Government ‘must provide clarity’ on Tipperary vote – McGrath

Independent Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath is calling for ‘immediate clarity’ and a ‘prompt decision’ about whether or not voting will go ahead in his constituency this Saturday.

The TD is urging Attorney General Séamus Woulfe, and the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, to provide a decision on McGrath’s legal applications to allow the vote to proceed.

This follows on from the postponement of the vote in the Tipperary constituency, after an independent candidate in the upcoming election, Marese Skehan, passed away.

McGrath said that he had written to Minister Murphy to highlight the “legal tension that exists between provisions of the constitution and Section 62 of the Electoral Act 1992, which has been used to countermand the poll in Co. Tipperary”.

“This legal action is being pursued for the sole purpose of guaranteeing electoral fairness to the people of Tipperary. It is also about adhering to the priority of the constitutional position which clearly mandates that a General Election must be held within 30 days after the dissolution of the Dáil,” deputy McGrath explained.

He continued: “It is most unfortunate that a tension has now arisen between the express position of the constitution and one particular section of the 1992 Electoral Act. This has created a difficult and challenging position that must be resolved not just for this election but all future elections.”

He argued that the people of Tipperary would be placed in the circumstance of “having to stay at home while the fate of the next government is being determined in all other constituencies”.

It would be wholly inappropriate for the Dáil to be reconvened and to be empowered to make key decisions without the representatives of the people of Tipperary being present.

Deputy McGrath concluded: “I am hoping that the matter can be resolved without access to the High Court and that we can move forward with the vote in as respectful and sensitive a manner as possible.”