Mr Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government made a special difficulty order this evening (5 February, 2020) in respect of the general election 2020. The making of the special difficulty order means that the election in Tipperary will now proceed on the same day as all other constituencies – on 8 February 2020.
The advice of the Attorney General was sought and, following consideration of that advice, the Minister is satisfied that this order is necessary to address a special difficulty that occurred this week in relation to the holding of an election in the constituency of Tipperary. The difficulty relates to the impossibility of completing a fresh election in that constituency in accordance with section 62 of the Electoral Act 1992 and within the 30 day time limit set out in article 16.3.2 of the Constitution, following the death of a candidate (Ms Marese Skehan).
The Minister wishes to stress that all functions performed and acts done by the Returning Officer for Tipperary under the Electoral Act 1992, prior to making this special difficulty order, were carried out in accordance with the law. The order modifies the law so that those acts are set aside and the Returning Officer can proceed to hold the poll on Saturday 8 February.
Minister Murphy expresses his sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Marese Skehan on her very sad passing.