Fractured Counties have reduced Dáil representations – Tóibín
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Rural Affairs and Regional Development Peadar Tóibín TD has said that the outcome of the Constituency Commission Report means that counties are completely split up with Meath for example, now reaching into four different constituencies.
Deputy Tóibín said:
“Local Authorities are in the main county based. Most people identify on a county basis and many services, sports and cultural organisations function on a county basis.
“To facilitate geographical consistency in governance it has been an objective of the Constituency Commission to organise Dáil Constituencies on a county basis also.
“Meath is now fractured into 4 separate Dáil Constituencies; Meath West, Meath East, Louth and now Cavan-Monaghan. This will cause major difficulties for the development of the county which is already beset with some of the lowest levels of state per capita funding.
“When a sliver of a county is included in another constituency it can never hope to have a local TD representing its due to the fact that the sliver does not have the necessary population.
“There is a significant danger that these slivers become forgotten peripheries to the main population areas the constituency.
“Many TDs try their best to ameliorate this problem by focusing representation in these areas, however in general most citizens will tell you that they feel their interests are best met when they are located in their own county constituency.
“Meath East could have easily been a 4-seat constituency. The county as a whole could have been a six-seat constituency as is allowed for in the constitution. This would have provided for better representation.”