Dáil Éireann - Volume 624 - 04 October, 2006
Written Answers. - Electoral Divisions.
Ms Lynch Ms Lynch
Ms Lynch asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the grounds upon which he has decided not to review the election boundaries following the indication of the preliminary census figures that a sizable proportion of the population live in constituencies which are under represented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30900/06]
Mr. M. Higgins Mr. M. Higgins
Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the way in which he will ensure that Article 16.2.3 of the Irish Constitution’s requirement for equality of representation is not breached without undertaking a review of constituency boundaries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30896/06]
Mr. Roche Mr. Roche
Mr. Roche: I propose to take Questions Nos. 133 and 204 together.
Following the publication by the Central Statistics Office of the Preliminary Report on Census 2006, I sought the advice of the Attorney General in relation to census results and constituency boundaries.
The Attorney has advised that constituencies can only be revised on the basis of the final Census figures. The preliminary figures cannot constitutionally be used to revise constituencies. The Electoral Act 1997 provides for the establishment of Constituency Commission upon the publication of the Census Report which contains the final figures. The Act also sets out the considerations to which a Commission must have regard in observing the relevant provisions of the Constitution.
I intend to establish such a Commission to review and report on Dáil and European con stituencies as soon as the relevant Census Report is published. Under the Act, the Commission will be required to report to the Ceann Comhairle as soon as may be and, in any event, within 6 months of its establishment; the reports will then be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.
It is not the normal practice to publish legal advice and I have no plans to do so on this occasion.
Dáil Éireann 624 Written Answers. Electoral Divisions.