original, we will not be doing that.

Mayor:  To ignore the legislation would be regarded badly by the Department and if a planning application went to the Board, we’d get another major rap on the knuckles.  We need to put a system in place that will deal with it and Management is telling us that this is the best way we can deal with this.  Reminds members that the management proposed the population figures.  These are the figures they want.  So what they are proposing now is the best possible way of dealing with the issue to get those figures.

Cllrs O’Keeffe (FF) and G Murphy (FG) – further comments.  Still concerned about how Planning Policy Unit will pass leniency for small developments onto the planners on the ground.  Equally concerned about the words “any development” in an appeal to An Bord Pleanala.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF):  Thinks the wording is very restrictive.

Cllr J Murphy (SF):  Also has same concerns.  Study hasn’t started and we don’t know the outcome.  What we do today will have a long-term effect in the communities that we represent.  Hopes that whatever happens today will be the right thing for the people we represent.

Cllr T Collins (Ind):  We badly need development because of the employment situations in towns such as Kanturk and Duhallow.  If somebody wants to start a small business, is concerned that this amendment might affect them.

CE:  Doesn’t think that this should be put to a vote.

Cllr Doyle (FF):  Subject to this being reopened again in two months time resulting in a material variation, thinks the current proposal is reasonable.

CE:  Cannot speculate on the outcome of the assessment.  There may be a variation, there may not be, doesn’t know what the variation if any might be.  But it will be rediscussed in 2 months time.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  It could be 2 years before we see a variation come through.  The current Plan-making process has taken 2 years.  We’ll have no fall-back in that time.

Cllr Moynihan (FF):  The scientific report analysing downstream will be out in 2 months time.

Big debate on whether the word “may” could be substituted for the word “will”.  Vote nearly taken.  CE says vote not ok.  It cannot be changed.  Members argue that this has been a waste of time.

Cllrs Moynihan, Hegarty, T Collins all agree to wait until February.  Slow general agreement to hold off.


Chapter 3 – ok


Chapter 4

CE:  There is a provision for a statutory 2 year review on the achievement of the objectives of the County Development Plan.  The report is brought to Council.  Report will see whether amendments need to be taken at that time.  If the objectives are not being achieved, this might lead to a variation of the plan.

Cllr Forde (FG):  Wants to compliment the managenent on the intricacies of the County Development Plan.  Has concerns in relation to rural housing controls.  Wants management to minute these concerns.  Gave examples.  Is very important the management builds common sense and flexibility into this change.  Especially where there is a social need.  Has not found that flexibility even though we talked about it in the last County Development Plan.

Cllr Hegarty (FG):  Glad that the CE mentioned a review process.  We members feel that certain aspects of this Plan are not working, by the time the review starts in 2 years time and is done and we potentially bring changes in, it is too long away.  We need to be able to bring an area of concern in the Plan to the appropriate authorities to get it amended.  There must be other aspects of reviews that need to be carried out in advance of 2 years.  So we need a vehicle where we can initiate change if we need it.

Cllr Creed (FG):  Has serious concerns with this Plan – rural control zones coming into parts of my area.  They’re like North Cork – they need development to maintain social services.  Accepts there are no amendments in front of us with regard to that.

CE:  Review starts after 4 years.  Any member can bring an amendment to the County Development Plan to the Chamber or to an SPC as the need arises.


Chapter 9

Cllr Buckley (SF):  Thinks wording “normally discouraged” is very diluted with regard to wind development.  Concerns relate to amendments 9-1 – 9.6.

Cllr Murphy (FG):  Have we any submission in our Plan in relation to wave energy?

Mayor: We can’t put it in now.

Senior Planner:  9-1 – the word “normally discouraged” is used because it is technically possible in these areas to have wind energy developmoent that does not have a detrimental effect on the acknowledged characteristics of importance in these areas.  To say they are unsuitable is going too far.  “Normally discouraged” sets the bar high but does not raise it so high that it is completely ruled out.

Cllr G Murphy (FG):  Agrees with the text that is there now.

Cllr N Collins (Ind):  We need consultation and not confrontation.  Hopes greed and avarice will not come before the health and safety of our people.  Our legislators must take the matter in hand at national level to ensure that justice prevails for all concerned.

Senior Planner:  County Development Plan should provide the appropriate policy cotext for those submitting

Senior Planner: “Not acceptable for the County Development Plan to prejudge the outcome of a planning application.”  Original text of 9-1 is worse than the amendment.  The phrase “normally discourged” is used in the draft County Development Plan also.  This objective is bringing the change in line with the map.  The map can’t be changed.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Wherever there is wind energy development, a transmission network follows.  Because the electricity that is generated must be got to the grid.  So it is wrong to debate the wind energy amendments on their own.  They need to be debated in conjunction with amendment 9-11 on the transmission network.  The transmission network can change the face of a landscape and many have concerns about this.

Cllr G Murphy (FG):  Wants planning permissions to be considered.  Agrees that the grid does have a role.  Availability of grid should be taken account of.

Cllr A Moynihan (FF):  Why can’t the map be changed?  We can change the proposed changes.  The map is part of those proposed changes.

CE:  Original plan went out without the river basin being shown and with the words “normally discouraged”.  Then we had the Natura 2000 report which required us to highlight the river basin.  The map wasn’t change but the river basin was put in.  That cannot be changed now.  Would be significant.  Wording in the objective and the wording on the map must match.

Cllr A Moynihan (FF):  Why not change the wording on the map?  Then they’ll match.  We’re not changing the map itself.


After lunch:

Senior Planner: Its not possible for Cork County Council to change the word “normally discouraged” for “unsuitable”.  The proposed change was to bring the wording into alignment.  To change back now creates a disconnect between the wording in the objective and the wording on the policy map.  To do so is beyond the options of the Council.

Cllr K McCarthy (SF):  You said last week we would have an opportunity to discuss this today.  Debate appears today to be a foregone conclusion – the door is closed.

Mayor:  Well summarised, Councillor!

Cllr Buckley (SF):  So we cannot revert back to the original wording?

Mayor:  The original draft was poor.  It was open to interpretation.  This is insuring that the plan has the same interpretation all the way through.  If we don’t get it put in properly, the plan could be open to legal challenge in the future.

Cllr Hegarty (FG):  Has sat through various County Development Plans.  It appeared that before there was some flexibility and movement.  It appears that there is none at all now.  It appears that there is no point in discussing anything further from here on out.  We cannot change anything.  I will propose that.

Mayor:  This is the only amendment where we don’t have the option of going back to the original.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Then let’s adopt it and move on.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF): Amendment 9-11 on the transmission network must consider underground.  Wants the word “must” to be put in.

CE:  Last day, the Members decided to take out the word “will”.  He is reasonably happy with that.  But replacing “must” for “need” is open to legal challenge potentially because of the different meaning between the words.

Vote taken on it.  Equal.  Mayor votes against.

Conclusion – Taking out “will and leave “need”.


Chapter 10

Cllr Dawson (FG):  Proposes that we adopt Amendments 10-8 and 10-9 on motorway services but asks the DoE to take cognisance of local business and asks that off-line services would not take from local business.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  10-8 and 10-9 – proposes that we don’t adopt the amendments.

Cllr McCarthy (FG):  The term “in close proximity”.  What does that mean?

Senior Planner:  Reasonably close to the junction.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF):  What is before us today?  Do we go back to the original if we don’t adopt this amendment?

Mayor: Yes

Senior Planner:  The draft plan had no explanatory text.  This amendment includes that.

CE:  The guidelines say that facilities should be far enough so as not to become local facilities.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  We’re wasting our time here.  We’re being told that no matter what we agree today, we’re going to adhere to what the NRA says.  We advertised a different document from the current NRA one.  Wants to go back to the original.

Cllr Dawson (FG):  Wants to stick with the amendment.

Senior Planner:  There are 3 versions of this text now proposed.  Outlines them all.  There are 2 versions of 10-8.

CE clarifies that we should reflect national policy in our County Development Plan but it is up to planning control to interpret that policy in relation to specific planning applications.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  The document that is being incorporated was not advertised to the public.  We’re not allowed to include changes but this NRA guideline is being included without public consultation.

CE:  It had public consultation.  It has simply gone from draft to final stage.

Director of Planning:  Cannot see where there is a legal issue in reflecting public policy in the County Development Plan.  We are supposed to reflect public policy.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  Proposes that we do not adopt the amendment.  Wants it noted that he is not happy with procedure.

No-one seconded the proposal but Cllr O’Keeffe’s comments were noted.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Not happy with Amendment TM 5-2 as noted the last day.  The road upgrade is regarded as the crucial issue for port activities at Ringaskiddy while residential amenity, tourism and recreation are regarded as what is important at Marino Point.  Both are important in both places.  Cllr McGrath (FF) and I have proposed wording (already forwarded to the Mayor and CE).

CE:  Happy to accept the text of the second proposal.  Cannot accept the text of the first proposal because the road has not been linked to Marino Point in the original amendment.


Chapter 11

Cllr Cullinane (Ind):  Amendments 11.2, 4 and 5 all refer to Irish Water.  When I brought this issue up the other day, I was told these amendments referred to the concept of Irish Water.  In fact, it is the company of Irish Water which they refer to.  Has a serious problem with the heading “recognise the role of Irish Water”.

CE:  Have to refer to Irish Water somehow.  It is the utility we’re referring to.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF):  This plan is about deliverance for the local people.  Has real problem with the phrase “will work with Irish Water”. They’re not delivering what we want.


Chapter 12

Cllr Doyle (FF):  Amendment 12-4 – both the Chamber and the Community Council got a review of the building.  They do not want it on the Record of Protected Structures (RPS).  It is on the main street and they can do nothing with it.  They have a report done to indicate that the changes to the internals have been so material that it is of little architectural significance.  It is within the Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) so any redevelopment will have to be approved by Cork County Council anyway.

Written resume of why this should be delisted was circulated.  Therefore legal requirement answered.

Cllr G Murphy (FG):  Supports Cllr Doyle’s motion.

All in agreement so formal resolution of the Council made – no need to go to a vote.  Building will be taken off the RPS.

Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG):  Recommends that Vickery’s Building, Bantry would be delisted.

Proposal seconded by Joe Carroll.

Executive has a written report as to why the building should be delisted.

All in agreement so formal resolution of the Council made – no need to go to a vote.  Building will be taken off the RPS.

Mitchelstown ACA
Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  Gave a submission to the Mayor.  Asking that the ACA be altered to omit a street.

Senior Planner:  The value of an ACA is a lower level of protection.  Cllr O’Keeffe is quoting from the RPS section of the Plan, not the ACA section.  The value of an ACA is in the whole.  Concerned that this proposal breaks the Mitchelstown ACA up and detracts from its value.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  All in favour of retaining character but it is the manner in which you are requesting that it is retained is the problem.  We can retain the façade under new construction proposals and have the same street character but not have the extraordinary cost involved.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF) seconds.

Senior Planner explains the lower level of protection.  When a building is on the RPS, the entire fabric of the building is protected.  ACAs are much more directed to the general amenity of the street scene.  So internal changes in an ACA do not encounter any difficulties at all.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  Listening to this, you’d think there are no problems.  But the people who go about purchasing these buildings proposes maintaining the proper street façade but may have to demolish a wall.  And he can’t do it.

No unanimous agreement.  So put to a vote.


Chapter 13 – ok


Chapter 14

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Very concerned about amendment 14-2.  Sorry that she missed this the last day.  Firstly, there is no such think as “thermal energy recovery”.  It is is thermal treatment with energy recovery or waste to energy or incineration with energy recovery.  And cannot understand why if large scale treatment facilities are to be acceptable in Strategic Employment Areas, any specific technology  needs to be mentioned at all.  Giving preference to incineration over other technologies and that is not ok.  Wants to revert back to the original.

Cllr Desmond (FF):  Agrees that this amendment is not acceptable and wants to revert to the original.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Also agrees.  There is a massive change between the proposed original text and this amendment.  Agrees that there is no need to single out thermal energy recovery as being acceptable form of large scale waste treatment.  Wants to revert to the original.

Senior Planner:  This term thermal energy recovery came from the Department.  They are proposing this amendment because of submissions from the Department and from a private company.  The Department of the Environment made a submission to say the County Development Plan wasn’t adequately prescriptive about what waste treatment technologies were acceptable and where.

(Reads from the private company’s submission.)

Senior Planner:  The Minister for the Environment expresses concern about the Council’s approach to zoning.  If waste management as a general area of activity as part of the industrial process, then the Plan should say which industrial land is suitable for all parts of the waste process.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  But why be prescriptive about waste to energy?  Why not put in in-vessel composting or centralised biogas or pyrolysis?  It’s not fair to single out waste to energy.

Cllr McGrath (FF) agrees.

Senior Planner:  It was put in because the Department said that we were displaying a bias against incineration and we need to show the Department that we are not. And we want to facilitate facilities in the R1 category. (Reads from the Departmental submission.)  It speaks about diversity of waste treatment options and says that our plan is overly against landfill and incineration.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  What is the problem with this?  Have to plan for incineration and if not in SEAs, then where?

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  If you want to support incineration, then you are doing it a disservice constraining it to the R1 category.  Whether a facility is R1 or not is worked out using a complicated EU derived formula on the balance of calorific value of the material going in, the conversion efficiency and the amount of energy generated.  So you won’t be able to put facilities that don’t qualify as R1 into SEAs at all.  Besides, waste treatment technologies move along so fast that singling out one as is proposed will do innovation and the market a disservice.

Argument over this.  (Cannot note take when I am arguing!)

CE:  Whatever waste to energy facility comes before us, it can go into a SEA.  That is what this is about.  The industrial area that they go to has to be inside a SEA.  Doesn’t think that’s an unreasonable position.  This proposal was brought to his attention only this morning.  Satisfied that having read the Departmental position on it, the original objective undermines and runs counter to government policy by proposing restrictions on particular technologies.  So if we throw away the amendment, we will be against government policy.  Recommends that the amendment should be approved in full and adopted today.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Wants to move on.

Cllr Forde – their hands are tied.

Cllr McGrath:  Why was the draft plan presented in the way it was if it was against national policy?

Suggestion that we leave out (b) and take the black text (“including thermal energy recovery”) out of (c).

CE:  Doesn’t think we should be taking out the black text.  Won’t stand over the exclusion of the words “waste to energy recovery”.  Says we’re against Departmental advice if we revert to original.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Thinks this should be put to a vote.  Wants to see it go back to original.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Agrees.  The CE could compromise by leaving out the specific supportive reference to thermal energy recovery.  Thinks this is a kneejerk reaction to the Department’s submission and that the Department doesn’t require us to mention support for any particular technolgoy.

Vote taken.  31 vs 11.  County Development Plan goes back to original text.


Discussion of the County Development Plan is over.  A vote is taken on whether to pass it or not.  42 for – 1 against.  Therefore it is passed.

Mayor thanked everyone involved, including the Executive, staff, present Members and former Members.  Remembers that this process has been ongoing for two years.

CE also thanked everyone for their support, assistance and input in the Plan’s preparation.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  As the only Member who voted against, would also like to thank the Executive and staff for the work they have put into this.  Voted against it because cannot support paragraphs 6.6.4 and 6.6.5.  Believes they are unsustainable in the context of county development over the next 6 years.  This text had been drafted before the local elections and so she had no opportunity to contribute to it.

Cllrs Fitzgerald (FF) and Murphy (FG) also spoke, thanking the Executive and Members for their work on the Plan. 


5.            Section 20(3) of the Planning and Development Act, 2000:
“That in accordance with Section 20(3) of the Planning and Development Act, 2000, as amended, having considered the submissions thereon, Cork County Council hereby resolves to adopt the Proposed Amendments to the 10 Electoral Area Local Area Plans, 2011 as follows:

  • Proposed Amendment to the 2011 Bandon Electoral Area Local Area Plan
    Amendment No. 1: Housing Density Changes 
  • Proposed Amendment to the 2011 Bantry Electoral Area Local Area Plan
    Amendment No. 1: Housing Density Changes
  • Proposed Amendment to the 2011 Blarney Electoral Area Local Area Plan
    Amendment No. 2: Housing Density Changes
  • Proposed Amendment to the 2011 Carrigaline Electoral Area Local Area Plan
    Amendment No. 3: Housing Density Changes
  • Proposed Amendment to the 2011 Fermoy Electoral Area Local Area Plan
    Amendment No. 1: Housing Density Changes
  • Proposed Amendment to the 2011 Kanturk Electoral Area Local Area Plan
    Amendment No. 1: Housing Density Changes
  • Proposed Amendment to the 2011 Macroom Electoral Area Local Area Plan
    Amendment No. 2: Housing Density Changes
  • Proposed Amendment to the 2011 Mallow Electoral Area Local Area Plan
    Amendment No. 1: Housing Density Changes
  • Proposed Amendment to the 2011 Midleton Electoral Area Local Area Plan
    Amendment No. 1: Housing Density Changes
  • Proposed Amendment to the 2011 Skibbereen Electoral Area Local Area Plan
    Amendment No. 1: Housing Density Changes”

Members voted in favour of these amendments.


6.            Section 20(3) of the Planning and Development Act, 2000:
“That in accordance with Section 20(3) of the Planning and Development Act, 2000, as amended, having considered the submissions thereon, Cork County Council hereby resolves to adopt the Proposed Amendment  to the Mallow Electoral Area Local Area Plan, 2011- Amendment No. 2: Mallow Environs.

Members voted in favour of this amendment.


7.            Disposal of Property

Section 183 of the Local Government Act, 2001:
(a).            Disposal of land at Kilnagleary, Carrigaline, to the Department of Education and Skills.
(b).            Disposal of land at Raffeen, Monkstown, Co. Cork.
(c).            Disposal of land at Scrahanard, Clondrohid, Macroom, Co. Cork.
(d).            Disposal of land at Dromleigh, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork.
(e).            Disposal of 1 Tinley Park, Mallow, Co. Cork.

These were all agreed.


8.            Section 8 of Statutory Instrument 244/2014 Local Government (Audit Committee) Regulation 2014:
Approval of Cork County Council Audit Committee Charter.

This was agreed.



9.            Corporate Policy Group:

Approval of attendance by Council members at Conferences on the Conference List for December, 2014 approved by the Corporate Policy Group at their meeting on the 2nd December 2014.



10.            Kanturk/Mallow Municipal District:




11.            Southern Committee:  Allocation of Amenity Grants for 2014.




 24.            VOTES OF CONGRATULATIONS (if any)


25.            ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Cllr Forde (FG):  Suggests that because Cork City Council won’t identify where the convention centre should go, we should send a letter to their management and suggest that we have plenty of land within the County area which we could offer.


The rest of the meeting was deferred.


12.            Department of Social Protection:
Letter received 14th November, 2014, in response to Council’s letter of 3rd November, 2014, regarding the Gateway Scheme.


[f]            NOTICES OF MOTION

13. Councillor Rachel McCarthy:
“That this Council acknowledges the long waiting time for Local Authority Tenants in respect of housing adaptations and calls for the Government to allocate extra funding to local authorities for same.”


14.            Councillor Deirdre Forde:
“Cork County Council supports The Carers Association call on the Minister for Social Protection to amend the Social Welfare Bill to make provision for the restoration of the Respite Care Grant.”


15.            Councillor June Murphy:
“That this Council supports The Carers Association call on the Minister for Social Protection to amend the Social Welfare Bill to make provision for the restoration of the Respite Care Grant.”


16.            Councillor Aindrias Moynihan:
“On this year, the year of the 100th Anniversary of Cumann Na mBan that this Council in cooperation with the City Council name the N40 southern link road the Cumann na mBan road. It is fitting and appropriate that the Council recognise the role of women in Irish life and those women of Cumann Na mBan who played such a vital role in the struggle for independence.”


17.            Councillor Seamus McGrath:
“To request a detailed written report regarding Derelict Sites in Cork County.  The report should outline the total number of derelict sites on file, the number included on the derelict sites register and the average length of time that sites have been on the register.  Furthermore, to outline what powers are open to the Council to progress a file beyond inclusion on the register and the powers available to the Council to ascertain site ownership / locate the whereabouts of owners.”


18.            Councillor Kevin O’Keeffe:
“Given the substantial amount of funding allocated by the Government towards the provision of Social Housing but the difficulties that may arise towards their immediate delivery, Cork County Council request that part of the funding be allocated towards  the refurbishment of existing social housing stock on hand.”


19.            Councillor Frank O’Flynn:
“That Cork County Council set up an All Party special committee representative of the Council on 1916 commemorations.”


20.            Councillor Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire:
To request a report from Cork County Council
–  detailing the actions & initiatives they are taking to tackle the issue of Homelessness in County Cork, either with other Local Authorities or themselves,
– outlining what if any data is in the possession of the Council as regards the number of Homeless people in Cork County, or from Cork County in the City area,
– and to detail in what way the Budget allocation for Homeless Services is to be allocated.”


21.            Councillor Noel Collins:
“That this Council call on the Minister for Children to expedite the implementation of legislation reform governing the rights of all children many of whom, under current legislation, remain locked in legal limbo.”


22.            Councillor Paul Hayes:
“That Cork County Council writes to the Minister for Transport and the Dublin Airport Authority outlining our support for the campaign to secure independent and debt-free status for Cork Airport.”


23.            Councillor John Paul O’Shea:
“That Cork County Council write to the Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government, Alan Kelly, TD and Minister of State with responsibility for Housing, Paudie Coffey, TD requesting a significantly increased allocation for the adaptation to council houses (DPG’s) in 2015 compare to 2014. The 2014 allocation was approx €360,000 (which included a 10% contribution from Cork County Council) and is only going some way to financing two extensions and 46 minor works which have been approved by the Housing Directorate to proceed. Cork County Council has a further 38 extensions and 55 minor works applications to hand, dating back as far back as 2009 approved and awaiting Government financing for same and substantial funding is required in order we can facilitate these adaptation for our tenants, which have all been medically assessed and approved to be in need of same.”

Minutes of Meeting of the Council held on 10th November, 2014


1.  Minutes of Meeting of the Council held on 10th November, 2014.

Minutes were proposed and seconded.



2.  Votes of Sympathy (if any) to the relatives of:
(i)             members or employees of the Council,
(ii)           dignitaries of Church or State, or
(iii)          members of old I.R.A. and Cumann na mBan.

Several votes of sympathy were expressed.


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

(a).    Disposal of 26 Tuairin Alainn, Killeagh Road, Castlemartyr, Co. Cork.
(b).    Disposal of land at Finure, Whitegate, Co. Cork.
(c). Amendment to Disposal of lease of property consisting of Community Centre & Community House at Nos. 47 & 94 at Deerpark, Bandon, by the inclusion of the following wording: The annual rent of €10 is below market value. This was agreed due to the fact it was for community & amenity purposes. In this instance the consent of the Minister to the disposal of land shall not be required as set out in Regulation 206 of the Planning & Development Regulations.
(d).    Amendment to Disposal of land at Ballybrowney, Rathcormac, Co. Cork, by the substitution of “0.406 Hectares” in lieu of “0.368 Hectares” being the area of said property.
(e).    Amendment to Disposal of land at Coolnanave, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, by the substitution of “Brackhill Holdings Ltd, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork” in lieu of “Pat Tagney, Firgrove Hotel, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork” being the person to whom the property is to be disposed.
(f).    Amendment to Disposal of land at Greenfields, Ballincollig, Co. Cork, by the substitution of “Niamh Reidy in lieu of Ray & Geraldine Reidy, Elaine O’Keeffe in lieu of Mary O’Keeffe, Conor Murray in lieu of Conor Creedon and Julie O’Donnell & Declan O’Brien, in lieu Neil & Mary Ledden” being the persons to whom the property is to be disposed.

Cllr Lombard (FG) says that a disposal notice in the Western Division was discussed in the Southern Division meeting last week.  Sick of this.  Cllr McGrath (FF) argues that this land disposal was for the construction of a school and that he, as a representative of Carrigaline, wants to know about these things.  Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF) sees both sides and suggests that we should advance the resolution that was taken at the Carrigaline-Ballincollig Municipal District that both the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District and the Bandon-Kinsale Municipal District should meet several times each year.   Cllr Collins (FG) supports. 

CE:  CPG agreed that disposals would be brought to the Municipal District.  These disposals should have geographical relevance to the Municipal District.  We have boundaries all over the place.  It makes it easier if we stick to the CPG’s resolution.  Thinks there might be merit in the two Municipal Districts meeting a few times a year when there are cross-boundary issues arising.

Disposals were all agreed.



4.  Department of Health:

Letter dated 24th October, 2014, in response to Council’s letter dated 25th September, 2014, regarding the water fluoridation and the issue of consumer choice.

Fluoridation of Water

Fluoridation of Water MEP

Cllr N Collins (Ind):  Thanks Brian Crowley MEP and Minister Varadkar for their letters.  Suggests that the letters be referred back requesting the Minister’s professional guidance on two recent reports supported by the World Health Organisation which shows that fluoridated water is bad for you.  These two new reports have been issued whilst we have been waiting for the MEPs to revert to us.  One says that given the prevalence of chronic kidney disease worldwide and diabetes, the authors cautioned that fluoridation of water should be reconsidered and potentially replaced by individual treatment with fluoride.  Another report says that fluoride has the potential to create major adverse health effects with only moderate benefit to teeth.

Cllr D’Alton seconded this proposal.


5.  Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government:
Letter dated 4th November, 2014, in response to Council’s motion of 13th October, 2014 regarding increasing rent supplement levels.

Rent Supplement Levels

Cllr O’Grady:  Very disappointed with reply from the Department.  Rents in Cork have increased by 8% already this year.  So if you are on an €800/month rent, you have a €64 increase in that already.  That is common in Cork.  Also housing will not come on stream until 2018 from the Construction 2020 Strategy.  In the meantime people that are looking for rent supplement and applying for HAP have nowhere to go.  Of 20 applicants for HAP in the Southern division, 10 were successful.  Near the city, the rents are going to be higher.  There are rents that will be affordable further out which would meet the HAP criteria but anywhere within 15 miles of the city will not be.  Many people are topping up their rent supplement already.  The only way to solve this is to put a cap on private rent.  We must ask the government to do that.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  Cork is in a unique position.  The rent limits are probably more unrealistic here than for other areas in the country.  The cap is calculated on the basis of the average rent and in Dublin you have high rents and low rents.  But in Cork, you are in the unusual situation that you have high rents within a 15 mile radius of the city and low rents further out.  Wonders if there would be consideration given to asking for a different rent cap in the city.

Cllr N O’Donovan (FG):  Thinks the Department’s letter is fair.  Thinks the Minister has a point that increasing rent supplement is not the only solution.  There is a certain stigma with landlords as well.  Landlords will have certain fears with regard to housing standards if they are to sign up to HAP.  Education is needed.

Cllr Buckley (SF):  There is a bigger picture here – homelessness is on the rise.  4 or 5 families a week in Dublin losing their homes.  This issue has to be tackled rather than being put on the long finger.  We need to write back to the Minister and say that we cannot afford to put people’s lives on the long finger.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Ask the Department to investigate private rental accommodation not coming on stream.  Also try to encourage the acceleration of construction of units in Cork.

Mayor:  Yes, public housing programme should start quickly.  All houses being built are owner-occupier houses and that is one house less for the rental market.  We will write to the Department, urging that the building programme should start, that the Minister should impose a rent cap on private rent and that the rent differential between Cork City and County should be recognised.



6.                  Councillor Bernard Moynihan:
“That Cork County Council fully supports and endorses Cork’s bid to host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2016.”

Cllr Doyle (FF) on behalf of Cllr B Moynihan:  Cork Comhaltas is applying to hold Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Cork County and Cllr Moynihan is asking for Council’s support.

Cllr O’Shea (Ind):  Cllr Moynihan brought this to the District meeting and we forwarded it on to full Council.  The Munster Fleadh was in Ballincollig two years ago.  Was a fantastic success.  It would be great if we could hold Fleadh Ceoil na hEireann in Cork in 2016.

Cllr Carroll (FF):  High time that the Fleadh Ceoil came back to Cork.  Thinks the plan is to have it in Cork City.  Would be a great asset to Cork City so we should all promote.

Cllr T Collins (Ind):  Suggests Millstreet with the Arena as being ideal.

Cllr Fitzgerald (FF):  Also supports.

CE:  We have 170-odd settlements between towns and villages.  Douglas Comhaltas is involved in this proposal.  We’d be happy to sit down with our tourism people and a Comhaltas grouping to understand what is involved and to see how we can help.

Cllr Doyle (FF):  The proposal came from the wider Duhallow region.  Comhaltas ultimately decides the venue and Cllr Moynihan had simply asked for the endorsement of the Council.  Will find out more.

CE:  Would need more information before endorsing but would of course support the county’s holding this in 2016.  Let’s see if Comhaltas will meet with us – get them to contact us.

Cllr Carroll (FF):  Very few towns in Cork can support a Fleadh Ceoil.  Massive influx of people.

Cllr T Collins (Ind):  Millstreet has plenty of accommodation; Killarney is only back the road.

Mayor:  Barry Cogan is currently chairperson of Comhaltas and the Cork Comhaltas group is bidding for Cork.  If they are successful, Louis Duffy and his team will work with them whatever venue they choose.


7.  Councillor John Paul O’Shea:
“That Cork County Council propose an amendment to the Valuation Act which is currently under review in the Houses of the Oireachtas via the Government by writing to the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government and the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform ensuring the following amendments are included in the amendments put forward to the Oireachtas for approval:

  • Local authority has more discretion in relation to how they apply rates to businesses across the county 
  • Ensuring that sports clubs that previously paid rates on its bar and on sporting buildings, will now only pay rates for the part of the building that generates income i.e. the bar. 
  • Ensuring that Community Childcare facilities who have to date been subject to full rates be allow discretionary rates so as to value their ethos which is to provide low cost, Government funded programmes such as the EECE and the County CouncilS Schemes to people in disadvantaged areas.  

In practical terms, this will reduce significantly the size of the building for which sports clubs and community childcare facilities must pay rates and it will provide a sustainable welcome boost for clubs and childcare facilities which are provided to the community, by the community.”

Cllr N O’Donovan (FG):  Some of these changes are already being proposed by government.  Asks for support for these.

Cllr O’Shea (Ind):  Thanks Cllr O’Donovan.  We have been looking for leniency on this for many years.  Many sporting organisations have been crippled in the last number of years because of rates.  Thanks Cork County Council for talking and working things out with many sporting organisations.  Yes if a sporting club has a bar it should be rated on that basis.  But the adjoining squash courts or astroturf should not be rated.  Very welcome that Minister Harris has taken the valuation amendment on board.  This will provide a welcome boost for clubs.

Childcare situation is unusual in Cork.  In North Cork, there are 5 community childcare facilities.  They have been crippled with rates, some up to €10k annual rates each year.  These were built in rural communities to support rural communities.  We have tried to change the situation for them for years.  The strain these rates bills have placed on community organisations has been entirely unreasonable and unnecessary.

Thanks Jillian van Turnhout, Ind Senator, in particular for bringing these amendments forward.  If the current bills are brought forward, it will alleviate much of the pressure that we have seen on these great organisations over the past few years.

Every single one of these facilities has outstanding bills on rates.  Now the Minister says that they should never have been rated.  The Minister now needs to send a memo to the local authorities permitting the writing off of these rates.  So proposes that we send a letter to the Minister and to the Department of the Environment outlining our gratitude that the amendments have been proposed and asking that the outstanding debts should be written off because these facilities should never have been rated.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Supports fully and thanks the Minister for having put these amendments forward.  It is to be welcomed hugely that sports clubs will now be rated only on their commercial enterprises.  We would like to see all childcare facilities in the country having at least partial relief on rates.  Childcare facilities are providing an educational service and following a departmental curriculum.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Supports the motion fully.  Cllr O’Shea was dead right in relation to the legacy issue.  Presumes the legislation won’t be retrospective.  Knows of some examples in both sporting and community childcare areas which have outstanding debts.  The principle has been accepted that both these facilities should not be paying commercial rates.  We should try to ensure that the legislation gives some guidance on legacy issues.

Cllr Doyle (FF):  Supports and welcomes the announcement from the Minister.  This is a big issue in North Cork.  Was asked to bring up about rates arrears and maybe we could look at this into the future.

Cllr Fitzgerald (FF):  Supports and hopes these amendments will succeed.  If arrears could be written off, we will be down some revenue.  Doesn’t think this is right either.  We must write to the Minister as proposed and ensure that funds are available for the clubs to pay what is owed.  We were all afraid of the Valuation Act review because these things often send rates up rather than down so welcomes the change.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF):  Compliments the motion and Cllr O’Shea.  Sporting clubs which were often providing the only community resource in a rural area are closed because of the bills they were experiencing.  So there are two major problems there.  This is a big issue for rural Ireland.

Cllr Carroll (FF):  Good motion and praises the minister.  But it should go further.  The valuation went on the size of a building.  Now you can have a turnover of billions in a building the size of a bedroom.  Need a more fundamental review.

Cllr T Collins (Ind):  Only for crèches, a lot or people couldn’t go to work.  No crèche could keep going with the kind of rates burden they have been supporting.  Creches in villages and towns have only a small turnover but because they have a big building, they have big rates.  Fully supports the motion.

Cllr McCarthy (FG):  Supports the motion.  Reflects the sentiments of the councillors as expressed.  Glad the Minister has addressed this after many years of lobbying.

Mayor:  Thanks the Minister for changing the Valuation Act. This is an issue that has been raised annually here.  It is very positive.  Shows that the Oireachtas operates!  The Department officials obviously weren’t anxious for this but the legislation was changed anyway.  The crèches should also get relief on rates when operating the free childcare year for pre-school children.

CE:  We have always tried to facilitate clubs and societies and we will await the outcome of the legislation and look at what is on our books.  We’ll see what is brought to our attention with regard to outstanding rates bills.

Cllr O’Shea (Ind):  Thanks everyone for their input.  When this motion was put forward first, there were no changes to the legislation.  Really welcomes the changes since.  Thanks the Minister.  This has been to the fore for a number of governments and for a number of years but nothing was done until now.  Pays special tribute to Pat Crowley in the rates division of the Council who has met many individuals and clubs about the rates and has helped them compromise and put payment plans in place.


8.  Councillor Seamus McGrath:
“To request that the Council re-establish a Public Lighting Capital Programme.”

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Put this motion down in advance of the capital budget.  We haven’t had a public lighting programme in the last 5 years.  We have had developments which have not had the benefit of public lighting leading to those developments.  Carrigaline is an example.  There was a public lighting programme in that area published in 2004 and 2006.  Church Road and Ballea Road are at the heart of community and development but have no public lighting at all.  Sure this is replicated in other areas as well.

Knows we have to reduce energy consumption within the Council and knows the Council has goals to achieve.  A ban on public lighting is not the way to achieve that.  Especially in areas where people have a right to expect basic infrastructure such as public lighting.  They pay their LPT.  There are other ways of achieving efficiencies in public lighting.  Is sure that the older public lighting is not as efficient as the new.  If we retrofitted these, we would achieve savings which would allow us to put the new lighting in place.  We need to rethink the current strategy.

Cllr O’Sullivan (FF):  Not good enough now that community groups are asking for one public light.  We need to work with these communities and in many cases one single light would solve a health and safety problem.  Small communities have been fighting for public lighting for years.  We had a positive budget yesterday and this is a vital programme we need to get reinstated.  In many cases it is just a situation of getting population centres connected to community buildings.  The elderly population is particularly in need of this, especially during winter months when the daylight hours are very limited.  Very worthy motion and hopes the CE is positive about it also.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF):  Fully supports.  This is a matter of public health and safety.  Thinks we should look at each municipal area and see where public lighting is necessary.  For 28 houses in his own area in Mitchelstown there are 2 lights.  Also steps and many elderly people.  Definitely look at putting a policy in place in conjunction with each of the Area Engineers who know their areas.  We are aware that you have to achieve 33% energy reduction by 2020.  There is also probably lighting in place and there is no need for it.  This is a policy we should put in place.

Cllr O’Shea (Ind):  Supports the motion.  Timely because we have a capital programme to be considered in a few weeks.  We can make significant savings each year by reducing public lighting expenditure.  In the budget book it announced that new LED lighting was being introduced.  So these are initiatives being taken by the public lighting department.  We have to reduce the public lighting expenditure because it is a directive from Europe.  How many public lighting technicians do we have in the county?  We should collate at Municipal District level all the requests for public lighting and prioritise them.

Cllr N O’Donovan (FG):  Standard answer also to lighting requests is that there is no funding.  Asks the CE to sincerely look at these.  Before it was a cry for footpaths.  We got funding for these.  Now it is the turn of lighting.  We are asking for community involvement but these communities need give-back too.  Huge issue in Clonakilty.  Raising it over and over but without success.  Also estates which are unfinished or not taken in charge have a big issue with lights that are not working.  There is often no-one to fix them.

Cllr M Muprhy (SF):  We had lights erected in Roberts Bridge car park in Passage West.  Still not switched on.  Have to go through 3 departments to get them switched on.

Cllr Barry (FG):  We have a duty of care to residents.  Huge levels of funding were paid to these estates and it is not fair that residents have no lights going to and from villages.  There are new types of lighting that can be used.  We need to ensure we are getting best value.  Also conscious of carbon footprint.  Have seen lights on at 3 and 5 am and wonders is that necessary.  Perhaps we should look at timing, etc.

Cllr Carroll (FF):  Very badly in need of lighting programme.  Baltimore and other similar villages dependent on tourism have  B&Bs outside village.  People walking home have no public lighting.  Support what Cllr O’Donovan says also with regard to unfinished estates.  Could we please help the residents of these estates by at least sending them in the right direction?  When receivers are involved, they still often have estates with no lights.  They’d like to put together a residents association but half the houses are owned by people living somewhere else.  Would like the Council to send these people in the right direction.  They are sent from one office to the other, especially when receivers are involved.   A lot of these people have paid for their houses and have done nothing wrong.  They deserve lighting.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  In his area also there are areas where this is a big issue.  This is important from people’s perception of the council.  If you have built up areas and a lack of public lighting, it affects people’s belief in the efficacy of the Council.

Cllr Linehan-Foley (Ind):  Supports and agrees with Cllr Carroll.  One council estate in Youghal.  Lights out for 10 years.  People paying mortgages.  They thought they would have lighting outside their front door.  Was told to bring this issue up at a higher level under County.  We’re gone into winter again.  We don’t know where to bring it up.  Similar to Cllr Carroll, where do we go?  How do we fight the corner?

Cllr Hayes (SF):  Supports.  Glad that the cost of electricity is less as announced in the budget yesterday.  Thinks we need to investigate the LED move more.  They have done cities in many places.  Up to 80% savings.

Cllr M Collins (Ind):  Supports.  We’re all speaking about our own situations.  Trying to get lights erected for 2 years now outside health centre.  Getting the run around.  Not good enough.  Also an environmental issue.  A number of years ago our community group in Goleen carried out a project by putting lights on a timer.  Maybe the Council could look at this.  Look at the lighting capital programme.

Cllr Sheppard (FG):  Supports motion.  Is a big issue.  Has come up on many occasions.  Met up with Tidy Towns in Cobh recently – there are 46 lights that are not working and have not been working for over a year.  Daft that lights that are there are not working.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Cllr O’Flynn disappointed with the answer he got from the Deputy CE.  Doesn’t know how much is in the capital reserves.  Motion is well deserving of support.  Is so necessary.  There are blackspots in every single town in this country.  We need to fund from development contributions.  We have done most of our road-building from contributions but it is time t look at funding lighting from contributions.  Council is in breach of health and safety.  Whatever SPC is there to do that, let them see how contributions can be ring-fenced for lighting.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  Street lights create a deterrent to robberies and anti-social behaviour.  Are there areas where we can shut down lights and relocate them to other places?

Cllr M Hegarty (FG):  In some areas, low level type lighting would suffice rather than the usual lighting structure.  In some areas solar panels could light.  Would save long cables either under or over ground.  Our approach should be innovative insofar as we need to get things up and running.

CE:  We’re developing a capital programme at the moment.  We are trying to reduce our energy consumption.  Over-riding factor to be considered.  But we will always have development to be completed which will take energy demands.  There are some issues raised that are complex.  On tariffs which run from dawn to dusk.  Changes to those tariffs need approval from Commissioner for Energy Regulation.

Much is not on a timer system.  Some estates might be connected by footpaths to urban areas but do not have lighting along those footpaths.  We know this.  How do we fund them?  Have to establish this.  Programme would have to be realistic.  We don’t have massive funds and have to be aware of what we can achieve.  We do have one engineer who oversees the entire network.  All our area engineers are involved too, but there is one expert.  We know where the blackspots are, what the quality is like where.  The first area should be dealing with efficiency and then maybe expansion.  Will look at it with regard to the capital programme.

Cllr Carroll (FF):  Vast funds in Europe for funding energy savings that are not being touched by the Irish government.  Heard this on the radio.  Maybe we should check this out.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Thanks members for overwhelming support.  Knows we have to be realistic but we cannot have a blanket ban any longer.  Have to give hope to people that the programme is up and running.  Example he was referring to is in the heart of the town.  Complex issue in terms of trying to meet energy demands.  Retrofitting is realistic.  Maybe we need to put funding aside to do this as well.  Funding is a debate we must have.  But there is a general view that there is a need.  Appreciates CE seems open-minded on reinstating the programme.


9.  Councillor Melissa Mullane:
“That this Council provides a written report on the process to sanction the lifting of the current recruitment embargo and why Cork County Council were successful on permission to lift restriction on high level income Grade positions and unsuccessful on lower level income posts. Included in this report should also be the number of staff that have left the council since the recruitment embargo has been implemented and have not been replaced and the type of position vacated.

The permanent positions filled since introduction of recruitment embargo are as follows:

  • Mar 2010             2 civil defence officers
  • July 2010             Divisional Manager
  • Jan 2012              Chief veterinary officer
  • Feb 2012              Divisional Manager
  • Feb 2013              County Engineer
  • Dec 2013              Financial accountant
  • Dec 2013              County Solicitor

As the current CEO, is not listed as one of the above, are there any other positions that are hired outside of remit of Cork County Council.”

Cllr Mullane (SF):  Recognises that we need senior positions but we also need front line staff.  Very concerned that Gateway workers are being used to substitute for front line staff.  Outdoor staff are down to 407.5 employees.  Gap seems to be being filled by cheap labour.  SF does not want to see Gateway used.  Government is pressing ahead and targeting 3000 jobs this year through Gateway.  215 are already allocated to Cork County Council.  We are promoting staff from within Cork County Council to become foremen to these Gateway staff.  And staff that were seconded to Irish Water, are we getting these staff back?  So would welcome knowing how Cork County Council can get sanction for high level positions but not for front-line staff.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  This has affected our local area also.  Spoke of retirement of person from Carrigaline library.   Staff is doing their best to patch the damage but recruitment embargo is a blunt instrument that is failing the public.  Is having a detrimental impact on our services.

Cllr K McCarthy (SF):  Supports the motion and dwells on Gateway a bit.  Seems like there is segregation between full time Council workers and Gateway workers.  There seems even to be segregation between the JobBridge workers and the Gateway workers on the ground.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  The motion has not been addressed in the response.  For the last 4 or 5 years, has been trying to get an increase in outdoor staff.  But Cork County Council has allowed a decrease to happen year in year out.   Unsustainable level of outdoor staff at this stage.  These people are the most critical part of our operation.

(FF blames FG for the embargo; FG blames FF!)

Also would like to know if we are using agency staff, why.

Cllr N O’Donovan (FG):  Embargo will hopefully be lifted with slight improvements in the economy.  This motion is for headline grabbing only.  We need people at management level just as much as we need people on the ground.

Cllr O’Donnabhain (FF):  Motion is constructive and commendable.  If the FG councillors are that worried, couldn’t they have had a word with the top man last week as he was touring the constituency?  We have to be constantly vigilant in terms of our workers.

CE:  Will not comment on Gateway, just on the motion.  The Gateway scheme is very productive and anyone employed under any scheme in the Council is an integral part of the team and no segregation is tolerated.  Embargo has been there since 2009.  It is only in extremely difficult circumstances that we can get a position filled.  We have to create a business case – have to address whether the job be done on shared services, etc.  It is acceptable that during this time only the senior posts were filled.  The Council cannot run without them and they can’t be filled any way else.  The managerial staff is down 47%; outdoor staff is down by 32%.  Much of this relates to age profile, etc.  We are not in a position to continue to fill jobs.  If we want to fill any job in 2014 it has to be tied into a business case and a manpower plan for the organisation.   We are working through a manpower plan with regard to the number of staff on the ground.  It has to be approved by Department.  But the review of Local Government envisaged significant reductions in numbers anyway, so the Department will review our manpower plan in that light.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  Asked for the difference in two processes.  The gist of the motion is still lost.  Was there any effort made by the Executive to replace outdoor staff?  Or are we going to privatise it all?

CE:  That is not the position we are in.  Won’t get drawn into that argument.  There have been staff movements across areas, staff sharing, all staff have been co-operative.  Process is very clear.  We have to say to Department that we cannot fill a post by job-sharing, etc.

Mayor:  Minister Howlin has decreed that the embargo is going to continue.  There is no point in our fighting amongst ourselves – we need to address this issue with the Minister.

CE:  You can also ask me whether we applied to replace clerical staff?  Administrative staff?  They do the same type of work.  The fact is that none of our staff have had promotional opportunities for the last number years.  Real issue with regard to our staff.  But there is a moratorium in place and the positions have been filled only in critical circumstances.  These include firefighters, lifeguards, and many other similar posts that you got in a report a few weeks ago.

Cllr Doyle (FF):  We would all like to support lifting of the embargo but would like to make the point that all staff whether on schemes or otherwise, are welcomed and treated equally.

Cllr McCarthy (SF):  Has the executive made the argument strongly enough to the Department that they would like the embargo lifted?

Cllr O’Donovan (FG):  Not happy with this.  There’s been full support for the lifting of the embargo.

Cllr Dawson (FG):  Supports what Cllr Doyle has said.  Knows people who have been on schemes; have enjoyed it, benefited from it and have got jobs out of it.

CE:  Gateway scheme is a national scheme that we are happy to facilitate both for the workers and the County Council organisation.  It is entirely a matter for the CE to deal with all matters in relation to staff.  Have no problem in giving information but when it comes to detailed manpower planning, it is my job.  I guard this close to my heart and I do not intend to share with Council why I am filling a post or not.


10.                  Councillor Donnchadh O’Laoghaire:
That Cork County Council would adopt

a) a painting grants scheme similar to that in Cork City Council for historical and locally important streets and districts within Cork’s Towns and Suburbs
b) a scheme similar to that in Cork City where whereby tourist information is displayed on derelict buildings.”

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  A painting grants scheme has been running in Cork City Council for a number of years.  Has been fairly successful.  Provides grant funding each year.  The improvement that has been seen has been valuable and noticeable.  Would be of benefit in the County.  Is too large to be applied everywhere, but could be used in historic and important suburbs and towns.  Valuable in restoring our town centres.  Did consider bringing this forward at Municipal District level but thinks it needs recognition throughout the county for consistency.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Seconds the motion.  Supports both aspects of it strongly.  Came from Passage West Town Council, as did several other Members.  We ran a painting scheme in Passage West for 3 or 4 years.  Was slow to take off in the first year but thereafter made a huge difference.  Also supports the second part of the motion.  Through our local Tidy Towns group we tried to use vacant shop windows to display photographs of our work and to display local art.  Although we offered to maintain external ground floor of buildings we might use, we got a no from the building owners because of insurance.  This is an issue that could be solved at Council level.  So thinks the first part of the motion would be best run at Municipal District level but the second perhaps at full County level.

CE:  Recognises the value of these schemes.  Have been used in Youghal and other places also.  Thinks Architects Department should work on this.  Could give scheme to Municipal Districts then.  Money could be put aside then by Municipal Districts to implement the scheme as appropriate.  Recognises the value of having strong groups liaise with business owners in towns so will try to address insurance issue described.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  Would prefer the proposal to be County-wide but if it comes from the Architect’s Department, we will look at it.  Part (b) – tourism information is only a small scheme in the City.  Any response on this?

CE:  Will ask the Architects Department for a package of ideas – we’ll come back to this.

(6 FG in chamber now; 7 Ind; 7 SF; 3 FF)


11. Councillor Kevin Murphy:
“That Members of Cork County Council be informed on the following:-

The total amount of land currently in Council ownership in particular 1). The land purchased since 2000, the location of these 2). The purchased cost per acre and 3). The interest payable annually on monies borrowed for these lands and that the CEO would outline his proposals for these lands going forward.”

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Do we need all the land we have?  This query was raised to try to stem the flow of money going out on interest.  €1.77 m per year.  Ongoing drain on Council coffers.  Overall, what is the story for the future use of those lands?  Looking for a plan of action to utilise our property portfolio to the best benefit of the Council.  Thanks Richie very seriously for this information distributed.

Cllr K McCarthy (SF):  Asks about 1 acre in Cobh.  No mention of lands he knows that have been handed over to Cork County Council more recently.

CE:  The lands on the list distributed are those on our asset register at the end of 2013.  A property doesn’t appear on our asset register until the title is transferred.  They will appear in the 2014 AFS.  Many of these lands are amenity lands, open spaces, parks.  There are some housing lands in there.  We have a very active property management section which is on top of the landbank we have.  We have some let out for grazing.  Some of the housing lands were purchased in and around 2000 as encouraged by the DoE. There are significant costs now associated with these.  Any of those lands that were deemed to be surplus to our requirements were transferred to the housing finance agency.  A lot of those lands are still on our books.  The scheme is not really working properly.  We’d like to get surplus lands off our books so that we don’t have to pay interest on them any more.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  How active are we in selling off land?

CE:  Our decisions are based on whether or not we might have future need, is the time right to dispose of it.  We are extremely active.  We have a very good property section which manages leases, lettings and landbanks.  Hard to respond to one or two specific queries now but will discuss them outside if required.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Just wondering whether there is any way we can reduce our interest.


12. Councillor Rachel McCarthy:
“That this Council acknowledges the long waiting time for Local Authority Tenants in respect of housing adaptations and calls for the Government to allocate extra funding to local authorities for same.”

Deferred until next full Council meeting.


13.                  Councillor Deirdre Forde:
“Cork County Council supports The Carers Association call on the Minister for Social Protection to amend the Social Welfare Bill to make provision for the restoration of the Respite Care Grant.”

Deferred until next full Council meeting.

14.                  Councillor Noel Collins:
“That this Council request the Minister for the Environment and Local Government and the Minister for Housing to investigate and remedy the serious plight of older separated men and women with marital and relationship problems, particularly in their quest for social housing.”

Cllr N Collins (Ind):  This is where a man who has left the family home more than 20 years ago and went to look for work.  These men are part time owners of a family home so they don’t qualify for housing.  They don’t get rent allowance because they are not on the housing list.  They have small pensions.  They can go to court but their spouses are now elderly.  He could transfer full ownership to his former wife so that he could go on the Council housing list.  Then he is very much the loser.  Hopes the government can rectify this in the new housing leasing scheme to offer older men some security.  It may not be your problem today but it may be some day.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Serious issue and is on the programme of work for the Housing SPC.  It isn’t just older people. It applies across the board when someone’s name stays on the family home.  This has been a problem for some time.  We intend to tease this out and see if we can come up with a solution.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  Recently spoke at International Violence against Women conference.  Massive issue with them.  Very important motion.  People cannot be housed because of the vetting system if the spouse has a record.  We do need to work on it in an SPC and in certain serious cases we have to look at how we house people.  Also many have mortgages and once in property ownership it is very difficult to go on housing list.

Cllr G Murphy (FG):  Supports the motion.  Glad the SPC is looking at it.  Thinks one-bedroom houses are a disaster because they don’t allow people stay over, etc. as people get older.  So this all needs to be looked at as soon as possible.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Very valid point.  Are we going to make progress through the SPC?  Hopes that from a national point of view this will be addressed pretty soon.  Obviously we can’t work here if it is not worked out nationally first.

Cllr Doyle (FF):  Supports and welcomes SPC movement on this.  Huge issue with separated men and women who cannot get on the housing list because they are part owners of houses.  Agree that one-bedroom houses are no longer an option.

Cllr Cullinane (Ind): Supports the motion.  Has worked with distressed mortgage holders and has found that many men have left the family home.  We have looked after families in this scenario and an equalisation of that is absolutely necessary.

Cllr J Murphy (SF):  We do get many people who through no fault of their own their marriage has broken down.  Sometimes there are real health issues too.  Had one case where a woman had to sign away all right to her house to get on the housing list.  This is wrong when someone puts that amount of years and effort into a marriage and children.

Cllr N Collins (Ind):  Happy with the response.  Didn’t expect it.  If it could be included in the new leasing scheme it will solve the problem.

Mayor:  We will write to the Minister and address it through the SPC.


15.                  Councillor Michael Collins:
“The recent budget gave 90% reduction in capital acquisitions tax to full time active farmers inheriting land. The Minister’s proposal is:

A. They must be full time farmers i.e. people spending more that 50% of their time farming the land.
B. Non farmers or part time farmers other than full time farmers will get the relief but they must lease their land to full time farmers for set number of years.

This budget proposal by the Minister places part time farmers in the same category i.e. farmers spending less than 50% of their time in the same categories of non farmers, this is grossly unfair to the 30% of farmers who will be forced to lease their land for up to 6 years.

This is an unfair disadvantage for part time famers. I note that 30% of farmers in Ireland have a job outside of farming in order to survive and these will be severely effected by this proposal.  I am asking the Minister to relook at this proposal in the budget in order to be fair to part time farmers and I am asking my colleagues to support my motion today.”

Cllr O’Shea (Ind):  Seconds the motion.  Many farmers in North and West Cork are small farmers and need part-time work to continue farming.  This will have a detrimental effect on the farming community.  Hopes it will get support.

Cllr G Murphy (FG):  There is an intention by the minister to consolidate land in order to progress agriculture.  But agrees with some of the sentiments expressed and recognises that many famers are part-time farmers.  Pretty sure that the farmers he represents are reasonably happy.  The finance bill is in the final stages so hopefully we will get a satisfactory outcome that will meet the genuine concerns of farmers here.

Cllr Hurley (Ind):  Fully supportive as a farmer myself.  This is the sting in the tail of what is a reasonable proposal by government.  Motion is well worded.  Farmers don’t choose to go out to work – they have to.

Cllr Hayes (SF):  Supports and thinks motion is well put.  Many farmers cannot survive on the farm income alone.  This cut will have a big effect on them.  Some of us will be attending the Minister’s Constituency office next Saturday morning so you are all welcome to join.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Has real problem with that.  Asking people to protest within the Council Chamber.

Cllr N O’Donovan  (FG):  Supports the farmers in West Cork.  National figure of 30% is much higher in West Cork.  The attempt by the Minister is worthy: to free up land to speed up the transfer of land to young farmers.  But it needs tweaking.

(2 FF in chamber, 9 FG, 7 Ind, 7 SF in the Chamber)


16.                  Councillor June Murphy:
“That this Council supports The Carers Association call on the Minister for Social Protection to amend the Social Welfare Bill to make provision for the restoration of the Respite Care Grant.”

Deferred to next full Council meeting.


17.  Councillor Pat Buckley:
“I ask that this Council would make provisions for funding for public lighting and a new footpath in Castlemartyr. The primary area concerned is a section of road where the R632 meets the N25″

Cllr McCarthy (FG):  This was my motion at Municipal District level and  I was told it would be dealt with in 2015.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  This is crazy – we don’t have enough time for the agenda and Municipal District issues need to be kept at Municipal District level.

Cllr M Hegarty (FG):  This issue has been highlighted quite a number of times at Municipal District.  It is well highlighted.

Mayor to Cllr Buckley – we’ll give you a little grace this time.

Cllr Buckley (SF):  I brought it up here because the Municipal District isn’t working.  This is happening county-wide.  Wants it debated here because it is really important.  Read letter addressed to himself as Secretary of Castlemartyr Community Council.  We are finding issues like this extremely difficult to slot into the right place so that they are dealt with.

Mayor:  Is an issue of funding – especially footpath and lighting budgets.


18.                  Councillor Des O’Grady:

“To seek a written report on the persistent and ongoing problems with the public water supply system in the Crookstown area including the failure of the authorities to notify local residents of test results, for over a year after drinking water testing by Cork County Council in July 2013 revealed dangerously unsafe levels of lead in their water supply.”

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Thanks the County Engineer for the comprehensive report.  The problem that has arisen in the water system has been there for a long time.  Spoke of several individual situations. Two wells in Bellmount – one only 35m from a septic tank and the other deemed hazardous by the EPA.  Up to last week, both wells serving Crookstown have been capable of causing hazard to the people.  Water is hard, destroys kitchen implements.  The lead exceedence that was not reported to residents for over 12 months is the greatest concern.  This was an instruction from the HSE and it was very dangerous.  Mains needs to be replaced in this system.  Lead piping needs to be removed also.  Would like an explanation of what happened between HSE and Cork County Council and why the information was withheld.  Would like Minister Kelly to make this a priority.  If the system breaks down again, will the water be brought from the risky wells or will it be brought from elsewhere?

Cllr Creed (FG):  Working on this for the last 5 years.  The big issue has been the water supply coming from two different supplies.  There is now one supply from Cloughduv.  There were 2 huge problems:  one was the boil water notice that was in a terrace for 3 – 4 years.  The other is the lead and colour in their water.   Have got assurances over last number of years that there was no danger in drinking the water.  Had to reassure consumers.  Agreed with the residents that it looked awful.  Irish Water has come in for a lot of criticism but at least it has been working on the supply and there is now a new supply.  The water is very hard and some of the people say it is not nice to drink.  Agrees with Cllr O’Grady that the residents were not notified of the results of the test.  Failed to get an answer on this.  12 months for results of test to come through is too long.

Cllr Lucey (FG):  People of Crookstown went through a lot.  There is a lot more work to be done there.  We have to keep the pressure on.

County Engineer:  With the new source of supply, we are hoping the lead exceedences will be resolved.  Tests were done in 2010 and each of the householders was informed that there were issues with lead exceedences on their properties.  This would have been the same info given in 2013.  The HSE had asked nationally that this advice be continued because they were producing a joint position paper on lead with the EPA.  Then Irish Water took over, properties were retested in August 2013 and letters were distributed to individual properties.  So not fair to say that householders were not aware.  Lead piping was also on householder side and they would have been advised that this was their responsibility to replace.

Network in Bishop Galvin Terrace is replaced.  Asbestos breaks – if these are as bad as indicated, the issue will be looked at by Irish Water.

Cllr Creed (FG):  Samples taken were taken from the old supply and not the new supply.  Surely the issue should be that there should be samples taken from the new supply?  They knew it was coming on stream.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  On testing in 2010 vs testing in 2013.  I understand that you can test for lead today and it is there, but that you can test again next day and it is not.  Figures from 2013 and 14 are 4 and 5 times higher than limits of acceptability.  Please write to the Minister, thank him for pushing this with Irish Water and ask that Irish Water go further.

Cllr Ryan (FF):  New tests would want to be carried out from the new water source so that people feel safe.  New reports need to be done quickly by Cork County Council so that Irish Water will get the works done asap.


19.  Councillor Kevin O’Keeffe:
“Given the upsurge of motor vehicle engines being damaged owing to the use of fuel that has been tampered with, that Cork County Council call on the Government to empower Customs & Excise Officers to test the fuel in holding tanks on Forecourts.”

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  This practice creates untold damage to cars.  Damage can be €2k – €4k worth.  In many cases new engines have to be bought.  Am now told it is impossible almost to tell if petrol has been tampered with or not.  Suggests an amendment of the motion.  Most people don’t have comprehensive insurance on their vehicles.

Cllr N Collins (Ind):  Heard of prosecutions for tampering with whiskey and penalties were severe.  Hopes similar penalties will be issued for these similar acts of vandalism!

All support.



20.                  Brian Crowley, MEP.
Letter dated 5th November, 2014, enclosing letter from the Minister for Health regarding the fluoridation of public water.

Dealt with under fluoridation.


[g]                  VOTES OF CONGRATULATIONS



22.                  ANY OTHER BUSINESS


Notes from the Municipal District meeting, 17th November 2014

Executive present: Kevin O’Regan, Maurice Manning, Madeleine Healy (Area Engineer)


1.  Confirmation of minutes of the meeting held on 20th October 2014

Cllr O’Donnabhain:  Asked whether there was any update from his motion on rates at the last meeting.

MM:  Details on rate collection was what was requested.  Rate collection is not organised on that basis but the zones are now being reported on.


2.  Information on upcoming public consultation on Cork County Council’s Age Friendly County Programme.

Lorraine and Aileen from Planning Policy Unit:
Since July, the CE has agreed for Cork County Council to join the Age-Friendly County Programme.  Have had several sessions of public consultation since launch in October.  Numbers of public attending are very low.  So now looking at a different approach.  The whole programme will fall if we don’t get numbers on the voice of the older person.  We are going to reinforce the programme at Municipal District level.  Hoping to engage with community groups, active retirement groups, etc. and contact people directly.  We did the radio and papers the last time but it didn’t get enough of a response.  Will also being doing a poster than they can send to us.

They are going to send us an email asking for suggestions as to whom or what groups they might contact.  Then they will contact those groups directly.

Cllr Forde suggested we might have entertainment at the consultation.


3.  Consideration of Reports and Recommendations:
a) Briefing on Circular on the Control of Vehicle Speed in Housing Estates.


KO’R:  Can consider 5 in the pilot programme proposed by the CE.

MH:  There are hundreds of estates in our Municipal District where these speed limits could be validly used.  We have to limit it to the top priority.  Let’s look at those where there is a school or something of that nature.  Or estates with a central spine road.  But we will only be scratching the surface.  Has no list made up.  This will be some form of measure in place to restrict speed.

Cllr McGrath:  Would like to see reduction in speed limit across the board.  Is this something we can do?  Very difficult for us to choose certain roads over others.  Makes sense that we stick to estates with schools for now.  Maybe email MH with suggestions?   What about the return to the Department for Nov 5th?

MM:  The result of the full Council meeting was that we would choose 5 estates.

Cllr McGrath:  Didn’t know that.  But could you please clarify if it is possible to do it across the board?  It would surely save money with advertising, etc.

MM:  A special speed limit has to relate to a specific length of roadway.  So you can’t just have a blanket advertisement.

Cllr O’Donnabhain:  Is there any requirement for correlation between road traffic accidents with where the pilot phase is carried out?

MH:  Of course – we’ll look at it.  Come back to us with ideas.

Cllr Forde:  Has a big bugbear that we have to pick up the slack on traffic calming around schools for the Department of Education.  Thinks this should be the job of the Department.  Hopes MH might remember this when next new schools come before her in a planning application.

The Members examined the 4 year roads programme that was circulated.


MH:  4 year roads programme.  Last one put together was 2012.  Some years we don’t get what we expect so to have a programme approach allows flexibility.  In the last few years, we have got an initial allocation that has been supplemented throughout the year.  For Ballincollig, the roads programme would have been compiled in the old Ballincollig-Macroom area.

Some of Rockenham was done in 2013 and it was then split up over the life of the programme to enable us to fund it.  Older estates like Rockenham with concrete roads are more expensive.  Grange Park in Douglas is another in our area and Waterpark is a third.  The watermain in Rockenham in part is in poor condition.  Removing concrete road is very expensive and in most cases it was put in with good reason – the ground conditions were very poor.


b) Report on Review of Restoration Improvement Grant – Roads programme 2013 – 2016.

(I had to leave the room for a few minutes.)

Cllr Forde: Thinks it would be much better if we got a lump sum and could decide where it would be spent.  Belgard Downs also should be on list please.


4.  To consider the following Notices of Motion in the name of:

Cllr M R Desmond
That Cork County Council extends the time that has been proposed for the relaxation of paid parking in Douglas over the Christmas period to include a full days free parking on the other two remaining Saturday’s in December, i.e. 6th and 13th and also Friday 19th December. To commence the relaxation period from the Monday 1st December.

Cllr Desmond:  Knows the CE’s proposal has moved on since this motion was submitted.  Was concerned that the mornings would not be enough to support those not working in Douglas.  Is the Friday possible.  Has the Roads and Transport SPC had its meeting yet?  We are to get a report back before December.  Anxious about the timing there.

Cllr McGrath:  Supportive of the motion.  Thanks the Council for responding in a positive way.  Reasonable effort.  Thinks this is important for Douglas that they get a relaxation in the run up to Christmas.

Cllr O’Laoghaire:  Supports the motion.  Thanks the officials.  Good boost to the locality.  Is in agreement with the motion.

Cllr D’Alton:  Very supportive of the motiion.  Concerned about publicity.  Keeps a regular track on the media and hasn’t seen anything to advertise this.

Cllr Forde:  Supports me on publicity.  Very important.  Hopes the proposal won’t lead to chaos in Douglas.

MM:  Douglas fell outside the category of what had been done in other towns before.  This was an executive function to relax the bye-laws.  Wouldn’t favour extending the free parking beyond this.  We don’t know what the impact will be.  There is significant turnover of spaces on both Friday and Saturday in Douglas.  €1000 was collected from 240 pay parking spaces in Douglas in October on each of the Saturdays.  Shows that it is being used.  SPC is meeting on Monday in relation to pay parking in general.  It will be discussed at the first Council meeting in December.  In areas with 3 hour parking, if you’re giving a 2-hour concession, you really don’t have to pay all morning at all.  It’s also hard for traffic wardens to see when someone arrives and to gauge how long they’ve been there.

Cllr McGrath:  The warden will still be working on the day and will there still be time limits?  Free parking but subject to time limits?

MM:  Yes, time limits still there but parking is free.

Cllr O’Laoghaire:  Could we not move the free parking day to the 1st?  Very easy to remember.

MM:  Traditionally Christmas shopping starts on 8th.  This is the day free parking in Cork City has also started as well.

We spoke about publicity again.


Cllr  S McGrath
1) ” To request that the Engineer consider the provision of a footpath on Coach Hill to serve a number of residential estates.”

Cllr McGrath:  Has come up a lot over the years.  Came up during the election.  You raised it at the Southern Committee as well.  Is it one area in our elected area (except for Lehenaghbeg) with schools, lots of residents, etc.  Know there is a huge cost involved – needs specific grant – but we have to keep pushing it.  Some of these estates have been here for 25 years.

Cllr Desmond:   Supports the motion.  We have been talking about this spot on Coach Hill for years.  School at the top of the hill.  Pedestrian access at the top of the school is a huge big issue.

Cllr D’Alton:  Supports the motion very strongly and has been working on this with the Area Office.  Some people in houses down the hill bought those houses on the basis of being able to walk their children to school.  They cannot because there is no footpath up Coach Hill.

MH:  There are issues, primarily one of cost.  We can progress with the design office and maybe get it through the planning process.  We won’t know until we go down that route whether there will be CPO involved.  Commits to getting design process underway.


2) ” To ask the Engineer to include Shamrock Place, Ringaskiddy on the Roads Programme for 2015.

Cllr McGrath:  Road in appalling condition.  Hopes this will get surface dressing treatment.

MH:  It is on the list and we are aware of it.


3) ” Given the high accident history at Ballinrea Cross, to request that a safety audit is carried out and recommendations acted upon as soon as possible.”

Cllr McGrath:  There was a collision here.  Car coming from Douglas didn’t stop and ran into car coming from other direction.  This is a cross that needs a safety upgrade.  We have spoken about it over and over.

MH:  A safety audit will just flag what we are already well aware of.  We have gone further than a safety audit already.  We have a preliminary design done, so there’s no point in going back to a safety audit!  We have to bring it through planning and see where we can get the funding.

Cllr McGrath:  Welcomes that preliminary design is in place.   Would a this junction be appropriate for funding under the Low Cost Accident Schemes?

MH:  No – because nothing that will be done here is low cost.


Cllr D O’Laoghaire
That the Municipal District requests a report
(i) on the progression of the Masterplans for Ballincollig (Maglin) and Carrigaline (Shannonpark) referred to in the County Development Plan, with particular reference to the need for a mobility study in Ballincollig to complement the Masterplan

Cllr O’Laoghaire:   Understood that Municipal Districts would have feed in to the preparation of these Masterpans.  People in Ballincollig very anxious to see mobility plan in place.

KOR:  Shannonpark masterplan is nearing completion.  Environmental studies are in progress.  We’ll likely discuss it in February.  Ballincollig masterplan will commence in 2015.  KOR will circulate for discussion when they are ready.


(ii) on what steps Cork County Council has taken to ensure the protection and restoration of Vernon Mount House and what plans if any it has for the House and surrounding areas in to the future.

Cllr O’Laoghaire:  Been some dicussion recently about Vernon Mount House.  Georgian house of great value and history in very poor condition.  Located in an area where there are many plans between both Cork City and County Councils.

Cllr Forde:  Supports the motion but this issue has gone on for years.  Privately owned house.  Met the owner and his agent many years ago.  He got into financial difficulties so unless there was some development at the house the owner would not be able to do anything.  Cork County Council did eventually did some work in there.  Wish it was in public ownership for the people of Douglas.

Nicholas Manseragh is working on Vernon Mount.  He came into the Municipal District meeting to give a report.

NM:  Vernon Mount has been a problem from the 1990s onwards.  When a protected structure is endangered, the County Council has four options:

1)  serve repairs notice
2) assist owners in carrying out works
3) can carry out works itself
4) CPO

There were serious holes in the roof.  The County Council did eventually patch the North roof which eventually sealed that part.  By 2011, the County Council knew further repairs needed to be carried out.  The North roof needed replacement.  We offered the owner assistance but got no response.  We served formal repairs notices.  Still no response.  The County Council entered the lands and did whatever repairs to the North roof we thought necessary.  In 2012 we replaced slightly more than half the roof.  Got Departmental funding to help.  The gales last year affected some of the remaining roof which we hadn’t replaced.  Holes on East and West ends of the roof of the house.  Over the last 4 – 5 weeks we’ve replaced the eastern and western roofs so now about 80% of the building is re-roofed.  The Department of Arts is paying the majority of the cost of this.  But we are aware that all we are doing by doing this is buying time.  There is deterioration going on inside the building at a fair rate.  It is privately owned.  We have been engaged with the City Council in the proposal for the developmentof a park on the Southern side of the Ring Road.  We have worked out a pedestrian and cycle route which will start at the Grange Road, go down the valley to the East of Vernon Mount and go across the Ring Road with a footbridge.  We see this as being a very good cycle route.  There’s a field on the Grange Road (known locally as the donkey field) which we bought 18 months ago.  Perhaps the re-creation of that park will create a more favourable context for Vernon Mount’s recreational or cultural use.  Monkstown Castle is another example of how private ownership can sometimes rescue a place.

Cllr O’Laoghaire:  Is there any extent to which other powers can kick in if the owner continues to neglect it?  What about CPO?

NM:  Not a good idea to use the Derelict Site Acts on a heritage building.  Vernon Mount is a long way from other property it might cause damage to.  Even if we did apply a CPO, restoring artwork is a hugely expensive business.  It is the artwork in the house that is of massive value.  The roof repair is a limited liability.  The rest is a very large undertaking.  We are very cautious about going down that road.  If we could get a number of people to come in – several public or voluntary bodies and incorporating something – that’s where these things become possible.  The Council has many other calls on its resources.

We didn’t recover costs because if we had demanded those first, we wouldn’t have got access.  We’d have lost the Departmental grant, etc.  But we did say that if the house deteriorates to a point where it is of no further value, we would seek to discover our costs at that time.

Cllr Forde:  Would prefer that we went to CPO.  Grange-Frankfield Partnership,  City Council – taxpayer’s money spent on this property for the benefit of a private individual.  Could we not approach him?  He’s very much on his uppers in California.  Waiting until the house deteriorates further will make it too late to preserve the historic element.  The Georgian Society may come on board to help with fundraising.  Could we at least see what a compulsory purchase might cost?  It seems a pity to be shying away from it.  The owner is not going to do anything about it.

NM:  We need more of a head of steam than Cork County Council trying to do this by itself.  What’s been on offer from other bodies has been on a limited scale.  The cost of the compulsory purchase is not the eproblem.  The interior restoration is the problem  There is no point in our accquiring it unless we can take the necessary further steps to put it in order and find a use for it.  Not opposed to it – just the practicality of it.  Is talking to the Georgian Society but they don’t have that kind of money.

Ideally the OPW would take over.


5.  Any Other Business

Cllr Murphy: Asked if the roundabout at Rockenham could be marked.  People don’t know which lane they should be for which exit.  Very dangerous.

Also can he get signs for warning people against dog fouling?

MH:  The dog fouling signs can be got from the Veterinary Department.  She will get some for him.

She will look at the Rockenham roundabout.

Cllr McGrath:  What can the Council do with regard to dangerous trees adjacent to public roads?  A tree fell by Raffeen and blocked the road for an hour or so.  Some of those trees had been marked with a view to taking them down.  The Monastery area is another one.

Also the footpath on Clarke’s Hill is covered in leaves and debris.  Very busy road so you wouldn’t want people stepping off it.  Can it be cleaned?

At Raffeen turning right to Monkstown, the junction is blind.  Can we improve this?

MH:  With regard to the trees in Raffeen, we have spoken to the landowner about 5 times since the storms in February.  We have given assistance.  Tree surgeon sent in by Cork County Council to survey and mark those trees to come down.  The landowner hasn’t done it yet. Totally his responsibility.  There is a lot of concern out there about trees since the storms last February.

Is aware of the footpaths on Clarkes Hill.  Cleaning them is a resources issue.  This is a critical time of year with drain clearance, etc.  Will try to get them cleared.

The junction at Raffeen is difficult because there is not much room for manoeuvre.

Cllr D’Alton: There is a corner garden there, a river running behind the garden and across the road at that junction.  So there is a bridge across the river.  The walls of the side of the bridge are covered in vegetation.  The junction is dangerous and almost safer at night time when one can see the lights of the oncoming cars.

MH will look at it and see if there is any vegetation that can be cut back.

Cllr D’Alton:  The markings at Rockenham were brought up several times by Passage West Town Council.  There had been a commitment to doing them, but at the time funding was being sought for a revamp of the roundabout.  Had also asked for a safe crossing point from Pembroke Wood to the Rockenham side at the time.  Safe crossing has been provided at the bottom of Rockenham but the majority of the pedestrian traffic to Eurospar is crossing the R610 from Pembroke Wood.  Could this crossing be put in when the markings are being done?  Even dished kerbing would help.

Also the N28 Corridor Sustainable Travel Strategy was started in 2012.  The Budget book says that draft final report was completed in 2014.  Did the previous Council get to see this?  If not, when can we see it?  Because we keep seeing bits of it referred to but we have never seen the full report.

MH:  Remembers the request for a safe crossing point from Pembroke Wood to the other side.  Will try to do it.

Will need to check up on the N28 study.  Not sure if quite completed.  Will revert back.

Cllr Forde:  Topping of tree at 67 Delford Drive.  Please could it be done?  Cork County Council did it previously.  Silt at another place.  With regard to the remainder of Coach Hill – could the hedging at least be cut back from the T junction to around the bend?

MH:  Will look at this.



Notes from the meeting of Cork County Council, 10th November 2014

[a]                  CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES

 1.  Minutes of Meeting of the Council held on 28th October, 2014.

The minutes were proposed and seconded.

Tenders opened:

  • Youghal board walk refurbishment
  • Buttevant town scheme
  • N72 and 71 paving scheme
  • Upgrading of a couple of roads and a bridge


[b]                  VOTES OF SYMPATHY

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

(i)             members or employees of the Council,
(ii)           dignitaries of Church or State, or
(iii)           members of old I.R.A. and Cumann na mBan.

Cllr McGrath (FF) extended sympathy to Joe Walsh and his family.   Invited Cllr Murphy O’Mahony to speak on behalf of the party.

Cllr Murphy O’Mahony (FF):  Very proud to speak on behalf of Fianna Fail because Joe Walsh was a personal friend.  Her late brother was Joe’s Director of Elections.  She worked side by side with Joe on many projects where they formed a strong friendship.

Joe established the Fianna Fail Cumann in UCC when he was there doing dairy science.  He subsequently worked in Teagasc, Moorepark and then in Strand Dairies, Clonakilty.  He was elected to Cork County Council in 1974.  He served on the VEC committee and agricultural committee.  He was elected to Dail Eireann from Cork South West in 1977 and sat in the Seanad from 1981 – 82.  Thereafter he served in the Dail again.  He retired through his own choice in 2007.

Joe Walsh loved the people of Cork South West.  He was a huge family man and adored grandfather.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Also extended sympathy on his own behalf and on behalf of Fine Gael.  Was shocked to hear that he had died at a relatively young age.  Was a friend of all of ours.  Left a substantial legacy to this country.  Got to know Joe when he became a TD.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Would like to be associated with these remarks and extends sympathy to Joe Walsh’s family.

Cllr O’Shea (Ind):  Also wants to be associated with sympathy.  Very sad for the family.

Cllr McCarthy (Lab):  Very sorry to hear of the death of Joe Walsh and also extends sympathy to his family.

Cllr N Collins (Ind):  Served with Joe Walsh on Cork County Council and on the Cork County Committee for Agriculture.  Helped to elect Joe Walsh as Chairperson of this committee.  Small farmers in East Cork were suffering with a particular issue at the time and Joe helped him sort this out on their behalf.  Prays that the family will get grace and strength to help them through this time.

Cllr Hegarty (FG):  Also served on Cork County Council with Joe Walsh from 1985 – 87.  Gentleman.  On his first day in County Hall, it was Joe Walsh who brought him up to the canteen to help him feel at ease.

Cllr O’Sullivan (FF):  Extends sympathies to Joe’s family.  Joe had huge success as a parliamentarian and Minister.  Made a huge contribution to Clonakilty and West Cork.  Clonakilty’s prosperity has a lot to do with Joe’s influence: the Technology Park, West Cork Model Railway and Agricultural College.

Cllr N O’Donovan (FG):  Extends sympathies.  Joe Walsh gave great service to West Cork.  Spoke across the political divide.  Great leader.  Presence on street.

Cllr Hayes (SF):  Echoes sentiments.  Clonakilty man himself so deepest sympathies to wife and children.  He was at school with some of Joe Walsh’s children.

Cllr Carroll (FF):  Wants also to be associated with the sympathies for his good friend Joe Walsh.  Was always available on the phone or in person.  Was with him in Dublin when foot and mouth broke out.  It was thanks to him that we kept that disease out.  West Cork is losing a great politician and a great person.

Cllr M Collins (Ind):  Man of great presence.  On behalf of people that he represents in West Cork, he wants to extend sympathies.

Cllr Murphy (FF):  Joe Walsh was an excellent parliamentarian and constituency worker.  Worked tirelessly, in clinics, etc.  Spent a lot of time on Beara peninsula.  His fingerprints are all over the Beara peninsula, in particular with excellent infrastructure.  Wherever he went he was taken seriously.  Thanks him for all his efforts for West Cork over the years.

Cllr Flynn (FF):  Knew Joe for many years in Fermoy.  Will never forget Joe for encouraging him to do dairy science in UCC.  Joe was our first ever Minister for Food.  Very few served for so long as Minister for Agriculture – Joe served under 3 administrations.  Joe had many other interests, especially greyhound racing.  We’re very fortunate that we had such a Minister at the time who had this interest.  It was thanks to him that the Mallow racecourse was revamped.  Even at his passing yesterday morning, he was still Chairperson of the racing.  Joe always had time to listen and talk.  He always came across as a great listener and very gentle even though he was a tall and big man.  We can be so grateful to him for his understanding of farming and for keeping the foot and mouth out of Ireland.  Thank you Joe for your services to Cork South West, for your services as a Minister, for your services to Cork, for your services to the Country and thank you for your friendship.

Cllr A Moynihan (FF):  Very positive personable guy who was always available to talk and listen.  Was very involved in Europe, went on to establish Bord Bia and focused on establishing export markets for our food.  Joe could extend the foot and mouth issue out to non-agricultural communities; this was one of the reasons it was such a success.  This is largely because he was so personable himself.  It wasn’t just agriculture, it was people.

Cllr Fitzgerald (FF):  Also thanked Joe for everything that he has done for Mallow.  He will be very sadly missed.  Condolences to the family.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  Wants to be associated with previous speakers.  Huge friend to the private sector also.  Maybe the current crisis with the meat factories wouldn’t have come to where it is if Joe was there to help out.  He had a great understanding of big business.  Also a great friend to racing.

CE:  Wants to be associated with all the sympathies on behalf of the Executive and staff of the County Council.  All Joe’s dealings with the staff over the years was done on a courteous and facilitative basis.  Sincere sympathies to his wife and five children.

Mayor:  Joe was a colossus politically locally.  He was the longest serving EU agricultural minister.  Had a massive grasp of agriculture and food.  Spoke of the specific legacies he left this county.  The food industry stronger because of him: gourmet festival in Kinsale was launched by him.  Served for such a long time.  He had a sense of presence but he never let the high office he held go to his head.  Was a friend to all.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Wants to extend sympathies to Cllr Kieran McCarthy on the death of his father.

All Members and the CE associated ourselves themselves with these sympathies.

Cllr O’Sullivan (FF):  Wants to extend sympathy on the death of Noel O’Sullivan, who was a valued member of the outdoor staff in Clonakilty.

Cllr N O’Donovan (FG):  Noel was a very popular member of the outdoor staff in the Clonakilty office.  Echoes these sympathies.

CE also.  Noel was a very valued member of staff of the Clonakilty office and of the Clonakilty community.  Very sad at his passing and extends sympathy of all the executive and staff to his wife and children.

Cllr K McCarthy (SF):  Thanked all for the vote of sympathy and also thanked those who attended his father’s funeral.


[c]                  STATUTORY BUSINESS

3.  Disposal of Property – Section 183 of the Local Government Act, 2001:
(a).                  Disposal of 13 Cúl na Gréine, Kanturk, Co. Cork.
(b).                  Disposal of land at Cloonlough, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork.
(c).                  Disposal of land adjacent to No. 1 Carhookeal, Mallow
(d).                  Disposal of land at Ballybeg, Kilphelan, Co. Cork.
(e).                  Disposal of former Courthouse Building, Bantry by way
of lease to Port of Cork Company.

(f).                  Disposal of 11 Ardan, Cloghmacsimon, Bandon.
(g).                  Disposal of Bantry Town Pier, to Port of Cork Company.(h).                  Disposal of 54 Canon Sheehan Place, Mallow, Co. Cork.(i).                  Disposal of 30 Fernlea, Kilnagleary, Carrigaline.

Disposal (a):

Cllr Mullane (SF):  Very angry with the kind of disposal proposed for property (a).  It has been allowed to run into very poor condition and hasn’t even been offered to a housing agency

S O’Callaghan:  This house was repossessed by the County Council.  The property was disposed of because it wasn’t economic to upgrade it.  It was disposed of on the open market in the proper way.  It is not part of our public housing stock.  It is a private house that was funded by way of local authority loan.

Cllr T Collins (Ind):  This house had a €26-28,000 sale price.  If this money is not accepted for this property, it will never again see this kind of money.  Was surprised it made as much as it did because it is in very poor condition.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  Wishes this information had been available at the divisional meeting when she first enquired about this property.  It is a shame it had to come to full Council to get this information.

Disposal (c):

Cllr J McCarthy (SF):  Asked how much land is involved.

S O’Callaghan:  This is surplus to the development of the Mitchelstown relief road.  Money got from the sale will go back to the NRA.

Disposal (g):

Cllr Murphy (FF):  Hoped this decision would be deferred.  Will not be deferred now, he understands.  There is a meeting scheduled with the Minister which was to look at the overall plan for inner harbour development in Bantry.  Planning application had a steering committee using RPS and comprising Cork County Council, Bantry Harbour Commissioners and one other.  The investment was to be €3m in entirety in a 7 phase project.  Lots of talk and effort chaired by Noel O’Keeffe, County Engineer of the time.  Were very good social and economic reasons for the way it was approached.  No objections were submitted to the planning application at all which in itself is most unusual.

Outlined the phases of the project.

Port of Cork has taken over from Bantry Harbour Commissioners.  They are proposing that they will use €7m of an investment in Bantry to widen the existing pier, create 40 car parking spaces, 8 pontoons and dredge around the head of the existing pier.  For same amount of money they could dredge the harbour, create a shelter berth, and build a new pier.  It would create so much more opportunity.  There is huge disquiet in Bantry about this.  This €7m is seen as a one off opportunity by the locals.

90% of the people in Bantry who have looked at these two options would take the new pier option.  It is mind blowing that the Port of Cork’s choice would come down on the side of what is now being proposed.  Lack of consultation is another big issue that has also come up.  Remembers being on the Bantry Harbour Board and there was always huge partnership with the community.  There hasn’t now been a forum meeting in months.  Thinks Port of Cork is avoiding it.  Port of Cork personnel cannot justify why they are proposing what they are proposing.

The current pier was capped 2 – 3 years ago and is in good condition.  Why they would be building another is beyond everyone.  Feels Port of Cork is dictating and is engaging but only on a piecemeal basis.  People in Bantry want Port of Cork to have a vision for Bantry.  Port of Cork is blaming the old Harbour Board for signing up to this plan.  We NEVER signed up to this plan.

Please do the right and proper thing for Bantry.

Cllr M Collins (Ind):  Supports all the sentiments Cllr Murphy brought up.  Have been in discussions locally for a number of weeks.  Would also like decision deferred.  There is a meeting taking place in 2 weeks time which would have given people more clarity.  Was there consultation with the public in Bantry?  And the answer is there wasn’t.  Now we are left with a decision having to be made and the people of Bantry are unhappy with this decision.  Still thinks that while he supports the disposal today, he hopes the negotiations will continue.  But needs input from the people of Bantry.  If the people of Bantry are not happy with investment of €7m then there is something wrong.  Maybe agreement that satisfies all parties will still be possible.

Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG):  Golden opportunity for Bantry.  Bantry has been offered €7.5 m to be spent on its harbour.  Port of Cork has taken over.  4 members of Bantry on the new committee now.  They speak for the people of Bantry.  Hopes today that we will proceed with disposal of pier.  There will be funding down the line.  This is an opportunity we cannot lose for Bantry and hopefully the town will reap the rewards in the future.

Cllr N O’Donovan (FG):  The West Cork Municipal District has agreed that Bantry needs this investment.  The only decision we can make as members is the disposal of the pier, not where the funding goes.  There are concerns in Bantry as to whether this money would be better spent on a new pier or not.  Thinks Port of Cork will have to listen to the people.  We have to be clear that we cannot slow the process here today.  Bantry needs this and we cannot stand in its way.

Cllr Hayes (SF):  Cllr Murphy (FF) has put a lot of work into plan B.  We have run out of time on getting to Plan B.  It is a very hot topic in Bantry because people are fearful that if the Council doesn’t dispose of the pier and hand it over to the Port of Cork, we will miss this opportunity.  We all have the future viability of Bantry in mind and would like to proceed with the disposal of the pier at this stage to ensure that the funding is allocated.

Cllr Murphy (FF):  Current users are concerned about public access.  Currently Cork County Council gives public access.  Users are concerned that fees may be charged because the Port of Cork is a commercial company.  Cork County Council doesn’t charge at present.  Users are concerned that a gate may go up.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Know from past experience that we had a deputation meet with the Department of Transport when Kinsale was being handed over to Cork County Council.  €5m was to be spent on Kinsale and Baltimore.  Funding for both harbours was conditional on proposals that were laid down before the Department before the harbours were transferred.  The Department said funding was to be spent only on what was proposed.  If funding for Bantry is conditional in the same way, then Port of Cork will have a real problem in going for any proposal other than the original one.

CE:  Once a section 183 disposal notice is issued, it has to go onto the next agenda meeting of Council.  Legislation provides for Council to decide not to proceed with the disposal.  There is no legislative provision to defer the disposal.

Mayor:  Has spoken to the Port of Cork on this.  We have €7m to be spent in Bantry now.  Bantry has had false dawns in terms of investment in the past.  We don’t want to be party to putting this €7m in jeopardy.  Will speak to the CE with regard to giving time to get further clarity on the issue.  We want the message to get out that we want to see investment in Bantry.

Others agreed.

The Corporate Policy Group has met and agreed that in future all disposals will go through Municipal District.  It is hoped that the staff will have sufficient information that we won’t have the type of questions we have had at the meeting today.  Trashing out will happen then at Municipal District level.


4.  Comhar na nOileán Teo:

Appointment of 1 nominee from the Council to the Board of Comhar na nOileán Teo.

Agreed that Cllr Coleman would be appointment.



5.  Corporate Policy Group:

(i)    Approval of attendance by Council members at Conferences on the Conference List for November, 2014 approved by the Corporate Policy Group at their meeting on the 4th of November 2014.

(ii)  Contribution to Cork City Sports:  Contribution of €6,500 to the Cork City Sports for 2014 agreed by the Council at their meeting on the 14th of July 2014. Proposed to increase this contribution to €10,000.

(iii) Contribution to Dromahane Community Park Group Ltd: Contribution of €28,000 to the Dromahane Community Park Group Ltd to assist in the development of ground works for a juvenile pitch in Dromahane.

Cllr Canty (FG):  Thinks that we should get more PR out of the Cork City Sports than we do.  A bit like the Opera House over the years, to which we gave much money but got very little acknowledgement.  At one stage the Cork City Sports was called the Cork City and County Sports.  Happy to give the contribution but asks that we get something more back out of it.

Mayor: On Dromahane – please don’t let members of the CPG to go to the public until items of funding have been agreed.  That includes Facebook!  The Dromahane funding proposal was released to the public since it was first mooted at the CPG meeting.

S O’Callaghan:  Cork County Council purchased 5.6 ac of land outside Dromahane.  We’re now about to conclude a lease for the majority of that land to the Dromahane Community Park Ltd.  We’re retaining a small strip for land for a public footpath.  Playing pitches, grounds and car park are to be developed.  This is phase 1 of the development.  The Council will give €28k.  The community group will raise themselves €28k.  Most of this has already been raised.  It is a shovel ready project.

Cllr Fitzgerald (FF):  Is delighted the community is getting this.  Is very badly needed in the community.  Some of the land in Dromahane has been taken by Cork County Council for building purposes down through the years.  Great community spirit there and is delighted to be part of the promotion and delighted to propose that the money would be handed over to the community.

Cllr G Murphy (FG):  Seconds but we should clarify that there is a historical issue here.  There was a total lack of sporting facilities in Dromahane but a piece of ground traditionally used by the community for that purpose.  The Council decided to build on that ground.  That is why we can justify making an exception in this case.  Generally the Cork County Council doesn’t buy ground for sporting facilities.  But this is an exceptional case.

Cllr O’Shea (Ind):  Also supports.  Dromohane has developed three fold since the Celtic Tiger and the Cork County Council was not in a position to provide land.  This facility is very badly needed and proposes that we go ahead.

Cllr T Collins (Ind):  Agrees 100% with this proposal.


6.  West Cork Municipal District:

Nomination of the following Members to the West Cork Island Interagency:
Cllr. Joe Carroll
Cllr. Michael Collins
Cllr. Patrick Gerard Murphy

Cllr G Murphy (FG) asked question about procedures.  If the Municipal District has the authority to nominate a member, then that should be the end of it.  And if it has to come to full Council, choosing the member should be part of grouping system.

S O’Callaghan:  Selection of a Member to go on the committee of the Cobh Heritage Centre is an example.  Cobh Municipal District nominated a member for the Cobh Heritage Centre committee, told full Council and then the appointment was approved at full Council.

Mayor: Gathers the West Cork Island Interagency meetings are not a closed shop type of meeting so if Cllr Murphy from N Cork would like to attend, is sure he will be welcome.


7.  Northern Committee:

“That Cork County Council call on the Minister for Transport to make available finance to put in place the much needed Mallow by-pass road in the interest of safety and the economic development of North Cork.”

Cllr Fitzgerald (FF):  This is one of the most important developments for N Cork.  This needs to go back on the map.  Asks the Mayor to lead a deputation to achieve this. Deputations need to be made to the Minister and the NRA.

Cllr T Collins (ind):  Wants to propose this.  This road is badly needed.  The Taoiseach when he visited Dairygold recently promised this would be looked at.  Some of the traffic visiting Mallow town comes off the ferry in Rosslare.  Watching a truck negotiating the streets of Mallow would bring home to you how badly this development is needed.  Thinks we should hold the Taoiseach to the promise he made when he was visiting Mallow.

Cllr Fitzgerald (FF):  Northern Committee agreed to seek a deputation ot the Minister on this.  Very badly needed.  Most important for the life of Mallow town itself.  Town is packed up with traffic almost every day of the week.  A big truck coming through the town will stop traffic.  Some hauliers who know the town are taking short cuts through housing estates.  Imperative that we get on to the Minister and get funding.  Minister made a very serious commitment to further this issue.  Wants to thank CEO of Dairygold who made a plea on the day that this ring road around Mallow would be put in place.  We have a new plaza in Mallow town and the traffic in Mallow will not work properly without a relief road.

Cllr O’Shea (ind):  Would like to support the motion.  Very important piece of infrastructure we need in North Cork.  Dairygold is giving an investment of €115m to Mallow and Mitchelstown.  The N20 is not coming back again and we need that relief road for Mallow.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  The town is unreal for traffic.  We need a relief road.  It is paramount for any investment in the town.  As an employee of Dairygold, welcomes theDiarygold investment.  But we have to have the relief road.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Should be identified correctly in the motion that it is a ring road is being sought, not a bypass.

CE:  Clarifies that we are taking the matter up with the NRA.  Asking the NRA to make an allocation which will enable us to examine options for a relief road.  This will allow us to restart the process of examining the northern relief road.

(7 FF members in the Chamber) 



 8.  Cork Strategic Brand Book.

CE:  This is on the agenda to keep Members up to speed.  We have been working with UCC and others to develop a strategic approach to the consistent messaging of Cork City and County.  The Brand Book sets out the strategic strengths of Cork.  The Brand Book will be available in limited print form in a few weeks town.  Effectively a practical guide for all the stakeholders who promote Cork.  Represents what Cork offers and what its promise and targeted reputation is internationally.  Key messages that stakeholders in Cork can use when advertising abroad.  Will circulate to members and give a presentation in due course.

Cllr Canty (FG):  Pleased that we are working in a joint City and County approach.  Very much welcomes this.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  Will the Brand Book be circulated as finalised or will there be opportunity for comment?

CE:  It will be finalised.  Members received a presentation through the SPC in May and Members were encouraged to make comments at this stage.  The Brand Book will be available primarily on line ideally and will be updated over time.  There will be opportunity for new Members to contribute to the review over time.

Cllr Cullinane (Ind):  Very pleased with this.  Attended the Global Economic Forum.  We were greeted that day with the theme of “City Island and City Harbour”.  Colliers described this as being a brand going forward.  Fears that this diminishes us in some way as being the Great Island and the real Cork Harbour.  Has discussed this with the Mayor because the theme captivated his attention also.  Thinks very good that we promote City and County together but hopes that the geographical importance of the county islands will be acknowledged and not diminished by co-operation with the City.

Cllr A Moynihan (FF):  Thanks the CE for the overview.

CE:  Also the South Regional Waste Management Plan will be coming up for public consultation on 18th November.


The rest of the meeting is to be adjourned as a mark of respect on the passing of Joe Walsh, former Member of Cork County Council.


Cllr O’Grady (SF): Asks if this meeting will be fully reconvened before we go into the Budget meeting.  Maybe Friday or Monday?  Sinn Fein submitted questions through the CEO’s office on budgetary strategy.  We got answers to those questions.  Then we submitted supplementary questions which we were told should either go to CPG or should be submitted as a motion.  So he submitted his question as a motion.  Didn’t realise that there was a second CPG meeting on Friday.  Still hasn’t had an answer to this question that he raised as a motion.  Needs an answer before the Budget meeting

CE:  Keen to ensure that all our deliberations for the Budget are dealt with through the framework of the CPG and the Council.  It is extremely difficult to difficult respond to the motion because the rating system is designed in a manner which doesn’t capture the nature of the property or the business type.  We don’t categorise businesses by type.  The Childcare Sector encompasses a range of business providing different kinds of services and to get this information would be very time consuming and labour intensive.  Would require background information assimilation which we don’t use for the purposes of collecting rates.  If someone came to see what rates we collected on public houses for example, we couldn’t give it because the rate record is on the basis of the evaluation and the amount paid.  Wants to facilitate Members with information but it would take a lot of time to do this.  Very challenging and will speak to staff again about it.  Will be in this position in 2 weeks time still.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Pity that answer wasn’t given to the CPG on Friday when the question was raised.  This question was submitted weeks ago and still no answer.  We are looking at proposing to give cash back to childcare facilities in some way in the budget.  And we cannot get an answer from the Cork County Council.  We are being told to go to the budget meeting without the information we need to make a proposal that we intend to make.  This has been going on for 5 – 6 weeks.

CE:  You wrote on behalf of the party going back 10 – 12 weeks.  Then supplementary questions came.  This wasn’t part of the supplementaries.  I was happy to help out.  Where further questions were coming, I am not in a position to deal with specific parties and specific questions.  This question has appeared today for the first time on a Council agenda.  I said on Friday that because it was on the Council agenda today, I would deal with it here in the Chamber rather than at CPG.  So I have not delayed on providing information in any way.

Mayor:  The information looked for in the motion is beyond the ability of the CE to provide at this point in time.

CE:  Will check back with staff.  Understands the motive behind the question now.  Will see what he can do.  Didn’t understand the motive behind the question before.  But needs to explain that it is a time consuming job to do this and cannot guarantee that the response will be accurate or adequate in time for the budget.  The information required cannot easily be extracted.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Appreciates explanation and thanks the CE.  The clear intent was that all questions on finance would be in preparation for the budget strategy.  Perhaps he should have tagged.

CE:  Needs to deal with Members through the structure of Finance Committee, Corporate Policy Group and Full Council.  All Members need to understand this.  Going forward, questions of this nature are best dealt with in that structure because it puts them in the correct context.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  Today is the second time that this circumstance of deferring a meeting has happened.  Also this is a shortened meeting but it is already 12.45pm.  Should we look at a fall back day for finishing meetings maybe?

Mayor:  The cutting short of a meeting as a mark of respect has happened twice since the new Council but has actually happened only 4 times in his entire time as a Member.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  There is a big page in the Evening Echo about the budget meeting and what was discussed at the CPG.  That is uncalled for.  It is not OK for a member of the CPG to go to the press with what has come out of the CPG.  It hasn’t even come to full Council.  CE needs to speak to Members about this.

Cllr A Moynihan (FF) and Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF) both have a vote of congratulations.


The rest of the meeting is deferred.


[f]                  NOTICES OF MOTION

 9.  Councillor Bernard Moynihan:
“That Cork County Council fully supports and endorses Cork’s bid to host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2016.”


10.  Councillor John Paul O’Shea:
“That Cork County Council propose an amendment to the Valuation Act which is currently under review in the Houses of the Oireachtas via the Government by writing to the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government and the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform ensuring the following amendments are included in the amendments put forward to the Oireachtas for approval:

  • Local authority has more discretion in relation to how they apply rates to businesses across the county 
  • Ensuring that sports clubs that previously paid rates on its bar and on sporting buildings, will now only pay rates for the part of the building that generates income i.e. the bar. 
  • Ensuring that Community Childcare facilities who have to date been subject to full rates be allow discretionary rates so as to value their ethos which is to provide low cost, Government funded programmes such as the EECE and the CCS Schemes to people in disadvantaged areas.  

In practical terms, this will reduce significantly the size of the building for which sports clubs and community childcare facilities must pay rates and it will provide a sustainable welcome boost for clubs and childcare facilities which are provided to the community, by the community.”


11.  Councillor Seamus McGrath:
“To request that the Council re-establish a Public Lighting Capital Programme.”


12.  Councillor Melissa Mullane:
“That this Council provides a written report on the process to sanction the lifting of the current recruitment embargo and why Cork County Council were successful on permission to lift restriction on high level income Grade positions and unsuccessful on lower level income posts. Included in this report should also be the number of staff that have left the council since the recruitment embargo has been implemented and have not been replaced and the type of position vacated.

The permanent positions filled since introduction of recruitment embargo are as follows:

  • Mar 2010             2 civil defence officers
  • July 2010             Divisional Manager
  • Jan 2012              Chief veterinary officer
  • Feb 2012              Divisional Manager
  • Feb 2013              County Engineer
  • Dec 2013              Financial accountant
  • Dec 2013              County Solicitor

As the current CEO, is not listed as one of the above, are there any other positions that are hired outside of remit of Cork County Council.”


13.  Councillor Des O’Grady:
“That this council provides a written report on the total amounts collected by Cork County Council through commercial rates levied on Pre-School Childcare facilities in the years 2012, 2013 and 2014. The report to include the yearly total number of Pre-School childcare facilities on which commercial rates were levied in each of those years.”


14.  Councillor Donnchadh O’Laoghaire:
That Cork County Council would adopt
a) a painting grants scheme similar to that in Cork City Council for historical and locally important streets and districts within Cork’s Towns and Suburbs
b) a scheme similar to that in Cork City where whereby tourist information is displayed on derelict buildings.”


15.  Councillor Kevin Murphy:
“That Members of Cork County Council be informed on the following:-
The total amount of land currently in Council ownership in particular
1). The land purchased since 2000, the location of these
2). The purchased cost per acre and
3). The interest payable annually on monies borrowed for these lands and that the CEO would outline his proposals for these lands going forward.”


16.  Councillor Rachel McCarthy:
“That this Council acknowledges the long waiting time for Local Authority Tenants in respect of housing adaptations and calls for the Government to allocate extra funding to local authorities for same.”


17.  Councillor Deirdre Forde:
“Cork County Council supports The Carers Association call on the Minister for Social Protection to amend the Social Welfare Bill to make provision for the restoration of the Respite Care Grant.”


18.  Councillor Noel Collins:
“That this Council request the Minister for the Environment and Local Government and the Minister for Housing to investigate and remedy the serious plight of older separated men and women with marital and relationship problems, particularly in their quest for social housing.”


19.  Councillor Michael Collins:
“The recent budget gave 90% reduction in capital acquisitions tax to full time active farmers inheriting land. The Minister’s proposal is:

A. They must be full time farmers i.e. people spending more that 50% of their time farming the land.
B. Non farmers or part time farmers other than full time farmers will get the relief but they must lease their land to full time farmers for set number of years.

This budget proposal by the Minister places part time farmers in the same category i.e. farmers spending less than 50% of their time in the same categories of non farmers, this is grossly unfair to the 30% of farmers who will be forced to lease their land for up to 6 years.

This is an unfair disadvantage for part time famers. I note that 30% of farmers in Ireland have a job outside of farming in order to survive and these will be severely effected by this proposal.

I am asking the Minister to relook at this proposal in the budget in order to be fair to part time farmers and I am asking my colleagues to support my motion today.”


20.  Councillor June Murphy:
“That this Council supports The Carers Association call on the Minister for Social Protection to amend the Social Welfare Bill to make provision for the restoration of the Respite Care Grant.”

My opening of the Cork County Comhairle na nOg AGM, 6th November 2014


I was massively pleased to get the opportunity to deputise for the County Mayor at the opening of the Cork County Comhairle na nOg AGM in County Hall on the morning of the 6th November.  More than 80 young people from secondary schools all over County Cork attended.  Fantastic, aware young people and so well able to express themselves.  True ambassadors for the Ireland of the future.  I am hoping the County Council will do lots of work and consultation with the Comhairle during the next few years.

This is the speech with which I opened the AGM:


You are all hugely welcome to County Hall this morning.

I am truly honoured to have the role of officially opening the AGM of Cork’s Comhairle na nÓg.

The United Nations passed the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.  Ireland ratified the Convention in 1992.  Then in 2000, 8 years later, the government produced Ireland’s first National Children’s Strategy.  This was to guide Irish policy on children for the following 10 years.

One of the most important goals of this National Children’s Strategy was to listen more effectively to children.  One of the ways this was to be achieved was to set up formal structures for listening to children.

It was out of this goal that the 34 Comhairli around Ireland were set up in 2002.

The purpose of the Comhairli is to give young people an opportunity to take part in influencing local policy, planning, decision making and local services.  We, Cork County Council, want to be able to consult with you when we are developing policy and services that are relevant to young people.  Equally, the Comhairli allow young people the opportunity to identify and prioritise topics that are important to them.  And we, as Cork County Council, want you to be able to consult with us when you want to progress these topics.

Your monthly meetings are a wonderful opportunity to further discussion.  The Cork Comhairle is represented on the National Executive and this allows the young people of Cork to contribute directly to the development of national issues.

The Comhairle na nOg AGM is a once-a-year chance to get to grips with an important and topical issue of relevance to young people.  Young people understanding and advancing something really significant to young people.  What could be more constructive!

And the Showcase Event that the Comhairli organise through the National Executive once every two years is an occasion I for one am hoping to attend next time around.

So much has been and is being achieved through Comhairle na nOg.

The focus of the National Executive both this and next year will be the theme of Mental Health, especially focusing on the need for a national youth gathering for second level students with music and events.

In 2012 and 2013, they worked on identifying the best ways by which young people can influence governmental decision making.

In this past year, the Cork Comhairle has done wonderful work towards making public transport more affordable for young people.  To achieve this, you worked with key decision makers in the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and with local TDs to introduce a new public transport pricing mechanism.  This was such a practical and relevant improvement that will make life better for so many young people across County Cork.

Each year, the Comhairle’s AGM has a theme.  And this year the theme is the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  Why?  Well because this is 2014, the 25th anniversary of the treaty.  Do you know that this is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history?  193 countries have signed up to it.

The Convention has 41 articles and each one of those articles describes a separate right.  Rights such as a certain standard of living, food, water, clothes, shelter, education, the right to fulfil your potential, your right to no discrimination, protection from abuse, expressing your opinion, privacy and so many more.

By signing the treaty, each government takes the responsibility of making the rights of children as defined in the Convention a reality.

The Irish government has been working on this.  But there are aspects it still needs to work on.

And the best way to work on improving the rights of children is by talking with and listening to young people.

And that is where the Cork Comhairle na nOg comes in.

So best of luck to you all in your AGM as you discuss this and other topics.  And best of luck in this hugely important role.  Because in this, you are improving not just your own lives but the lives of countless numbers of children coming after you.