THE DECISION to retain four Dail seats in Limerick city while widening the constituency boundary to include much of north east Limerick has been welcomed by city TDs.
The report by the Constituency Commission, which was published on Thursday, confirmed that outlying areas such as Caherconlish, Murroe, Cappamore and Ballyneety are to be included in a broader Limerick City constituency after the next general election.
The move, which was prompted by the return of a large part of West Limerick back from the Kerry North-Limerick West constituency, brings Limerick’s political borders closer to the lines of the old Limerick West/Limerick East divide, which had been in place for over 50 years before they were scrapped by the previous Constituency Commission in 2007.
Fianna Fail TD Willie O’Dea said that he was personally pleased to see much of his old East Limerick stomping ground come back into the city.
“It’s good to have the final boundaries in front of us. It adds an element of certainty. In fairness to the commission, they went about their business in a far more logical manner than their predecessors. I said it at the time, it was a crazy decision to shave off a large portion of west Limerick just to prop up six seats in Kerry. Thankfully sanity has been restored.”
Minister of State and Labour TD Jan O’Sullivan also welcomed the commission’s recommendations, as she feels the current boundaries are “a bit odd”.
“There’s been fairly radical change in a lot of the country, but thankfully that hasn’t been the case here. I’m very pleased to have [East Limerick] back. I have have done a lot of work in these areas, and from that sense it’s very positive.
“It’s good for Limerick city, but also the county, because they’re getting back the parts of West Limerick that were lost. All in all, because we lost a seat the last time, we weren’t expecting anything too negative.”