Wednesday 24 January 2018

They lobbied to join a 'posher' constituency, now locals don't want to live in Dublin Bay area

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

THEY lobbied successfully to be transferred to a constituency where TDs would pay attention to 'middle-class' concerns -- but now Terenure residents are unhappy that their new home has been renamed.

Residents in the suburb are unhappy the independent constituency commission changed the name of their Dublin South-East constituency last month.

The four-seat constituency has been renamed Dublin Bay South, mirroring the new Dublin Bay North constituency.

Terenure residents previously succeeded in their campaign to move from the more 'working class' Dublin South-Central. They also wanted to avoid the village being divided by constituency boundaries -- but now they face a new battle over the name.

They are branding the name change to Dublin Bay South as 'ridiculous' -- because they're nowhere near Dublin Bay.

Terenure is around 7km from the water, and they say the northside of the city has more of a connection to the bay.

A campaign is growing to have the name changed back -- with Education Minister and local TD Ruairi Quinn throwing his weight behind it.

Brendan Heneghan from the Terenure West Residents' Association, said it would be a pity to "jettison" the history of the name Dublin South-East.

"Well, I think the new name is ridiculous," he added. "We're very happy with the new constituency in the sense that Terenure is all in the one place.

"The reason we've been stuck with Dublin Bay South, to my mind, is because they had to have a Dublin Bay North -- and they had to have the same on the southside. This part of the world has been in (Dublin South-East) before and I don't see anything wrong with it.

"Dublin Bay North seems a bit more sensible in that it's got Howth, Clontarf, and Dollymount, which are all next to the bay. The only bit of this constituency which abuts onto the bay is Sandymount."

Bob Dowling of the Terenure Residents' Association insisted it was not a major issue, but said the village is a "long way from Dublin Bay".

Meanwhile the Education Minister's spokeswoman said the minister would fully support a move to keep the Dublin South-East name. He has received a handful of letters about the issue, and his spokeswoman added: "At a recent Labour Party constituency council meeting, the issue was discussed. The overwhelming majority of people were in favour of keeping the name. Ruairi would have supported that as well."

Fellow constituency Labour TD Kevin Humphreys said he had also received complaints.

Historical

"The name has been around since 1948, and there is a historical connection to figures like (former Taoisigh) Garret FitzGerald, John A Costello and (former health minister) Noel Browne," Mr Humphreys said.

Fine Gael's Eoghan Murphy also said he had also received complaints, particularly from the Terenure end.

Independent TD Finian McGrath has seen his Dublin North-Central constituency become Dublin Bay North but says he has "no problem whatsoever" with it.

"I think it's a beautiful name," Mr McGrath said. "We don't do elitism and snobbery on the northside."

Back in January, the Association of Residents of Terenure (ART) wrote to the constituency commission asking to be moved because Dublin South-Central TDs didn't pay enough attention to "middle-class" concerns and because they had a greater affinity to Dublin South-East.

That constituency takes in areas like Ballsbridge, Donnybrook, Sandymount, Harold's Cross, Ranelagh, Rathmines, Ringsend, as well as city centre locations like Trinity College, St Stephen's Green and Leinster House.

Representatives of the ART could not be reached last night for comment on the proposed name change.

Irish Independent

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