There is a bit of a bru-hahah brewing over yonder at McGarr Solicitors. It appears that their offices are acting for Finian McGrath and Catherine Murphy in their challenge to the Constitutionality of the forthcoming (but still to be announced) General Election.
What baffles me is that in September of last year there was strong indication in the preliminary census figures that this issue might arise. That’s nearly 8 months ago. As someone who managed projects for a living I’d LOVE to have a 8 month heads up that there might be a problem with a key project I was responsible for (I’m sure m’learned colleagues over at McGarr’s will advise us with whom the buck stops for running elections in this State).
While I accept that there may have been legal impediments to actually implementing changes on foot of the preliminary census figures I would be interested to know what prevented some form of ‘exploratory’ review to develop a contingency plan should the final figures bear out the preliminary results (which on the whole they seem to have). This would have put the Minister in the position of being able, a la Blue Peter, to present ‘one he prepared earlier’ in terms of a plan and a series of recommendations which would require updating and a lesser degree of tweaking to reflect the final census figures. I invite the team in McGarr Solicitors to comment here to advise on what the likely legal obstacles might have been to a contingency planning committee being established to look at the risk raised by the preliminary census figures and devise a set of recommendations.
The current proposal to amend boundaries etc. after the election approximates to locking the stable door after the horse has bolted, particularly in light of the current legal challenge.