Independent TD Mattie McGrath has confirmed that a Judicial Review surrounding the constitutionality of the abolition of over 80 Town and Borough Councils is set to go ahead. Deputy McGrath was speaking ahead of a major press conference being organised by Former Local Authority Members Éire (FLAME) and which is due to take place at the Historic Town Hall Chamber in Clonmel this Friday morning, 21st March, 2014 at 9.30am:
“I reiterate my full support for the action being taken by FLAME and can only sincerely hope that the issue generates as broad an interest as possible. I would especially appeal to all former members of local authorities who may have only recently heard of this Judicial Review to offer it their backing.
“It is my concern and that of FLAME that we are in many ways sleepwalking into an overly centralised state that will be seriously detrimental to local democracy. Everything that this Government has done in the name of so called reform has been piecemeal and reluctant.
“They have guillotined debate after debate at national level and now we are in a situation where meaningful local representation itself is threatened. We must make a stand on this issue and avail of any legal means to bring about a Review.
“I hope that a more sustained national conversation can be had on this matter and that much more scrutiny about the impact these provisions of the Local Government Reform Act will have can take place. If by lending my support to this action I can encourage others to engage in that kind of activity then I am more than happy to do so,” concluded Deputy McGrath.