Constituency Review Submission from Brian Hughes
Submission ID: S369
Louth, Meath East
We’ve noted that Article 16.2.2 of the Constitution says that the total number of the members of Dáil Éireann shall not be fixed at less than one member of each thirty thousand of the population, or at more than one member for each twenty thousand of the population. As you are aware, we currently have 160 TDs, and in order to comply with Article 16.2.2.of the constitution the number of TDs will need to be increased. We also note that the Electoral Reform Act 2022 reads there should be no less than 171 and no more than 181 TDs in total.
At present (see attached) there are
• 5 TDs for Louth with a population of 167,012, (surplus of 17,000 people)
• 3 TDs for Meath East with a population of around 99,000 (9000 surplus) and
• 3 for Meath West also with a population of around 99,000 (9000 surplus)
So when Louth, Meath East and Meath West populations are combined, this amounts to 365,000. When you divide this by thirty thousand (general population per TD), this suggest that there should be 12 TDs for these 2 counties, and that there is a current shortfall of 1 TD.
We understand that you can’t have more than 5 TDs in a constituency so that being the case, it we feel that the most appropriate way to deal with this shortfall is to split the current Louth(and East Meath) 5 seater into two 3 seat constituencies.
Louth would then have two 3 seat constituencies (North and South) each with a Regional Growth Centre at its core. The southern 3 seater would be centred around Drogheda and it would include parts of County Meath which are already included in the Louth constituency, and perhaps some more (Duleek, Donore, Stamullen etc) to capture some of the surplus in the Meath East constituency. Louth South & East Meath as a three seat constituency would address the current under representation in the area generally, whilst at the same time create a strong political identity for an area that is the fastest growing urban agglomeration in the country.