Constituency Review Submission from Deputy Frank Feighan T.D
Deputy Frank Feighan T.D
Submission ID: S371
Sligo-Leitrim, Roscommon-Galway, Donegal
9th May, 2023
I am grateful for the opportunity to make a submission on this review for your committee’s consideration. I would like to focus on the current Sligo/Leitrim/North Roscommon/South Donegal constituency.
Anyone who canvassed in the General Elections of 2007 and 2011 would have noticed that there was deep dissatisfaction in County Leitrim when it was divided up into the two constituencies of Sligo-North Leitrim and Roscommon-South Leitrim. This was then remedied in 2016 to the satisfaction of the people in Co Leitrim. Also, in the last General Election of 2020, in this new constituency of Sligo-Leitrim-North Roscommon and South Donegal, there was huge resentment on the doorsteps in South Donegal (Ballyshannon, Bundoran etc) at being ‘cut off’ from the rest of the Donegal county.
However in North Roscommon, I certainly did not encounter any evidence in the media or on the doorsteps about the constituency split in this county, and to the contrary the people in the Boyle and North Roscommon area seemed to be very satisfied with their inclusion within the Sligo-Leitrim constituency. I understand that there are many reasons for this – Boyle and North Roscommon have many ties to Sligo town in the north and Carrick on Shannon to the east including geographical, employment, healthcare, economic, education, agriculture, sporting and tourism. The residents of North Roscommon frequent these towns on a daily basis. Also, the infrastructure links such as the Sligo-Dublin N4 which passes through Boyle to Carrick on Shannon and the railway line and bus services also pass through Boyle and Carrick via the Sligo-Dublin route which facilities the above mentioned ties.
The recent Census seems to indication that the population in County Donegal is now large enough to be allocated six Dail seats which would facilitate two 3-seat constituencies in Donegal South West and Donegal North East as has been tradition in the past.
However, the combined Sligo-Leitrim population is not adequate to form a 4-seat constituency alone and in County Roscommon the population is too small for a standalone 3-seat constituency. However the way to remedy this in my opinion is to continue on with the 2016 proposal where the current area of North Roscommon would be joined with Sligo-Leitrim and form a population large enough for a 4-seater constituency without South Donegal.
I believe this resolution would adequately keep Sligo-Leitrim and North Roscommon as a 4-seater constituency which I believe the voting population are comfortable with, and more than used to.
I wish you well with your deliberations.
Frank Feighan TD