Limerick City Boundary Extension

Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby CologneMike » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:56 pm


The recommendation of a reduced, limited extension into County Clare’s jurisdiction is strategically a very poor one for the city. Plans have been made for a Northern Relief Road that would eventually link up Coonagh, Caherdavin, Moyross, Meelick, Ardnacrusha, Parteen, Corbally, Westbury and University of Limerick. The funding for the first phase (Coonagh-Knocklisheen) has been agreed.

One does not need much fantasy to realise that this Northern Relief Road will open up large land banks for development which lies within a 2.5 to 5 kilometre belt from the city centre. Unfortunately the city will not be able to plan its natural growth there as those planners responsible for it will sit in Ennis. This could come back to haunt us yet in 30-40 years time. :(


The image above shows the area in the application from October 2004 for a boundary extension.


The dark area highlighted in the image above denotes the jurisdiction of county Clare and shows its proximity to the city centre.

Below the recommended Limerick City area as proposed by Denis Brosnan’s Committee.

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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby zulutango » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:44 am

Dan Sullivan wrote:I got that impression too, fact is that a lot of the language in the reports mirrors what we were trying to drive at in our submission.

I'm not sure if you were at the launch of the report, Dan? Denis Brosnan said one thing which was very telling. He said if it was up to him, as opposed to the five-member committee, he would have gone for a wider regional authority. It's something that wasn't picked up by any of the media, as far as I have seen so far. He said that Ireland is moving that way and it's only a matter of time.

I chatted with him briefly afterwards and he re-iterated that point about Shannon Airport and the Port being part of the one region and should be effectively governed by one authority.
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby CologneMike » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:04 am

Protest over Limerick border extension plan (RTE)

Up to 1,000 people took part in a march in Co Clare this evening in a protest against a proposed boundary extension of Limerick City into Clare.

A Government appointed Limerick Local Government Committee Report has recommended that parts of south east Clare with a population of three thousand people would be incorporated into a newly expanded Limerick City.

But those taking part in today's protest said that if the proposal to extend the boundary is implemented it would have a negative impact on their culture and other aspects of their identity.

Organiser of the protest Jim Gully said that while locals would accept a single authority to govern the region they would not accept a boundary extension.


Hmmm . . . . . then I would be curious to inquire why they chose the Shannon banks housing estate to live there in the first place?

As I doubt if it was purely just to satisfy their culture and other aspects of their identity.

I’d imagine it was more for pragmatic reasons like raising a family with close proximity to the city centre (2.5 Km).

Shannon Banks housing estate has enjoyed since it was built in the late 1960’s the same city services (schools, buses, hospitals, employment opportunities etc. etc.) as any other urban part of the city.

Fact, McInerney would never have built a housing estate there if the city did not exist.

I would agree with Jim Gully that a single authority to govern the region would a better solution.

I personally don’t want a Limerick County boundary extension into County Clare.

Instead, we need to focus on the greater Limerick City Urban area (Limerick / Clare) for the good of all.

To achieve that we require one unified city council instead of three to administer the city proper.

Let the Regional Authority administer the Mid-West.

If one would use the preferred local newspaper as the yardstick to determine Shannon Banks real identity i.e. Limerick Leader / Post or Clare Champion / People.

I would suspect the Limerick newspapers, which would push the issues of “place identities” more into the background and give more credence to social reasons underlining peoples real opposition to the boundary extension.

The greater urban city is dysfunctional, segregated by public and private housing identities akin to a form of apartheid.

Deal with it now or else accept a weak city entity for future generations to come.
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby Tuborg » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:47 pm

“Up to 1,000 people” wow what an extraordinary turnout! I saw a clip about this on last nights news, participants dressed in any type of Clare GAA clothing they could get their hands on! :o

Nonsense like this just serves to reinforce the view that Irish people are far too short sighted and parochial to ever see the greater good.

The hypocrisy of all this is just staggering. These people want to avail of all the services that Limerick City provides yet contribute absolutely nothing to the cost of providing those services. You simply can’t have it both ways and it’s astonishing that this unsustainable situation has been allowed to endure for so long.

I really do hope that whatever Government is in place (provided we actually have a country to govern) will have the courage to finally implement these critical reforms. The time for sidestepping and fudging has long since passed.

Once the ice is broken, we can then move on to hopefully abolishing the various County Councils and establishing a Mid West authority. We might finally be able to develop a viable region then!

Local bragging rights can be decided on the hurling field.
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby justnotbothered » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:33 pm

very true but it's more important we don't allow the Clare thing become the main story, it's a small part of the bigger picture.
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby foinse » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:30 pm

I can't see why it can't be Shannon Banks, Limerick City, Co. Clare.......that solves all issues, Limerick City becomes the third city again, and the residents of Shannon Banks and Westbury who don't already give their address as Limerick will be able to say they live in Clare.
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby CologneMike » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:18 pm

justnotbothered wrote:very true but it's more important we don't allow the Clare thing become the main story, it's a small part of the bigger picture.

I hate to disagree but the Clare side of the greater urban area of the city will grow enormously over the coming decades.

The Northern Relief Road will be the motor for that.

So far both the Clare and Limerick County Councils have cherry picked the city’s population by focusing exclusively on private housing.

Resulting in the extreme affluent / disadvantage divide that runs to the core of all of the city’s dysfunctional woes.

The bigger picture is that the city’s dysfunctional problems is hurting everybody irrespective if you are living in Annacotty, Raheen, Garryowen, Meelick or Parteen.

Let’s say that if both Limerick and Galway city were ever shortlisted for a major industrial investment and both of them equally fulfilled its requirements.

A decision will have to be made and I would fear Limerick’s dysfunctional image would sway against it in favour for Galway.

All the contentious issues should be put on the table now and especially for the Clare side, where the residents living in Meelick, Parteen, Ardnacrusha, Shannon Banks and Westbury should discuss their rural / suburban relationship with the city.

We need one administrative authority to coordinate the city’s growth for the benefit of everyone.

Interestingly Clare FM carried this story today.

Clare Has Highest Excess Of Residential Land (Clare FM)

It's claimed that Clare has a greater excess of residential land than any other county in Ireland.

A report in today's Irish Independent says Clare County Council has zoned 4,317 hectares of land for residential development, 717% of the amount required to meet demand up until 2016.

In percentage terms, only four local authorities have a greater excess of land zoned for residential land than Clare County Council

The worst offending county is Roscommon, where nearly 1,200% of the required land is zoned as residential while, by contrast, Limerick City Council has only earmarked half the land it requires for development going forward
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby CologneMike » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:11 pm

Clare Community Group Marches Against Boundary Change (Clare Herald)

Up to 1,000 members of a newly established group took part in a public rally last evening over the proposed extension of the Limerick boundary into parts of South East Clare.

Clare Against Boundary Extension (C.A.B.E) has been set up by members of the local community to reject the most controversial of the recommendations outlined in the Limerick Local Government Committee report, “Renewing Local Government in Limerick.”

The report recommends that parts of East Clare, including the Westbury, Carraigmidhe and Shannon Banks developments as well as parts of Clonlara parish, be included in parts of an extended Limerick local government jurisdiction.

Business groups, including Shannon Development and Limerick Chamber of Commerce, have already supported the recommendations claiming that the Limerick City boundary needs to be extended to ensure a larger and stronger Limerick City with the necessary scale and resource base to drive the economic development of the Limerick / Shannon Gateway.

C.A.P.E held a public demonstration against the proposed change yesterday evening. Participants met at Westbury Church before proceeding on a protest march to Athlunkard Bridge.

A spokesperson told The Clare Herald: “The Committee was specifically asked to pay regard to existing county boundaries, and acknowledged that the basis for inter-county governance already exists. Our opposition already has cross-party support from Clare TDs.; there is no objective need for this proposal to proceed. We are therefore entitled to ask what is the real agenda?”

The spokesperson continued: “We believe that any extension of the boundary into Clare will have negative consequences for people in the affected areas. The move will mean higher house insurance, higher car insurance and the division of sporting and other associations. Development also will be determined by Limerick City needs, not by Clare County. We would urge members of the community to make their feelings known urgently to their local councillors and TDs.”

. . . . .there is no objective need for this proposal to proceed. We are therefore entitled to ask what is the real agenda?”

The spokesperson continued: “We believe that any extension of the boundary into Clare will have negative consequences for people in the affected areas. The move will mean higher house insurance, higher car insurance and the division of sporting and other associations. . . . . .

Over the last five decades or so the city has grown outside its small boundary (circa 2.5 Km radius). Today roughly half of the city's 100.000 population live technically in two other local authority jurisdictions. We have blissfully ignored the demographic changes that have taken place for far too long resulting in a fragmented city with a litany of very serious social and economic problems.

Honestly, the quality of those two advantages that C.A.B.E. state for the Clare-Side suburbs to remain part of rural south-east Clare are really a pittance. To put this into perspective, 5.000 people lost their jobs directly / indirectly at Dell, where will they get work again if we don’t address the dysfunctional state of the wider city? The so called doughnut-effect has severely weakened the city centre resulting in no new incoming investment means no new jobs!

These issues affect everybody’s future in the wider city (5 Km radius) and that means Meelick, Ardnacrusha, Parteen, Shannon Banks and Westbury too. It would be total a cop-out if young people had to go to Galway, Cork or Dublin for work while their parents remain at home treasuring their cheaper insurance premiums and their local sporting club end up losing all their hurling matches. :rolleyes:

Denial of the existence of the wider city is like "having an elephant in your living room".

  • Clare County Council: There's an elephant in the living room, but we're pretending it's not really there and it's not really an elephant."
  • Minister Gormley: "But it smells and it's enormous!"
  • Limerick County Council: "Just ignore it. Maybe it will go away."

The city has grown under the jurisdiction of three local authorities. Its dysfunctional problems stem from there. I think Peter Coyne and Edward Walsh give a very good snap-shot of the wider city today and how it should be.

The Vision of a Revitalised Limerick ~ The Fundamental Vision

Arising from the 20 interviews with a selection of leading figures in the wider city area, a uniformity of expression was evident concerning the present state of the city and the fundamental or intuitive vision of its future:

What Urban Limerick Looks Like
• Retail moving out to suburbs – retail values falling;
• Nobody manages the entirety of the city: it’s divided up between 3 competing local authorities;
• Depopulating and looking a bit derelict;
• It’s going nowhere – even though it could be great;
• Little development compared to other cities;
• No joined up thinking – or doing;
• Economy hanging on a shrinking base;
• Three huge concentrations of inner city deprivation;
• City centre dragged down by social and economic imbalance;
• No heart to the city;
• Absence of vibrancy and culture;
• The river could be so much more;
• Hardly any tourism – very little to attract them;
• Business areas abandoned after work;
• The bigger city has no leadership;
• The city is not embraced by the people – they don’t own it;
• Not even a cinema;
• Terrible reputation for crime that’s probably undeserved but these things are self-fulfilling;
• There is no vision

How Urban Limerick Should Look
• A growing city for the region - could be a 250,000 metropolitan population;
• A proper city with ambitious and accountable government with a can-do attitude;
• A honeypot for inward investment – a counterbalance to the overheated east;
• A bustling and exciting waterfront – an iconic heart to the city;
• Vibrancy in the city centre – 18-24 hour city;
• A critical mass of tourist attractions;
• Family-friendly city with the homes and amenities that encourage people with economic choice to live in the city;
• The retail centre for the region;
• The university an inextricable element of the city brand - connecting socially and culturally with the city as well as economically,
• New economic activities – a knowledge industry growth centre – renewed synergies with a growing 3rd and 4th level;
• Excellent transportation infrastructure and interconnectivity with other Atlantic cities – people able to commute between them;
• Docklands and King’s Island new and wonderful mixed use extensions to the city centre;
• Several big civic pride icons – buildings and places to put us on the world stage;
• Citizens taking pride and caring for their city;
• Leadership;
• A city known for arts and culture;
• A city with a vision

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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby Griff » Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:34 pm

Im quite worried about safety on Athlunkard bridge - I think 2 wide footpaths are required on either side and traffic reduced to a single lane one-way outbound.
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby teak » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:00 pm

Wouldn't it be easy enough to make pedestrian footpaths inside the existing walls
of the bridge, Griff ?
They are relatively light so they could be cantilevered off RSJs from the existing

A design for this would be a nice little nixer for a local architect . . . :)
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby CologneMike » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:11 pm


Food for thought ~ snippets from the present Clare County Development Plan 2005 – 2011

Interesting to see the route of the northern distributor road (blue dotted line) on the Clare side of the city. It will link up at Moyross and pass between Ardnacrusha and Parteen, finally crossing the Shannon River to the east of the University linking up with the National Technology Park.

Clare County Development Plan 2005 – 2011

  • Meelick Strategic Development Area
  • University Strategic Development Area

3.13 The Planning, Land Use and Transportation Strategy identifies strategic issues that need to be considered in the future planning of the region. . . . . .The provision of a northern distributor road around Limerick and a new bridge crossing over the Shannon to the north of Limerick City.

4.1 The South Clare Economic Corridor Local Area Plan has identified three areas for the focus of economic growth within the Limerick/Ennis/Shannon Corridor.

4.3 The (Gillogue) expansion of the campus at the university of Limerick provides an opportunity for the growth of a research and development industry based upon a close relationship with the university. The area is currently poorly connected to the road network but the development of the Limerick Northern Distributor Road and other transport opportunities owing to the proximity to the Ennis-Limerick rail network make the area attractive in the longer term.

4.4 The South Clare Economic Corridor Local Area Plan recognised the potential of 100 acres of land available for industrial development to the west of Limerick. The junction of the existing N18 with the Limerick Southern Ring Road via a tunnel under the Shannon makes the area around Meelick particularly attractive in terms of connections to Limerick City and Shannon and to towns of Sixmilebridge, Newmarket-on-Fergus and Killaloe.

4.5 The strategy of suburban growth applies to villages and significant areas of housing which will be developed with an acknowledgement of their physical and functional relationship to the urban core of Limerick but subject to the limitations of the road network.

SS5: The settlement strategy is to recognise the future role of the settlements close to Limerick in the growth of the Region and to identify the appropriate urban form and progression of development that will give them a distinctive character.

Policy RS6: Neighbourhood Centres within Limerick Metropolitian Area: Tier 2 Level 4 - Ardnacrusha, Ballycannan, Parteen

It is the policy of the Council to enhance local provision of shops and services to meet the needs of the existing and new communities in the parts of the County within the Limerick Environs and to work in conjunction with Limerick City and County Councils to ensure that these needs are met in an efficient, equitable and sustainable way.

5.6 The county contains part of the Limerick Metropolitan Area and adopts the metropolitan area policies as set out in the retail strategy as a means of supporting the growth of the Mid-West region.

Significant Retail Development
The Retail Strategy for County Clare 2003-2011 is the baseline for all applications of significant retail development. What is significant will vary around the Region.

Within the Limerick Metropolitan Area which comprises part of the County's area, it is recommended to be 1,000sq.m. (gross)for convenience and 2,000sq.m. (gross) for comparison floor space.

The Draft for the new Clare County Development Plan 2011 – 2017 can be seen here.

There is also a proposed amendment dealing with a Draft Joint Housing Strategy for the Administrative Areas of Clare County Council and Limerick City and Council.
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby CologneMike » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:51 pm

Limerick City Council

  • Micheal Hourigan (FG) North Circular Road ~ North Electoral Area
  • Cormac Hurley (FG) Caherdavin Park ~ North Electoral Area
  • Tom Shortt (Lab) Thomondgate ~ North Electoral Area
  • Kevin Kiely (FG) Farranshone ~ North Electoral Area
  • Maurice Quinlivan (SF) Stenson Close ~ North Electoral Area
  • Kathleen Leddin (Ind) North Circular Road ~ North Electoral Area

  • John Gilligan (Ind) Island Road ~ East Electoral Area
  • Kieran O'Hanlon (FF) Rhebogue ~ East Electoral Area
  • Gerry McLoughlin (Lab) Garryowen ~ East Electoral Area
  • Denis McCarthy (FG) Corbally ~ East Electoral Area

  • Joe Leddin (Lab) South Circular Road ~ South Electoral Area
  • Maria Byrne (FG) O'Connell Avenue ~ South Electoral Area
  • Ger Fahy (FG) Janesboro ~ South Electoral Area
  • Pat Kennedy (Ind) South Circular Road ~ South Electoral Area
  • Orla McLoughlin (Lab) Old Cork Road ~ South Electoral Area
  • Diarmuid Scully (FG) Lynwood Park ~ South Electoral Area
  • Jim Long (FG) Ballinacurra Gardens ~ South Electoral Area

Limerick County Council

  • Richard Butler (FG) Dooradoyle ~ Adare Electoral Area
  • James Collins (FF) Dooradoyle ~ Adare Electoral Area
  • Tomás Hannon (Lab) Raheen ~ Adare Electoral Area

  • Mary Jackman (FG) Castletroy ~ Castleconnell Electoral Area
  • Michael Sheahan (FG) Monaleen ~ Castleconnell Electoral Area

Clare County Council

  • Pascal Fitzgerald (Lab) Ardnacrusha ???? ~ Killaloe Electoral Area
  • Cathal Crowe (FF) Meelick ???? ~ Killaloe Electoral Area


If the Department of Environment grants Limerick City its original application for a boundary extension then it would have a population of around 100.000.

Interestingly a look at the addresses of the new councilors affected by such a change, reveal that only at max, 7 councilors actually live there!

I find that an incredible low number of county councilor representation for the suburbs of Raheen, Dooradoyle, Ballysimon, Castletroy, Monaleen, Annacotty and those on the Clare side.

No wonder Limerick city was screwed. :mad:

At present

Limerick City Council has 17 Councilors
Limerick County Council has 28 Councilors
Clare County Council has 32 Councilors
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby zulutango » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:16 am

does it really matter what the weighting of councillors is? At the end of the day, it's the officials that drive a local authority forward for the most part. If you look at Castletroy or Raheen, for example, they have not done too badly with such low representation.

Personally, I'm not concerned about the low representation. The remit of the amalgamated council will be to drive the city and county forward, and the fact that there is a defined urban and rural area will mean that you won't (or at least shouldn't) get the urban sprawl that arises from having two local authorities in a single urban area.
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby wiseowl » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:25 am

Hi, I don't live in Limerick but have relatives in the area. It has always amazed me that this debate has gone on for generations as it will never be properly resolved between the 2 councils. Surely needs Government intervention?? From my observations there is a ton of undeveloped or underdeveloped land east of the city, even the area between Parkway S.C and UL, never mind further on towards Annacotty. Why don't they focus their energies in getting that right??
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby Hamilton » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:15 am

The Brosnan recommendations are the only game in town. If they are not accepted by Government then the status quo will remain. This status quo is of course going to lead to more failure of the city. The city councillors just don't seem to get it. They have yet to put forward one cohesive argument. All of them are based on emotions, and many of them are based on history concerns, none of them are concerned about delivering quality of life and a successful city for its citizens and the region.
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby Dan Sullivan » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:23 pm

Respond to comments by Cllr Gilligan re: An Taisce/Opera Centre and the Boundary Extension, I've sent this to the press already but I suspect it won't be printed in its entirety.

Cllr. Gilligan

I am writing with regard to your reported comments in the debate about the Limerick Local Government Committee report.

Specifically I have to take issue with the content of the paragraph that states “Independent councillor John Gilligan criticised the "ugly sisters" who supported Mr Brosnan's recommendations. He said heritage group An Taisce take a "we know better than you" attitude, and they are "the main reason" why the Opera Centre has not got under way.“ and also the claim that we gave a complete endorsement to the LGC report and were acting as the LGC’s ugly sister. I will take this in 3 parts the Opera Centre, the Brosnan Report and your unwarranted criticism of a voluntary organisation in your city whose only remit, where Limerick city is concerned, is the perseveration of the best aspects of the city and its sustainable development for everyone that lives and works here.

Opera Centre

The An Taisce Limerick Association did not object to the Opera Centre at any stage in its application and we are certainly are not the main reason why it has not got underway. I’m sure I don’t have to go into the in and outs of the ownership of the Opera Centre, the saga of Anglo-Irish Bank, or the travails of great recession. The fact remains we are not part of any reason that the Opera Centre has not proceeded not to mind the “main reason”. That you would make this sort of wild and inaccurate statement, in a council meeting and for the public record, is very disappointing and a matter of considerable concern to us. If you have made the comments as reported in the Limerick Leader then we would expect that you would seek to correct the record at the earliest possible opportunity and ensure that they receive a degree of publicity at least equal to the original comments.

With respect to the original application reference number 05548 by Regeneration Developments the An Taisce Limerick Association did not make any submission to either the local authority or An Bord Pleanala.

With respect to the revised application reference number 08173 by Regeneration Developments, we made one submission in support of the development. A copy of our submission is available from the city planning department which as a city councillor I’m sure you have access to but I will include the following quotes from it for your consideration.

“We are broadly favourable to the general thrust of the development, and we believe that addressing the points outlined should allow it to proceed quickly to making a significant contribution to the city centre environment.“

“That we would be eager that the development should proceed quickly to the construction phase in accordance with the direction already given by An Bord Pleanála,” while noting “That the new design revisions are a significant improvement on the previous iteration” and that “that the increased openings onto and footfall for Patrick St. and Rutland St. are to be welcomed”.

You are free to read the rest of the submission in your capacity as a paid elected representative by requesting it from the planning department of the city council. There again, you must have done so already since you felt able to comment about it in public which begs the question of how you came to make this statement.

Brosnan Report

As regards the Bronsnan report, your claims that we, in any way, gave it 100% endorsement are also incorrect. In our submission to the LGC we said that our favoured option was a single strong city core that encompassed the entirety of the urban areas of the city, our boundaries were roughly contiguous with the boundaries the city council had previous indicated in its own representations to the minister and if anything were more extensive. This is detailed in our submission which is on the LGC website. I’m sure that you would as a paid elected representative passing comment on our position will have taken the time to read it. We did not suggest that the city and county be merged, in fact the opposite we suggested that if the LGC had a difficulty with a reduced Limerick County that it should be merged not with the city but with Clare and North Tipperary to form a hinterland authority. This received considerable public comment and reaction especially from Clare and Tipperary, you would have been aware of this too.

In speaking with the press after the Brosnan report was released, we noted that it did not deliver what we had wanted in it. We also noted that while it did not fulfil our ambitions for the city that nevertheless there were potentially positive aspects of the report. Our focus in saying this was to ensure that no one was under the impression that the report represented a win for the county position that a single authority was takeover of the city by the county. In truth the report leans more towards suggesting a take-over of the county by the enlarged city. That almost the entirety of the body of the current city councillors appears unable to see this raises a question mark over whether they have properly read the report at all.

What support we extended to the ‘Brosnan’ report was in respect of the recognition that the status quo is not longer an option and that it offered an opportunity to move away from the status quo for all that it offered anything else. We said in speaking with the Limerick Leader that if the choice was forced on us was to remain with the status quo or the report then we would go with the report. If we had our preferred option it would be to use the proposals in our submission that would have resulted in a strong authority for the city confined to the new extended city boundaries and with automatic revisions that would ensure all new medium density development at the fringes would be included in the city boundaries without a need for new commissions into the future. Evidently if forced into a choice you and most of your fellow city councillors would choose to stay with the status quo.

Your attack on An Taisce

To suggest that An Taisce was in anyway responsible for the delay in the development of the Opera centre or that we gave a ringing endorsement to the Brosnan report is wholly wrong. I have no problem with public and robust criticism of positions that An Taisce may hold but I will not stand by as a voluntary organisation, made up of people living in Limerick and who are committed to the prosperity of the city and the region, is used as a punch bag for what it has not done and not said, purely to provide political cover for elected representatives paid for out of taxes of the general public.

I believe that you served as an excellent Mayor and have long been a committed representative of our city. However, you are also capable of being wrong and on this occasion you were seriously wrong. Your misrepresentation of the positions of An Taisce is unbecoming your position as someone serving in the council chamber. If you do not retraction your comments then it will stand on the record that when the occasion demands it you will look for the nearest, convenient, unpopular minority and aim a kick at them for your own political ends.

Yours respectfully

Daniel K. Sullivan

Chair - An Taisce Limerick Association

P.S. As regards the reference to ‘ugly sisters’, while I don’t believe either of us will be winning beauty contests in the near future I think this sort of political grandstanding and terminology undermines the seriousness with which such an issue should be treated. When every issue involves disasters, decimation and ugly sisters and the cast and crew from Beauty and the Beast, it makes it that bit harder for the public to take real matters seriously. The city deserves better from all of us.


Link to Limerick Leader article with cllr Gilligan's comments

Press Release by An Taisce Limerick in respect of the Opera Centre development at the time permission was granted.

"An Taisce Limerick Association chair Daniel Sullivan has welcomed the decision by An Bord Pleanála to preserve in part the existing character of the north city quarter in granting planning permission for the development of the Opera Centre. “It was always on the cards that An Bord Pleanála was likely to require that the historic facades on Ellen St. be retained given that their retention had been a condition of their original decision to grant permission. We’re pleased that Regeneration Developments eventually realised this and revised their application again on foot of their interaction with An Bord Pleanála.”

We would be hopeful that Limerick city council will grasp with both hands the opportunity given by the conditions from An Bord Pleanála with regard to their approval of materials to be used in the internal and external finishes to ensure that the quality of materials used in this development is consistent with the highest possible standards. This particular application also highlights the need for a more consultative approach in development. At no point in the entire process has Regeneration Developments sought to take advice from other local organisations or interested parties such as An Taisce. Perhaps if there had there been some engagement with local interest groups it is likely the protracted delay could have avoided. And contrary to what some candidates in the recent local elections had to say, these local groups were not blocking this development but were instead seeking that it should proceed according to the best possible standards. The city deserves no less and had those views been listened to the development would have proceeded much more quickly.

We would now look forward to seeing the project progress quickly to the construction phase, bringing much need employment and activity to the city. We remain open to engaging positively with anyone that has thoughts about contributing to the reinvigoration of the city centre. We would be hopefully that this development will re-energise those thinking of revamping this quarter of the city in manner that respects what is best about what we have and makes the most of the excellent location in the heart of the city."
Dan Sullivan

Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby CologneMike » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:05 pm

Dan, it looks like Cllr. Gilligan got his heritage organisations (Irish Georgian Society) mixed up regarding the Opera Centre and sadly he as a city councillor ignored some blatant flaws like its proposed delivery entrance. :o
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby CologneMike » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:12 pm

Save Our City! ~ Stop Limerick City Being Abolished! (Mayor of Limerick)

The people of Limerick City are being urged to Stand Up and Fight against the proposals by Denis Brosnan’s local government report to abolish Limerick City as an independent local authority.

Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Maria Byrne is asking Limerick people to support her “Save Our City” campaign by attending a public rally this Friday, October 22nd 2010 at 1pm outside the main entrance to the Milk Market, Carr Street, Limerick.

Mayor Byrne will address the gathering at 1pm and wants to send a strong message to Minister for the Environment and Local Government, John Gormley TD who will be in the vicinity at that time.

Mayor Maria Byrne is urging people to: Have Pride in Limerick City, Our Identity and Our History by rejecting the proposals to amalgamate Limerick City and County which abolishes the entity of Limerick City.

She declared: “Limerick City needs a boundary extension, taking in its suburbs so we can be a strong regional city of over 100,000 people,” she said. “If the proposals in the Brosnan report go ahead we will lose our city, our identity and over 1000 years of history will just disappear. Limerick is already falsely portrayed as Ireland’s fourth city as half the population of Limerick city officially live in County Limerick.

The Brosnan Report argues the need for a strong city and that strong cities drive strong regions but this is best achieved through an immediate boundary extension,” she argues.
The City Council believes that a boundary extension is better for Limerick City because:

  • Businesses Rates in the city can be cut immediately if the boundary extension is granted
  • Amalgamation will mean a weaker Limerick City
  • Investment in the city will fall if it is merged
  • Limerick needs immediate action-Brosnan will take years to deliver
  • Only a City Council will focus on the City
  • Who will speak for Limerick City?

Those attending the public meeting this Friday are asked to attend at 1pm SHARP outside the entrance to the Limerick Milk Market on Carr Street (Watergate Flats side)
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby zulutango » Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:26 am

I think it's time to organise a campaign in favour of the Brosnan report. Otherwise, the troglodytes on all sides may just be listened to.

The problem I see with it is that the government may fall and Gormley out of office before he gets a chance to push it through. I can't see any other minister going as far as Gormley has. Certianly, Michael Noonan, who is likely to be the big man in Limerick after the next election seems to favour the status quo.
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby Dan Sullivan » Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:01 pm

CologneMike wrote:Dan, it looks like Cllr. Gilligan got his heritage organisations (Irish Georgian Society) mixed up regarding the Opera Centre and sadly he as a city councillor ignored some blatant flaws like its proposed delivery entrance. :o

That is possible but the fact remains that he said what he said, and he was on air on Live95 yesterday it appears saying the same thing again.

If he comes out and is man enough to correct the record and apologise then fair enough but as it is he is slashing out at people who didn't do what he claims they did.
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby CologneMike » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:52 pm

zulutango wrote:does it really matter what the weighting of councillors is? At the end of the day, it's the officials that drive a local authority forward for the most part. If you look at Castletroy or Raheen, for example, they have not done too badly with such low representation.

Personally, I'm not concerned about the low representation. The remit of the amalgamated council will be to drive the city and county forward, and the fact that there is a defined urban and rural area will mean that you won't (or at least shouldn't) get the urban sprawl that arises from having two local authorities in a single urban area.

Fact remains, City Councillors will be focused on city issues and County Councillors on county ones.

That the whole exercise here came about from the serious problems of the dysfunctional greater-city, therefore whatever form of Council is decided on, the city must be the main focus of attention for the coming decade.

I would be very sceptical with a city / county amalgamation.

Just look at Cllr Mary Jackman’s priorities.

(Limerick Leader) Cllr Mary Jackman asked why was the city extending outwards?

"We should be looking in and taking over. In comparison to other Munster counties, Limerick's towns are much smaller. The environs help enormously to keep the county going.

We have a better record in running our business,” said Cllr Jackman.

Yes Castletroy County Cllr Mary Jackman did a great balanced job in the city’s environs by re-zoning farmland for private housing purposes only. In my opinion by milking the city, she contributed to the greater-city’s demise. :mad:

It would be worth looking at how the new proposed council will be created.

Report of the Limerick Local Government Committee

3. Elected Membership
The membership of the new Limerick authority should be appropriately sized, in line with the membership of similarly populated counties, effective from the 2014 local elections. xxxvi

. . . . . . . .

xxxvi The new Limerick authority will have a population of approximately 187,000. Kildare County Council has 25 members, representing a population of 186,335 (as of 2006).

So Brosnan’s proposal would see the combined number of councilors 45 (17 city + 28 county) reduced to 25. That is a good thing.

I wonder what ratio of councilors will represent the city and county respectfully?

If it reflects the city / county population ratio break-down (100,000 : 87,000), then the greater city should have 13 and the county 12 councilors respectfully.

Minister quiet on plan to abolish city council (Irish Independent)

By Barry Duggan

THE Environment Minister has refused to say whether he will accept a proposal to abolish Limerick City Council in favour of a new super local authority.

Speaking at the opening of the city's new Milk Market yesterday, Mr Gormley said he could not commit to a deadline for a decision after the controversial idea was put forward by the Limerick Local Government Committee.

The new authority, which would incorporate parts of south-east Clare, would be known as 'Limerick City and County Council' and would service a population of 187,000.

It would also make Limerick the country's third largest city.

The proposal has been met by fierce opposition from Limerick City Council and Clare County Council.

Mr Gormley, who lived in Corbally during his childhood, said his only aim was to enhance Limerick city, but refused to say whether he would accept the proposal.

Mr Gormley said he could not commit to a deadline for a decision . . . .

This application has been with the Department of Environment since October 2004!

Bring on Johnny Logan . . . . . . . what’s another year! :rolleyes:
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby CologneMike » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:14 pm

Brosnan Report: Fact versus Fiction! (Limerick Chamber President)

Posted on October 26, 2010 by limerickchamberpresident

For the Mid-West to function properly and achieve its largely unfulfilled economic potential, having a strong and thriving City at its core is an absolute imperative. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons set out in Denis Brosnan’s ‘Renewing Local Government in Limerick’ report, Limerick City does not fulfil that role today and, critically, at a time of such need in terms of our economy.

The recommendations of the Limerick Local Government committee (LGC), chaired by Denis Brosnan, aim at securing a brighter and better future for the entire Mid-West Region but only on the basis that it has a dynamic city as its engine room. As the capital of the Mid-West region, Limerick’s performance impacts on us all, whether you live in the County of Limerick, Clare, Tipperary or, indeed, Limerick City itself.

Implementing the well grounded recommendations of Denis Brosnan’s report is our only chance to start addressing the current shortfalls in the city and region. They give our region, and Limerick City, the best hope to fully realise our so far considerable but sadly unfulfilled potential. Implementation of them is, undoubtedly, the keystone to creating a more successful and sustainable future for all of us and generations to come.

Critically, our understanding at the moment is that the Government is only considering two options

1) Implementing in full the recommendations of the Local Government Committee
2) Keeping the status quo

Government focus at present is on reducing the number of local authorities and achieving efficiencies. Simply changing the size of local authorities without reducing the numbers of local authorities is not on the government agenda. It is vital, therefore, that we all understand that the option of just extending the city boundary and maintaining Limerick City and County as two separate local authorities is not an option being considered by Government. This would mean Limerick County would have an approximate population of only 80,000, way too small to justify a separate local authority, not least due to all the expensive duplication of functions and services involved estimated by the Denis Brosnan Committee to be Euro 20M per annum.

Therefore, with no ‘half-way’ house as an option, we revert to the two alternatives outlined above. The latter (keeping the status quo) simply is not an option! And that’s why we are asking you to, firstly, consider exactly why it is essential that we adopt the report (we will help you below with some of the reasons why there is no real alternative). Beyond that – and in confidence your good judgement will, like ours, be that implementing the Brosnan Report is an imperative for this city and region – we would ask that you add your voice to our “Strong City and Region” campaign and sign our petition, which we will present to Government in a few weeks time, ahead of their decision on this critical issue.

There is considerable divided opinion in relation to the recommendations set out by Denis Brosnan. We accept there are deep sensitivities and loyalties involved but we emphasise that this is not about taking from Clare so that Limerick can be better. This is not about Limerick staking claim to another county’s domain. It is about bringing us closer together, for all our good. It is the only way that the entire Mid-West and Limerick city can prosper as without this, we will continue to fail.

We believe this report delivers what is best for the Region and Limerick. It also acknowledges the cost savings that are required but ones that can be made without any diminution of service. Ultimately, the implementation of this report will re-establish Limerick City as the 3rd largest city in the country and transform it into a vibrant dynamo for the entire region.

If you don’t take my word for the necessity for collective strength, look no further than US President Barack Obama. In June 2008, at a speech before a US conference of Mayors, the then President elect Obama said:

“We need to stop seeing our cities as the problem and start seeing them as the solution. Because strong cities are the building blocks of strong regions, and strong regions are essential for a strong America.”

Below I will outline exactly why this is not just a case of one city’s battle to do better for itself but to do better for the region. I have stuck to the facts. I look forward to your comments and an open and honest debate about the issues.

1) An expanded Limerick City Area

What this will result in
• A population which reflects the true metropolitan/urban area of Limerick city. This will be of benefit to all of Limerick and the greater mid-West Region. Strong cities make strong regions!
• Reinstate our position as Ireland’s third city
• Reinforce our position as a national gateway
• Improve our attractiveness for investment and jobs because:
o It will improve our competitiveness from a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) perspective. One of the key research points for any multi-national looking at locating operations in Ireland, or elsewhere, is the population base/availability of workforce (graduate and otherwise). Typically, multi-nationals look to the largest cities and towns in a region. At present, Limerick only shows 59,000 population but with the realignment, it will show 100,000. This will significantly enhance our FDI potential
o Currently Eurostat figures show Limerick as having the lowest Employment/Population (of working age) Ratio of any Irish City (Galway, Cork, Waterford and Dublin) and our proportion of population educated to tertiary level is below the national average.
o We will have a larger urban population and therefore labour force
o We will have a larger, better functioning urban core
o It will allow a vision & master plan for the entire area of Limerick to be developed
o Limerick, as the Mid-West’s capital, will no longer have the highest unemployment rate, lowest labour force participation rate or highest social housing ratio in Ireland

What this will not result in
• This will not result in split focus between Limerick City and Limerick County to the detriment of one. The development and economic growth, as well as the provision of local government services to the entire Limerick area, both urban and rural, will remain the sole focus of the new authority

• This is not about land grabbing by Limerick into Clare:
o The areas in Co. Clare that are to be included in Limerick city are included only because they are part of the urban spread of Limerick city
o Limerick city already provides local government services to these areas (eg. water & sewage)
o Residents in these areas in Co. Clare already vote in the Limerick East Dáil electoral constituency
o They also already vote in the South Constituency for MEP elections.
o It will in no way infringe on their county allegiance or affiliation – e.g. they will play for Clare in the GAA parish system or for their county should they be selected
o Residents in these areas are affected and impacted by decisions made by Limerick’s local governance. The realigning of the boundary will ensure that these people are given a representative voice on Limerick local issues
o The recommendations are about creating a stronger Limerick city which will be to the benefit of the entire region

2) A New Limerick Authority

What this will result in
• The abolition of the current complex governance system that exists in Limerick with three local authorities plus the regeneration agency all operating within a small geographic area
• The report says that it is “extremely important to recognise an enlarged distinct city within the new Limerick authority” … as well as recognising “the importance of the historical aspects of civic life and preserve those elements of the heritage and traditions of the City”. The Chamber fully endorses these recommendations.
• Cost savings
o For example streamlining of management structure, resulting in one Limerick City & County manager, not one for the county and one for the city.
o Eventual savings estimated at €20 million per annum
• Harmonisation of commercial rates between Limerick city and county & ultimately a reduction in commercial rates
• An overall vision, strategy & master plan for Limerick
• Cooperation & coordination in planning
• Will eradicate duplication of services & associated costs.
• Will allow economies of scale.
• Will improve accountability of elected representatives & council management.
• Will cease competition between Limerick City Council & Limerick County Council.
• It will stop disjointed planning and policies between city & county.

What this will not result in
• It will not increase commercial rates for businesses currently located in County Limerick or Clare.
• It will not reduce the quantity or quality of front line services to the community and people of Limerick
• It will not eradicate our city or its charter. There is no mention of this in any part of the recommendations. In fact the report aims at strengthening, not weakening, the city
• It will not reduce the focus on city centre regeneration in any way. In contrast, with greater cooperation & coordination a greater focus can be placed on city which will be to the benefit of all Limerick people. There will also be an increase in resources available to focus on city centre regeneration

3) Elected Membership

What this will result in
• A reduction in the number of elected representatives
o Unlike TD’s there is no nationally defined ratio of population to elected local councillors.
o We currently have 17 councillors in Limerick City for a population of 59,770 (ratio of 1:3,516)
o Nationally county/city councillor representation ratio’s range from 1:1,318 in Leitrim to 1 councillor per 10,000 people in Fingal. Kildare county council administers an area of 187,000 people and has 25 elected representatives.
o The new Limerick authority will administer an area with a combined population of 185,000
o We currently have 28 councillors in County Limerick for a population of 124,265 (ratio of 1:4,438)
• The number of councillors per local authority is set out in the Local Government Act 2001. New legislation will need to be enacted to change the current structures of Limerick City Council and Limerick County Council and introduce a new ratio of councillors per person in the area for the new Limerick City and County authority
• Improved representation. Currently those living in the suburbs of the city have no representative voice on city council. This will no longer be the case.
• Reduced costs for tax payers and commercial rate payers who ultimately pay the wages of councillors.

What this will not result in
• It will not reduce people’s public representation. The number of new elected representatives will be in accordance with the population of the new Limerick City & County authority. The number of publicly elected officials will be reduced. However every resident of Limerick will still have an elected representative for their electoral division which will be more reflective of the urban/ rural divide.

4) Regeneration

What this will result in
• The Regeneration Agencies will ultimately operate under the auspices of the new Limerick City & County Authority
o The Regeneration Agencies have been established as independent entities to address problems of social exclusion & improving the quality of life in priority areas in Limerick city. Their mandate to eliminate social exclusion can only be enhanced by being part of a Greater Limerick master plan under one authority, all working to the same end result – a vibrant inclusive and dynamic city and region. The report suggests that this be incorporated into the new Limerick City & County Authority. The blueprint for this is already established in the Ballymun Regeneration Agencies.

What this will not result in
• It will not reduce the focus or expertise on regeneration. Regeneration will remain a priority.

5) Leadership

What this will result in
• One newly appointed Mayor for Limerick City and Country appointed for a 5 year term (resulting in the current posts of the Mayor for Limerick City and the Cathaoirleach for Limerick County being removed)
o This mayor will be a figurehead/ leader to champion and represent Limerick and the greater Mid-West region with commercial & development organisations nationally & internationally but with a mandate to ensure continuity of implementing policies over the full 5 year term.
• Greater continuity in policies and role of Mayor.
o The template for this in Ireland is about to be introduced in the Greater Dublin Metropolitan Area & such a system effectively operates across the globe – Johnson in London, Bloomberg in New York, Schwarzenegger for California.

What this will not result in
• Although there will no longer be two council officials elected into the separate roles of Mayor for the city and Cathaoirleach for the county, the newly appointed Mayor for Limerick will have far greater responsibility to be a figurehead and public representative for the people of Limerick as the current holders of the two positions. Indeed, if anything the increased term of office will ensure that the Mayor can collectively market the region better and raise the bar, therefore, for more ambitious targets for Limerick during the term of office than under the current system

In summary, we believe that the government is only considering two options, i.e. to either (a) maintain the status quo involving no change in the size or responsibility of either local authority or (b) to adopt the recommendations of Local Government Committee under Denis Brosnan. Maintaining the status quo is not a realistic option for our city and region. Everyone I have asked agrees wholeheartedly on this. And yes, the timing of implementing a decision is also vital. It needs to be implemented immediately and not to be tied up with bureaucratic delays. Whereas implementing the recommendations of the Local Government Committee under Denis Brosnan may only give everyone 90% of what they would like to see, it will be such a dramatic improvement on the status quo, that we owe it to our future generations to accept the leadership being offered to us and to embrace it collectively for the best interests of our region and our city. Let the debate commence…..
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby Tuborg » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:51 pm

More on this in today’s Irish Times. The point made in the statement above about a reconfigured County Limerick being too small to operate on its own is entirely valid.

With the dire financial situation, now should be an opportune time to finally address our appallingly wasteful system of local governance. There are potentially massive savings to be made from either amalgamating County Councils or indeed abolishing them altogether in favour of regional authorities.

Sadly this country is probably still too wedded to the parish pump for this to happen yet. That said the proposed realignment in Limerick might set an important precedent for reform.

Being entirely selfish I actually hope this Government remains in office long enough for the Brosnan Report to be implemented. It's that important. The present shower have nothing to lose anyhow as they know they'll be out on their arse soon.

I fear a new coalition would be likely to order a "review" & then let the report gather dust rather than risk upsetting local interests.

Limerick's economy may suffer 'for decades'


LIMERICK CITY will suffer economic stagnation for decades unless a controversial report proposing radical changes to local governance is adopted, Limerick Chamber of Commerce has claimed.

Announcing a campaign on the issue yesterday, the chamber’s president Kieran MacSweeney described the report by the Limerick Local Government Committee as a “unique opportunity” for Limerick and the midwest.

The committee, chaired by former Kerry Group head Denis Brosnan, was established in February to advise the Government on the most appropriate local government arrangements for Limerick.

Its report, which has met opposition from a number of quarters, recommends the establishment of a unified Limerick local authority servicing a population of 187,000.

At present two local authorities govern Limerick city and county, while Clare County Council governs areas on the north of the Shannon on the outskirts of the city. A joint authority is the preferred option of Limerick County Council. Limerick City Council has rejected this idea and favours an extension to the city boundary, which would include parts of Co Limerick and large suburbs in Clare.

Clare County Council is reluctant to allow Limerick govern any part of southeast Clare. Announcing details of Limerick Chamber’s campaign yesterday, Mr MacSweeney said if stakeholders put the best interests of the city and region before their own personal and political preferences, consensus would be achieved for the greater good of Limerick city and the midwest.

He said the argument for Mr Brosnan’s report was “irrefutable” considering recent indications from the Government that the report would be adopted entirely or the status quo would remain.

Limerick Chamber is seeking the support of the local business community for its campaign through a petition on its website,

“The strong view of business across Limerick, and one that is very much being volunteered through our online petition just launched last week, is that not alone should the recommendations of the Brosnan report be implemented for the greater good of the city but for the entire region.

“These recommendations will deliver a city of scale of 100,000 population and multimillion euro savings to be reinvested back in the region,” Mr MacSweeney said.

The chamber did not see the Brosnan report “as the panacea to all the city’s economic ills” but its implementation was an absolute imperative for the city and region.

Limerick Chamber chief executive Maria Kelly said political self-preservation could not get in the way of the greater good.
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby vitruvius » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:10 pm

An ironic aspect to all this boundary-extension nonsense is that the good people of Clare are keeping the city centre of Limerick alive.
Were it not for the people of Shannon banks, Westbury, Parteen, Clonlara, O'Brien's Bride, Broadford, Cratloe, SMB, Meelick, Shannon the centre of Limerick would look even more desolate.
Limerick city and county councils happily dough-nutted their entrances to the city with awful suburban shopping centres, which now filter out a large percentage of the city's potential custom.
The Clare routes luckily have no such 'malls', as yet and so we continue provide custom for the city.
It is indeed ironic that we should be the people helping to keep Limerick city alive, and yet the same city council wants to subsume us into their control.
I mean, why wouldn't we want to come under the jurisdiction of Limerick city council - they've done such a marvellous job
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Re: Limerick City Boundary Extension

Postby vitruvius » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:23 pm

On the matter of the Brosnan report. Is it not a bit redundant? The McCarthy report compiled to identify savings recommended having just 10 local authorities in the country.
Why not have a strong Mid-West authority, sitting in Limerick incorporating N Tipp, Clare, Limerick city and Limerick county?
The councillors won't want this of course, but it would make sense
The arguments about county loyalty, sporting allegiance, etc. wouldn't be an issue, as each area/parish would still be a part of its county, but each county, in its entirety would become part of a greater authority.
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