West Tyrone candidate backs Dungiven's opposition to 'gerrymander'

In a show of inter-constituency solidarity, Sinn Féin West Tyrone By-Election candidate, Órfhlaith Begley, was in Dungiven today to oppose the proposed inclusion of part of the town in a future iteration of her own proposed future electoral area.

Sunday, 18th March 2018, 5:45 pm
Updated Sunday, 18th March 2018, 6:55 pm

Though Ms. Begley and other nationalists in West Tyrone could benefit from the inclusion of the staunchly nationalist town in their constituency, she joined hundreds of people protesting on Sunday that which has been described as a potential gerrymander.

She said: "Along with other party colleagues from West Tyrone, East Derry and Mid-Ulster, I am here to stand in solidarity with the people of Dungiven as they step up their campaign against the proposal by the Boundary Commission to divide the town and hinterland between 3 different constituencies for both Westminster and Assembly Elections.

“This protest today perfectly illustrates the absurdity of this proposal whereby, if it was to come into effect, the constituency boundary between West Tyrone and Mid Ulster would be straight down the middle of the main street which while other parts of the local area would be subsumed into a newly created Causeway Constituency.

“This issue and today’s protest must also be seen in the wider context of the overall Boundary Commission Proposals. The Boundary Commission published proposals in 2016. However, these were radically revised in the face of DUP opposition and nobody could argue that the new plan is fair, given that it so blatantly advantages the DUP at the expense of the nationalist electorate."

"Thousands of nationalist voters will be left without any representation if controversial electoral boundary changes are not stopped."

She encouraged people to respond to the live consultation on the proposal at www.bcni2018.uk, email their views to [email protected] or post their views to Boundary Commission, The Bungalow, Stormont House. Stormont Estate, Belfast, BT4 3SH