On Monday 22nd January 2024, Cork County Council will vote on a motion to support the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, by declaring itself an Apartheid-Free Zone.

I would urge every person in West Cork to support this motion, by emailing the sitting councillors in your area, urging them to vote in favour of the motion.

You can email your councillors via the petition at Change.org:
or by using the list of contacts at the end of this page.

Here is the content of my own email:

For decades, the people of Palestine have been suffering at the hands of a genocidal regime. We have seen the Israeli government, and their armed forces, support and maintain illegal settlements on Palestinian land (a fact recognised by the United Nations), while frequently restricting or cutting off access to vital services and supplies, such as electricity, water, building materials and medical supplies.

The violence and destruction wrought upon the people of Gaza in the last few months is nothing new, but the intensity and callousness of these actions, coupled with the Israeli government’s blatant disregard for international opinion has pushed thousands of people across County Cork to pay attention to these most recent assaults.

In 2018, Cork County Council had the opportunity to pass a motion condemning Israel’s actions in Palestine, but, to its shame, failed to do so. One of the arguments against doing so, offered by members in the chamber, included the motion being “one-sided”. This excuse is still raised today by apologists for the Israeli regime, claiming that the public outcry at Israeli bombing campaigns is not matched by similar outcry against Hamas rocket attacks. This excuse does not stand up to scrutiny; Hamas is recognised in Ireland, throughout the EU, and in a number of other countries, as a terrorist organisation. If the Government of Israel wishes to be held to the same standard as Hamas, then this is the standard it should be held to.

Following a disgusting terrorist attack by Hamas, tens of thousands of innocent civilians in Gaza have suffered vicious reprisals by the Israeli armed forces. Cork County Council should, in its actions, remember the history of our own country, when British forces massacred innocent, unarmed people in Croke Park, and burned large parts of our own Cork City to the ground in 1920. These outrages still live large in Irish memory, and are rightly condemned by all aware of such history, but the come nowhere near the scale or intensity of the reprisals take against the people of Gaza. What we are seeing today in Palestine is an attempt at genocide.

The members of Cork County Council must be able to see the injustice that the Palestinian people are suffering. Equally, they must be able to see that there will be no change in Israeli state policy without a change in government. The Israeli people are deeply divided on this issue as it stands; the international community can, through economic means, give Israelis that object to the terrorist acts of their government, a stronger platform to campaign against Mr Netanyahu and his coalition.

Cork County Council should follow the lead of Dublin City Council and many others around the world, and support the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, and cease all economic and diplomatic engagement with the current Israeli administration. Until there is peace in Palestine, please take the morally correct action, and declare Cork County and Apartheid Free Zone.

Council Contacts:

West Cork

Cllr. Joe Carroll
Fianna Fáil

Cllr. Karen Coakley

Cllr. Danny Collins

Cllr. Caroline Cronin
Fine Gael

Cllr. Paul Hayes

Cllr. Christopher Heinhold
Social Democrats

Cllr. Declan Hurley

Cllr. Deirdre Kelly
Fianna Fáil

Cllr. Patrick Gerard Murphy
Fianna Fáil


Cllr. Alan Coleman

Cllr. Gillian Coughlan
Fianna Fáil

Cllr. Kevin Murphy
Fine Gael

Cllr. Sean O’Donovan
Fianna Fáil

Cllr. Marie O’Sullivan
Fine Gael

Cllr. John O’Sullivan
Fine Gael