Govt to await full census for boundary moves

Wednesday 13 September 2006 23.11
1 of 2
Dick Roche - Full census data required
Dick Roche - Full census data required
Eamon Gilmore -  Move is politically motivated
Eamon Gilmore - Move is politically motivated

The Government has decided not to change Dáil constituencies on the basis of preliminary census figures.

There had been calls for a new constituency revision after the preliminary census results indicated wide disparities in the numbers of people represented by TDs in different constituencies.

However, Environment Minister Dick Roche announced this afternoon that the Attorney General, Dr Rory Brady, had advised that constituencies can only be revised on the basis of the final Census figures.

They are due to be released in February or March next year.

Mr Roche said that as soon as the final figures are published, he will set up a new Constituency Review Commission, but that it would take around six months to complete its work.

He said that it was still open to anyone to challenge the elections results in the courts, but that he could not act against the terms of the Constitution and of the legislation governing this area.

Minister Roche was speaking at the launch of a publicity campaign aimed at encouraging people to ensure their names are on the electoral register to they can vote next year.

Labour described the decision not to review constituency boundaries as a 'recipe for electoral chaos'.

Environment spokesperson Eamon Gilmore claimed the decision was a political one, motivated purely by a wish to protect Fianna Fáil seats that would be under threat as a result of any redrawing of boundaries.

He also called on Minister Roche to publish the full legal advice of the Attorney General.