Review committee recommends merger of City and County Councils

City Hall on College Road.

A union of city and county could be on the cards following the findings of a key report due to be published later today.

An expert group set up to examine the future of local administration has come down heavily in favour of Galway City and County Councils amalgamating.

There had been speculation that the findings of Galway Local Government Review Committee would just advocate an extension of the urban boundary – but they have recommended a ‘full merger’.

Chaired by Trinity College professor and Galway native, Eoin O’Sullivan, the report concludes that a merged local authority would be better for everyone in terms of ‘efficiency, better forward planning and work opportunities.’

If Environment Minister, Simon Coveney, follows through with the recommendation of the report, Galway will be following in the paths of Waterford and Limerick, where the city and county councils have merged over recent years.

However, in the Minister’s home territory of Cork, a massive wrangle has developed over a proposed fusion of city and county, following an earlier consultant’s report that the two should join together.

Many city councillors have already expressed their opposition to such a merger of the urban and rural local authorities in Galway, on the basis that the new body would be too big and ‘unwieldy’ to administer.

For more on the committee’s review, see this week’s Galway City Tribune