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Constituency Review Submission from Senator Fiona O’ Loughlin

Senator Fiona O’ Loughlin

Submission ID: S26

Date

20/04/2023

Constituency

Kildare South, Laois-Offaly

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Kildare South Constituency Review Submission

Senator Fiona O’ Loughlin

To whom it may concern,

I wish to make a formal submission to be considered by the Electoral Commission in relation to the formation of constituencies for the election of members to Dáil Éireann from the constituency of Kildare South.

Based on the recent preliminary population statistics from the Central Statistic Office, I believe a strong and valid argument should be made for restoring the county boundary of Kildare when considering my own constituency of South Kildare.

The population within the constituency of South Kildare has risen from 114,810 in 2016 residents to 125,703 in 2022. An increase of 10,893. As a result of this increase, we now breach the 1 TD to 30,000 ratios, meaning a redraw will likely be required.

DataPopulation
Kildare South Population 2022125,703
Kildare South Population 2016114,810
Population Increase10,893

In line with the seating requirement of constituencies containing 3,4 and 5 seats I believe it to be reasonable and practical for Kildare South to remain as a 4 seat constituency.

The current Kildare South constituency breaches the Commissions aim of avoiding the breaching of county boundaries. Kildare South currently takes in part of Laois and Offaly. Based on the preliminary CSO data, I believe this Laois/Offaly segment represents 10,825 of the overall constituency population.

Portarlington North 20222,404
Portarlington South 20227,138
Ballybrittas 20221,283
 10,825

As you will see the easiest and most appropriate means of rectifying the population imbalance within the constituency is to remove these 10,825 constituents from our constituency. All else remaining static, this would return the population base to 114,878 constituents, or a ratio of 1 TD to every 28,720 constituents.

This simple change would meet several of the Commissions stated aims. Namely, it will return a 4-seat constituency, it avoids the breaching of county boundaries, it gives regard to geographical features in the area and maintains a constituency of contiguous areas as well as meeting the constituent to TD ratio requirement.

Please note my formal submission for consideration by the commission.

Fiona

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