Tramore’s new waste water treatment plant, already operational, was officially opened on Tuesday. Environment Minister John Gormley did the formal honours and local Mayor, Cllr. Joe Conway, described the occasion as a celebration of enhancement of the resort’s quality of life. He also availed of the opportunity to stake a claim for Urban Council status for the town.

Mayor Conway said the plant’s opening represented a boost to Tramore’s own self-worth, independence and sense of uniqueness, “having sometimes felt in the past that it was cut adrift and wallowing in the shade of vibrant progress and development elsewhere in the county”.

“Sometimes seen as a dormitory to its large urban neighbour, Waterford city, there are positive signs that our town is at last beginning to emerge as an economic unit in its own right. There are clear indicators that Tramore is beginning to get its reward for its seeming endless patience.

He added: “A day such as this is a signal day for the town – for it pagemarks the fact that we can be proud and confident from now on about the quality of our essential economic product, that is our beach, our water quality and our environment. In the past, it has not been wholesome for the people of Tramore to have the town’s strand and bay area paraded in the national media as deficient and dirty. That is not good for a town’s image, for its economic viability or its own morale.

“We have a good town and a caring town. Tramore people – whether of the older established stock or the arrevistes, colloquially known as ‘blow-ins’ – have a combined cement of goodwill and positivity”.

Mayor Conway then voiced his request for Urban Council status for the town. He argued: “For Tramore to assume now its right to full subsidiarity, to properly and adequately serve its people, to fulfil its responsibilities under the European Charter on Local Self Government ,the town, now with a population of ten thousand souls and the largest in County Waterford, needs critically to be given its full Council status.

“Only in this way can we inexorably propel ourselves towards the fulfilment of our potential, a potential that will rebound on the population of the town, the county and the whole south-eastern gateway”.

In that context, he commended Minister Gormley for taking on the demanding strictures of local government reform. “I know that he has set before us creditable consultation processes over the next few months. But, in the final analysis, local government reform will be seen in urban and suburban Ireland as anything but, if it does not redress the subsidiarity deficit that is endemic for Councils such as Tramore. We have waited six decades – it will be unremittingly demoralising for electors and representatives alike, to wait much longer”, he pronounced.