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2019 Elections: Michael Corcoran – Fianna Fáil

Writes Ciaran Dineen

A relatively late arrival to the election table this May is Passage West’s Michael Corcoran. Michael will be running as a Fianna Fáil candidate for the Carrigaline LEA, as he was added to the ticket just over six weeks out from election day.

Originally from Kilkenny, Michael moved to Passage 27 years ago and resides there to this day, alongside his wife Margaret, a teacher in Carrigaline Community School for over 30 years. They have four children, all of whom have now flown the family nest. For nearly 40 years Michael served in An Garda Síochana and only retired six months ago from the force.

For the vast majority of his service, the Fianna Fáil candidate was based in Anglesea Street in Cork City and he also has a diploma in Health and Safety from University College Cork, which he received in 2004-2005. An integrated member of the community, Michael also acts as a driver for the local ‘Meals on Wheels’ scheme.

Journey to Politics:

From a party political perspective, Michael never really had any particular interest. However, he does have a lot of experience from a Union standpoint, representing Gardaí in his own area for the Garda Representative Association. The decision to run for a position on the Association was a personal decision taken in response to his own feelings that ordinary Gardaí on the street were being treated unfairly. He sought to improve the conditions that his colleagues faced on a daily basis, such as shift work and their working environment.

Michael first took up a role which looked after his own district and then his division, before going for a national position which saw him represent all Cork City Garda members, as the Central Executive Committee Member for Cork City. His association with Fianna Fáil stems from a close relationship that Michael has with the McGrath family, whom he has known for years. Now he stands alongside Cllr Seámus McGrath on the ballot paper this May.

On Crime and Garda Resources:

The issue of crime and a lack of police presence in the Carrigaline, Crosshaven and Passage West area has become very topical in recent months following a series of incidents. As a member of An Garda Síochána, Michael was unable to have frank and in-depth conversations about the problems that the force would have encountered resource-wise, but now that he’s retired he has been able to shed light on recent events.

“What we have in Carrigaline at the moment in terms of Garda numbers is the absolute bare minimum for any town”, Michael tells The Carrigdhoun. “What you have to remember also is that members of the force can get sick, they can get pregnant. Then what do you do? If there’s only one garda walking the street they couldn’t arrest somebody, because if that person puts up a resistance you’re in trouble. You can’t even put that person in the car unless there’s two officers because for safety and protection reasons there has to be two. If you have two in the patrol car you have no one in the station.”

Although it appeared that Carrigaline would receive extra Gardaí following a joint-policing meeting recently, Michael believes that in reality this will do little to improve the situation. “For me, getting 22 extra Gardaí into the Cork City division and then setting them up into this new pilot scheme is a mismanagement of resources. Crosshaven needs its own Gardaí as well, as does Passage West and Monkstown, neither have an adequate police presence. You’re talking about one Garda per 2,500 in terms of population, when the national average is about 570.”

If elected to the County Council in May’s elections, Michael believes that he would be a valuable addition, particularly on issues such as this. “I believe I can have an influence. I still have contacts within An Garda Siochána and I have experience because of my role as a representative in the GRA.”

On The Environment, Transport and the Harbour Area:

While his knowledge of the police force is evident, Mr Corcoran is quick to point out that he is not a ‘one-trick pony’. He is a strong advocate for creating a sustainable environment and is a big supporter of local activist group, CHASE, and is against the incinerator proposal. Coinciding with his views on having a clean environment, Michael would like to see an improvement in public transport and offer incentives for people to leave their cars at home.

“I think that a reliable and fast form of public transport would appeal to a lot of people who can then leave their cars at home. However, it needs to offer incentives like price and efficiency, but it would be great if we could have fewer cars on the road”, Michael tells The Carrigdhoun.

Living in Passage, Michael knows more than most how beautiful the harbour area is. He would like to see the amenity captialised on more and used to full effect. “We have a harbour here that is second to none on this island and we should be looking after it. We should be using its tourist potential for our own benefit and for the benefit of the environment as well. We do need to develop it and the position of Passage is ideal for development but it’s being held back by the dockyards, which is an eyesore. It’s really important that we use what we have and that is certainly something that I would be pointing out if I was to be elected.”

In the lead up to the campaign Michael hopes to be as accessible as possible. He is also very open to attending meetings with constituents if elected and will update residents with newsletters.

Phone: 086-8152470, Email: michaelgcorcoran58@gmail.com, Twitter: @mgcorcoran58

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