As election looms, Sligo man brings High Court case on constituency boundaries

A Sligo-born former politician says if the government falls, a raft of budget proposals, including social welfare increases to more than a million people, may not be approved.

Geevagh native Joe Costello, a former Labour Party TD, senator and junior minister, also says if an election goes ahead, it would be unconstitutional without legislation being passed implementing proposed changes to constituency boundaries.

Mr Costello brought a case before the High Court today with aim of forcing the government to introduce the necessary legislation.

The alterations to the constituencies are necessary because of changes in population.

The former Labour minister claims a newly-elected Dail would be unconstitutional unless that legislation is passed.

Due to an increase in population as recorded in last year’s Census, the next Dail must have at least 159 members.

However, if the court decides in Mr Costello’s favour, he doubts if the legislation can be passed in time to implement the boundary changes for an election before Christmas.

The High Court has fast-tracked the case and is to hear arguments tomorrow morning which, according to Mr Costeollo, shows the urgency with which the court views the matter.

Mr Costello spoke to Ocean FM News this lunchtime after his case was opened before the president of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly.