Limerick councillors ‘may not run’

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Cllr Kieran O'Hanlon
SITTING councillors may decide not to run in the next election due to the increased size of the constituencies, it has been claimed.

SITTING councillors may decide not to run in the next election due to the increased size of the constituencies, it has been claimed.

At a City East area meeting, Cllr John Gilligan said the way the new wards are structured would make it “impossible” for councillors to service the areas.

Three new constituencies will cover the city at next year’s local election.

City North will take in the urban area north of the river, as well St Mary’s Park and Corbally. City East covers Garryowen, Singland, Castletroy, Castleconnell and Montpelier.

City West covers the central area, Raheen, as far as Patrickswell.

Fianna Fail councillor Kieran O’Hanlon - likely to run in City East - said members need to be allowed to attend different area meetings so they are aware of different issues they may come across when canvassing.

“When [councillor] Cormac Hurley came in from the County Council, I remember he was facilitated. I think all councillors must be facilitated. We need a better a structure,” Cllr O’Hanlon argued.

He jokingly added that he will be taking “a crash course in agriculture” due to the urban/rural nature of City East.

Cllr Gilligan said: “The new wards are far too big. It is impossible for any councillor to give any type of service in the way the areas are now.”

He said in France, there is one councillor for every 130 people, with the German rate 330-1. In Ireland by contract, there is 3,500 to one councillor.

“A lot of people are looking at the size of the quota and saying they will not run. This is not acceptable for democracy,” he concluded.