Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy said he is deeply concerned and alarmed at the details of the Athlone boundary report which he claims could very well lead to an annexation of the Monksland area in the next four years.
Deputy Murphy said that unless a number of stipulations from the boundary report are adhered to then the controversial boundary changes could still go ahead in four years time.
“Let nobody be fooled - this matter has been framed in such a way which could very well lead to an annexation of the Monksland area in four years time,” he said.
“I am deeply concerned at the details of the boundary report. When I probed and questioned officials last week I was alarmed to hear what was revealed which states that there must be a joint local area plan within 24 months, a joint retail strategy within 18 months, and a service delivery analysis and plan within nine months while the implementation of these service delivery changes must take place within three years which really sounds like a veiled threat,” he added.
“In my view there are two options: either the Government come out and take this report off the table completely, and Fianna Fáil are seeking legal advice as to what we can do in the Dáil to make this happen; or the second option is to introduce a piece of legislation which would give the people of Monksland an opportunity for a referendum before any boundary change can go ahead, “ he said.
“Failing that I will be looking at what I can do through a Private Members Bill to force it before the Dáil; this boundary report as it stands could be the death knell for Monksland and it needs to be taken off the table completely as this still leaves a veil of uncertainty over the issue,” concluded Deputy Murphy.