New European Constituencies Recommended by Committee
In it's advisory capacity, the European Parliament Constituencies Committee has put forward it's recommendation, accomodating the two additional MEPs Ireland is gaining as a result of Brexit.
In July, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, signed an order establishing a European Parliament Constituencies Committee with the aim of determining the future boundaries of Ireland's European electoral districts. Today, the Committee recommended that the Counties of Offaly and Laois should be moved from the Midlands-North-West Constituency to the Southern Constituency, as well as recommending that the Southern Constituency and the Constituency of Dublin should gain an extra MEP each.
This means in the 2019 European elections, the constituencies of Dublin and Midlands North West would each have four seats, and the South constituency would have five seats.
The need arose following the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union, thus allowing the UK's 73 MEPs to be redistributed proportionately to the remaining 27 member states.
The Committee invited written submissions by way of notice in national newspapers during the Summer and considered a variety of options bearing in mind changes in population. The final configuration of the constituencies for the European Parliament is determined by law enacted by the Oireachtas.
The European Elections will take place between 23-26 May 2019. The exact date should be confirmed in the coming months and will probably coincide with the Irish local elections (with the possibility of constitutional referendums also taking place on the same day).