A STRONG case has been made by politicians, academics and residents to bring West Limerick voters back within the county when the new constituency boundaries are drawn up later this year.
The deadline for submissions to the constituency commission was last weekend and eleven submissions out of a total of 533 dealt with West Limerick, all calling for a reversal of the 2007 decision which saw a large part of West Limerick hived off to the new constituency of Kerry North/ Limerick West.
Significantly, both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail in the county agreed in calling for a new four-seater constituency for the county and a new three-seater for Limerick city to replace the current arrangement. Submissions from the Limerick Institute of Technology and from Brendan O’Keeffe of Mary Immaculate College also called for the county boundary in the west to be respected.
The annexing of West Limerick into Kerry North had given rise to “extreme confusion, upset and anger”, Fine Gael’s Cllr John Sheahan said. Cllr Sheahan, from Glin, contested the general election earlier this year in the new constituency and discovered on the canvas that many voters in West Limerick felt disenfranchised. “They fear the level of commitment with regard to representation may not be forthcoming,” he told the commission.
*A full version of this story was published in the Limerick Leader, print edition, dated January 23, 2011