New Louth Dáil constituency now includes significant parts of East Meath
If you live in places such as Laytown, Bettystown, Mornington, Grange Rath, Donacarney, Gormanston, Highlands, Millmount Abbey, Deepforde & Lagavooren Manor, you will be voting in the Louth Dáil Constituency at the next General Election.
In 2007 general election, the Meath Coast area was part of the Meath East Dail constituency, while up to 2002, it was part of the former Meath constituency. Come the next election there will be further change, when those parts of county Meath between the coast and a line just to the west of the M1, will now be part of the Louth constituency. The Louth constituency will increase from four Dail seats to five to take account of this increase.
Why has this change come about?
The Louth/Meath area is currently served by three constituencies: Meath East, Meath West and Louth. The area has experienced continuing population growth in recent years. When the Constituency Commission, a body that reports to the Minister for the Environment, examined this in 2007, they came to the conclusion that many communities across the two counties were under-represented in terms of TD numbers. In response, the commission allocated an additional TD to the region, and fitted it in by increasing the number of seats in Louth, and moving about 17,000 people into the constituency from East Meath.
The Constituency Commission argued that much of the area can be considered as part of the natural hinterland of Drogheda, and decided therefore that it should be included in the Louth constituency. According to the Constituency Commision, East Meath as currently constituted has one TD for every 29,063 people.
As part of the Louth Constituency, Meath Coast area will have one TD for every 25,720 people.
What is the Constituency Commission?
The Constituency Commission is an independent body set up by the Minister for the Environment, and is responsible for reviewing Dail constituency boundaries and recommending changes as they deem necessary.
Does this mean I now live in Co Louth?
No. People in these areas still live in Co Meath and when it comes to dealing with local council matters, Meath County Council is the relevant local authority. For example, if you are looking for planning permission, you will still apply to Meath County Council. And issues such as road maintenance, water quality and drainage, are still administered by Meath County Council. Your local councillors still represent you on Meath County Council. And no, you won’t be expected to switch allegiance when it comes to supporting your GAA team!
Will I be voting in a different polling station?
The change in constituency boundaries will not lead to any significant change in the actual voting arrangements on polling day.
Who are my Oireachtas representatives at present?
While you are currently represented by TDs and Senators for East Meath as elected in 2007, by the time the next election comes around, whenever that may be, you will be voting for a different set of candidates, including current representatives from Co Louth.
Labour tradition in this area
Labour has a long tradition in this area and the people of the Meath Coast have been proudly served by Labour Party TDs and Senators since 1954 when James Tully was first elected.
In 2007, Senator Dominic Hannigan got a massive vote in this area, and in his first General Election, narrowly lost out on a Dail Seat. He went on to top the poll in the Senate elections, and will be running for Labour in the Meath East constituency at the next election.
In the 2009 local elections, Labour topped the poll in all County Council electoral areas between Gormanston and Clogherhead!
In the 2011 general election Gerald Nash won a seat for Labour.
Your local repesentatives are:
- Eoin Holmes, Slane Electoral Area, Meath County Council
- Linda Bell Woods, Drogheda North Ward Electoral Area, Drogheda Borough Council
- Cllr Paul Bell, Drogheda East, Louth County Council
- Cllr Pio Smith, Drogheda West, Louth County Council
Labour has fought tooth and nail for communities in this area. We have battled in councils, the Seanad and the Dail as we campaigned for:
- Decent broadband
- Additional community facilities
- More playgrounds
- Better public transport
- Facilities for our young people
- Permanent schools
- Proper healthcare facilities
Labour is determined to continue to provide strong representation for the people in the Meath Coast area.