Constituency Review Submission from Richard Talbot
Submission ID: S496
Wicklow, Dún Laoghaire, European Constituencies - Dublin, European Constituencies - South, European Constituencies - Midlands-North-West
I wish to make a submission about the Constituency Review for Co Wicklow.
Dáil Constituency of Wicklow
Wicklow has a population of 155,485 people as of 2022. I recommend the following:
- Give County Wicklow an extra seat, to ensure it has provision in line with constitutional requirements
- Move the parts of “Bray, Co. Dublin” currently in the Dun Laoghaire constituency into Wicklow (or North Wicklow, see below point) constituency. This would ensure a contiguous electoral area for the town of Bray (which should also apply for local elections, perhaps the wholesale transfer of this area from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to Wicklow would be ultimately preferable). Having approx 20% of the Bray area in a different constituency for local, Dail and European elections is very confusing and annoying to Bray voters, with multiple sets of posters being put up for the various candidates, considering the county line is not well signposted. People who live in Bray town should be represented as a whole in the one single constituency regardless of what election type
- There is a case to split Wicklow into two constituencies, possibly North and South. The North
Wicklow area, around Bray and Greystones, as well Blessington, has more in common with Dublin and its suburbs, while the South Wicklow area has more in common with the rural constituencies of Wexford and Carlow.
European Parliament Constituencies
The current constituencies are too spread out for MEPs to connect with constituents. Having Bray and Bantry in the same constituency is ridiculous, as others have commented. I recommend:
Abolishing the existing constituency set up and replacing this with 4 new constituencies – Greater Dublin Region (Dublin, Meath, Wicklow, Kildare), Rest of Leinster, Munster, Connacht-Ulster. Seats can be allocated based on the populations in these constituencies. Alternatively, these could be renamed as South, North-West, East, etc. if it is required to move counties across provincial borders to ensure a balanced representation. However, this should not read as a recommendation to go back to the old constituency set up between 1979-2014. Going back exactly to the old pre-2014 divisions would be a lazy cop-out, we need to ensure the boundaries are evolving and not regressing.
Many thanks for considering these recommendations.