Constituency Review Submission from Bill Ryan
Submission ID: S559
The constituency of Meath West presumably initiated – created by a former Electoral Commission which I think decided to replace the 5 seater Meath constituency with the two 3 seater constituencies Meath East and West resulted in North Westmeath, traditionally part of the Longford-Westmeath constituency, now voting for candidates who resided in Meath.
Effectively Delvin – Castlepollard- Raharney became a little pocket of voters…of no great significance in the Meath West constituency. We no longer looked to Mullingar as the natural home of the Westmeath part of the Longford-Westmeath constituency. But Navan now became the hub… the count centre. The home of Peadar Tóibín, Damian English with Oldcastle’s Sinn Féin T.D. Johnny Guirke bringing up the rear so to speak.
The separation of North Westmeath from its’ normal / natural political homeland resulted in a feeling of detachment and alienation from national politics amongst voters in this pocket of Meath West. To a certain extent the people of North Westmeath lost interest in voting in national elections.
When Meath West was established as a constituency it was necessary to find enough voters to justify its existence as a 3 seater. So Castlepollard- Devlin – Raharney was included to make up the necessary numbers. It seems likely that given the large population increase in County Meath in recent years that Meath West no longer needs the voters who reside in Westmeath to justify their 3 seats.
I urge you to return the Castlepollard – Delvin – Raharney electoral areas back to their old and much missed natural constituency of Longford Westmeath.
“The breaching of county boundaries shall be avoided as far as practicable’.