Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow - Kilkenny Bobby Aylward says the near 10 month delay in the publication of the result of the boundary review is an outrage.
Deputy Aylward made the comments upon receipt of a Dáil Question response from Minister Simon Coveney which confirmed that the process is expected to limp on into the New Year and 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 and one former Waterford T.D in particular in a very disingenuous attempt to feather his own nest ahead of the last General Election. As a result of this action and the exorbitant delays which saw the boundary commission's utter failure to meet the March deadline, people in south Kilkenny have been forced to suffer under a cloud of uncertainty for over a year as they nervously wait on the Boundary Commission to publish their recommendation,” said Deputy Aylward.
“Minister Coveney confirmed the Government's current position to my office this week stating that he will be considering all the reports carefully and intends to address them as part of the overall report on local government matters which he will then submit to Government and the Oireachtas in 2017 under the Programme for a Partnership Government. I fully expect Fianna Fáil to be unequivocal in our objection to the alteration of any county boundary in Dáil Éireann as I previously sought and received support at Parliamentary Party meetings that the current county boundaries are sacrosanct and the Party will support no such proposal."
“Kilkenny County Council previously estimated that it could suffer a potential loss of income of €110 million if the absurd proposal goes ahead, the estimated cost of the process itself is €87,500 and all the while it is the people living near the Kilkenny/Waterford boundary that are left worrying and wondering what the future holds for them. It is completely unfair on the people of these communities who have been forced to endure this nonsense for almost 19 months, when you consider that the previous Fine Gael/Labour Government commenced this process on the 19th of June 2015. The situation is utterly scandalous," stated Deputy Aylward.
“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 was fighting 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.