North Cork to lose its deficit

CORK North Central will benefit from the transfer of populations from two other constituencies to make up the glaring deficit of population that became obvious in the 2006 Census.

The constituency, taking in all of the north city and a big rural hinterland, had a population per TD that was a staggering 10% below the national average.

Rather than lose a seat (it had already gone down from a five-seater to a four-seater for the 2007 elections), it was allowed transfers from Cork East and Cork North West, both which had slightly higher populations per TD than the average.

The two contiguous constituencies transferred some 8,500 votes between them to Cork North Central.

According to the commission: “Having considered the options, we decided to recommend the transfer of 4,255 from Cork East, and 4,334 from Cork North West, to Cork North Central, which would extend the constituency northwards and westwards.”

Theoretically, Cork South Central could also have ceded some territory.

But when the constituencies were being changed in 2003 and 2004 ahead of the 2007 elections, the commission had decided that the boundaries between North Central and South Central should be the North Channel of the River Lee.

“The commission does not propose a transfer of population from South Central to North Central as it would breach this natural boundary,” it states. And so Cork North Central begins to look more like a rural constituency than an urban one, taking in electoral areas of Cork East like Watergrasshill, Glenville, and of Cork North West like Kilcullen and Glantane.

Overall, Co Cork retains its 19 seats. Its population of 481,000 equates to 25,311 people per TD according to Census 2006 figures, just below the national average.

The commission accepted that the variances in four of its five constituencies was acceptable, Cork North Central was over-represented and required an additional population. Thus the move to transfer areas from North West and East. Indeed, the transfers equate closely to those recommended by FF in its submission to the commission.

Changes to voting in Cork

* A total of 4,255 voters in Cork East and 4,344 from Cork North West will be transferred to Cork North Central.

* Cork North West: The townlands of Mountrivers, Kilcullen, Kilshannig and Dromore will appear on the Cork North Central electoral registerat the next generalelection.

* Cork East: The townlands of Ballynamona, Rahan, Glenville, Carrig, Kildinan, Ballynaglogh and Watergrasshill will also move to Cork North Central.

* Cork North Central: The four-seat constituency of Cork North Central is currently served by Fianna Fáil's Billy Kelleher and Noel O'Flynn, Fine Gael's Bernard Allen and Labour's Kathleen Lynch.

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