New electoral areas ‘reflect Limerick as top city’

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Limerick Chamber chief executive Maria Kelly
THE new electoral areas will finally allow Limerick to reflect its true position as a top Irish and European city, the head of the Chamber has said.

THE new electoral areas will finally allow Limerick to reflect its true position as a top Irish and European city, the head of the Chamber has said.

Maria Kelly, chief executive of the Limerick Chamber was speaking on publication of the boundary commission’s recommendations for Limerick.

These will see a reduction of five councillors in the newly merged local authority, and greatly increased rural/urban constituencies.

Ms Kelly said: “The Chamber has always sought the creation of a strong functioning urban centre with the necessary critical mass. Countries and regions must have successful cities at their core and evidence demonstrates that it is cities that drive economic growth and raise living standards for the greater surrounding regions. The recommendations on the realignment of the local electoral area boundaries for Limerick ensure that our urban core remains the focus as the key economic driver for the greater Limerick Region with the appropriate population and representation to reflect this.”

She says in the past, the small city electoral boundary - which would have served a population of approximately 50,000 people - has not been of benefit to Limerick.

“We welcome the recommendations of this report to extend our city boundary and finally capture the population of the urban core and the suburban spread which emanates from it,” she concluded.

Chairperson of the Limerick City Business Association Helen O’Donnell said it is now key that “quality councillors” are elected.

“I believe that in a sense, that we do not have a big resident population in the city, so we often end up with people not living in the city centre. We are the third biggest city in the country. We have to acknowledge that,” she said.