The breaching of country boundaries in County Tipperary in the report of the Electoral Commission was raised in the Dáil by Tipperary Independent Deputy Seamus Healy.
Speaking during a debate on the Bill which implements the changes he said both the county boundary and physical infrastructure terms of reference had been breached.
However, all of these people looked on both towns as their centres for education, health services, employment and social activity.
“It is clear that the Commission, in respect of both Tipperary constituencies and a number of other constituencies, has breached its own terms of reference,” he said. “Will the Minister seriously examine the position in Tipperary and revert to two three-seater constituencies?”
Deputy Healy said he disagreed fundamentally with the suggestion there should be a significant reduction in the number of Members.
“A significant reduction would mean a lack of democracy and a very elitist and exclusive Chamber,” he said. “The Chamber would be almost like a vocationally representative Chamber such as the Seanad. It certainly would not allow for proper representation or the very strong contact Members have with their constituents and the public. The link between individual Deputies and their constituents is a very significant strength. It is anything but a weakness and ensures Members do not become out of touch with their constituents or constituencies. It is a considerable strength of the proportional representation and single transferable vote system. I fundamentally agree with and support our electoral process.”