There is increased speculation that Fine Gael Mayo TD John O’Mahony will move constituency to Galway West for the general election after the loss of a
swathe of his area in boundary revisions.
The 2012 constituency commission report recommended a reduction from five to four Dáil seats in Mayo as part of the overall drop in the number of TDs from 166 to 158. It also moved a large section of south Mayo into Galway West.
“It is only speculation at the moment. No final decision has been made,” Mr O’Mahony said, but he acknowledged that more than 7,000 potential voters would move to Galway West in the revision. A decision on whether he moves will be made early in the new year.
Fine Gael has four of the five Dáil seats in Mayo with no expectation of a similar return after the next election. Taoiseach Enda Kenny topped the poll and both he and Michael Ring were elected on the first count from their respective bases – Castlebar and Westport.
Michelle Mulherin, the first woman elected to the Dáil in Mayo and a Fine Gael TD, will have a battle on her hands in the Ballina area, where Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary is based.
Castlebar-based Independent Michael Kilcoyne is expected to be a major contender, having topped the poll in the local elections with a landslide vote.
If Mr O’Mahony moves to Galway West, he will be helped by a large Mayo population in Galway as well as a very large membership of the county organisation, the Mayo Association, in Co Galway.
His role as All-Ireland-winning football manager of Galway in 1998 and 2001 will also be a help.