Limerick Stabbed in Constituency Shuffle

With the loss of the Heathrow connection from Shannon, the disappointments of the hurling and football teams, the reverses in rugby, the media denigration of a great city and county and the eclipse of the O'Malleys, one would have thought Limerick had suffered enough. But now the Constituencies Commission has surgically removed part of the county and transplanted it into Kerry North to enable that constituency retain three seats. And a consequence of this contrivance will be the eclipse of another great political dynasty, the Healy Reas.

Why Limerick county should have been carved up like this when a simple and obvious alternative was available: making the two 3-seat Kerry constituencies into a single 5-seat constituency is not at all clear. The retention of the 3-seat Kerry South constituency means that in the next election this will be a two seat constituency because John O'Donoghue, the Ceann Comhairle, is automatically elected (an anachronism that should be ended by the appointment of a judicial person permanently as Ceann Comhairle – this might have the added advantage of requiring government ministers answer questions.).