Cork new city boundary

Cork’s new city boundary will add 90,00 to population

The Workers’ Party have strongly criticised the Terms of Reference of the new electoral boundary committee for the expanded Cork City which proposes no increase in the number of elected councillors despite an almost doubling of the city’s population.

Workers’ Party councillor Ted Tynan said the population of Cork city would increase by some 90,000 but not one additional seat would be added to the City Council under the present proposals.  This would significantly dilute electoral representation on the council and make it much more difficult for smaller parties and independents to be elected.

Cllr. Tynan said: “Cork City Council currently has 31 elected members, but it should not be forgotten that at the time when Tomás MacCurtain and Terence McSwiney held the position of Lord Mayor in 1920, there were in fact no less than 56 councillors for a city of less than 90,000 inhabitants. While this may have been excessive, we have now gone in the opposite direction and our local government system is one of the weakest in Europe”.

Cllr. Tynan pointed out that Cork’s twin city of Rennes in Brittany has an almost identical population to the expanded Cork but has nearly twice as many councillors representing those citizens.

He said: “Local government has been under attack by successive governments over the last three decades but in particular the Fine Gael party has been keen to downgrade and sideline the role of elected local councillors, including the abolition of 79 town councils and the forced merger of city and county councils in Limerick and Waterford. This is no mere administrative revision but a fundamental dilution of democracy at local level”

Cllr. Tynan said that if the government was serious about its proposals in the Ireland 2040 plan to make Cork City and its hinterland a genuine counterbalance to the burgeoning growth of Dublin then it must not only ensure that it has adequate representation but must devolve greater power to local government and provide it with significantly increased funding for such a role.



Comparison – Number of City Councillors for cities of a similar size to that which Cork City will have after boundary change:

Rennes  215,000 – 61 councillors

Southampton 214,000 – 48 councillors

Rostock (Germany) 206,000 people – 53 councillors

(Cork (proposed) 210,000 – 31 councillors)