Deering Wants Carlow Reunited.

6th January, 2012

Carlow Fine Gael TD Pat Deering has made a submission  to the Constituency Boundary Commission and has urged them to bring the ‘East Carlow’ part of the Wicklow Constituency back to its natural home in Carlow / Kilkenny. The present arrangement leaves 5,000 Carlow residents (approx 3,500 voters) in ‘Limbo’, where they live in County Carlow but vote in and are represented by Wicklow TDs.

“I have put together a detailed submission based on a few strong points which I feel needed to be made. Firstly, these people are living in a kind of ‘Limbo’ or ‘no mans land’ – they live in County Carlow, their children attend Carlow Schools, they are members of clubs and organisations in Carlow, attend church services in Carlow, pay their road tax, household charges, planning fees and development charges in Carlow, and vote in Carlow County local elections, yet they must vote for Wicklow candidates in general elections and be represented by Wicklow TDs. Secondly, the population of all of County Carlow is 55,000 and Kilkenny is 95,000, with the way our PR system works it’s difficult enough for Carlow to get a fair share of the five seats in the constituency and with 5,000 of Carlow people aligned to Wicklow it is even more difficult. In the four elections since East Carlow became part of the Wicklow constituency in 1997 only once have Carlow had two of the five seats. I feel 3:2 would be more appropriate than the current 4:1. Furthermore, the isolation these people feel is reflected in lower than average voter turnout, in last years general election the turnout in East Carlow was over 10% less than in either Wicklow or Carlow / Kilkenny.

Carlow is such a small county it makes no sense to have 9 or 10% of our people voting in and been served by another constituency.”