Constituency Review Submission from Anna Carr
Submission ID: S114
Louth, Meath East
The Louth Dáil constituency is currently a 5-seat constituency with a population of 167,012, giving a representation of one TD per 33,402 persons – making it the fifth most underrepresented constituency in the country. It is necessary, therefore, that the existing five-seat constituency be divided.
Taking Louth in isolation, the simplest solution would be to divide it into two areas of similar population and create a 3-seat constituency of each. This, however, would give a level of representation of one TD per 27,835 persons; a level which, if repeated across the entire country would require a Dáil of 184 members – in excess of the legal maximum.
A better solution would be to create two constituencies of the existing Louth constituency plus part of the existing Meath East constituency.
While the Commission seeks to avoid the breaching of county boundaries as far as practicable, it is not practicable to avoid this in relation to Louth for the reasons given above.
Furthermore, in this case, the breaching of county boundaries is actually desirable. The existing Meath East constituency includes areas which are functionally part of the town of Drogheda, as well as areas which, while not functionally part of the town are very much within its orbit.
In considering how much of the existing constituency of Meath East to add to a new constituency incorporating south County Louth and the town of Drogheda, i.e. whether this should be a three- or four-seat constituency, the Commission should take account of the likelihood, based on current rates of population growth and reasonable future projections, that within a few decades the greater Drogheda area will have a population justifying a 5-seat or even two 3-seat constituencies. The current review provides an opportunity to establish boundaries that will require minimal alteration to accommodate future projected population growth.
In light of the above, I recommend to the Commission that:
- The existing constituency of Louth be replaced with two new constituencies, with the southern of these to be extended to include part of the existing constituency of Meath East.
- That the part of the existing constituency of Meath East to be added to the new constituency including the southern part of the existing constituency of Louth should include, at least, all those areas that are functionally part of the town of Drogheda.
- That, in light of the overall boundary revisions, consideration be giving to adding a larger area of the existing constituency of Meath East to the new constituency including the southern part of the existing constituency of Louth to include not only those areas that are functionally part of the town of Drogheda, but also those areas which, while not functionally part of the town of Drogheda, are clearly within its orbit.
- That the boundary between the northern part of the existing constituency of Louth and the southern part of that existing constituency should be drawn with a view to ensuring that it will not be necessary to change it for some time.
- In recognition of the fact that the proposed constituency would include parts of both Louth and Meath, consideration should be given to naming the constituency “Drogheda”.
Mrs. Anna Carr