Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow – Kilkenny Bobby Aylward has welcomed confirmation from Minister Simon Coveney that the Government will not be proceeding with the recommendation to extend Waterford County into Kilkenny.
Deputy Aylward said, “I am delighted for the people of south Kilkenny, in particular those who would have been directly affected by a boundary extension, that this matter has been put to bed. I met Minister Coveney in a personal capacity in recent weeks regarding this matter. I came away from that conversation feeling very positive that there would be no change to the existing boundary and I commend the Minister for honouring his commitment.
“The boundary review was a very controversial issue with many people in Kilkenny concerned that they may be forced into County Waterford. From a personal point of view, I was deeply unhappy that the people of South Kilkenny were forced to live under a cloud of uncertainty for nearly two years, as the issue first raised its head in mid-2015 and prompted much angst in our communities as it rumbled on.
“With such a contentious issue now behind us, I am hopeful that public representatives on both sides of the boundary can now renew our focus on working together to ensure that both counties prosper and thrive through collaboration and cooperation.
“We have unlimited potential for growth on both sides of the boundary and we need to tap into that through cohesive work at local government level. The people of Kilkenny and Waterford can benefit greatly from additional jobs in the tourism and retail sectors in particular. Minister Coveney’s commitment to ensure that new management solutions are in place to facilitate the cohesive expansion of Waterford City will hopefully help boost employment in communities on both sides of the boundary.
“This issue crops up every ten years or so and it is very unfair on the people living in the affected communities who become worried that they could be effectively forced out of their own county. No one should have to live with that uncertainty about their future and I hope we don’t see any similar proposals in the future. We can make a positive difference for people by working together, not by changing our county borders”, concluded Deputy Aylward.