THE clock is ticking down for submissions to the constituency commission which has the job of reviewing constituency boundaries following the 2011 census.
But so far, only three submissions have been made from Limerick despite the dismay and annoyance generated when two new constituencies – Limerick City and Limerick – were created and a big area West Limerick was hived off to North Kerry in 2007.
At the time, politicians thundered that the county had been “butchered” and the county boundaries had been violated. In particular, there was a feeling that West Limerick had been “sacrificed” to retain two constituencies and six seats in Kerry.
Limerick public representatives across all parties vowed to work to reverse the decision.
Earlier this year, Fianna Fail TD Niall Collins launched an online petition to generate support for the return of West Limerick and its 13,000-plus voters to Limerick.
“I am pleased with the responses,” Mr Collins said but he did not reveal how many people had clicked to indicate support for re-uniting West Limerick to the rest of the county.
“The overwhelming feedback is that people don’t like it. They are being represented by three Kerry people,” he said. He plans to make the petition part of his own submission but added that his party also intends to make a submission.
Meanwhile, his constituency rival, Patrick O’Donovan has made a long and argued submission where he calls for a four-seater constituency in the restored county and a three-seater city constituency.
“The people of West Limerick have been disenfranchised and that franchise needs to be restored,” he said.