review is a ‘landgrab’

Dunnes Stores in Graiguecullen where Carlow County Council want to reclaim some of the area
A review of the boundary between Carlow and Laois, has been described as a landgrab by one councillor, who wants the review stopped.

A review of the boundary between Carlow and Laois, has been described as a landgrab by one councillor, who wants the review stopped.

“This is nothing but a landgrab by Carlow to take Graiguecullen into Carlow. I’m disappointed to see it on the agenda again,” Cllr Padraig Fleming told the June meeting of Laois County Council.

“I propose we write to the Minister and tell him to stop. This has come up before and was stopped. Laois has to keep it’s own boundaries.”

Cllr Fleming later told the meeting: “your either a county person or your not.”

Cllr John Moran said he felt very emotional over this issue.

“I feel so emotional about this issue. We have to resist like nothing else. This is not only a land grab but a rate grab. The amount of money that Laois County Council have spent in the area on the Northern Relief Road etc.”

Emo Councillor, Tom Mulhall, supported the other councillors.

“Graiguecullen has a great tradition of football, we don’t want to give any of them to Carlow. We are well able to look after Graiguecullen ourselves, we have to hold what we have.”

While Ben Brennan suggested pushing the boundary back to the River Barrow.

“We should go with the boundary of the river. They are looking to take our rates and our houses. We have to stand up and keep our own area.”

Cllr Jerry Lodge asked was there any evidence that Laois hadn’t co-operated with Carlow in relation to Graigue.

Cllr Fleming explained that the councillors in both area had regular joint co-operation meetings.

“But now Carlow wants to take over,” he added.

Cllr Noel Tuohy said people in Graiguecullen considered themselves strong Graiguecullen people.

“They have an emotional attachment to County Laois. I have watched them try to win a Laois Championship for forty or fifty years now.”

In response to the councillors, Chief Executive, Gerry Murphy said it was unlikely Minister Kelly would change the review.

“The terms of reference were only signed on June 19, it is unlikely the Minister will change his mind because councillors are unhappy here.

“We have an opportunity to sit down now and look at it and see what we can put together in a more organised structure for the area.”

But Cllr Fleming didn’t agree. “It would save time and money if they stopped the review now and respect the boundary of both counties.”

Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley said she agreed with the CEO.

“We should put forward a submission and try and influence the review while we are waiting on the Minister to come back to us,” she said.

While Cllr Brendan Phelan had similar advice.

“We should try and win the argument, not try to stop it. We could be seen as unreasonable.” However, Cllr Fleming’s mind was not for changing.

“You’re either a county person or you’re not,” he told the Chamber, “we hold onto our boundary.”