Chairperson of the Athlone Boundary Review Committee Jack Keyes has said that it could at least two or three months before his Committee are in a position to publish their findings.
The report was originally due to be published today but the volume of submissions – 27,949 in total, meant that the task of sorting through them in the allotted time frame was not feasible. Speaking to Shannonside FM’s MaryClaire Grealy on the “Lets Talk” earlier he would not offer an exact deadline for publishing the report, adding that the process would not be rushed as doing so would be a disservice to those who made submissions.
Asked whether the volume of submissions, the majority of which are in favour of retaining the current county boundary, would have an impact on the decision of the Committee he said that they would be one of the weighted elements used to compile the report. “There are a number of criteria on the website, which we have to use (in producing the report and we will be looking at how the submissions address those particular criteria”. He also said that other studies, which the committee are currently carrying out, on the implications of moving or not moving (the boundary) as well as financial and local government implications etc. would also be taken fully into account.
He also confirmed that the committee will meet both Roscommon County Council, Westmeath County Council and the Save Roscommon Committee in the next two to three weeks to discuss submissions. A meeting planned for last month had to be postponed due to illness.
In concluding he said that he regretted not publishing news of the change of deadline on the Athlone Boundary Review website and said that once the revised date had been confirmed the date would be published on www.athloneboundaryreview.ie.
Incidentally, the Drogheda Boundary Review, which Mr Keyes’ committee is also carrying out, has also been delayed for similar reasons.