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Costello welcomes High Court decision

5 December 2017

Statement by Joe Costello
Spokesperson for Urban Regeneration

Former Labour TD Joe Costello has welcomed the decision of the Government to set an urgent date for the passage of the Electoral (Amendment) (Dail Constituencies) Bill 2017.

He was speaking today after the hearing of his application to the High Court for a Declaration that urgent legislation was necessary to prevent a constitutional challenge to a new Dáil on the basis of the population increase of over 173,000 which established a ratio of 1TD to 30,138 thereby breaching Art. 16.2.2 of the Constitution.

Mr Costello said:

"Following my intervention last week the Government has tabled all stages of the Bill to be taken in the Dail on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th of this week.

"This should enable the Bill to go before the Seanad and pass both Houses of the Oireachtas before Christmas.

"Once the Bill is enacted there is still much work to be done before an election can be called with constitutional protection: a new register of electors must be compiled; postal and special voter lists have to be drawn up; and polling districts have to be adjusted to accommodate changes in size and boundaries in constituencies.

"So speed is of the essence.

"I am pleased that the President of the High Court, Mr Peter Kelly, agreed today to adjourn the proceedings until the 19th of December. This will provide an opportunity to monitor progress on the passage and enactment of the Bill."