A Sligo/Leitrim Dail deputy is proposing to the Constituencies Commission that the counties of Donegal and Cavan be reunited for the purposes of general elections.
Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry is proposing that Sligo/Leitrim should be one constitiency with four seats; that Cavan/Monaghan be one constituency with five seats; and that there be two Donegal constituencies, each with three seats.
Deputy MacSharry is making his proposals in advance of the January 10th deadline for submissions to the Constituencies Commission.
The current Sligo/Leitrim constituency includes portions of counties Donegal and Cavan, which means that county boundaries have been breached.
Deputy MacSharry now says his proposals reflects his commitment before the last general election to lobby for the reunification of counties Donegal and Cavan.
In his submission, he says the existing set-up increases the isolationn of rural Ireland and undermines the entitlement of equal representation of all citizens.
He points out that the Constituency Commission itself says the breaching of county bondaries should be avoided if possible.
He also says that in the current arrangement with Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal, and Cavan, geographic considerations and physical features were clearly not given due regard.
What he describes as ‘the haphazard make-up’ of the current arrangement in Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan/South Donegal, totally undermines effective representation.
And he says depopulation and the demise of rural and regional Ireland demands that county boundaries in less populated counties like Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal and Cavan be respected and maintained ‘at all costs.’
He says if the reduction in representation in the North West is allowed continue, it will lead, in a few decades, to a totally disproportionate level of representation in larger urban centres.
He now says his proposals addresses all these issues.