Meath East is to get an additional seat at the next general election.
That’s one of the main developments arising from the boundary reviews of Dáil
constituencies published today.
The development means that Meath East will have four TDs in the next Dáil instead of the
The boundary review will also see certain areas re-assigned in County Meath.
Seven Electoral divisions in the northern part of Co. Meath that are currently in the Cavan-
Monaghan constituency are being recommended for transfer to Meath East.
Meath West will remain a three-seat constituency however 19 electoral divisions in
Westmeath will transfer to the Longford-Westmeath Constituency.
Elsewhere in the county, the Julianstown Electoral Division which is part of the 5-seat Louth-
East Meath constituency, is being recommended for transfer to Meath East.
The changes are being recommended due to population adjustments as reported in the 2022
The County of Meath now has a population of approximately 220,000, an increase of 13 per
cent or 25,783 persons on the 2016 figure.
Nationally, the population has increased by 8% in four years and now stands at 5.15 million.
The changes have been criticised by Aontú Leader and TD for Meath West Peadar Toibín.
Speaking to Meath Live, he said, “our electoral system has become more TD-centric rather
than citizen centric.
“The recommendations today will see the number of TDs increase from 160 to 174. We
believe the figures should be no higher than 166.”
Deputy Toibín went on to say that his party will be calling for a referendum to cap the
number of TDs.
“We believe that Meath should be a one-county 6-seater constituency.
“I believe that constituencies should be retained within the county boundaries.
“Where county electoral boundaries spill over county boundaries, it can be negative and
problematic,” he said.
The additional seat for Meath East could benefit Sinn Féin whose candidate, Darren
O’Rourke, topped the poll in the 2020 General Election.
O’Rourke was the first TD elected in the constituency and secured his seat in the second
count with 10,617 votes almost 3,000 votes ahead of Fine Gael’s Helen McEntee who, with
Thomas Byrne of Fianna Fail, secured their seats on the seventh count.
According to Peadar Toibín of Aontú, “we have more TDs per capita than most EU states. It’s
time to change the process.”
Under the Constitution, the State is legally obliged to have one TD represent every 20,000 to
30,000 persons in Dail Eireann.
Nationally, the number of Dáil constituencies is to increase from 39 to 43.