Minister Kelly Must Not Hijack Debate On Local Government Reform

Independent TD Mattie McGrath is set to to facilitate a press conference on the necessity of a constitutional challenge to The Local Government Reform Act 2014. The press conference will also outline the urgent need for a judicial review of the legality of the Act which led to the eradication of over 80 town and borough councils throughout the Country:

"In light of the recent statements by Government sources that the merger of Cork County Councils is a solo run by Minister Alan Kelly, it is more important than ever than we have a serious, credible debate on the issue of local government reform.

In March of this year Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin publicly described the abolition of over 80 Town Councils as his single greatest policy regret in over four years of Government. Those comments were then backed at the Labour Party conference by Minister Kelly.

That backing directly contradicts Minister Kelly's blatant push now for similar 'reform' of local government in Cork.

In the meantime however we have had no meaningful political debate about the implications of those admissions by two senior Government Ministers. This has in turn exposed a chasm of political indifference at the heart of Government concerning the threat to democratic structures in this State.

It is absurd for this matter to continually go on without debate and for it to be relegated to the margins of our political conversation.

I fully supported the work of FLAME who at the time of the so called Local Government Reform Act challenged the constitutionality of the decision to axe the Councils.

They have advanced the view that the Act is repugnant to the constitution as it was passed without a vote, specifically that it violates Article 28A of the Constitution and the European Charter of Local Self-Government," concluded Deputy McGrath.

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