It’s as you were as Leitrim still ‘split’

There was condemnation yesterday (Wednesday) at news that the Boundary Commission which has issued its report relating to constituency formation is recommending the continued division of Leitrim.    However parts of Leitrim, including Drumshanbo, will now be included in Sligo/North Leitrim. Roscommon will remain aligned to South Leitrim but with some areas of Leitrim now ‘transferred’ to the Sligo/North Leitrim constituency.      There may be resulting implications for North  Roscommon candidates, particularly Deputy Frank Feighan, who is thought to have picked up  between 600 and 700 first preference votes in that area at the last general election. The decision will also affect Fianna Fail Senator and former TD John Ellis who would have picked up up to 1000 votes in the area of Leitrim now being ‘transferred.’    Deputy Feighan told the Roscommon People on Wednesday that he was ‘surprised and disappointed’ at the news.    ‘I am disappointed that this is the outcome. I didn’t expect this to happen. I will have to say my goodbyes to a lot of people who voted for me and that is sad’ he said.    ‘It will makes things even harder for me at the next election and I have sympathy for the people of Leitrim in their predicament but I will be serving the people in our constituency equally, regardless of where they come from’ he said.    Leitrim Senator John Ellis slammed the news  that County Leitrim will remain divided. ‘The further division of South Leitrim ensures that Leitrim will not be able to elect a TD in either Sligo/North Leitrim or Roscommon/South Leitrim,’ he said. ‘The Boundary Commission has failed the people of Leitrim. With over 75 percent of submissions to the Commission this year requesting them to reunite Leitrim, they have restricted the people of Leitrim’s ability to elect its own TD. Leitrim is the only county in the country unable to elect its own TD, and furthermore it’s the people of Leitrim that will suffer at the hands of this report, and not the Boundary Commission.   ‘This is a ridiculous situation to face within a democracy.’    The news was also strongly condemed by the Save Leitrim Campaign spokesperson, Cormac O’Sullibhean, who says that the hundreds of submissions sent in to the  Commission by Leitrim people were ignored.   ‘I wonder if there were people in Kildare being represented by Meath people or Galway people being represented by people from Mayo would this be allowed to go on? It means that the small man is being ignored again’ he said.