DONEGAL is to become a five-seat constituency.
Below is what the Constituency Commission said about their decisions.
The following areas will be transferred from Donegal to Sligo Leitrim: Ballyshannon Urban, Ballyshannon Rural, Bundoran Urban, Bundoran Rural, Ballintra, Cavangarden, Carrickboy and Cliff.
“The constituencies in this region presented the Commission with particular concern because of the coincidence of population change with the mandatory reduction of seats and the particular configuration of county boundaries. A specific feature of the area is the fact that Donegal is unique in being contiguous with only one other county namely, Leitrim. This limits the options for constituency arrangement in comparison with other parts of the country.
The total population of these five counties, at 391,994, is equivalent to an allocation of 13 seats in a 158 member Dáil. In this area the reconfiguration of constituencies recommended by the Commission precludes direct comparison with the current seat allocation for the area.
The existing arrangement of constituencies must be changed because in a 158 member Dáil the Donegal population can no longer sustain two 3-seat constituencies and the Cavan-Monaghan population can no longer sustain a 5-seat constituency. Of the submissions received by the Commission for the constituencies in the area the majority suggested that the entire county of Leitrim should be in one constituency.
The Commission considered a range of options for the area. An arrangement of constituencies based exclusively on county boundaries is not feasible. None of the counties of Cavan, Leitrim, Monaghan or Sligo could individually constitute a constituency.
Other options considered included moving population from Leitrim into Donegal to maintain two 3-seat constituencies in Donegal with the remainder of Leitrim, with Sligo, forming a 4-seat constituency; moving population from Donegal to provide for a 4-seat Donegal constituency with a 5-seat Sligo-Leitrim constituency or a 5-seat Donegal constituency with a 4-seat Sligo-Leitrim constituency. None of these options on its own however provided a solution for Cavan- Monaghan. The Commission looked at the feasibility of addressing Cavan-Monaghan by adjusting adjoining constituencies to the south and east of these counties. The consequential impact on those adjacent constituencies was not acceptable to the Commission when change there was not otherwise necessary.
Having regard to these considerations the Commission recommends the following arrangement of constituencies for the area:
Nine electoral divisions in the south of County Donegal, with a population of 8,779, should be transferred to the Sligo-Leitrim constituency and the rest of the county of Donegal should form a 5-seat constituency.
The counties of Sligo and Leitrim, combined with nine electoral divisions from Donegal and thirty-six electoral divisions from the western part of the county of Cavan which is contiguous with the county of Leitrim, should form a 4-seat constituency.
Thirty-six electoral divisions in the west of County Cavan, with a population of 13,183,
21CONSTITUENCY COMMISSION REPORT 2012
should be transferred to the Sligo-Leitrim constituency and Cavan-Monaghan should become a 4-seat constituency.