Independent political activist Liam Browne is calling on Fine Gael TD Tom Hayes to explain to the people of Cashel what part he had in submissions by the South Tipperary Constituency Executive of Fine Gael, its North Tipperary Executive and the majority of its county councillors, on the future of the electoral area.
Mr Browne says the proposals, if implemented, will devastate the future of Cashel as a viable economic area.
“If the plans put forward by Fine Gael are implemented, the people of Cashel will not only lose their current Town Council, but will also not be chosen as a proposed Municipal District Area. Most ludicrous of all, under the submission, the town may become part of a Municipal District Area centred around Carrick on Suir, which would mean council services may be moved over 50 km away.”
Mr Browne said that “this is a completely crazy submission by Fine Gael’s committees and councillors in Tipperary, and Tom Hayes needs to stop this in its tracks right now. It will consign Cashel to being an economic backwater for generations to come. How on earth anyone thinks it is a good idea is beyond me, to move services now in Cashel, to the furthest away major town in the county. As the local FG TD Tom Hayes has a duty to make sure this is stopped in its tracks.”
The submission made by Fine Gael arises from the proposed changes to Local Authorities planned before next year’s local elections, whereby Town Councils will be done away with and replaced by Municipal District Areas (MDAs). These areas are going to become the central points of administering local services in the whole of Tipperary, and Fine Gael are proposing that only five new areas should be created. The plan suggests that MDAs should be set up in Clonmel, Carrick on Suir, Tipperary Town, Thurles and Nenagh. This would mean that not only would Cashel lose its town council, but also not become a centre for an MDA. Instead, Cashel Town may become part of the new Carrick on Suir MDA. The plans will come before the Oireachtas in May and June of this year, and will be finalised before elections next year.
Mr Browne stated that “it makes no sense whatsoever that rates collected by businesses in Cashel, might be spent on providing local services in Carrick on Suir. It also means that new economic development will be pushed towards the centre of the MDAs, meaning Cashel will go further down the queue when it comes to future economic development.”
Mr Browne went on to add “Cashel is the most central town in the unified county of Tipperary. It is the only town in the county which is on the main motorway system in the country, the M8. It has a huge cultural and historic identity, with one of the best known tourist attractions in the country. Instead of downgrading the town, Fine Gael should be putting it forward as a Municipal District Area. They already did enough damage in the past when under a Fine Gael government, the Cashel Hospital was downgraded. This is a step too far and I would call on all business, sporting, social and economic groups to begin lobbying immediately to stop this nonsense before Cashel loses out again. This is a plan which could devastate the town.”