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Electoral Commission

Bill to give effect to constituency boundary redraw to go to Cabinet

The Electoral Commission recommended a number of changes to constuencies around the country.

THE BILL THAT gives stat statutory effect to the Electoral Commission’s constituency boundaries redraw will be brought to Cabinet by Housing and Local Authority Minister Darragh O’Brien today. 

With the publication of the Electoral Commission’s report last month, the next step is for the Bill to be brought to the Government and then to the Oireachtas.

Following the enactment of the proposed Bill, the new Dáil constituencies will come into force on the next dissolution of Dáil Éireann.

The Electoral Commission recommended the number of TDs should be increased from 160 to 174. 

Four new constituencies are to be created, with Dublin Fingal being split into two three-seaters – East and West.

The report recommends a new three-seat Wicklow-Wexford constituency while keeping both constituencies of Wicklow and Wexford as well.

Offaly will also be its own constituency, with three seats, breaking away from the pre-existing Laois-Offaly constituency, while Tipperary will be split into Tipperary North and Tipperary South.

Each constituency must have three, four or five TDs, with the number of three-seaters going from nine to 13.

Speaking at the Fianna Fáil party think-in in Tipperary yesterday, O’Brien said he aims to bring the proposed Bill through the Dáil in September or October.

“We have not yet received a formal notification from Europe in relation to the additional seat,” he said, adding that he plans to proceed with the legislation as it stands. 

“If there are additional European seats obviously the the Electoral Commission that I established will decide where that goes and they will do that work. If we get notification next week, I’d expect the Electoral Commission to start working straight away and then we will bring in the proposed changes to the European electoral boundaries as a committee amendment as part of the constituency Bill,” he said.

“We have now revised our constituencies – it’s important that our TDs, prospective TDs, our senators but more importantly, our constituents, are very clear as to what the new constituencies will be at the next election in early 2025. And so that’s what we’ll do and we’ll get that passed as expeditiously as possible,” said the minister.

Members of the Oireachtas will have an opportunity to debate the contents of the Commission’s report when the proposed Bill is being debated over the coming weeks. 

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