NO 30,000 times over!

Up to 30,000 submissions lodged – and it may be more

Up to 30,000 submissions – equivalent to almost half of Co. Roscommon’s population – have been lodged against the Athlone boundary review, as part of a phenomenal effort to prevent the county boundary from being cut.

  Westmeath County Council said on Wednesday afternoon that, still several hours before the submission deadline (5 pm), over 18,000 had been received. Thousands more were still set to be processed.

  Cllr. Tony Ward, the chairman of Save Roscommon, said: “I estimate that between 25,000 and 30,000 have been submitted.”

  It’s a sign of the relentless tide of support that has gathered behind the Save Roscommon campaign over the past number of weeks.

  The Roscommon People travelled to Westmeath County Council’s offices in Mullingar on Wednesday morning to lodge around 1,000 submissions that the newspaper had gathered through its campaign. (Our thanks to Casey’s Centra/Topaz, Roscommon for their co-operation).

  Several councillors and other groups, such as Roscommon Chamber of Commerce, said that they each lodged a similar number. On Wednesday, Councillor Kathleen Shanagher lodged a further 2,000 that she accrued through a Save Roscommon shop she ran in Roscommon town.

  A council official said that, on Tuesday alone, 10,000 were received.

  Ger Aherne, the spokesperson of Save Roscommon, said that he was “astounded” by the level of support the campaign had received.

  “It has been absolutely phenomenal and an incredible example of people power,” he said. “We have really caught on to something here. In living memory, there has been, no issue, political or non-political, that has harnessed people’s anger and enthusiasm (to such a degree) simultaneously for something.”

  The boundary review, commissioned by Environment Minister Alan Kelly, could see around 30 square kilometres of south Roscommon, including the prized Monksland area, moved into Co. Westmeath.