Clare and Limerick’s neighbourly rivalry has erupted once more with calls for a boundary extension causing anger.
Fianna Fáil Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon at the Metropolitan District meeting called for an extension of the administrative boundary of Limerick City and County Council into Co Clare. He maintained residents in Shannon Banks and Westbury feel more connected to the Treaty County as opposed to the Banner.
A former Mayor of Limerick, Cllr O’Hanlon had previously received hate mail for expressing such views but he was adamant that it made sense to extend the boundary. His comments came following the announcement that Clare County Council intends to build a Strategic Development Zone close to the University of Limerick creating 3,500 jobs over the next decade. “We can’t have a situation where people are just putting towns on the edge of the city to piggy bank on our success”.
His party colleague in Clare, Cllr Cathal Crowe described the proposal as “bizarre”. He rejected the claim that those living in Shannon Banks and Westbury feel more of an affinity to Limerick City.
“How are we ever going to achieve a counter balance to Dublin if we are stuck in parochial squabbles. We’re tied into a strategic planning policy where Limerick and Clare are to work side by side. The elements we’re putting forward from a Clare end allow for the expansion of UL which the most senior people in UL will say cannot expand any more on the Limerick side it’s so saturated, UL has to expand on the Clare side”, he said on Clare FM’s Morning Focus on Wednesday morning.