Saturday 23 September 2017

Coalition ministers clash over boundary changes

Rural Affairs Minister Ann Phelan lashed out at Planning Minister Paudie Coffey over proposed changes to the Kilkenny border
Rural Affairs Minister Ann Phelan lashed out at Planning Minister Paudie Coffey over proposed changes to the Kilkenny border
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Two Coalition ministers from the same Government department have squared off against each other in a row over county boundary changes in Kilkenny and Waterford.

Rural Affairs Minister Ann Phelan lashed out at Planning Minister Paudie Coffey over proposed changes to the Kilkenny border which would see 5,000 people's address change to Waterford.

Last night, a senior source described the turf war as a "serious clash of senior hurlers".

Ms Phelan, who is a Carlow/Kilkenny Labour TD, yesterday accused Mr Coffey, a Waterford Fine Gael deputy, and Environment Minister Alan Kelly of "political opportunism".

"Both ministers, but especially Paudie Coffey, know how furious I am about this. We are talking about 5,000 people who want to be Kilkenny people," Ms Phelan told the Irish Independent.

"You do not have to annex part of the next county to solve a problem. I would say to Paudie Coffey 'Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned'. This is political opportunism. It is all about getting their hands on the port of Waterford."

The minister's comments follow a strongly worded statement from Carlow/Kilkenny TD John Paul Phelan attacking Mr Kelly and Mr Coffey over the proposed boundary changes.

However, Mr Coffey hit back at his Coalition colleagues, insisting his "vision" for Waterford City was based on improving planning and development in the region.

"This is not about taking away people's traditions or culture," he added.

Irish Independent

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