We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Leon Farrell/
TDs or not TDs

Believe it or not, Ireland doesn't have enough politicians


Updated 5.42pm


While some of you may disagree with that statement, it is true.

Today’s preliminary data from Census 2016 shows that the population has risen to 4,757,976, up 169,724, or 3.7%, since the last census in 2011.

That means that the population to TD ratio is above the constitutional limit of 30,000, standing at 30,114.

PastedImage-44950 This table shows the constituencies in relation to the 30,000 limit. CSO CSO

The constitution says that electoral areas should be between 20,000 and 30,000. At present, just 15 are below 30,000 people and 11 of those are over 29,000. Limerick County is the electoral division with the smallest population, having 27,916 people.

Deirdre Cullen of the CSO said that this would mean that there would now have to be at least one more TD and that the CSO would hand a file to the Electoral Commission tomorrow.

However, given that the current government cut the Dáil from 166 seats to 158, it remains to be seen if they will want to put the number of TDs back up. It is also unlikely they would leave the Dáil at an odd number of TDs which could in theory lead to tie-breaks when the Ceann Comhairle is removed.

Up and down

Following the 2012 review of the 2011 Census, just five constituencies had more than the prescribed number of 30,000 people per TD.

The preliminary census results today show there are now a total 25 constituencies over 30,000.

Those with the largest number are Dublin North-West with 32,299, Dublin Central with 32,016 and Dublin Rathdown with 31,375.

The fastest growing constituency was Dublin Fingal which increased by 10,596 persons or 7.5% over the five years.

Four constituencies witnessed a fall in their population, namely Donegal, Mayo, Sligo-Leitrim and Limerick County.


A review of both Dáil and European constituencies will now take place, Minister Simon Coveney confirmed today.

In a statement issued following the preliminary results, he said he made an order to establish a Constituency Commission under the 1997 Electoral Act.

The group comprises the clerks of the Dáil and Seanad, the Ombudsman and the Secretary General of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

The committee has three months to report to the Dáil.

Read: There are now 4,757,976 people in Ireland

Read: Leading Brexit campaigner Michael Gove dropped from British cabinet

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.