The recommendations of the Constituency Commission to move North Roscommon into the Sligo-Leitrim constituency is “an illogical and savage butchery of County Roscommon”.
That is the view of Fianna Fáil Deputy for Roscommon-Galway, Eugene Murphy.
The recommendations by the Constituency Commission were released last Tuesday night by the Department of Housing. The report proposes to increase the number of TDs to 160, the maximum number the commission can recommend. The number of constituencies will be reduced from 40 to 39.
“Roscommon-Galway will remain a three-seat constituency but will gain additional population from Galway East, while a significant section of North Roscommon including the Boyle area will be moved to Sligo-Leitrim; this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever and is a complete butchery of County Roscommon,” Deputy Murphy said.
“We are going to lose large areas such as Boyle, Cortober, Keadue, Ballinameen and Cootehall, which will now be tagged onto Sligo-Leitrim. This is an illogical carving up of County Roscommon which is carried out by bureaucrats who analyse everything strictly from a population perspective but does not take into account cultural identity.”
Deputy Murphy added that it is also important to remember that Roscommon-Galway would still be holding onto areas such as Kingsland, Ballinameen, Croghan, and Kilmore, and he would continue to represent the people of such areas which would now be on the fringes of the newly redrawn constituency.
The Fianna Fáil TD said, however, that he has every confidence of holding onto his seat in the newly redrawn Roscommon-Galway constituency, and that he would work hard to represent constituents in the newly added areas of Galway.
“I have never been one to shy away from a challenge and I have worked tirelessly to represent the people of Roscommon-Galway over the past year and will continue to do so,” he said.
“Remember, in the local elections back in 2014, I lost over 3,000 votes out of my natural stronghold and I still managed to get elected comfortably, and in the recent General Election I silenced my critics. At the end of the day the people will have the final say and I will continue to do my best to represent their views in Dáil Éireann.”