Will a new city be added to the Irish map?
Ministers at Wednesday's special Cabinet meeting have discussed the idea of creating a city in the midlands.
Longford could soon be a lot closer to a city than it is now, if Cabinet Ministers have anything to do with it.
At Wednesday's special Cabinet Meeting in county Kildare, Ministers discussed the possibility of relieving the growth of population in Dublin City by creating another city in the Midlands or north west of the country.
Longford isn't likely to become a city anytime in the near future but, for a long time now, conversations have been had about giving Athlone city status.
In January of this year, Minister of State at the OPW Kevin 'Boxer' Moran said that Athlone is the ideal town for expansion to city status.
“I have always maintained that Athlone is a key regional centre and that once identified for greater population growth, it will give a significant economic boost to neighbouring counties such as Roscommon, Longford and Offaly," he said at the time.
A couple of months later, Athlone based Senator, Gabrielle McFadden, urged the then Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney TD to consider City status for Athlone and asked him to encourage the Minister for Education to consider Athlone Institute of Technology for University status.
"Our (Athlone's) population is increasing year on year and our key strategic location right in the middle of the country and straddling two provinces would make us the ideal location for development of a counterpoint to the current migration to the greater Dublin area," she said at a consultative meeting in AIT on the National Planning Framework ‘Ireland 2040 – Our Plan’. The meeting was one of a series of consultations on the framework being held around the country by Minister Coveney at the time.
For more on this story, see: Athlone should have city status and a university