Kilkenny people - Minister for Rural Affairs Ann Phelan and John Paul Phelan TD are standing firm in response to a review on extending the Waterford Boundary into South Kilkenny.
The announcement was made in the context of plans to develop the North Quays and it is believed to be an effort by some to garner support ahead of the next general election.
“Previous attempts were made to grab land from Kilkenny in 1980, 1992 2002 and 2005. Now 10 years on, a fresh attempt is being made to gain control of the Port of Waterford and a large chunk of valuable land and a population which is very much Kilkenny,” Minister Phelan said.
“This is and always has been a highly emotive and contentious issue for the people of South Kilkenny and unfortunately, it is very apparent that it is an issue that is not fully understood by the powers that be; if it were; then this would not be even considered. To dismiss this issue as simply “just a review” is misguided in the extreme,” she said.
“Working with my colleague John Paul Phelan TD, we will be supporting the residents of South Kilkenny, standing by them, our local representatives, and our local authorities to ensure that things remain as they are. There is no legislative basis for this decision, and it does not form any commitment in the Fine Gael/Labour Programme for Government,” she pointed out.
“Kilkenny has a great working relationship with the Port of Waterford which is in County Kilkenny and part of Slieverue parish. The partnership approach between Kilkenny County Council and the Port, is a very important one and should be further capitalised on. Approximately €25 million has been invested in the Port by its customers in the last year alone,” Minister Phelan said.
Deputy John Paul Phelan was equally uncompromising in his comments in response to the announcement by junior minister for the environment who is from Co Waterford.
“The people of South Kilkenny stood firm in 1980 and in 1992. They expressed their disquiet in 2002 and 2005. 10 years on, the status quo remains.
“I, along with Minister Phelan will be standing shoulder to shoulder with my constituents and my neighbours in Ferrybank, Co Kilkenny, on this matter.
“For the region to benefit from the emerging prosperity it requires cohesive action by councillors and all elected reps. It does not require another costly report gathering dust.
“Kilkenny and Waterford Councils have official’s that have the skills necessary to develop a straight forward cohesive plan that will allow Waterford City and it’s hinterland map to prosper . Rather than writing a report on redrawing lines on map, Why not write a plan and implement it to transform the area,” Deputy Phelan asked.
“As somebody who lives in the area, I have a personal interest it and would like to see that the area develop more. As the local TD I would to be happy to help and make it work it would as the local TD I would be happy and make it work and would be useful if the minster sought the coalition and support/ and a strategy.
“The Ferrybank shopping centre would have built and operational prior to the to the down turn if there need been constant objections by neighbouring local Authorities. After years of attempts there was recently a meeting between the Piltown and Waterford City/ Tramore Councillors on issues of Co-operation. All six Kilkenny councillors showed up, only one Waterford councillor turned up. The substantive issue is where we step in. Do we move the boundary and if we do, what will happen in 10/15 years, what will happen? Will there be another boundary move?” outlined Deputy Phelan
“Recent substantial investment in this Waterford environs include this establishment of a new Council Office and Library for south Kilkenny in the Ferrybank Shopping Centre. Also the new sewage system and the treatment plant was an example of how a strong partnership approach and co-operation can work,” he said.
Deputy Phelan said that revious attempts were made to grab land from Kilkenny in 1980, 1992 2002 and 2005. Now 10 years on, a fresh attempt is being made to gain control of the Port of Waterford and a large chunk of valuable land and a population which is very much Kilkenny.