Dáil debates

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Local Authority Boundaries

7:20 pm

Photo of John Paul PhelanJohn Paul Phelan (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Deputies for raising this issue. Changes to local electoral areas may only be carried out following the completion of a review, by an independent boundary committee, established under section 28 of the Local Government Act 1991. The Act states that the Minister must have regard to the report of a boundary committee before deciding on whether to make an order amending local electoral areas. The terms of reference for a boundary committee are set by the Minister.

A municipal district is an administrative sub-division of a local authority, as designated by ministerial order, and is therefore separate and distinct, although obviously linked to local electoral areas.

Local authority members and the Association of Irish Local Government had raised concerns regarding a number of issues in respect of local electoral areas. A concern was raised regarding the need to ensure large urban centres were adequately represented. I established two independent local electoral area committees, committees Nos. 1 and 2 in December 2017, to review and make recommendations on local electoral areas. In response to the concerns raised, I specifically asked the committees to have regard to, among other things, the need to ensure adequate representation for large urban centres.

The recommendations in the local electoral area boundary committee reports in respect of electoral boundaries were accepted in full. Alas, Deputy Mattie McGrath was around during the era of the Tullymander, which he mentioned.


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