Guarded welcome for proposed changes to Tipperary electoral areas

Councillors in many parts of Tipperary will be concerned at their chances of re-election while new candidates may be seeing a fresh opportunity.

It follows the report of the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee which recommends a number of changes ahead of next years local elections.

While the number of County Councillors in Tipperary will stay at 40 between the five Municipal Districts there are proposals to alter the electoral areas.

Instead of the current system of one for each District the proposal from the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee is for eight.

If approved by Local Government Minister John Paul Phelan the changes recommended by the committee would result in some councillors gaining potential voters while others will lose out as their traditional stomping grounds are shifted into another electoral area.

It’s recommended the Templemore-Thurles Municipal District would have 5 councillors from the Thurles electoral area while Roscrea-Templemore would account for 4.

The Nenagh Municipal District would also be split into 2 electoral areas with 4 Councillors from the Newport area and 5 from Nenagh.

Fine Gael’s Ger Darcy says the current area is too unwieldy as it stretches from below Newport to the bridge in Portumna.

The status quo would remain in the Cashel-Tipperary Municipal District with 7 elected representatives.

The Carrick on Suir District would be reduced to 5 Councillors while areas such as Kiltinan, Tullamain and Kilcash would move to the Clonmel District.

Fianna Fáil’s Imelda Goldsboro says the changes won’t necessarily reduce the workload of councillors but may in fact deter new candidates.

The Clonmel Borough District is the only one earmarked for an increase in numbers – going from 9 to 10.

It would also be split into two electoral areas 6 of these would be from the Clonmel Electoral Area with 4 from Cahir.

Poulmucka based Councillor Andy Moloney says the changes will make for an interesting election.