Cllr. Ken O’ Flynn has called on the Chief Executive of Cork City Council and the other stakeholders to put an immediate contingency plan in place in the event that the Cork Events Centre does not go ahead.
“It is clear to the dogs in the street that this project is now in serious trouble and as with any key project that has the potential to deliver so much for so many, you put a contingency plan in place in case it doesn’t happen. However, as I now understand it there is no contingency plan whatsoever for Cork and the future of events for this region if the current plan does not go ahead. I want the CEO of Cork City Council Ann Doherty to immediately reassess the situation on the basis of the current plan not being delivered and the following questions answered, What is her plan for an alternative to this site? What is her timescale on getting another Cork Events Centre in place? Has she assessed the availability and viability of a site in Cork Docklands for an events centre?”
Cllr. O’ Flynn continued:
“Having spoken to some of the key stakeholders in this project in recent days, it is clear now that their belief in the project being delivered has faded and they are looking for leadership on where we go from here. It is now approaching four years since the ill fated sod turning ceremony took place with so much fanfare and all the talks about progress by various dates by Tánaiste Simon Coveney have all passed without progress. If Simon was a CEO of a company delivering a project like this then I suspect that he would be looking for a new job in the Far East or somewhere at this stage.
“I am also hearing credible stories of two other events centres currently at serious stages of discussion in two other Munster counties and these are not conditional on any government funding or management companies like Live Nation being involved and their budgets are a fraction of what we are looking at spending, and I have always said that the costs involved in this project were ridiculous.
“The price of progress for our city will be too high a price to pay if we do not have a contingency plan in place and I am also calling on Cork Chamber and Cork Business Association and all other business groups in Cork to get their heads out of the sand and force city management to get an immediate contingency plan in place for an events centre in Cork. The future of Cork City so depends on an events centre of some sort happening and I would encourage all traders to stand up and be counted and voice your opinions again on this issue. Just because your rates may not be up to date is no reason to fear speaking out and anyone that suggests to our traders that they should ‘keep quite’ for fear of annoying Cork City Council is no friend of our city or our traders.”