Fianna Fáil’s Cork show houses

Cash-strapped Cork City Council drafted in 20 cleaning staff to remove hoardings from derelict buildings in the Knocknaheeny area in preparation for the visit of a Fianna Fáil politician.
During the ‘clean-up’ for the October 11 official opening of a new community centre in the area by Junior Minister for Housing Michael Finneran, shuttering on boarded up houses was taken down, panes of glass were
put in windows, and curtains were tacked up behind them.
The cosmetic clean-up to impress a Fianna Fáil politician contrasts with the Council’s usual approach of having only two cleaning department staff employed to maintain an area of 4,500 people.
Knocknaheeny has dozens of houses boarded up and their gardens are left as dumping grounds at a time when dozens of local families are on the housing waiting list, officially homeless.
Local Workers’ Party representative Mick Crowley said: “Instead of this sham to impress a minister who will probably never be seen in Knocknaheeny again, what is needed is a real commitment from both government
and the city council to help the people in this area who are trying hard to keep their area clean but whose best efforts are being undermined by official neglect.”
Both Crowley and his colleague, City Councilor Ted Tynan, have confronted the City Council over its costly attempt to impress a minister but long-term failure of the people of Knocknaheeny.
This article appeared in printed edition of the the Nov/Dec 2010 LookLeft magazine