Claim of boundary committee interference rejected

Sunday 23 March 2014 12.20
Gary Murphy said he is fully confident in the work the committee did
Gary Murphy said he is fully confident in the work the committee did

A member of the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee has said there was no political interference in any way, shape, or form in the boundary changes.

Dublin City University Professor Gary Murphy has said any suggestion that the boundary committee terms of reference were "skewered", in the first instance, is in his view ridiculous.

He said that if they were he would have refused to serve on the independent committee.

He said that having served on the committee, he can safely say that any deliberations they undertook were done in good faith, and they made decisions in the best interests of the public.

Mr Murphy said that when he was asked to serve, he had a look at the terms of reference and he was quite happy with them.

He said he served in that manner and he acted at all times in the public interest, as did his colleagues on the independent committee.

He said that he is fully confident in the work that they did.

He said that he was disappointed and somewhat surprised that Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin would come out at this stage, just two months before the Local Elections, when this report was issued back in May 2013.

He said that he was somewhat taken aback by Mr Martin's comments.

Last night, Mr Martin attacked Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan and accused him of gerrymandering local election boundaries to favour Labour and Fine Gael.

Mr Martin told reporters at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis the redrawing of the boundaries represents the biggest example of manipulation of electoral areas in 35 years. 

Mr Hogan issued a statement dismissing Mr Martin's comments as "a cheap, political stunt".

He also asked Mr Martin to "apologise for casting aspersions on the members of the Independent Committee who made the recommendations".