Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Local and European Elections.

Thursday, 24 February 1983

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 340 No. 6

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29.

Mr. Gregory-Independent: Information on Tony Gregory  Zoom on Tony Gregory  asked the Minister for the Environment if he will give the up-to-date position regarding the redrawing of the local authority wards.

30.

Mr. De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  asked the Minister for the Environment if it is intended to proceed with the local government elections on schedule next year; if it is intended to review the boundaries of electoral areas before then; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

31.

Mr. Barrett: Information on Michael Barrett  Zoom on Michael Barrett  (Dublin North-West) asked the Minister for the Environment if it is intended to revise the constituencies for the local elections in 1984.

32.

Mr. J. Fahey: Information on John Fahey  Zoom on John Fahey  asked the Minister for the Environment if it is proposed to hold the local government and the European elections on the same day, and, if so, the likely date.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  I propose to take Questions Nos. 29 to 32 together. Local government elections and European Assembly elections are both due to be held in 1984. The period for holding the European elections will be from 17 to 20 May. Under existing law, local elections must be held during the month of June and I will be proposing a change in the legislation to enable the two elections to [1104] be held on the same day. No decision has been taken to carry out a general review of local electoral area boundaries before the local elections.

In regard to wards, which are the basic units in city areas but are not units of representation, the wards of Waterford County Borough were revised recently consequent on the extension of the county borough boundary. There are no proposals for the revision of wards in other areas.

Mr. De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  There is a proposal in the Department to extend the city boundary to include the Ballymun estate which is presently in the county area. Has that been agreed to by the Department?

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  I do not have that information with me but in the normal course of events such a boundary extension involves a public hearing and representations from the authorities involved. I am not sure that that will be completed by 1984. However, I will get the information for the Deputy.

Mr. De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  I understand that both the county council and the corporation have agreed to the change.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  If the Deputy writes to me on the matter I will have a detailed reply sent to him.

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  Is it the Minister's intention not to have any change in the electoral areas for the local elections to be held in 1984?

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  I am not in a position to give that information and I am surprised that the Deputy asked for it.

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  There is a possibility that they will be changed?

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  That is a possibility.

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  It is likely that the Minister will revise the electoral areas for the local government elections?

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  No, but the possibility of [1105] changing the boundaries exists. We will make the decision.

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  We will read between the lines. It is gerrymander. We will be watching you.

Mr. S. Walsh: Information on Seán Walsh  Zoom on Seán Walsh  Question No. 28 refers to Dáil constituencies.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  That question has been disposed of.

Mr. S. Walsh: Information on Seán Walsh  Zoom on Seán Walsh  I understood all questions were taken together.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Questions Nos. 29 to 32 were taken together. Question No. 28 was taken separately.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  The register of electors is common for all forms of election.

Mr. S. Walsh: Information on Seán Walsh  Zoom on Seán Walsh  Do I take it that the question of revising Dáil constituencies will come before the House shortly?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  This question has been disposed of.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  It only relates to improving the register which is grossly inaccurate and unsatisfactory. There is no proposal to revise the Dáil constituencies.

Mr. Dowling: Information on Richard Dowling  Zoom on Richard Dowling  Is it essential that the local elections and the European elections be held on the same day?

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  No. It is not absolutely essential.

Mr. Dowling: Information on Richard Dowling  Zoom on Richard Dowling  Would the Minister defer the local elections and allow the European elections to proceed without having anything tied to them?

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  The Government have agreed in principle to amend the legislation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The question relates to boundaries.

[1106]Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  There is a question down about the date of the elections. It is our intention to combine both elections.

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  Arising from the Minister's reply to Deputy Walsh when he said it is not his intention to carry out a revision of the Dáil constituencies, do the Government not intend to revise them following publication of the recent census of population?

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  That is a different matter. If the result of the census requires a change that will be done.

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  When will these details be available?

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  I do not know. If the Deputy puts down a question about that I will try to obtain the information for him but I have no notice of this question.


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