This week saw the closing date for submissions from members of the public to the Constituency Commission, and of the 369 submissions made to the commission (as were published on the commissions website as of lunch time yesterday ), 40 of them related directly to county Mayo and the south Mayo area in particular.
Two Mayo TDs made submissions, Fine Gael Minister of State Michael Ring and Fianna Fáil TD Lisa Chambers, both of the TDs have called for Mayo to be reinstated as a single constituency for future Dáil elections, while both acknolwedge that it may not be possible on population numbers to have Mayo returned to single five seat constituency their are other options to take. Minister of State Ring said in his submission: "I am asking that in this current boundary review that Mayo would be reinstated as a five seat constituency and if this is not possible and it has to be left as a four seat consistency —then I would ask that all of Mayo be left together as a four seat constituency. People have pride in their county and want to vote for candidates within their own county."
Meanwhile Deputy Chambers proposed: "Take from Roscommon/Sligo, make Mayo a five seater, I would propose that all of DEDs (District Electoral Divisions ) in south County Mayo transferred to Galway West in the 2012 report be returned to Mayo, and in addition sufficient territory from neighbouring counties, most appropriately the western part of county Sligo be added to Mayo to bring the constituency of Mayo/West Sligo to a five seat constituency [or] the western part of Roscommon in the Ballaghaderreen area to bring the constituency of Mayo/West Roscommon to a five seat constituency." If that was not possible she agreed with Minister of State Ring that Mayo should remain a single entity as a four seat constituency.
The Fine Gael grouping on Mayo County Council also made a submission much like the one made by Deputy Chambers, with their submission, which was signed by their party whip in the council, Cllr Jarlath Munnelly, suggesting that the group "would encourage the commission to be mindful of local parish boundaries in making any changes. As a result of the 2012 re-drawing of constituency boundaries some parishes in south Mayo have been divided, with one part of the parish in Mayo and the rest in Galway West. This should be avoided in any future changes. If returning the entirety of the area transferred in 2012 back to Mayo results in a Dáil constituency too large by population to be a four seat constituency (as the terms under which the commission operates appears to suggest ), consideration should be given to making Mayo into a five seat constituency. This could be achieved by adding a portion of County Sligo to the 130,425 population of Mayo. Considering that Sligo/Leitrim is currently a four seat Dáil constituency, that consists of four counties, there may be an opportunity to re-align the parts of counties Cavan and Donegal (back to the Dáil constituencies of Cavan/Monaghan and Donegal, respectively ) and move a portion of the western part of County Sligo including the town of Inishcrone and its hinterland, that borders Killala Bay (of approximately 6-8,000 people ), Mayo could be configured as a five seat constituency (with a portion of Sligo that bears a strong geographic and social relationship to Ballina and North Mayo ), with the remainder of Sligo and Leitrim forming a three seat Dáil constituency."