Constituency Review Submission from Brendan Heneghan
Submission ID: S15
European Constituencies - Dublin, European Constituencies - South, European Constituencies - Midlands-North-West
I would like to make the following submission in relation to the European Parliament Constituencies.
The national population is 5,149, 139 which on the basis of 14 members is an average of 367,795 per member.
The population of Dublin at 1,458,154 is very close to that average at 364,538 per member. Dublin has always been a self contained entity for these purposes and it would seem appropriate that it remain so as a four seat constituency.
It is my understanding that the population of the two other current areas respectively merit 4.5 Midlands North West and 5.5 South. I believe the most sensible approach is to remove a county or counties with between 150,000 and 200,000 population from South to Midlands North West and make that a five seat constituency.
The obvious options for a move are Clare, Laois and Offaly and Wicklow.
Clare has 127,938 population
Laois and Offaly have 91,877 and 83,150 respectively Wicklow has 155,851
I think the best option might be to move Laois and Offaly to Midlands North West. They were there before and they are clearly “midlands”.
The option of moving Wicklow would result in pretty well all the Dublin commuter belt being contained in the one Euro constituency, which is why it merits some thought. I believe that on a review earlier this year some thought was being given in submissions made by the public as to how Dublin and its commuter belt might be associated and putting Louth, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow in the same Euro constituency might address that. Those four counties merit two Euro seats, so they can’t just be aligned to Dublin.
I don’t think Clare is comfortable being associated with Connacht, so I don’t think you should go that route.
On strict population criteria and marginal contiguity, either Tipperary or Carlow/Kilkenny could be transferred, but that would produce a very misshaped South constituency, so should be clearly dismissed.
It would of course be possible to divide the two existing rural constituencies into a 4,3,3 configuration. However given the proximity of elections, I think a minimal approach is preferable.