Nine local authorities will close their doors on Friday, May 30, and just one, all-county body will reopen following the June Bank Holiday weekend.
In the greatest changes to affect local politics in hundreds of years, the town councils in North and South Tipperary are to be abolished and one, unified County Council is to take its place, following this Friday’s local elections.
The historic changes were first proposed in 2011, and promise a more modern, efficient and cost saving method of local government.
In Tipperary it is estimated that the changes will see a saving of €6.15 million a year. Among the sweeping changes that will come with Friday’s election will be the abolition of town councils in Carrick on Suir, Cashel and Tipperary Town as well as Clonmel Borough Council. One of the most significant changes is the amalgamation of Cashel and Tipperary towns in the one municipal district. While public offices will remain open in Carrick on Suir and Tipperary town, as well as the former county hall in Clonmel and in Nenagh, Clonmel Borough Council will close its doors to the public, as will the area office in Cahir, and a new, non-council, use will be found for the offices in Cashel.
As the series of final council meetings took place across the county, in recent weeks, there was an air of sadness among councillors. Many of those bidding a farewell to the councils expressed fears that the changes will lessen local democracy, however voters are promised strong local government by those behind the changes.