The proposal to amalgamate Mallow and Kanturk in the new Municipal District Council, a move which will see Doneraile, Castle-townroche, Shanballymore and Killavullen moved to the Fermoy electoral area, has been described as catastrophic and the worst possible boundary change that could be inflicted on Mallow. Sinn Féin councillor Willie O’Regan told the Mallow Star that it was bad enough that Mallow is to lose its council next June, but to add insult to injury it is to be joined with Kanturk, “which will see Mallow, Kanturk and Newmarket fighting for the same funding”.

Under the proposal the new Kanturk-Mallow electoral area will have just six seats, which means that the nine sitting councillors in Mallow and Kanturk will face a tough battle, and if you add the six members of Mallow Town Council plus new candidates, getting elected will be a very tall order indeed.

Mayor Noel O’Connor said the proposal was most disappointing, as the town council had proposed an electoral area with Mallow at its centre but instead the town is at the edge while Kanturk is in the centre. “We have been trying to promote Mallow as a hub town, and putting it in the corner of the map is most disappointing,” he said. “Castletownroche, Doneraile, Shanballymore and Charleville are now going into the Fermoy area while we are joined to Kanturk which has no commercial links with Mallow. I hope Mallow will be well represented on the new council. It would be great if we get three out of six, but there are many candidates.”

Cllr. Jerry Mullally said the proposal was disappointing as Mallow was always linked to the Fermoy side of the constituency. “I’m con-cerned for the future of funding for the town, after a lot of work being done by groups like Mallow Chamber, North Cork Enterprise, Avondhu Blackwater Partnership, Mallow Tidy Towns and others,” he said. “It’s possible Mallow could finish with no councillors, as our councillors are not known back in Kanturk and Newmarket.” He added that he was seriously considering seeking a nomination to represent the Labour Party in the election.

Cllr. Dan Joe Fitzgerald said the new boundary would leave Mallow stripped of representation. “The days of picking up the phone and addressing an issue person-to-person will be gone, and people will now have to travel for service. It’s very disap-pointing. It’s not a very thought-out plan.”

The nine councillors sitting on Cork County Council for the Mallow and Kanturk electoral areas are Dan Joe Fitzgerald, Noel O’Connor, Tom Sheahan, Ronan Sheehan, John Paul O’Shea, Gerard Murphy, Noel Buckley, Tim Collins and Bart Donegan.

The vote for the last mayor of Mallow will take place in the council chamber on Thursday 27th June. Under the agreement reached after the last election, independent councillor Johnny Bottles Griffin is next in line.