Oireachtas must stop dragging feet on Constituencies bill
10 December 2017
Labour spokesperson and candidate for Dublin Central, Joe Costello has called on the Dáil to stop dragging its feet on the Electoral (Amendment) (Dail Constituencies) Bill 2017 and ensure it is passed in the week to come.
Mr Costello said:
"Despite listing the Electoral (Amendment) (Dail Constituencies) Bill 2017 for debate on two days last week, no discussion took place. It is time now for the Dáil to stop dragging its feet and ensure this important legislation is passed.
"As I have argued in the last fortnight, this urgent legislation is necessary to prevent a constitutional challenge to a new Dáil elected on the basis of the current constituency make up.
"The most recent Census in 2016 showed a population increase of over 173,000 which established a ratio of 1 TD to 30,138 thereby breaching Art. 16.2.2 of the Constitution.
"The Bill is now listed again for debate on Tuesday 12 December from 6.05pm and I hope TDs will find the time to progress the legislation.
"It is important that it passes into law before Christmas as there is still much work to be done before an election can be called with constitutional protection: a new register of electors must be compiled; postal and special voter lists have to be drawn up; and polling districts have to be adjusted to accommodate changes in size and boundaries in constituencies.
"The case I have taken is listed for a hearing on 19th December, but in the meantime I would expect the Oireachtas to act and ensure the Bill is passed."