Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow – Kilkenny Bobby Aylward says he is staunchly opposed to any proposal to realign the county borders between South Kilkenny and Waterford.

Minister for Environment and Local Government Alan Kelly TD established the Kilkenny – Waterford Boundary Commission last June. It is currently examining proposals to move parts of South Kilkenny, including Ferrybank and Slieverue, into the administrative boundary of County Waterford.

Deputy Aylward commented, “I am staunchly opposed to moving parts of South Kilkenny into the administrative boundary of Waterford City and County Council. Local people in Ferrybank and Slieverue have made it clear to me that they want to remain part of County Kilkenny. These people feel that their identity is under threat and see no merit in being forced to identify with County Waterford.

“I recently raised this matter at a meeting of the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party and received support from my colleagues for maintaining the current administrative boundaries between County Kilkenny and County Waterford. The county administrative boundaries are sacrosanct and should not be altered. Fianna Fáil will be fighting to retain the current borders between Kilkenny and Waterford.

“Minister Alan Kelly has made it perfectly clear that he would like to see the change taking place, despite the serious concerns that the people in South Kilkenny have regarding the proposal.

“It has been argued that this boundary change needs to take place to further the development of Waterford. However I dispute this as there is already a high degree of co-operation between the local authorities in Waterford and Kilkenny when it comes to planning and development in the city. This co-operation can be built upon instead of railroading through a boundary change proposal which will only alienate people in areas such as Ferrybank and Slieverue.

“I have remained staunchly opposed to this proposal since it was first floated back in 1999. I fought tooth and nail against the proposal over ten years ago as a Councillor and I will continue to fight this absurd idea in the years ahead,” concluded Deputy Aylward.