DCSIMG

Ed Walsh won't chair boundary committee

THE founding President of the University of Limerick, Dr Ed Walsh, has ruled himself out of the running as a possible candidate to chair the independent committee which will examine the possible extension of the city boundary.

Earlier this month it was confirmed that Environment Minister, John Gormley, is to establish the committee, which will report back to Government within four months.

Members of the independent committee, including its chairperson, will be appointed in the coming weeks.

The administration of Limerick City has long been a hot issue with politicians and business people on either side of the boundary who hold strong views on the matter.

Minister Willie O'Dea has previously admitted that the boundary has posed difficulties since the foundation of the state and that it needs to be addressed for once and for all.

Responding to suggestions that he was in line to be appointed as chairman, Dr Ed Walsh, who supports the concept of a single authority for Limerick, said he was flattered but that he does not have an interest in the position and would not accept it if it is offered to him.

However, he welcomed the imminent establishment of the committee.

"When the city is divided in three as it is at present between the city council and County Clare and County Limerick, you find that there is no plan for the future of the city and there is no plan for prospective investors and as a result Limerick has fared very badly for some time so this is a great step," he said.

"Limerick united under one local authority with a boundary that corresponds to the urban area will be a much stronger city and the region will be a much stronger region," he added.

When it is formally established, the Limerick Local Government Committee will be tasked by Minister Gormley to prepare a report into the most appropriate arrangements for local government for the city and county.

It will also investigate the possibility of directly elected political leadership like the model recently agreed by Government for Dublin.

 
 
 

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