Offaly Fianna Fáil's Barry Cowen declares himself a TD for Laois

Sinn Féin presents a united Laois Offaly front in the Dáil

Conor Ganly

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Conor Ganly

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Offaly  Fianna Fáil's Barry Cowen declares himself a TD for Laois

Barry Cowen and brother Brian at the 2011 Laois Offaly General Election Count in Tullamore.

Offaly Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen is first out of the blocks to declare himself as a TD for Laois while Sinn Féin has presented a united Laois Offaly front in the Dáil.

Hot on the heals of a recommendation that Laois reuinite with Offaly at General Elections, Deputy Cowen identified himself as a TD for the constituency that does not exist in a press release. He is one of three TDs in the Offaly constituency.

"Fianna Fáil TD for Laois - Offaly Barry Cowen says his party will continue to put pressure on the Government to ensure that a waste regulator is established," read the first line of statement issued this week.

Dep Cowen was elected as a Laois Offaly TD in 2011 taking over from his brother and former Taoiseach Brian Cowen. He retained the seat when the new three seat Offaly constituency came into being in 2016.

Meanwhile, during Tuesday's questioning of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Sinn Féin's Brian Stanley and Carol Nolan sat beside each other next to Mary Lou McDonald in full view of the cameras.

Dep Stanley represents Laois and Dep Nolan Offaly and both could become running mates if the changes come into being.

The Constituency Commission has recommended that Laois and Offaly reunites as a five seater. This would see the loss of a TD and Portarlington to Kildare South. Offaly loses part of Tipperary in the change.

Minister Charlie Flanagan and Sean Fleming, both Laois TDs, have said they looked forward to representing Offaly again.

The Dáil would have to ratify any change proposed before being enacted. 

The changes are proposed for population changes and other reasons.