City to find out today how its electoral wards will change

The future of Galway electoral make-up and boundaries will be known later today when the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee report is published.

Speculation has been intense over the last number of months as to what the commission will recommend. It is already known that Galway City Council will increase from 15 seats to 18 but it is as yet unknown how the seats will be distributed.

The committee was established by Environment Minister Phil Hogan late last year to review the local electoral make-up of the State ahead of the 2014 Local Elections.

It is understood that the committee will recommend that the city be divided into two wards of nine seats each with the dividing line being the River Corrib or that the three current wards are retained - Galway City West, Galway City Central, and Galway City East - but with each ward having six seats.

It is believed that the latter option is the most likely to get the green light from the committee. This is due to the fact that Minister Hogan recently stated there will be “only two or three nine seat wards” created in the entire State. It is also the favoured configuration of the majority of councillors.

If the 3x6 option is pursued it would see Galway City West increase by two seats and Galway City Central increase by one. However Galway City East would drop from seven seas to six while the areas of Menlo, Castlelawn, and Tirellan would be transferred into Galway City Central.

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