Expulsion of Portarlington to Kildare 'unfair and unjust' says Laois Fianna Fáil TD

Nearly 12,000 Laois and Offaly voters to increase representation for Kildare

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Expulsion of Portarlington to Kildare 'unfair and unjust' says Laois Fianna Fáil TD

Sean Fleming TD on the canvas.

The recommendation to force Portarlington voters out of Laois and Offaly to Kildare at the next General Election is unfair and unjustified according to Sean Fleming TD

The Fianna Fáil TD said that the 2017 Dáil Boundary Commission Report also said it is a 'major shock' for everybody in the Portarlington, Killenard and Ballybrittas areas.

"It is most unfair to move these areas from the constituency that they have been in since the foundation of the State. People in Portarlington and surrounding areas are Laois people and to ask them to transfer their allegiance to a Kildare constituency is unjustified.

"There was no need to make this change as the population of Laois was very close to the required numbers for a 3 seat constituency. The driving force behind this is to give an extra Dáil seat to Kildare. This has been done at the expense of the people in Portarlington, Killenard and Ballybrittas," he said.

The boundary commission recommends that 9,450 in Laois plus 2,204 in the Offaly side of Portarlington are to be transferred to the South Kildare constituency to turn it into a four seater. Laois will be realigned with Offaly returning to five seats. In total Co Kildare will increase have eight TDs while Laois and Offaly will loose a TD.

The changes are the result of an analysis of Census 2016 and are recommended to ensure Dáil representation matches population figures. 

Dep Fleming said he has already been contacted by many people in the Portarlington area who are most upset and see no good reason for this change.

He said he was sure the people in Monasterevin and surrounding areas will be happy to be returned back out of the Laois constituency to their own native Kildare constituency.

Dep Fleming pledged to work for people and communities in these areas regardless of where they will be voting in the next General Election. 

Under the changes Laois and Offaly is likely to return to a single five seat Dáil Constituency after just one general election. Dep Fleming topped the poll in 2016 when Laois became a three seater for the first time.

"This is very welcome as there is a long tradition of Laois and Offaly people voting together at General Election times. I look forward to being re-united with Offaly once again," said Dep Fleming.

For more on the changes check here