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Michael Smith deems the decision to abolish Town Councils an act of vandalism

· Not 1 cent has been saved by Town Council eradication

· Fianna Fáil will renew and rejuvenate Town Councils

· Mayor of Clonmel to be reinstated by Fianna Fáil

Cllr. Michael Smith, General Election Candidate announces Fianna Fáil's plan to renew and rejuvenate Town Councils and the reinstatement of the Mayor of Clonmel. Cllr. Smith stressed that Town Councils are best equipped to deal with local communities and local issues and that the demolition of local authorities was nothing more than an act of vandalism by Government.

“Demolishing local democratic institutions was ostensibly about saving money however, it did not actually save one cent of Taxpayers' money. It was projected as anti-politician, running with the tide while playing optics with serious institutions.” said Cllr. Michael Smith. According to Smith, this was clearly not a reform move by Government to create municipal districts, as a municipality consists of a town and its hinterland. Previous to this “so called reform”, Ireland was out of step with similar sized European countries with one Councillor per 3,000 of population and this is now increased to 5,000 per population.

Fianna Fáil will renew and rejuvenate Town Councils including the Mayoralty of Clonmel. These Councils will be familiar with the needs of the people which will in turn encourage greater participation, give better representation and increase civic responsibility. The principle of subsidiarity is simple, decisions being made geographically closer to the people. Its effects will allow for greater responsibility and ownership of decision making processes, for example raising funds etc.

Smith proposed the need to bring back Town Hall functions, encourage local enterprise, tourism and cultural events and greater pride in the home place. Smith continued “this Government tried to abolish the Seanad and they failed. Fianna Fáil is sending a strong message of renewal and giving back to the people. The 1916 Proclamation declares the enhancement of the citizens to participate and we should honour that commitment. Clonmel with its fantastic history will once again climb to great heights and use these powers for the betterment of the people”.