Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow – Kilkenny Bobby Aylward says the near 10 month delay in the publication of the result of the Kilkenny Waterford Boundary Review is an outrage.
Deputy Aylward made the comments after receiving a Dáil response from Minister Simon Coveney which confirmed that the process is expected to limp on into the New Year. This comes amid rumours that 20,000 acres and about 7,500 people in the south of the county could be about to become part of the Déise.
“This scandalous process was commenced by the previous Fine Gael / Labour Government with many people suspecting that it was an attempt to influence the last General Election. People in South Kilkenny have been forced to suffer under a cloud of uncertainty ever since this bizarre review was announced. The failure to meet the March deadline has only made matters worse,” said Deputy Aylward.
“Minister Coveney confirmed the Governments current position to my office earlier this week. He stated that he will be considering all reports carefully and intends to address them as part of the overall report on local Government issues. It is anticipated that the matter will be dealt with by the Oireachtas in 2017. We are unequivocal in our objection to the alteration of the county boundary.
“Kilkenny County Council previously estimated that it could suffer a potential loss of income of €110 million if the absurd proposal gets the go ahead. The estimated cost of the process itself is €87,500 and all the while it is the people living near the border that are left worrying and wondering what the future holds for them. It is completely unfair that people have been left to deal with this nonsense for almost 19 months with no end in sight. The situation is utterly scandalous.
“This issue crops up every 10 years or so and from what I am hearing on the ground, people on both sides of the boundary are sick and tired of it. Fianna Fáil fought the issue in my father’s time, my brother Liam Aylward’s time and I personally fought the issue previously as a member of Kilkenny County Council. The sentiment expressed in the past resonates strongly with the people today. They do not want to see this proposal implemented,” concluded Deputy Aylward.