A CORK TD has welcomed that the city and county may have an increase in TDs but said that there are no guarantees.
Fine Gael TD Colm Burke said “anything could happen”, as the Election Commission can restructure and redraw a constituency, “because they have the power to do that”.
It comes as Local Government Minister Darragh O’Brien said the next Dáil will have between 171 and 181 TDs, up from the current number of 160.
Under the terms of the Constitution, there must be a TD for every 20,000-30,000 people, and preliminary Census 2022 data shows an increase of 361,671 people to 5.1m, which would mean an increase of around 15 TDs in the Dáil.
In Cork, if the Constitution was to be strictly adhered to, four of the five constituencies — Cork North Central, Cork South Central, Cork East, and Cork North West — would stand to gain an extra seat.
Cork North Central TD Colm Burke said: “At the moment we have 18 TDs in Cork City and County. There was a time when we had 20 and that was reduced in the last review. So, any additional seat will just be restoring what we had previously.
“The population of Cork had increased. The figure now is, I think, 582,000 people living in the Cork area, which is a substantial number of people.
“Places like Glanmire, Blarney, Ballincollig, Carrigtwohill, Carrigaline — they’ve all grown substantially.
“The question is, in relation to Cork North Central, whether we get a seat. Population-wise we should get an extra seat, but anything could happen.”