Sinn Féin’s Laois Offaly TD Brian Stanley has objected to the proposed break up of the constituency.
Responding to the recommendations of the Boundary Commission Deputye Stanley, said he was not in favour of turning Laois Offaly into 2 three seat constituencies.
“The recommendations include the separation of Laois and Offaly into two Constituencies, each having 3 seats, with Laois taking in part of Kildare while Offaly would take in part of Tipperary.
“I do not agree with the proposal to adjoin parts of other counties as I believe the constituency line should be within Local Authority/county boundaries. For example Kildangan in Kildare would not form part of the natural hinterland for Laois nor would Terryglass for Offaly,” he said.
Deputy Stanley was elected to the Dáil for the first time in 2011 with a significant number of votes from Offaly.
“Small 3 seat constituencies favour larger parties and would not provide better representation as diverse views would not be well represented and we need more diversity of views.
“If the Constitution demands a change because of the massive increase in population in Laois (20%) and Offaly (14%) over recent years, and 1 extra seat must be created, then a large 6-seater in Laois/Offaly would be a better solution than the break up proposed. Either way Sinn Féin will rise to the challenge,” he said.
The TD said the changes would only tinker with a system that needs real reform.
“Fine Gael and Labour promised real reform in politics in this country but this proposed reduction of 8 TDs is just tinkering around the edges. Sinn Féin have no issue with the reduction of 8 seats. The key issues for us are improving democracy and accountability along with improving representation for the electorate,” he said.