Constituency Review Submission from Deputy Alan Farrell T.D.
Deputy Alan Farrell T.D.
Submission ID: S470
Dear members of the Electoral Commission,
I wish to make a submission regarding North County Dublin Constituencies and a general observation regarding the total number of TD’s required, due to population growth. In doing so, I would stress the requirement for small, sustainable changes which prolong the existence of certain Constituencies in high growth communities, such as our large cities and commuter belts.
For four Census in a row, Fingal has the fastest growing, youngest demographic in the state. This statistic should focus the mind of the Commission on providing sufficient headroom for future growth without ongoing radical change, something that prior boundary commissions could not provide.
The potential for growth in the number of seats in Dáil Éireann up to 180 is warranted on this occasion, as it will provide the Commission with the opportunity to offer continuity of representation in various communities, up and down the country.
I believe such a large jump in TD’s provides the Commission with the ability to honour the local authority boundary and perhaps consider Howth/Sutton/Baldoye re-joining the rest of Fingal from a Dáil Constituency perspective, in whatever format is appropriate. This approach would allow the Commission to redraw north city constituencies in a way which recognises the local electoral wards and the potential for future growth.
I would insist that towns are not divided if such an approach is attempted, in particular, Swords, Co. Dublin which experienced a divide in the recent past. I am also acutely aware of the symbiotic nature of many communities in the North County, particularly Malahide & Portmarnock; Rush and Lusk; Balbriggan & Skerries etc who should be kept together, regardless of the makeup of the Dail constituencies in the North County.
With regard to my own Dublin Fingal constituency, I believe a three seat northern constituency and a three or four seat southern constituency are warranted, dependent on whether or not the numbers work with the inclusion of the old Howth electoral ward. The obvious division is just north of Swords, from Lissenhall to the Meath border, to the west. As regards Howth, Sutton, Baldoyle, I believe it would be advantageous for those communities to be retained within one local authority area, in order to enable continuity of public representation for both the public, and indeed their future public representatives.
Finally, should the Commission opt to honour the Council boundary within Fingal, then I believe Fingal West, Fingal North and Fingal East or variations of that theme, should be adopted as suitable names. The inclusion of the word Dublin is a matter for the Commission but I would point out that Fingal has existed as a local authority since 1994, without the requirement.
I wish you well in your endeavours as a Commission.
Alan Farrell TD
Fine Gael Dublin Fingal