Outgoing set-up was ‘silly’ and ‘illogical’

Sitting TDs criticise old system that saw parts of Limerick and Kerry put together, writes David Raleigh

Sitting TDs from all the major political parties in Limerick have given the thumbs-up to the changes proposed — describing the outgoing constituency set-up as “silly” and “illogical”.

In future elections, Limerick will be represented by a four-seat Limerick City constituency and a three-seat Limerick County constituency.

Voters in both constituencies will be represented by TDs in a similar way to how they were in the old Limerick East and Limerick West constituencies.

Limerick City will get an extra 11,197 voters from the county. The extra votes will come from several areas of County Limerick, which had been in the Limerick/North Kerry constituency.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan topped the poll in Limerick City in 2011, hammering his Fianna Fáil adversary Willie O’Dea — who still managed to take the second seat.

Mr O’Dea said: “It seems to me to be totally logical. I thought what happened last time was highly illogical that part of Limerick was put into Kerry. I think that the people of Limerick who were put into Kerry the last time felt they had been disenfranchised.”

Labour’s Jan O’Sullivan, who was also elected in the city constituency, welcomed the news but admitted there wasn’t a traditional Labour vote in the rural areas coming back to the city.

Fine Gael’s Dan Neville said those looking for Dáil seats in the new Limerick County three-seater shouldn’t be disappointed.

Mr Neville welcomed the news that 13,352 votes would be brought into the Limerick County constit-uency from Kerry. It means Limerick County will gain an extra 2,155 votes despite losing more than 11,000 votes to Limerick City.

“It was silly in the first place to put a whole chunk of West Limerick into Kerry. It never made any sense,” he said.

Some of the key areas moving from the Limerick/Kerry constituency into Limerick City are: Roxboro, Ballybricken, Caherconlish, Cappamore, Murroe, Bilboa, Doon West, Glenstall, Abbington, and Clonkeel.

Limerick County will retain the western section of Limerick as well as areas in the east of the county including Doon, Pallasgreen, Bruff, Hospital, Knockainey, and Fedamore.

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