Fine Gael Party Chairman Charlie Flanagan has admitted to having mixed feelings over the recent decision by the Constituency Commission to recommend splitting up Laois and Offaly for the first time in the history of the State. Deputy Flanagan was speaking after the publication of the Constituency Commission report which will see Laois and Offaly becoming two three seater constituencies.
“I was very much aware that this would be a likely outcome following the publication of the CSO report which showed such a massive increase in population in Laois over the last 10 years. However it is very much bittersweet. Despite being a proud Laois man I have always had a great affinity and rapport with the people of Offaly. They have been of huge support to me down through the years and I work extremely well with the public officials and representatives in Offaly.”
“Between my late father and I, we have clocked up over 70 years of service to the people of Laois and Offaly. I have very close political colleagues and friends throughout Offaly from Edenderry right down to Birr. I will miss their support but I have no doubt our friendship will endure”
“I will continue to represent them in my role in Dail Eireann however the transfer of part of Kildare South presents a new challenge for myself and my party in the newly formed constituency in Laois. I look forward to assisting the people of Monasterevin and Kildangan and the surrounding areas in any matters that may arise. It is also very much my intention to redouble my efforts in Laois and focus on the many issues that are outstanding and relevant in the county.”
“There are considerable challenges ahead for this Government and I know locally that the proposed closure of Shaen and Abbeyleix hospitals and the matter of Portlaoise General Hospital remains huge issues for the people of Laois. Unemployment is an issue that must be tackled but can only be addressed if the county receives considerable outside investment. I will continue to work on the rise in crime in rural areas and ensure that extra Garda resources are deployed to these areas. The boundaries may change however the daily role of a T.D. continues apace.”