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Mayo to lose seat for next General Election

The new Mayo Constituency map
The new Mayo Constituency map. Click on link at end of article to download larger version.

Mayo to lose seat for next General Election

Ballinrobe hinterland moves to Galway West constituency in major political shake-up

Michael Duffy

IT is just 20 years since the people of Mayo were represented by six TDs in Dáil Éireann, but the publication of the long-awaited report from the Constituency Committee this morning (Friday) will now see the home county of the current Taoiseach represented by just four TDs.
And in a move that is bound to cause huge controversy, a large section of south Mayo is to be transferred to the Galway West five-seat constituency.
A total of nine electoral divisions formally in the Mayo constituency will now become part of the same constituency as areas like Galway City and Clifden. These areas are Ballinrobe, The Neale, Cong, Houndswood, Shrule, Dalgan, Kilmaine, Kilcommon and Garrymore. Collectively, these areas have a population of over 10,000.
Local Fianna Fáil councillor Damien Ryan said locals he had spoken to this morning had met the news with ‘utter bemusement’. “All I can say is that it is a very sad day for the people of Mayo,” said Cllr Ryan. “The third biggest county in Ireland will now be served by two TDs less than it was just two decades ago. This a direct hit once again at rural Ireland. There are neighbours now in the parish of Hollymount who will be represented by TDs in different constituencies.”
Cllr Ryan also said that south Mayo would be competing with a major city when it comes to looking for significant funding.
“Ballinrobe is the fifth biggest town in Mayo and it is also the oldest town in Mayo, dating back to 1390. I have no doubt the people of the town will be shocked by this decision.”
It is not yet clear how today’s boundary changes will impact on the Local Elections, which are due to take place in 2014. Another report on the administration of local Government countrywide is to be presented to Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, later this year.
See next week’s Mayo News for reaction and analysis.

Click here to download larger version of the map

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