AN end could be in sight to the bizarre situation
whereby Swords is split into two different electoral constituencies - Dublin
North and Dublin West.
The split, which was introduced in 2007, was hugely
contentious and confusing for many, not least the 13,000 Swords residents who
suddenly found themselves in the same constituency as Blanchardstown and
However, the town could be reunited before locals take
to the polls again.
This follows a motion that was recently passed by
members of Fingal County Council calling on the Constituency Commission to
redraw the boundary line.
However, residents can also have their say on the
matter as submissions can be sent to the Constituency Commission before January
Swords ward councillor Cllr Darragh Butler (FF), who
was directly affected by the redrawing of the boundary, put forward the motion
“in the interest of democracy and fair political representation”.
Cllr Butler is calling on those affected by the
boundary change to voice their opposition to the current arrangement.
“Between the 2011 General Election and recent Dublin
West by-election, we will have had 15 different nominated candidates, none of
whom were from Swords,” he told Northside People.
“Swords voters feel totally disenfranchised within the
Dublin West constituency and have nothing in common or any real geographical
connection with Castleknock or Blanchardstown with mainly empty fields and
motorways between them.
“The time for complaining is over and now is the time
“If voters want to be back in the Dublin North
constituency it's vital we bombard the Constituency Commission with submissions
by the January 10 deadline.”
Cllr Butler added: “This was the number one issue
encountered by all political parties when canvassing in the recent Dublin West
by-election and now is the time to have our voices heard.
“I am also a Dublin West voter who wants to be back in
A spokeswoman for Fingal County Council confirmed that
it had made the Constituency Commission aware of the council members' request
for the unpopular boundary line to be redrawn.
“I can confirm that following the passing of the
motion at the council meeting on November 14 we wrote to the Constituency
Commission on November 15 and three days later we received a reply
acknowledging receipt of same,” she told Northside People.
“There has been nothing further since that date.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Environment
explained how boundary changes are nearly always made before the next elections
“A Constituency Commission was established by the
Minister following the publication of the preliminary results from the Census
earlier this year,” he stated.
“The Commission has advertised seeking submissions.
The website www.constituency-commission.ie has details of the Commission's
work. The closing date for receipt of submissions is January 10, 2012.
“The Commission is required to report no later than
three months after the publication of the final census figures.”
Three current serving Ministers - Joan Burton (Social
Protection), Leo Varadkar (Transport) and James Reilly (Health) - were among
those opposed to the boundary change when it was introduced.