Minister Hogan on ‘gerrymandering’

-   Susan Moss

Mr. Phil Hogan T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government today (23 May, 2014) demanded that Deputy Micheal Martin should withdraw the remarks he made on the report by the Independent Committee into the review of Local Electoral Areas.

“Deputy Martin’s timing is impeccable. He chooses to attempt to discredit the report now even though it was published more than nine months ago. There hasn’t been a peep out of him since and now as we approach the local elections he makes this outrageous comment. This is political cronyism at its worst and Deputy Martin should hang his head in shame. It smacks of desperation in advance of the local elections” said the Minister.

“I find it particularly ironic that I should be accused of ‘Gerrymandering’ by the leader of the most corrupt party in the history of the state. Deputy Martin should withdraw his comments and apologise to the Independent Committee who gave freely of their time in preparing the report. I am well used to political footballs but this one is nasty and it is a slur on the integrity of the members of the Committee. This is what gets politics a bad name,” added the Minister.

The review had a specific goal of improving balance and consistency in representational ratios in local government, while taking particular account of factors such as the location of towns in the new municipal governance arrangements provided for in the Action Programme for Effective Local Government. The terms of reference for the review provided for minimum levels of representation in lower population counties and cities.”I defy Deputy Martin to demonstrate how this report favours Fine Gael and Labour. The people are not fools and they will see this for what it is – Fianna Fail reverting to gutter politics to which they are well accustomed.”

“I am calling on Deputy Martin to withdraw his outrageous comment. I’m sure with his and his party ‘s new found interest in honesty and integrity he will realise that is the right thing to do.”

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