A FIANNA Fáil plan to radically shake up the system of local government and ditch the country's 744 town councilors could have a detrimental effect on the Green Party.
As 11 of the party's 14 councillors currently serve solely as town councillors, the Fianna Fáil plan poses a threat to their political futures.
Under the plan, one set of councillors would represent their area at town and county level. The party wants to stop the duplication of councillors across the country so the areas currently covered by town councils would be expanded to include the surrounding the area.
Hundreds of councillors all over the country have double roles as town and county councillors but some councillors only serve as town councillors. Following last June's local election drubbing, the junior coalition partner in government only has 14 councillors in total and 11 of them serve solely as town councillors.
The plan was presented to the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting by transport minister Noel Dempsey on Tuesday night. It will now be presented to environment minister John Gormley, who is drawing up reforms of the local government sector.
Commenting on the plan, Green Party senator Dan Boyle said, "As far as I am aware the Fianna Fáil proposals are only a discussion document.
"It is one of many submissions on local government reform that Minister John Gormley will have to take into account."
Local government reform has always been a key plank of Green Party policy and Boyle added: "The area of duplication is something that we believe should be looked at. We would be in support of a district council approach where the outlying areas could be brought into it."