New group aims to stop ‘land-grab of south Roscommon’

A new group, called ‘Save Roscommon’, has been formed to strongly oppose what it believes is the Government’s plan to “annex a large part of south Roscommon and hand it over to Westmeath.”

  In June, Environment Minister Alan Kelly established a boundary commission to review the local government boundary in Athlone, with a view to it being governed solely by Roscommon or Westmeath county council.

  A three-man committee are considering the proposal and are due to have completed their report by March of next year.

  However, Save Roscommon said that they were convinced the report would demonstrate why Monksland, Bealnamullia and the Hodson Bay region should be under the control of Westmeath’s local authority.

  They said that this would see the Roscommon border moved and Monksland, the second largest region in the county, taken away from it.

  Save Roscommon added that the population of south Roscommon would be “slashed by half, with some 7,000 people suddenly finding themselves in Co. Westmeath”.

  The spokesperson for the community group, Ger Aherne, said: “This area, cherry-picked by Government to hand over to Westmeath, includes Roscommon’s fastest growing town and industrial heartland.

  “Monksland and the surrounding area has been created and nurtured by tax-payers of Co. Roscommon for years and, now that benefits are being reaped, the Government wants to steal the fruits of our labour and starve the county and our children of future growth.

  “We do not want to see Monksland, Bealnamullia, parts of Kiltoom or anywhere else in the vicinity annexed by the Irish Government.

  “We want no partition in our county.”