Thursday 20 October 2016

Residents face 40-minute walk to vote in north Dublin

Swords Castle
Swords Castle

VOTERS in around 160 houesholds in Swords will be forced to vote at a polling station that's almost 40 minute walk from their homes despite a voting centre being open across the road.

Fingal County Council refused to organise an additional polling desk despite a quirk in the boundaries that sees residents having to go out of their way to vote.

The constituency boundary on Brackenstown Road means part of it, alongside the north side of the Ward Valley Park, is in Dublin West. A polling station in St Cronan's school - across the road - is in Dublin North.

Elderly residents face a long walk to get to the polling station in Holy Family School. Fianna Fáil councillor, Darragh Butler, complained about the inconvenience to the Herald.

"Instead of just walking across the road to the local school and voting, they have to go all the way around River Valley Park to vote over there," he explained.

Cllr Butler estimates 450 locals will be affected.

"This will impact on turnout, there's no doubt about that," he said. "Instead of taking five minutes, it will take 40 minutes at the quickest."

Fingal County Council said "it was not possible" to re-locate the electorate in response to a request from Cllr Butler to put an extra polling desk in place for them at the closer location in St Cronan's School as they live in the Dublin West electoral area.

see pages 10-11

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