Cork city services risk being overwhelmed by rapid population growth

Cork County Council is seeking the support of a number of government departments and state agencies to ensure that adequate services are provided in a city where rapid population growth is putting “incredible pressure” on the voluntary sector .

In 2002, Carrigtwohill’s population was only 1,411, but it is expected to reach nearly 10,000 by 2028, by the end of the county’s latest development plan, and around 12,000 in 2031.

Carrigtwohill was a predominantly agricultural and monocultural community, but today it has grown into a multicultural community of 6,000 people in part of the Cork suburbs. It already has more than 50 different nationalities among its inhabitants.

“Population projections for 2031 may not be met, but anything that comes close to it will put incredible pressure on the local community’s voluntary sector,” said Anthony Barry, Carrigtwohill-based Fine Gael city councilor. .

The challenge of absorbing this growth cannot be overstated and the pursuit of environmental sustainability must not compromise the sustainability of the community and society.

Mr Barry told his colleagues and council officials that it was ‘utterly ridiculous’ the level of high density development planned for Carrigtwohill, as there is nothing like it outside of metropolitan Dublin.

“Even in the midst of this housing crisis, a building has remained unfinished for 12 years and is only being completed now,” said Barry.

“The demand and cost of delivering this type of development is definitely questionable in Carrigtwohill, as the Irish have a serious problem with apartment living outside of the big cities. “

Infrastructures “under extreme pressure”

The advisor noted that the existing amenity infrastructure is much the same as it was 20 years ago and is now under extreme pressure to provide an acceptable level of service to the growing community.

“This level of rapid population growth will put tremendous pressure on the community spirit that Carrigtwohill is famous for and helped Carrigtwohill win the Pride of Place competition in 2017,” he said:

Community volunteers are the lifeblood of a community and Carrigtwohill is very fortunate in this regard. However, without serious support for these wonderful people, it will result in burnout.

“Without their support and involvement, community life would inevitably collapse. ”

Mr Barry said delivering basic and essential community infrastructure alongside population growth is key to ensuring the sustainability of Carrigtwohill going forward.

“However, past experiences, especially with the Ministry of Education, do not give confidence that this support will be available as Carrigtwohill is still awaiting delivery of a school campus which was promised several years ago,” a- he declared. “Health services will also be vitally important, as even the simple process of accessing GP care for new residents is proving to be quite problematic.”

“No plan” for basic services

Mr Barry pointed out that there were no specific plans for a library, arts center, increased numbers of guards and a youth cafe with full-time staff, which are just a few of the most basic services that should be available in a city of its size.

“Add to that the fact that sports organizations are at full capacity and will need additional playing space to cope with the increased number of people on the track in the immediate future,” said Barry.
“It is to the credit of Cork County Council for their contribution in recent times, but there is still much to be done from the other statutory bodies of the state to make this social experiment a success.

His colleagues on the board agreed that more needed to be done and should therefore contact state ministries and agencies.