A Green Party Councillor says he expects unaminous support from his colleagues on Waterford County Council for a motion to take over part of South Kilkenny.
Cllr Jody Power wants to resurrect a previous recommendation that the Waterford county boundary should be extended into Kilkenny
The plan was discarded by then-planning Minister Simon Coveney in 2017 after it was strongly opposed by locals on the Kilkenny side. (Read & hear some of our coverage of the opposition from then here)
Cllr Power says this is for the good of the whole South East region as well as Waterford city and it has to happen eventually telling KCLR “As far as I can see it’s unanimous in the council across all parties … people are going to be pushing this again and again and again, if it doesn’t happen now it’s going to happen very shortly soon after, it’s never going to stop, it’s still going to be an issue”.
He says this is not about stealing land from Kilkenny, noting “It’s not a landgrab, it’s not taking over, it’s just about administration, the parishes, the clubs, everything else can stay the same as far as I can see, it’s just that administrative area and if this wasn’t the correct thing to do Cork City wouldn’t have done it the last year and Limerick City wouldn’t have done it a couple of years ago so this is the best way, the optimum way to develop a region”.
And Cllr Power joked that he wasn’t trying to steal Kilkenny’s greatest resources saying “We don’t need any hurlers from Kilkenny”.
Meanwhile, the situation is being described as “quite bizarre” by one South Kilkenny councillor.
Fidelis Doherty says revisiting the boundary debate has been unexpected, given the cooperation between the local authorities of both counties telling KCLR “It’s quite bizarre that we have something like the boundary review being brought to our attention again, a waste of money, it cost €60,000 plus five years ago, an awful waste of time and energy and it’s all just maybe trying to prove a point and I don’t know what the point is, if there’s a good working relationship that’s all that needs to happen, we don’t go looking to take part of Waterford, we don’t go looking to do anything like that so we just have to stand firm, enough is enough”.
She adds that clarity is needed over Minister Simon Coveney’s previous rejection of the boundary extension, saying “Waterford City and County Council will discuss it and either it’s moved forward or it dies and that’s the end of it but it can’t be continuing to be raised every so often and even if it is quashed it can be brought again because I think there has to be clarified the legalities from what the situation is from the last time in 2015 or when it was decided under the Minister at the time, Minister Coveney, the recommendation wasn’t accepted and to leave things as they are”.