Fianna Fáil Jobs Spokesperson Dara Calleary TD has responded to Environment Minister Phil Hogan who has attempted to politicise the Boundary Commission following criticism of his approach to managing the new boundaries for the upcoming local elections.
Deputy Calleary commented, “The attempts by Phil Hogan to implicate the Boundary Commission in criticism directed very clearly at him, is completely illegitimate.
“My party has never raised any question about the performance or professionalism of the Boundary Commission. Our criticism, from the day that the new constituencies were debated in Leinster House, has been squarely laid at the door of Phil Hogan. Fine Gael’s Director of Elections was responsible for the very restrictive terms of reference that the Commission was instructed to follow.
“By increasing the number of county councillors and shifting the number of seats, the Minister pre-determined most of what could happen in the boundary review. It is a simple statement of fact to say that these were the most loaded terms of reference in the 35 years since independent commissions were set up.
“When our Party Leader pointed out these facts, Phil Hogan very cynically misrepresented the comments and attempted to present them as an attack on the Commission itself. It is perhaps a measure of Hogan’s nervousness about the central charge that he has attempted to politicise the commission in this way.
“We reject Phil Hogan’s charge and would encourage the Commission to do likewise.”