‘Cut Grass Yourself’ – Council Tells East Cork Residents

By Seamus Whelehan

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Residents have been told to cut their own grass, as Council officials let common areas across East Cork grow wild.
Locals in parts of the district, including Killeagh and Ballinacurra, have been told they need to take matters into their own hands, as overstretched Council crews concentrate their limited budget on the Borough’s tourist hotspots.
The ultimatum comes as Cllrs told the June Sitting of the East Cork Municipality that tall grass is becoming a health and safety issue in many estates that would normally be cut by council outdoor staff.
The Cllrs argued that long grass could stop children playing, affect house prices, and make the area look neglected.
The Council owned, Ma Na Greine in Killeagh, is among a number of developments across the Borough where grass has grown out of control.
Sinn Féin Cllr Danielle Twomey, who raised the issue locally, had requested that the Council rotate the areas for grass cutting and not neglect other areas.
She said “the Council could undertake to hire a contractor to maintain the Council green areas within the Council owned estates, as is did in other Municipal Districts”
Independent Cllr Noel Collins, who backed Cllr Twomey, said “all estates in Ballinacurra village are in urgent need of grass cutting. They are growing wild.”
Both Independent Cllr Mary Linehan Foley and Fine Gael Cllr Michael Hegarty said “the grass in Ma Na Greine, Killeagh is gone so high that it has gone beyond using a mower. It’s more like hay or silage.”
The Killeagh estate was built by Cork County Council, with the last serviced site recently sold by the Local Authority.
Senior Engineer Cork Roads, David Clarke, said “the vast majority of housing estates do it for themselves when it comes to soft landscaping and maintenance.”
The Senior Engineer, in regard to Ma Na Greine, said “Cork County Council’s Housing Directorate, who developed the site, need to arrange for the cutting of grass until such time as the estate is handed over to the residents.”
County’s Senior Executive Officer, Sean O’Callaghan rejected the Cllrs call to commence cutting stating the residents should maintain their own area.
Annually the East Cork Municipality receive a budget of €1.3 million for outdoor maintenance across the Borough.
Mr O’Callaghan said the Council prioritise where that money is spent, based on where the funding is most required.
He said if residents need assistance they could apply for an amenity grant to help in the purchase of equipment.
“The budget and resources only stretch so far. We concentrate on grass cutting in our main tourist towns and the high standard that was put in place by the former Town councils” commented Mr O’Callaghan.

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