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Cork merger plan faces legal challenge

Words: Roger Milne

Proposals to create a ‘super council’ by merging Cork City Council with its neighbouring county council could face a legal challenge.

Cork City Council is set to make history by becoming the first authority to fight both the government and the Department of the Environment in the High Court for its continued existence.

The city council is due to hold a special meeting on Monday (21 September) when it will outline a judicial review challenge to proposals to merge the historic authority with Cork County Council.

Leading Cork developers, including Owen O’Callaghan, have warned that the merger could drive valuable investment out of the city and county.

The first opinion poll on the proposed boundary review has found an overwhelming majority in favour of a straightforward extension of the city council's area.

Meanwhile, business consultant Alf Smiddy, who chaired the Local Government Review committee that recommended the merger of both councils, is seeking individual briefings with political and business leaders in Cork to explain the report and its proposals. He stressed that it was vital to dispel “misinformed” claims about the study.