Constituency Review Submission from Patrick Costello TD
Patrick Costello TD
Submission ID: S465
Dublin Bay South, Dublin South-Central
Prior to the changes made in the Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Act 2013, Dublin South Central was represented by five TDs with a population of 126,777 (according to the 2011 census), one TD per 25,355 people. The constitution sets out there should be one TD per 20,000-30,000 people. The constituency currently has a population of 127,169 which is a 6.5% increase since the 2016 census and is represented by four TDs, one TD per 31,791 people, outside the current ratio outlined in the Constitution. The population in this area is likely to continue increasing as more people migrate from rural to urban areas and from outside the state. This increase is quite likely as there are a number of large sites such as Davitt Road, Sarsfield Road, the DCC Depot on Marrowbone Lane, Heuston Station, Pear Tree Crossing, ESB Substation Inchicore and CIÉ Inchicore Works identified by the Local Development Agency and Dublin City Council Report on Relevant Public Land 2023. These sites are earmarked to be developed as part of the Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028. When these housing developments are completed it will add, at the lower estimate, 5,290 homes which, at the average household size of 3 people, will potentially add an additional 15,870 people to the Dublin South Central constituency area within the next few years. As such, to future proof changes to this area in the coming years, I would argue that Dublin South Central should be represented by five TD’s.
I note that as it stands the boundaries between South Dublin County and Dublin City are not aligned currently along council and Dáil constituency boundaries. I note that in the Commission’s terms of reference, there is a requirement not to breach county boundaries, in so far as is possible. My understanding is that this is to ensure that Dáil and council boundaries are aligned and identities between counties are respected. While it is acknowledged that this requirement does not apply to Dublin as a county, the base logic is the same in that it would be more straightforward for elected members in Dublin if council boundaries are aligned along the Dáil constituency boundaries. They would have a more practicable and manageable number of agencies to deal with on a representational level to serve their constituents’ interests. Eg local authorities, planning, health care services etc. The constituents in Templeogue-Cherryfield, Templeogue-Greentrees, Templeogue-Kimmage Manor, ClondalkinBallymount, Clondalkin-Monastery and Tallaght-Kilnamanagh are served by South Dublin County Council, but are being represented in the Dáil by Dublin inner city TDs who predominantly deal with Dublin City Council. Constituents from these areas have expressed their preference to me that they are living in the administrative area of South Dublin County Council, they want to be represented by a TD from that area also. This change would lead to more coherent council co-ordination with TDs, clearer understanding as to who the TDs and councillors are and would improve the links between TDs and councillors.
Similarly, the Kimmage-Rathmines Local Electoral Area is split across Dublin South Central and Dublin Bay South. It would not only be more appropriate to have the entirety of Kimmage-Rathmines within Dublin South Central, but it would also raise the population of DSC to approximately 134,000, making it a very comfortable 5 seat constituency with a ratio of 26,800. Dublin Bay South would then have a population of approximately 109,000, bringing it down to a more appropriate population for a 4-seat constituency.
Alternatively, if the Commission decides against allocating an extra seat to Dublin South Central, incorporating the following Electoral Districts – Kimmage C, Terenure A, Terenure B, Terenure C and Terenure D – would also serve to
equalise the populations across Dublin South Central and Dublin Bay South. Currently, Dublin South Central has a population of 127,169 and Dublin Bay South has a population of 126,714. Both are currently over the population to TD ratio, with approximately 31,700 people to each TD. A failure to address the boundaries now would certainly lead to a significant breach in population to TD ratio in advance of the next boundary review. By returning the areas of South Dublin County in Dublin South Central to South Dublin and by incorporating the aforementioned Electoral Districts in Kimmage-Rathmines into Dublin South Central, both Dublin South Central and Dublin Bay South would have a population of approximately 116,000. This would guarantee that neither will require a 5th seat in the immediate future, it would better respect county boundaries, and it would facilitate a longer lasting continuity of constituency boundaries for Dublin Bay South and Dublin South Central. I would also like to note that these five Electoral Districts were previously transferred to Dublin Bay South as part of the Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Act 2013 and historically were a part of the Dublin South Central constituency for a long time prior to this transfer.