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25 May 2022

Kildare Senator questions decision to remove Athy from regional aid map

Kildare Senator questions decision to remove Athy from regional aid map

Sen Mark Wall

Senator Mark Wall has questioned the decision to remove the Athy Municipal District (MD) from the recently announced Regional Aid Map.

Speaking on the matter in the Seanad this week, Senator Wall stated, “The reason I am raising this today is that the press release from the Department states: 'While there is a reduction in overall coverage, some or all of each county included in the previous map is included in the new map approved today by the Commission'. The Athy municipal district, MD, which is the area in which I live, had been part of the map from 2014 to 2022.

"However, in the recently announced map, the Athy municipal district has been removed and no other part of County Kildare has been included. The Athy MD was included for very specific reasons in the previous map and, unfortunately, to the greatest extent, many of those reasons have not changed in recent years.

"Enterprise has not been located in the Athy municipal district to provide much-needed employment, so the municipal district's removal is worrying, to say the least. We have seen progress on the new road in Athy and a number of other tourism-related
projects, making Athy an attractive place to move to and raise a family.

"What we need now is enterprise to provide employment. The Athy municipal district, including the towns of Athy and Castledermot and the wonderful villages of Nurney, Ballitore, Calverstown, Narraghmore and Kilberry, needs an additional stimulus to attract enterprise and employment, and its removal from the regional aid maps needs to be explained by the Minister, who might come before the House. I have written to him today seeking an explanation as to why the Athy municipal district has been removed from the regional aid maps."

He said this decision must be explained, the Athy MD must not lose out to any potential funding.

"The Minister must explain why Athy MD was removed and more importantly what measures Government are taking to encourage investment and employment into the area."

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