It was an action packed day for the Save Roscommon Campaign with activity on both sides of the border.
The day began with confirmation that (as expected) Westmeath County Council would be making a submission to the Athlone Boundary Review Committee. Among the points made in their proposal is a claim by CEO, Pat Gallagher, that Westmeath needed to absorb Monksland and some surrounding areas in order to see Athlone flourish economically.
Early this evening the Save Roscommon Campaign released a statement rubbishing Mr. Gallagher’s comments and suggested a number of alternatives. Spokesperson for the campaign, Ger Aherne, said that “given Westmeath’s track record with Athlone, perhaps a better plan would be to re-incorporate the west of Athlone, which today has more than 40 vacant business premises, back into County Roscommon”.
Mr. Aherne went on to say that “Partnership, not invasion, is the way to achieve greater financial success” for the region. He also reminded the authorities that the Minister Kelly’s proposal to move the boundary were against Department, Government and European policy.
There was an interesting revelation at today’s meeting of Roscommon County Council. It was revealed that Labour Senator John Kelly Labour had written to his party colleague Minister Alan Kelly and threatened to withdraw from the upcoming General Election if the boundary review process wasn’t “taken off the table”.
The contents of the message were read out by Chairperson of the Save Roscommon Committee, and Local Councillor, Tony Ward.
After concluding Councillor Ward, and a number of other Councillors, asked Fine Gael Councillor Maura Hopkins to give the same assurance as the Senator. She re-iterated that if elected as a TD she would vote against the Government on any proposed boundary change and also said that she is currently in talks on the issue at the highest levels.
Readers are reminded that the deadline for submissions to the Athlone Boundary Review Committee is this Wednesday at 5pm. Submissions can be made via email to [email protected] or via an on-line form which can be accessed by clicking here