herald

Friday 22 September 2017

Terenure group' too middle class' for its deputies

SOME residents of a southside suburb want to disassociate themselves from their working class constituency, it's claimed.

A few locals in Terenure believe they are not getting enough attention from their South Central politicians.

But their request to move into the constituency of Dublin South East has been met with surprise from some of their current representatives.

Labour's Eric Byrne has described as unfair comments from the Association of Residents of Terenure (ART) that suggest the middle class are being overlooked.

"I live in Terenure and I've no calls or correspondence to tell me that they are not happy with the political representation that they have got," Mr Byrne told the Herald.

Dublin South Central includes places such as Crumlin, Dolphin's Barn, Drimnagh and Ballyfermot, while Dublin South-East takes in Ranelagh, Rathmines, Donnybrook and Sandymount.

Boundaries

ART wrote to the constituency commission - which is redrawing Dail boundaries - this week.

It said: "The current constituency boundary has left us at a great disadvantage because the make-up of the public representatives who have been elected to our constituency do not, in general, seem to feel they represent the 'middle class' suburb of Terenure and instead draw their support from, and give their attention to, the western part of the constituency."

The residents insist they should be moved because of their "cultural affinity" to Dublin South-East.

Deputy Byrne said he is a member of ART, which represents about 300 households in the area, but it does not speak on his behalf.

"I was not consulted in the process and I'm sure the vast majority of members weren't," he added.

"I'm not quite sure what political difference in representation they would get if the boundaries are redrawn."

However, he said he does not take the association's request as a "personal affront".

Mr Byrne agreed that Terenure should be represented in its entirety by one or other of the constituencies.



Affront

The village was split in two in 1991, with part falling into Dublin South-East and the rest into Dublin South-Central.

ART said the north-west of Terenure was cut off from its "natural association" with Rathmines, Rathgar and the other villages and placed in an electoral district "with which it has no logical affinity".

Mr Byrne said: "There is a very strong case for a unified representation for Terenure."

Jim Dowling, chairman of the Terenure Residents Association, wants the whole village to be represented by Dublin South-East TDs.

"Our primary motivation is to have Terenure in one constituency. At the moment, the dividing line runs right through the middle of Terenure village, dividing even the village in two," Mr Dowling said.

The nearby villages of Rathmines and Rathgar "are very much associated with Terenure" but out the other direction there isn't "anything that we're associated with in any way", he added.

Mr Dowling told RTE's Morning Ireland that families have had very good representation from their existing TDs.

The commission will also issue recommendations to reduce the number of TDs from 166 to between 153 and 160.

The deadline for submissions was yesterday and the final report is expected around June.

comurphy@herald.ie

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