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Legislation

The Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee was established with reference to sections 28, 32 and 33 Local Government Act 1991. It is independent in the performance of its functions.

The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government signed the establishment Order to appoint the Committee on November 15th 2012.

Section 24 of the Local Government Act 1994 enables the Minister to divide a county or borough into local electoral areas, and to fix the number of such members to be elected for each electoral area.

Before doing so, the Minister requests a boundary committee to prepare a report. The report is published and the Minister has regard to its recommendations in exercising his powers in this area.

Sections 28, 32 and 33 of the Local Government Act 1991 are set out below for information. The full original text of the Local Government Act 1991, and subsequent amending Acts, is available from the website: www.irishstatutebook.ie. In case of doubt or in the event of a legal interpretation, reference should be made to the original Acts.

Sections 28, 32 and 33 of the Local Government Act 1991

28.—(1) The Minister may establish one or more committees which or each of which shall be known by the title assigned to it by the Minister and is referred to in this Part as a "boundary committee”.

(2) A boundary committee shall stand dissolved on the expiration of such period as may be specified by the Minister at the time he establishes it.

(3) A boundary committee shall be independent in the performance of its functions.

(4) (a) A boundary committee shall consist of such number of members, not being less than 3 or more than 5, as the Minister may determine.

(b) The members of a boundary committee shall be appointed by the Minister.

(c) A person appointed to be a member of a boundary committee shall hold office as such member for such period as may be specified by the Minister at the time of the appointment.

(d) A person who is for the time being—

(i) entitled under the Standing Orders of either House of the Oireachtas to sit therein,
(ii) a member of the European Parliament, or
(iii) a member of a local authority,
shall, while he is so entitled or is such a member, be disqualified for becoming a member of a boundary committee.

(e) Where a member of a boundary committee—

(i) is nominated as a member of Seanad Éireann or elected as a member of either House of the Oireachtas,
(ii) is elected as a member of the European Parliament or is regarded pursuant to section 15 (inserted by the European Assembly Elections Act, 1984 ) of the European Assembly Elections Act, 1977 , as having been elected to such Parliament to fill a vacancy, or
(iii) becomes a member of a local authority,
he shall thereupon cease to be a member of the committee.

(f) A member of a boundary committee shall not take part in the preparation of a report under section 33—
(i) with respect to the boundary of the functional area of a local authority if he is an officer of that authority, or
(ii) with respect to the boundary of a functional area of a local authority situated within an administrative county if he is an officer of the council of that county.

(g) The Minister shall appoint one member of a boundary committee to act as chairman of the committee.

(h) A member of a boundary committee may at any time resign from office by letter addressed to the Minister.

(i) Where a casual vacancy occurs among the members of a boundary committee, the Minister may appoint a person to fill such vacancy.

(j) The Minister may remove from office a member of a boundary committee if, in the opinion of the Minister, he has become incapable through ill health of effectively performing his duties or has committed stated misbehaviour or his removal appears to the Minister to be necessary or desirable for the effective performance by the committee of its functions.

(k) A person may be re-appointed to be a member of a boundary committee.

(5) A member of a boundary committee may be paid out of monies at the disposal of the Minister, such remuneration (if any) and allowances for expenses incurred by him as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may determine.

(6) (a) The Minister may supply to a boundary committee, on such terms or conditions as he may specify, any services, including services of staff, required by the committee for the performance of any of its functions.

(b) A local authority or a public authority may supply to a boundary committee, on such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon by the authority and the committee, any services, including services of staff, required by the committee for the performance of any of its functions.

32.—(1) The Minister may request a boundary committee—

(a) to prepare a report under section 33 with respect to the boundary of any administrative or geographical district or other division based on a local government boundary and used for any purpose of public administration connected with or related to local government or any such district or other division which it is proposed to establish, or

(b) to prepare a report with respect to any matter relating to local government that the Minister specifies.

(2) Before deciding whether to make an order under section 24 of the Local Government Act, 1994 in relation to a local electoral boundary the Minister shall request a boundary committee to prepare a report. The committee shall if so requested prepare and furnish to the Minister a report in writing which shall include its recommendations and the Minister shall publish the report and shall have regard to it in deciding whether to make the order and the provisions of sections 33 (2) to (6) shall apply for the purposes of such request and report.

33.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this section a boundary committee shall, if requested to do so by the Minister under subsection (2) or (3) of section 31 or subsection (1) (a) or (2) of section 32—

(a) review the boundary to which the request relates and, in the case of a request by the Minister under subsection (2) of section 31, the terms of the proposal or the amended proposal (as the case may be) with respect thereto, and

(b) make such recommendations with respect to the boundary that it considers to be necessary in the interests of effective and convenient local government,
and shall prepare and furnish to the Minister a report in writing of that review and its recommendations and the Minister shall publish the report.

(2) The Minister may include in a request as aforesaid a requirement that the boundary committee is to have regard to such considerations or matters in preparing its report as he specifies in the request and the committee shall comply with any such requirement.

(3) A report under this section shall include, where the Minister so specifies in a request as aforesaid, a review by, and the recommendations of, the boundary committee in relation to such matters specified in the request as may be consequential on or otherwise related to any alteration of the boundary recommended in the report.

(4) In preparing a report under this section a boundary committee shall—

(a) consult any local authority concerned, and

(b) where the report relates to a boundary of a county or a county borough publish a notice stating that a report is being prepared under this section in relation to a specified boundary inviting submissions from any person concerned,
and shall have regard to any such consultations and submissions made by any such person.

(5) A boundary committee may, for the purposes of a report by it under this section, by notice in writing, request any local authority to furnish to it such information (including documents) as it may reasonably require within such period as shall be specified in the notice and the local authority shall comply with the request.

(6) (a) A boundary committee shall have an absolute discretion to hold an oral hearing in relation to a report by it under this section and the hearing may be conducted by one or more members of the boundary committee or by a person appointed by the committee for that purpose.

(b) The member or members of a boundary committee or other person appointed to conduct an oral hearing under paragraph (a) shall make a report in writing on the hearing to the boundary committee and shall include in the report such recommendations as are considered appropriate with respect to the boundary concerned.

(c) The boundary committee shall consider a report made to it under paragraph (b) before deciding on the recommendations that it will make with respect to the boundary concerned.

(d) The Minister may make regulations in relation to the conduct of an oral hearing as aforesaid, the procedures at such a hearing and the attendance by local authorities and other persons at such a hearing.