Independent TD and General Election candidate Mattie McGrath has urged the Attorney General, Séamus Woulfe, and the Minister for the Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, to provide a prompt and comprehensive decision on his legal application to enable the general election vote in Co. Tipperary to proceed this coming Saturday. Deputy McGrath was speaking after he wrote to the Minister to highlight the legal tensions that exist 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.
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.
We cannot have a situation whereby the people of Tipperary are placed in the totally invidious circumstance of having to stay at home while the fate of the next government is being determined right in all other constituencies.
That would only serve to undermine individual rights and the value and potential impact of each Tipperary person’s exercise of their franchise.
At the national level, the voice and the vote of Tipperary is as of equal and fundamental importance as any other county.
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.
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,” concluded Deputy McGrath.