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"People feel completely ripped apart" on election changes

Thursday, 25th February, 2016 3:28pm

A Co Cavan community development worker says that the electorate of West Cavan has been "completely ripped apart", due to boundary changes.

Over 13,000 people in the region were transferred out of Cavan-Monaghan and into the newly-formed and heavily-criticised South Donegal-Sligo-Leitrim-West Cavan and go to poll tomorrow (Friday, February 26).

"People feel completely ripped apart," Daniel Downey told BBC news.

"There are only a small amount of votes in Belturbet and I suppose voters feel that candidates just won't come to them.

"People have given up on the idea that the system works for democratic representation."

"When your town has two thirds ripped into another constituency and you're lumped with a giant constituency of Sligo-Leitrim, it leaves a sense of frustration and total resignation," he said.

Many homes in West Cavan have not been canvassed by candidates but Cavan does have a representative in the constituency in Independent candidate Eamon Murray but a former councillor believes the changes will leave locals disenfranchised and is predicting a low turnout.

"The boundary runs so close, people don't even know who to vote for. It means people just won't turn up," said former councillor Liz McDermott.

"West Cavan, our hinterland, has been completely cut off. People are asking me 'who are these candidates for Sligo-Leitrim?'"

"They don't know them. It's a disaster and it's caused confusion," she said.

Sinn Fein's Martin Kenny is favourite to take a seat with the Leitrim man followed by Fianna Fail's Marc MacSharry and Fine Gael's Tony McLoughlin and Gerry Reynolds for the four-seater.

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