FF: Make Kerry a five-seat constituency

FIANNA FÁIL has called for Kerry constituencies to be redrawn as a single five-seater in the next general election — resulting in the loss of one of the county’s six TDs.

The proposed abolition of the two three-seaters, Kerry North and Kerry South, is one of a number of controversial suggestions made by the Government party in its submission to the Constituency Commission.

Past experience shows Fianna Fáil’s submissions are highly influential when it comes to redrawing constituency boundaries.

In its submission Fianna Fáil suggests:

* Kerry should become a one five-seater with a transfer of some of its population into Limerick West.

* Limerick West should be increased to a four-seat constituency and Limerick East should be decreased from a five-seater to a four-seater.

* Dún Laoghaire should be reduced from a five-seater to a four-seat constituency with some of its population transferring to Dublin South.

* The two three-seat constituencies of Dublin North Central and Dublin North East should be merged into one new five-seat constituency of Dublin North East.

* Meath East should be increased from three seats to four with transfers of population from Meath West and Louth.

* Given there is no TD from Leitrim, Fianna Fáil suggests the commission revisit its decision to split the county into two.

The commission is charged with deciding boundaries for general elections and is accepting submissions from political parties and the public.

Some of the changes it sanctioned in its last report proved to be highly controversial. Besides splitting Leitrim into two, the town of Ballincollig was moved from Cork South Central to Cork North West.

The FF submission, made by general secretary Seán Dorgan, suggests the overall number of seats in the Dáil remain at 166 and those for Cork city and county at 19.

However, it suggests there should be transfers of population from Cork East and from Cork North West to ensure that Cork North Central has a large enough population to remain as a four-seater. Indeed, Cork North Central was reduced from five to four before this year’s election.

The loss of seats in Kerry, Limerick East, Dún Laoghaire, and in the North Dublin constituencies will be very unpopular locally and will be sure to attract strong criticism.

Boundary changes

Area proposed to be moved into Cork North Central.

* From Cork East: Ballynaclogh; Glenville; Knockaha; Lisgoold.

* From Cork North West: Clonmoyle; Kilcullen; Mountrivers; Magourney.

Areas proposed to be moved into new 4-seat Limerick West.

* From Kerry: Carrig; Cloontubrid; Duagh; Kilmeany; Leitrim; Newtownsandes; Tarbert; Tarmon.

* From Limerick East: Ballycummin; Hospital; Limerick South Rural; Roxboro.

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