Flanagan has mixed feelings on Laois Offaly break up

Fine Gael Party Chairman Charlie Flanagan admitted to having mixed feelings over the recent the Constituency Commission’s recommendation splitting up Laois and Offaly

Fine Gael Party Chairman Charlie Flanagan admitted to having mixed feelings over the recent the Constituency Commission’s recommendation splitting up Laois and Offaly

Deputy Flanagan was speaking after the publication of the Constituency Commission report which will see Laois and Offaly becoming two three seater constituencies.

“I was very much aware that this would be a likely outcome following the publication of the CSO report which showed such a massive increase in population in Laois over the last 10 years. However it is very much bittersweet. Despite being a proud Laois man I have always had a great affinity and rapport with the people of Offaly. Between my late father and I, we have clocked up over 70 years of service to the people of Laois and Offaly

“I will continue to represent them in my role in Dail Eireann however the transfer of part of Kildare South presents a new challenge for myself and my party in the newly formed constituency in Laois. It is also very much my intention to redouble my efforts in Laois and focus on the many issues that are outstanding and relevant in the county.

“There are considerable challenges ahead for this Government and I know locally that the proposed closure of Shaen and Abbeyleix hospitals and the matter of Portlaoise General Hospital remains huge issues for the people of Laois. Unemployment is an issue that must be tackled but can only be addressed if the county receives considerable outside investment. I will continue to work on the rise in crime in rural areas and ensure that extra Garda resources are deployed to these areas. The boundaries may change however the daily role of a T.D. continues apace.”