The news that over 7,000 Roscommon voters could be transferred to the Sligo - Leitrim constituency is not going down well with local residents.
The 2017 Constituency Commission Report has recommended that West Cavan be reunited with Cavan-Monaghan but that North Roscommon join the new Sligo -Leitrim- South Donegal constituency.
Approx 7,800 people in the Boyle, Arigna, Keadue, Ballyfarnan, Cootehall and surrounding areas will be affected.
Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy has described the recommendations as “an illogical and savage butchery of County Roscommon.” He said moving a “significant section of North Roscommon” including into Sligo/Leitrim- “makes absolutely no sense whatsoever and is a complete butchery of County Roscommon-we are going to lose large areas such as Boyle, Cortober, Keadue, Ballinameen and Cootehall which will now be tagged onto Sligo/Leitrim- this is an illogical carving up of County Roscommon which is carried out by bureaucrats who analyse everything strictly from a population perspective but does not take into account cultural identity.”
The Fianna Fáil TD said however that he had every confidence of holding onto his seat in the newly redrawn Roscommon/Galway constituency and he noted that he already had a considerable presence in parts of Galway and he would work hard to represent constituents in the newly added areas of Galway including Mountbellew and Kilconnell, Ballymacward and Dunmore.
Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins stated, “I have been working very closely with a large number of individuals, groups and businesses on projects in the Boyle, Cortober, Ballyfarnon, Keadue and Arigna areas. It is extremely disappointing for residents in those communities who will now no longer cast their votes with the rest of County Roscommon. We have had a number of positive announcements for that area in recent months so I was very happy that all the hard work is delivering some positive change for the people. However, we want to see more of this as it is an area that has suffered hugely from an economic point of view over past years."
It is understood Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan intends to seek a nomination run for Dail Eireann in the new constituency. There have been no statements from sitting TDs in Sligo-Leitrim on the constituency commission's report.
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