Deputy Peter Burke has had confirmation from the Secretary of the Constituency Commission that the report on any boundary changes will is expected to be published in early summer, and cannot be published any later than July 6.
The Longford-Westmeath Fine Gael Deputy put forward a case to the commission to bring back areas of Westmeath to the county for General Election purposes.
“From what I am hearing, there may be one change in Dublin and another change in the rest of Leinster due to population increases in these areas, which could have a knock-on effect on the boundaries of this constituency," Deputy Burke said. "There will either be one or two new seats, due to the Constitutional requirement to have at least one TD per 30,000 people, which is the maximum limit.
“Where possible, the boundary commission does not break county boundaries when deciding electoral areas. This was unable to be avoided in 2007 when the east of the county was brought into Meath West. I am urging the commission to now undo this mistake and to bring the county back together again, in a move which is rational and sensible to anyone who works and lives in this area.”
Deputy Burke says there is no tangible link between the people of east Westmeath and Meath, with their local election vote staying in Westmeath but their general election vote having to go to candidates from Meath who are little known to them.
"A significant number of Westmeath residents currently vote in the Meath West constituency, and I believe that this acts in a negative manner in relation to representation, political engagement, and in relation to county identity," he commented.