Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy says the move by his party to introduce the Local Government (Amendment) Bill in the Dáil recently has put pressure on Communications Minister Denis Naughten and Local Government Minister Simon Coveney to ensure that no county boundaries are changed without the approval of local communities.
“Following my Bill, Minister Naughten announced that the Department of Local Government is planning on examining the possibility of legally enshrining county boundaries by bringing forward legislation to set them on a statutory footing” Deputy Murphy said, adding that it’s clear that the Fianna Fáil Bill has applied pressure on Ministers Naughten and Coveney to find a solution to this contentious issue.
“Up until now, Minister Naughten has failed to adequately deal with the boundary issue, but it appears that the publication of our Bill has brought the concerns of people in Monksland and other areas, which could be in line for boundary changes, to the fore. However, the Minister doesn’t need to draft new legislation – he could simply vote in favour of our Bill.”
Deputy Murphy continued: “The Fianna Fáil Bill gives communities, such as Monksland, the final say in any proposals for a county boundary change that affects them by placing a requirement on the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to hold a plebiscite. Changes to the boundary can only be made when it is approved by the majority of people in the affected area.”