O’Malley and mayor clash over boundary

HOSTILITIES between Junior Minister Tim O’Malley and Limerick Mayor Diarmuid Scully intensified yesterday over the vexed boundary extension issue.

Mr O’Malley wants a single authority to take over the administration of Limerick city and county, and refuses to back the formation of an independent assessment committee to deal with the boundary issue.

Mr Scully wants an expert group established to draw up a report for Environment Minister Dick Roche on the merits of an extension of the city boundary into suburbs controlled by Limerick and Clare County Councils.

Mr O’Malley said: “My proposal is logical and overdue and the idea that authority over Limerick had to stay circumscribed by outdated imperial and bureaucratic conventions is laughable and nonsensical.”

Mr O’Malley claimed Limerick County Council demonstrates a more strategic and careful approach than their city counterparts.

He said: “All of us striving for Limerick’s continued success and re-emergence as the commercial and social centre of the west and south of our country realise fully the idea Limerick can continue to be divided in this archaic way is nonsense.”

He said time and resources are wasted trying to coordinate plans for both sections of the city/county area.

Mr O’Malley said: “What we effectively have is both sections of Limerick city and county competing against each other - when they should be competing against Clare, Tipperary and Galway, in terms of attracting business and infrastructure. Too much time has been wasted on this pointless exercise of internal competition, while some of our cuter neighbours stole a march on us.”

His idea for a single authority, he said, will address the waste and duplication involved in having two library services, planning departments and environmental sections.

He added: “We would appear to have serious problems as well in those areas where our two Limerick authorities butt up against each other on rather hazy boundaries.”

However, Mr Scully accused Mr O’Malley of acting in such a way as to damage in the interests of the city over his stance on the committee proposal.

Mr Scully said: “It is time he realised he was elected to represent the city as well as the county and started acting like it.”

He said Mr O’Malley was the only East Limerick TD opposed to a fair and impartial analysis of the facts of the matter.

Mr Scully said: “What is he afraid of?

“We’ve all got to raise our game if we want Limerick to continue to thrive - and that means all of us.”

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