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Allocation For South Cork Coast Simply Not Enough

Writes Leo McMahon

Just over €21,000 in 2020 for coastal protection and the upkeep of piers and harbours on the western side of Cork Harbour and beach resorts along the coast of South Cork was totally insufficient, declared Cllr Aidan Lombard (FG) at the monthly meeting of the county council’s Carrigaline Municipal District (MD).

In October, members of Carrigaline MD unanimously rejected its 2020 draft budget and specifically asked that the chief executive officer and head of finance in County Hall be informed that €4,970 for coastal protection and €16,135 for piers and harbours was totally insufficient alongside that provided for burial grounds, street cleaning and discretionary spending.

Cllr Lombard pointed out that the figure allocated under the former Ballincollig-Carrigaline MD was around the same but the new look Carrigaline MD now included seaside resorts such as Crosshaven, Myrtleville, Crosshaven, Roberts Cove and Rocky Bay, which amounted to a massive increase of responsibility.

When he raised this point at the MD budget meeting, it was suggested he bring it up at the county budget meeting, which he did, only to be told it was an issue for the MD so it wasn’t discussed.

The budget for the full council on this, said Cllr Lombard, was €1.8million and for Carrigaline MD to be expected to maintain part of Cork Harbour, Carrigaline estuary, another near Minane Bridge with a 100 years old dam plus several beaches used by people from the city as well as from all over South Cork with only just over €20,000 wasn’t fair.

Cllr Marcia D’Alton (Ind) in support, recalled a total of €16,000 when it was Ballincollig-Carrigaline MD which wasn’t enough, then but now there was much more functional and recreational coastal infrastructure to look after in Carrigaline MD which had lost only a small amount of coastline from Passage West to Rochestown but gained a great deal more.

‘It’s just not financially possible to do what we will have to do with the budget we’ve been given,’ she added.

Senior executive officer Nicola Radley confirmed that the views of Carrigaline MD in rejecting its budget were conveyed to management. The full council had since adopted its budget, which was the reserved function of elected members, so the €1.8m was in place. The MD, however had powers to redistribute monies within the codes.

Cllr Lombard said he had no issue with the county total but he did with its distribution and got no opportunity to speak about this at the full council budget meeting.

He said he didn’t expect a big pot of gold to come the way of Carrigaline MD but if nothing else, it highlighted the area was seriously under-funded and it was important to state this, ahead of future MD budgets.

His call for the chief executive officer and head of finance and director for MDs to again be made aware of this was fully supported by fellow members and it was agreed to do this.

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