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Sunday 22 October 2017

Number of TDs per citizen too low in 25 of 40 constituencies

Census data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows that the average number of people per TD across the State stands at 30,138, with 25 of the 40 constituencies nationwide breaching the limit. (Stock picture)
Census data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows that the average number of people per TD across the State stands at 30,138, with 25 of the 40 constituencies nationwide breaching the limit. (Stock picture)
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Almost two-thirds of Dáil constituencies have more than 30,000 people per TD, more than the constitutional limit.

Census data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows that the average number of people per TD across the State stands at 30,138, with 25 of the 40 constituencies nationwide breaching the limit.

The Constitution says the number of people per TD should be between 20,000 and 30,000. The top three constituencies most over the limit are Dublin North-West with 32,331 per TD, Dublin Central at 32,102 and Dublin Rathdown at 31,491,

The next two are Galway East (31,217) and Cork North-Central (31,209).

The five constituencies are among the fastest-growing in terms of population in the State, with growth rates between 4.6pc and 8.2pc since Census 2011.

At the lower end of the scale, Limerick County has the fewest number of citizens per TD at 27,948, followed by Clare and Roscommon-Galway.

Last July, Housing Minister Simon Coveney established a new Constituency Commission following publication of the Census preliminary results.

It is tasked with reviewing the existing constituencies and making recommendations which could include no change to constituencies, or redrawing the boundaries.

However, the number of TDs is not expected to increase by more than two from the current 158, despite population growth.

In Census 2011, just five constituencies have more than the prescribed 30,000 people per TD. Of the top 10 fastest-growing constituencies in the country, just one - Dublin Mid-West - does not breach the limit.

Irish Independent

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