For the next twelve months, Cllr Ian Lynch will serve as the Cathaoirleach of the West Clare Municipal District but he’s worried about the job that awaits his successor.
Following the publication of a report by the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee the twenty eight seats in the Council be retained and the district of North Clare reintroduced. This will be a four seat district and will take in areas of the West Clare and Killaloe District among them Ennistymon, Ballyea, Ruan, Corofin, Liscannor and Miltown Malbay. West Clare’s Municipal District is to be renamed Kilrush and lose three seats. It comprises of the areas between Loop Head and Kildysart and now takes in the parish of Kilmaley. Both areas will still sit as the one MD for meetings.
Independent councillor, Ian Lynch expressed his concern on the changes to The Clare Echo. “I am very open on it, I have a major concern. The dynamic of the West Clare area which I think for representation is very good, you’ll have five in the West and four in the North. The problem is I don’t think it’s been thought through fully, the West Clare Municipal District still remains the same and now it’s nine councillors, five from one area and four from another creates an imbalance. We still have the same budget, the same resources to pull from.
“My concern is that whoever gets voted in next year will ensure that the balance and fairness remains between North and West Clare because there will be an advantage to the five in the Kilrush area and I do hope that the five don’t take advantage of it and when it comes to budget that it is spread fairly”.
He does believe it will encourage more new candidates to run for the Council. “From a representational point of view I think it’s great and it will open the door to new people, while it will be a challenge to the role I have and my possibility of being elected, I think it’s very important that we try and encourage new people to come up through the ranks and get into the Council, without the Town Councils it’s very hard for people to have a platform so it’s really important that it’s made easier, but I am concerned about the imbalance it’s after creating but I think it’s going to be an exciting year next year, 2019 will be an exciting election it will be good to watch”.
For his twelve months as Cathaoirleach, the Kilrush man wants to focus on rural communities he feels are being neglected by the Government. “It’s important that we look at communities over the next twelve months because we’re not getting the commitment from Government, Clare County Council have committed to the rural directorate here and I do believe that rural communities are the key to the heart and soul not alone of West Clare but all rural towns and villages in the rest of the country. It’s going to be an exciting and busy year but I’m hoping we’ll achieve a lot”.
Cllr Lynch added, “We are a rural county regardless of if you come from Ennis Town we’re still a rural county, if you look at what has happened in the last four years and beyond the four years before that it has been community led initiatives that have come off the ground, the real grassroots have come up and they’ve achieved so much so it’s important that in the next twelve months that we continue to support that and make sure they can grow and the ideas they have are allowed to flourish and make a real difference to the county”.