It has been confirmed by the Government that the General Election vote will go ahead in the constituency of Tipperary on the same day as the rest of the country goes to the polls – this Saturday, February 8.

Eoghan Murphy, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, made a ‘special difficulty order’ yesterday evening, Wednesday, February 5, regarding the election. The order allows the vote to take place in Tipperary.

The vote there had been postponed on Monday, following the death of independent candidate Marese Skehan.

In a statement, Minister Murphy’s department said that the advice of the Attorney General was sought and, following consideration of that advice, the minister decided that the order was necessary to address the ‘special difficulty’ that arose in the Tipperary constituency.

The statement said that the difficulty that arose relates to the impossibility of completing a fresh election in that constituency in accordance with the section 62 of the Electoral Act 1992, and within the 30-day time limit set out in article 16.3.2 of the constitution.

The election in Tipperary was originally postponed by the returning officer for the constituency. Minister Murphy made it clear that all steps taken by the officer in this regard was carried out in accordance with the law.

This new order modifies the law so that the postponement is set aside, and the returning officer can now proceed to hold the poll on Saturday, February 8.

Minister Murphy also expressed his sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased candidate Marese Skehan.