Members of the Oireachtas Rural Independent Group have described the narrow defeat of their Dáil motion on the detrimental extension of county boundaries as a lost opportunity to protect rural Ireland.
The Motion was ultimately defeated after a Fianna Fail counter amendment was supported by a margin of 66 votes for, to 62 against, with one abstention:
“It is our belief that the defeat of this motion will only consolidate the concerns that exist in many parts of rural Ireland regarding the dangers of forced boundary changes.
We had tried to highlight the fact that there is model of local governance emerging in this state which is treating rural areas as slush funds to draw in extra revenue for urban and city areas.
That must be resisted. Local Authorities in rural parts of the country must have continuing certainty around funding streams. Defeat of our motion today will make that certainty increasingly difficult to achieve.
What is galling about the result is that while many of the rural TD’s within Fianna Fail accepted our arguments; they still voted against our motion.
That is something they will have to account for to their own rural constituents.
For now however, we will continue to make the case that rural Ireland is not, and cannot be treated as a second class region whose only purpose is to prop up urban areas when the opportunities arise.”