Local TD John Paul Phelan has launched a furious broadside against his party colleague Paudie Coffey, accusing him of trying to 'rob' a chunk of south Kilkenny.
Deputy Phelan has said that Minister of State Coffey, along with Minister for the Environment and Local Government Alan Kelly are banding together to commit 'daylight robbery'. The deadline for public submissions on the Waterford/Kilkenny boundary review is this Friday, after which the committee has just over two months to produce its report.
The public submissions will be made available online after the January 15 deadline has passed. Deputy Phelan recently appealed to everyone concerned to bury the plan in an 'avalanche' of paperwork.
The Fine Gael TD, who lives in a part of Kilkenny which could potentially become Waterford depending on the outcome of the review, has said it is high time for the whole plan to be scrapped.
“We’ve all heard of Crotty the Robber – the 18th Century highwayman who hid himself away in a cave in the foothills of the Comeragh Mountains. He was the leader of a gang of bloodthirsty highwaymen,” said Deputy Phelan.
“Now ‘Coffey the Robber’ is trying to do the very same. The people of Kilkenny, and not just those of South Kilkenny, need to stand firm, stand together and make heartfelt submissions now so that this extension is stopped once and for all.”
The33-year-old TD says that that the whole review process has been a costly, divisive exercise which has pitted Kilkenny and Waterford people against one another.
“I am appealing now to Minister Kelly and Deputy Coffey to abandon this plan before irreparable damage is done to relations between neighbours and friends in both counties,” he said.
“The opposition to this potential boundary change was very clear from the recent local radio debate.
“Neither Junior Minister Coffey nor Minister Kelly contributed in any manner. They have run for the hills, they have gone into hiding. The people of Kilkenny are ready to fight and we will oppose this plan to the bitter end.”
The deadline for public submissions is this Friday, January 15. Submissions can be made by post to: The Secretariat, Waterford Boundary Review, City Hall, Waterford, X91 PK15; The Secretariat, Waterford Boundary Review, c/o Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, R95 A39T; by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org; or online at www.waterfordboundaryreview.ie.