Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform, John Paul Phelan to place an immediate moratorium on the recommendations of the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee. Deputy McGrath was speaking as frustration and anger continues to mount among local representatives within the county following the decision to significantly alter the current Municipal District and electoral area framework:
“The decision that has been made to fundamentally redraw the local electoral area in Tipperary, particularly with respect to Clonmel and Cahir is nothing short of bizarre and must be revisited.
Indeed the perception is already growing that the real motivation around these changes is to maximise the electoral opportunities for Fianna Fail and Fine Gael and to hell with the damage it does to local democracy.
Under both this and the previous government we have witnessed an unprecedented attack on the capacity of people to engage with local democratic structures. This has to stop.
I directly challenged both Minister of State Phelan and the Minister Eoghan Murphy on this matter yesterday and I put it to them that the Boundary Committee has over-steeped its authority; I did not get much in the way of disagreement.
In light of that we need to slow down and rethink the long term damage that moves like these will bring about to local democracy,” concluded Deputy McGrath.