Waterford TD, Mary Butler has said that the attempts by Fine Gael representatives in Waterford to blame her for a decision taken by one of their own Ministers smacks of desperation.

“Over the past week, we have heard bleating accusations by Fine Gael Oireachtas members and members of the City and County Council that I had personally scuppered the boundary extension into South Kilkenny.

“While I would love to believe that I was as influential and powerful as Senator Coffey makes me out to me, I think he needs to look closer to home for a reason for the boundary review decision.

“The simple fact of this matter is that this proposal was started by Fine Gael, and it has been ended by Fine Gael.

“Minister Coveney has decided that the votes of Kilkenny FG members in his party’s leadership election are more valuable than Waterford votes.

“While who leads Fine Gael is not my business, Senator Coffey lashing out at me because he has been let down by his own side warrants me commenting on it.

“I have been clear and consistent on this matter. I don’t believe decisions such as this should be taken without the consent of the people involved, and a plebiscite would need to be offered to the people affected.

“We all want the best for our city and county, but Fine Gael seems to be of the belief that democracy is something to be feared.

“Why fear democracy; why fear consultation?” asked Butler.

“We now have a decision; we need to move on from it, work with colleagues in Kilkenny to deliver for the whole South East region, and not play one county off against another.

“The people of both counties want every community to prosper. It’s not a zero sum game, so it’s time for Fine Gael representatives in Waterford to focus on delivering, and not sniping,” concluded Butler.