Former Mayor of County Cork Alan Coleman has criticised the political tactics being employed by Minister Simon Coveney as manipulative.
Minister Coveney publicised his plans to impose a directly elected Lord Mayor in Mondays edition of the Evening Echo.
Coleman says that Coveney is ” using the titles of Mayors to distract from the debate about Cork City and County. Under Minister Coveney’s previous Fine Gael led Government a committee under the leadership of Alf Smiddy made recommendations – as that is what they were empowered to do. This recommendation to merge Cork city and county was ignored as the Government did not have the conviction to make the Correct decision. The decision made by Government was to sit on the fence. “
Coleman continues “There is now another committee in place with yet another budget and more money to spend to make another recommendation. What is Minister Coveney going to do if their findings don’t suit his agenda ? Possibly found another ( THIRD ) committee to make more recommendations .”
” What is most important in this debate is finding what is best for all of Cork be they urban areas or rural communities. The public need to be consulted and I suggest that town hall meetings be held throughout the city and county to hear what the people want”
“Maybe this is not what Simon Coveney or Michéal Martin want as neither want to go to isolated rural areas of the county to tell voters in these areas that they just want to create a big city while cutting rural communities adrift.”
” Michéal Martin had stated that he will not support a merger of city and county but will protect the City Council by allowing a land grab of areas of the county. The effect of this will see vital services in the county cut and possibly abolished”
” Now is the time to debate what is best for all our city and county. All elected representatives need to tell their voters their views. This is an enormous decision that will affect communities for generations and years to come.”
“Camouflaging the debate about merging Cork City and County Council with a debate about a Mayor is a distractive tactic. I would say to Minister Coveney and Michéal Martin who is a Government partner to Deal with the facts, reach out , meet the public at public organised , open roadshow meetings and let them have their say”
Finally Minister Coveney is quoted in the Evening Echo on the council merger ….” all these things I’ll be making a decision on by the middle of the year. “
Cllr Alan Coleman says he ” finds it very unprofessional of him that , as the Minister claims , it is just he is making the decision. Should Simon Coveney alone be deciding the future of Cork ?”