Thursday 22 August 2019

Constituency redraw won't happen if early election called

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Photo: INM
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Photo: INM
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

A reworking of constituency boundaries planned to be approved by Cabinet next week will not happen if a General Election is called.

The make-up of 12 constituencies was to change, with significant impact on high-profile candidates such as Paschal Donohoe, Charlie Flanagan, Shane Ross, Finian McGrath and Alan Kelly.

And the size of the Dáil was to increase from 158 deputies to 160, with Dublin Central, Kildare South and Cavan-Monaghan to gain an extra deputy.

The three-seat Laois and Offaly constituencies were to be merged to form a five-seater.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy was expected to ask ministers to sign off on the proposals made by the independent Constituency Commission next Tuesday. It would then be acted upon by mid-December.

The changes impacted hugely on the Finance Minister who fought a tough battle to keep his seat in Dublin Central last time.

He had expected the see his constituency gain a seat and a large section of Dublin North West was to move into his area. However, that would have resulted in his colleague Noel Rock losing 20pc of his voters from the 2016 election.

Independent Alliance Minister of State Finian McGrath publicly expressed disappointment that part of Dublin Bay North was also being moved to Dublin Central.

"I'm also saddened to be losing a lot of voters in that area. They are the people that got me elected in the beginning," he said at the time.

On the south side of Dublin the commission recommended the transfer of 1,535 people in the electoral division of Glencullen from Dublin Rathdown to Dún Laoghaire. This would affect Transport Minister Shane Ross, who represents Dublin Rathdown and claims credit for the reopening of Stepaside Garda Station in the area.

Minister of State Helen McEntee was losing considerable votes from Meath East to Cavan Monaghan.

Galway East constituency was to lose 8,650 voters to Roscommon-Galway but to take in 4,547 from Galway West.

Another 4,893 Galway West residents would see their ballots moved to Mayo.

Irish Independent

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