Laois County Council wins the €1 million battle for Graiguecullen

Boundary Commission decides the case has not been made to move all of border town into Carlow County Council's remit

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Graiguecullen

Existing boundary map.

A proposal that would have cost €1 million to Laois County Council and seen Graiguecullen and surrounding areas coming into Carlow County Council has been rejected.

The report of the Boundary Commission on Laois Carlow has found that a substantive case has not been made to redraw the county boundary.

An area of Graigucullen is already under Carlow's control but the commission's remit was to consider moving all of the town and hinterland under Laois jurisdiction into Carlow's control. The area totalled 543 hectares. Substantial residential and commercial development has been carried out in recent years on the Laois side.

In its submission opposing the change, Laois County Council said it stood to loose €782,531 in commercial rates and€289,000 in local property tax. Carlow County Council wanted the change but was cautious in its submission.

"The committee has also taken into account that there appears to be no significant popular or political demand for a boundary change," said the boundary committee report submitted to Minister Simon Coveney.

Laois TD and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan welcomed the decision.

“This brings much relief to the people of Graiguecullen and surrounding areas, whom I know were deeply concerned about any potential changes to the existing county boundaries between Carlow and Laois. 

“Following my discussions with my cabinet colleague and Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Simon Coveney on the matter, I made a strong case for the existing county boundaries to be retained. Graiguecullen is an important part of County Laois and there are many ties between people living in the area and the rest of Laois with regard to sporting, cultural and the economic links 

“Furthermore, there has been significant infrastructure investment by Laois County Council in recent years with the construction of the Northern Relief Road," said the Minister.

The boundary commission's report praised the joint approach taken to Graigue by Laois and Carlow county councils and recommended this "excellant model" continue into the future.

While it has now power in relation to other public service providers such as HSE and TUSLA, the committee recommended that the existing boundaries are operating to the "detriment" of people living in Graigue. It recommended that Simon Coveney's Department should begin discussions with other bodies the would see Carlow treated as a single catchment area.