The Constituency Commission has recommended an increase in the number of Dáil constituencies from 42 to 43 but is keeping the existing number of TDs at 166.

There are to be extra seats for Kildare North and Dublin Mid-West, which are currently three-seaters. Co Meath is splitting into Meath East and Meath West, which takes in part of Westmeath, each with three seats.

There is to be a reduction of a seat each in Cork North-Central, which is currently a five-seater, and the four-seat Dublin North-Central constituency.

A new constituency configuration across the North Midlands will split Co Leitrim. New constituencies will be Sligo/North Leitrim and Roscommon/South Leitrim both three-seaters.

There will be a new constituency of Longford/Westmeath.

There will also be widespread boundary adjustments. For instance, ten of the 12 Dublin constituencies will see changes.

Changes criticised

The Green Party has claimed that the constituency changes will militate against smaller parties.

In a statement, party chairman John Gormley said the fact that there are now 18 three-seat constituencies would make it more difficult for independents and smaller parties to make a breakthrough.

The Dublin North-Central Independent, Finian McGrath, whose constituency lost a seat and would be affected by boundary changes, claimed that the review was a disgraceful attempt by the Government to squeeze out indpendents.

The review was established last year following the census results which showed an imbalance between the number of TDs and the population in a number of Dáil constituencies.

Around Dublin this was largely due to the growth of towns in Meath and Kildare as people moved out of the capital.

Meanwhile, constituencies in the north of the city had seen their population decline, reflecting increasing numbers of so-called 'empty nesters' - older people whose family has moved on.

The full report is to be published on the Commission's website