Longford-Westmeath Independent Alliance Deputy, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, has received the backing of his Independent Alliance colleagues in his bid to see Athlone designated a regional city.
A handful of regional cities are to be earmarked for future economic and social growth under plans by Minster for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Simon Coveney. The ‘national planning framework’ includes a potential new city in the Midlands, and Deputy Moran believes that Athlone fits the bill perfectly.
“I am delighted to have got the backing of my Independent Alliance colleagues. It is very important that Minister Coveney sees the strength and depth of support for Athlone in its bid to become a regional city. I have long argued for Athlone’s potential as a regional city and have been pressing Athlone’s case since being elected to the Dail,” Deputy Moran said this week.
“Athlone is a natural, central location for a city in the Midlands and is ideally placed also to lift the economic fortunes of surrounding towns and villages such as Moate and Kilbeggan on the Westmeath side, and places like Ballymahon and Longford on the other side of the constituency.”
Deputy Moran added that regional city status for Athlone would also be a major boast economically for Roscommon, helping to bring jobs to the county.
“Athlone retains a pivotal position on the River Shannon, located centrally in the country and the effective gateway to both east and west of the country. My Independent Alliance colleagues needed little or no convincing of the strong arguments in favour of Athlone. They are fulling backing my stance,” he concluded.