THE Cork North West constituency could be completely redrawn, with Macroom moving into Cork South West.
The three-seater constituency may change radically after the Census next year, which was postponed from last year due to Covid-19.
The government is obliged, under the Constitution, to review and revise constituency boundaries after a Census, and it’s possible the latest population figures may prompt the creation of a new constituency – Cork North.
Cork North West is already one of the largest in the country, stretching from Rockchapel in the north of the county, as far east as Ballincollig, on the edge of the city. A new constituency could see Ballincollig moving into Cork South Central, with Macroom becoming part of the Cork South West constituency.
Cork North West is currently represented by Fianna Fáil’s Aindrias Moynihan and Michael Moynihan, and Fine Gael’s Michael Creed.
Speaking to The Southern Star, Deputy Aindrias Moynihan said a great deal of what will happen will be down to the next Census. ‘In the absence of the information from the Census, it’s very hard to guess what direction things could go. There is an expectation that the population nationally will have increased. There’s also a view that there should be additional seats based on that population growth, but really without a Census it’s difficult to have an informed opinion on it,’ he said.
Deputy Moynihan noted that the Cork constituencies haven’t seen any major changes in years.
‘Moving Ballincollig out would take a big chunk of the existing Cork North West constituency and there would be a big change there, but all you can do is guess what will happen.’
Cork North West Fine Gael TD Michael Creed said that speculation has been there with every review since the constituency was formed.
‘It’s a legitimate opinion and it’s a viable option that could be considered, but it is an option that was always available to previous boundary commissions, but there are other options to be considered, including the status quo,’ said Deputy Creed.
Cork South West Fianna Fáil TD Christopher O’Sullivan said it is ‘absolutely pure speculation’ at this stage. ‘I would like to see certain parts of Cork, including Cork South West and Cork North West, have extra Dáil representation, but in terms of making it one constituency, that is pure speculation,’ he said.