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Ireland’s Statutory, Independent Electoral Commission

Constituency Review Submission from Labour Party Constituency Council, Dublin Bay South

Labour Party Constituency Council, Dublin Bay South

Submission ID: S516




Dublin Bay South

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Submission from the Labour Party Constituency Council of Dublin Bay South

The Dublin Bay South Labour Party Constituency Council would ask the Electoral Commission to consider the following points when determining the future boundaries of the Dáil constituencies in the south Dublin city area.

  • The critical determinant of constituency boundaries will be how many additional Dáil seats are created. Depending on how many new seats from 12 up to 20 are added (assuming an even numbered Dáil), the average population per TD respectively will range from 29,788 down to 28,464.
  • At present both Dublin Bay South (DBS) and Dublin South Central (DSC) have a combined population of 253,883. A portion of South Dublin County Council is in DSC, and some of Phoenix Park ED on the north side of the Liffey. Otherwise the majority portion is the area of Dublin City Council south of the Liffey. In a 180 seat Dáil this is equivalent to 8.9 seats so an additional seat would have to be added. The table below outlines the current population figures.
ConstituencyPopulation 2022% change since 2016SeatsPopulation per TD
Dublin South Central127,1696.5431,792
Dublin Bay South126,7144.6431,679
  • Moving EDs from either DBS or DSC to neighbouring constituencies to reduce population is not a viable solution as these adjacent constituencies also require change and have sufficient population already to merit the addition of two further seats. While the Commission is not bound to respect Dublin local authority boundaries, in the past, the Dodder and Liffey rivers and major roads like the M50 have been used as appropriate boundaries in the south city area.
  • The Electoral Commission must have regard to geographic considerations; each constituency shall be composed of contiguous areas, and the Commission should endeavour to maintain continuity in relation to the arrangement of constituencies.
  • The current form of DSC was established in the 1998 Constituency Commission Report when it swapped population with Dublin South West to secure a western boundary formed by the M50, Greenhills Road and Templeville road, and a boundary was established with the then Dublin South East (DSE now DBS) from Winetavern St through Harolds’ Cross and Terenure to the Dodder at Rathfarnham.
  • In the same boundary review, DSE lost Merchants Quay A to DSC, and population to Dublin South (Belfield area) and Dun Laoghaire (Trimbleston area) aligning the southern boundary of DSE with the county borough boundary.
  • The last substantial change in DBS/DSC was in 2012 with the transfer of 5 electoral divisions from DSC to DSE which became DBS, resulting in two 4-seat constituencies, and the loss of a seat from DSC.
  • This 2012 change reunited the village of Terenure where the local community and residents’ associations organised a strong campaign to ensure the village was no longer politically divided for the purpose of local elections and Dáil elections. Any future constituency arrangements should have regard for this, and the outcome decided by the 2012 Constituency review.
  • In 2013 the Local Electoral Area Boundary committee aligned with these new Dáil constituency boundary. In 2018 further revisions created a new Kimmage-Rathmines electoral area extending further into the Kimmage and Crumlin area.
  • We would ask the Electoral Commission to be mindful of these recent changes and the strong local support for these boundaries that united the communities of Terenure and Harold’s Cross in one constituency for both Dáil and local elections.

For these reasons we would argue that the Commission should consider the transfer of further areas in the Dublin 6W area and the Kimmage-Rathmines LEA from DSC into DBS. This could include some of the Kimmage electoral divisions, or the Templeogue electoral divisions. These communities would be contiguous with Terenure and the D6W area.

There are several options available to the Commission to achieve this. One example for illustrative purposes could be the transfer into DBS of the SDCC EDs of Templeogue-Kimmage Manor, Terenure-Greentrees, Terenure-Cherryfield, along with Kimmage D, and the portion of Kimmage E bounded by Stanaway Road (or the full DED) as this would provide enough population for a 5-seater in DBS. The approximate population is outlined in the below table.

PopulationSeatsPopulation per TD
Revised DBS with Kimmage EDs and Templeogue142,767  528,553
Revised DSC minus Kim D & E and Templeogue111,116427,779

In conclusion, we would ask the Electoral Commission to take into account in their decision on revised boundaries in the south Dublin city area the reasoning for the most recent boundary changes in 2012; that they would endeavour to maintain continuity with the current arrangements, and that they would ensure contiguity for those communities that will be affected.

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