Constituency Review Submission from Daniel O’Callaghan
Submission ID: S99
Cork South-Central, Cork North-Central, National Issues
Dear Commission Secretary,
I offer my opinion regarding the review of Constituency Boundaries following the publication of results of Census 2022.
It has long been my opinion that County and City Boundaries should be respected wherever possible in the drawing of Constituency Boundaries.
Cork City has traditionally been overrepresented by its number of Dail seats relative to its population.
Large areas of the county of Cork, adjacent to the city, have been included in Cork South Central and Cork North Central constituencies, thereby increasing their number of Dail seats over the number of seats that would be merited if the City/County boundary had been adhered to in the drawing of constituency boundaries.
Of course, it follows that County Cork has been underrepresented by its number of Dail seats.
While the interests of City and County are frequently aligned, that is not always the case.
In recent years the question of the extension of Cork City administrative area was under discussion.
Dail representatives had a significant influence on the outcome.
Some of the TDs representing the interests of Cork City were elected with the help of votes from the county area, which had been included in Cork South Central and Cork North Central constituencies. It was ironic that votes from the County of Cork had helped Cork City gain control of a large and lucrative extension into the area of Cork County.
The full consequences of this exercise have not yet been realised by the population of the County, which has suffered a significant loss of rate and other incomes in the longer term.
The boundary of Cork City has been extended and now is the ideal opportunity to establish that new city/county boundary as the constituency boundary also.
Let there be two constituencies in the extended Cork City with the number of Dail seats in each determined on the basis of population.
Furthermore, the natural boundary of the river Lee should be the dividing line between Cork North Central and Cork South Central.
Boundary lines used in the past were not a natural fit.
Lines along the Model Farm Road or along the Curraheen Road to take from South Central and give to North Central made no sense on the ground.
Such lines were created purely to achieve particular outcomes.
Generally, I believe that County Boundaries should be respected in the drawing of constituency boundaries everywhere.
Smaller counties should stand alone and only be combined with another county, if the number of Dail seats merited by their population is less than three.
There is sufficient latitude in the Constitution to accommodate most situations, given the range of population allowed per seat and the number of seats permitted in a constituency.
I would be glad if the Commission would take into consideration the views expressed herein.