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Ireland’s Statutory, Independent Electoral Commission

Constituency Review Submission from Cllr. Paul Gogarty

Cllr. Paul Gogarty

Submission ID: S404




Dublin Mid-West, Dublin West, Dublin South-West, Dublin Rathdown

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Dear all,

My assumptions are based on the Commission making recommendations for the upper end of Dáil seat increases, to minimise changes following the next census. In this context, the net seat gain between Dublin Mid-West, Dublin South West, Dublin Rathdown and Dun Laoghaire is at least 3 seats overall in a higher seat scenario.

I will go into my proposals in due course. However, there are two issues that need to be addressed in any potential changes.

Protection of the integrity of the 4 Districts area

Anyone who lives in Dublin Mid-West will be aware of the historic connections between Newcastle, Rathcoole, Saggart and Brittas. These areas share many characteristics, and the communities are intricately linked.

It would therefore be important, within other calculations, for these rural and semi-rural areas to be kept together in terms of electoral representation at national level. It would also be desirable, although not essential, for the entire existing Clondalkin Local Electoral Area to be preserved within any constituency changes.

The need for Lucan North LEA residents to have a formal say in Lucan matters and representation by Lucan-based representatives

I note that the terms of reference for the Commission aims to respect traditional county boundaries but does not request this to be taken into consideration for administrative boundaries such as Fingal, South Dublin, Dublin City and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown.

In this respect, there is a strong case to be made for estates such as Laraghcon, on the extremity of Fingal, and other smaller areas up as far as the canal or the old railway boundary at Westmanstown, to have some electoral input into matters in Lucan. People living in this area, shop and send their children to school in Lucan, but have no say in terms of investment in infrastructure in the village area that directly impacts them in their daily lives. Their local authority needs in Fingal can be met by Fingal Councillors, but equally they need a South Dublin input and the best way to do this would be to add the area into Dublin Mid-West for Dáil election purposes. This would also give people the opportunity to vote closer to where they live. TDs retain a link with local authorities and Councillors contesting national elections will also be eager to serve these areas, so I see this as a win-win situation.

My suggestion would be for the  entire Lucan N or th LEA to be added to Du blin

 Mid- West  and/or the wider Lucan area within any future constituency.

Constituency scenarios

1) 5-seat DMW: My first proposal is that Dublin Mid-West on its own, gets an additional seat, using the current boundaries, with Lucan North LEA added. This would be generous enough but allows for future projected population growth.

However, this may cause knock on effects in terms of meeting the growth requirements of other areas, necessitating the Commission to look at areas such as Citywest and Jobstown to be added into Dublin Mid-West.

There is no historic precedent for this slicing of LEAs and finding precise boundary divisions that make sense would be difficult. So this scenario may not be desirable, depending on overall Dublin calculations.

2) 4-seat DMW: The second scenario would be that Dublin Mid-West might be able to remain a four-seater in numerical terms if Saggart, Rathcoole and Brittas were separated. However as mentioned previously, it is important for Newcastle to be retained with the rest of the 4 Districts and this scenario does not leave much room for future growth. The scenario that might work, however, would be to remove all the 4 Districts and leave a generous four seat Dublin Mid-West in situ that has space for future growth.

The downside of this outcome is that the Clondalkin Local Electoral Area is unnecessarily split in two.

3) 3-seat DMW: A third scenario that is worth looking at is for the current LEAs of Lucan and Palmerstown Fonthill to be added together, along with the Lucan North LEA, to make a smaller, three-seat Dublin Mid-West constituency. A 3- seat Dublin Mid-West – Incorporating the full DEDs of Palmerstown Fonthill LEA, Lucan LEA and Lucan North would have an approximate population of

81,784 = 27,261 per TD, allowing for a population increase of 8,218 in the constituency in the next Census, which might allow for the constituency to remain unchanged in the next review, even if it exceeds the national average, Certainly there will at least another 3,000 housing units constructed in that timeframe to cater for some but not all of the natural population increase.

The downside of this scenario is that a 3-seater invariably decreases the variety of representation and makes it easier for larger parties to be elected. However, at the rate Adamstown and Clonburris is expanding, this area would likely become a four seat constituency in about 10 years.

A 3-seat Dublin Mid-West would keep the areas in the northern half of the constituency that were historically in Dublin West. This included Lucan, North

Clondalkin and Palmerstown. The areas of Clondalkin-Cappaghmore, Clondalkin-Moorfield, Clondalkin-Rowlagh have been historically linked with Lucan and Palmerstown, having been part of Dublin West up until the 2002 general election and 2007 in the case of Palmerstown. There remains a logic that these areas, now in the Palmerstown Fonthill LEA should stay with their LEA voting counterparts in Lucan and Palmerstown in any constituency split.

This scenario would also free up the remainder of the existing Dublin Mid-West to return to its original Dublin South West layout, which in turn would leave room for Dublin Rathdown to go from 3 to 5 seats, or else for a new Dublin South constituency to emerge to fill in the gaps. I leave this element to the Commission as my knowledge on the ground relates to Dublin Mid-West.


My preference would be for the existing Dublin Mid-West to gain an additional

seat with the simple addition of the Lucan North LEA and no changes elsewhere. My next preference would be for a 3-seat DMW as this has the best scope for future expansion space. My least favourite options would be a four- seat DMW without the 4 Districts and, as mentioned, the 4 Districts need to be kept together in any event.

Trusting these issues can be looked at by staff members in calculating workable constituencies that meet the population requirements under the new seat scenario.

Yours faithfully, Cllr Paul Gogarty

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