Rebels  - with a local authority cause.

Rebels - with a local authority cause.

Despite bitter objections, the Department of the Environment has forced through the amalgamation of local authority councils in Waterford, Limerick and Tipperary.
The process was started by EU Commissioner, Phil Hogan of Fine Gael, and is being continued by his successor, Minister Alan Kelly of Labour.
While I intend no criticism of the politicians and officials working hard to operate the new amalgamated councils, I was one of the many opposed to the move in Waterford and still think that the mistake will only become clearer in the years to come.
While the process appears to be working smoothly enough in Waterford and Tipperary there are serious problems in Limerick where, according to reports, it clearly is not working.
However, it might fall to our ‘Rebel’ friends in Cork to be the ones to call the government out on this one.
There is serious opposition and bickering on Leeside and the Department’s intention to amalgamate the city and county councils has generated white heat controversy.
Accusing the Department of the Environment of doing more to reduce the power of local government in Ireland than the British ever did in 800 years, a prominent columnist in The Southern Star newspaper called for a plebiscite and said the controversy had the potential to cause the political extermination of Labour in Cork city and serious collateral damage for Fine Gael in both the city and county.
However, we shouldn’t get our hopes up because, even if Cork manages to repel the amalgamation, the Minister will simply say the matter has been postponed for more consultations and the rest of us will stay as we are.