North Roscommon moves into Sligo-Leitrim constituency

A large section of north Roscommon is set to be moved into the Sligo-Leitrim constituency in the next general election.

The constituency commission’s report recommends Boyle and the surrounding area leaves the Roscommon-Galway area.

On Tuesday night, the commission published its report on the Dáil and European constituencies, recommending the number of TDs increase from 158 to 160 and the number constituencies reduce from 40 to 39.

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The main change in the Shannonside region relates to north Roscommon, with about 7,806 people in the Boyle, Arigna, Keadue, Ballyfarnan, Cootehall and surrounding areas affected.

In the last election, they voted in the Roscommon-Galway constituency, but the next time, they’ll vote in the Sligo-Leitrim one.

At present, Sligo-Leitrim also includes a strip of west Cavan, but this will no longer be the case, with all of Cavan and Monaghan set to form a five-seat constituency.

But Sligo-Leitrim will continue to include a strip of south Donegal.

The change in Roscommon will favour Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan, who announced on Tuesday night he’ll seek to run in Sligo-Leitrim, which will continue to be a four-seater.

However, Sinn Fein spokesperson Claire Kerrane described the changes as ‘butchery of north Roscommon’ and called on the government not to implement the changes.

Similarly, Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy describes it as ‘outrageous butchery of Roscommon’, with Boyle set to be in ‘no-man’s land’.

As Roscommon-Galway will lose part of Roscommon, it’ll gain 8,650 votes in Galway, including Mountbellew, Clonbern and Kilconnell, and will continue to be a three-seater.

No change is recommended to Longford-Westmeath, which will remain a four-seat constituency.

The commission also suggests the status quo remain with the European constituencies, with Midlands-Northwest set to continue to be a four-seat constituency.

The Dáil and Seanad will be asked to vote to implement the commission’s recommendations.