Cork East is a parliamentary constituency represented in Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Irish parliament or Oireachtas. The constituency elects 4 deputies (Teachtaí Dála, commonly known as TDs). The method of election is the single transferable vote form of proportional representation (PR-STV).
The constituency was first created in 1923 under the Electoral Act 1923 as a 4 seat constituency and was first used for the 1923 general election. It was abolished under the Electoral (Revision of Constituencies) Act 1935. It was recreated under the Electoral (Amendment) Act 1947 as a 3 seat constituency and used for the 1948 general election until it was abolished under the Electoral (Amendment) Act 1961. It was recreated under the Electoral (Amendment) Act 1980 as a 4 seat constituency for the 1981 general election, and has been used at all elections since then.
The constituency runs from Mitchelstown and Mallow in the north, through Fermoy, to Cobh, Midleton and Youghal in the south. It encompasses almost all of the Fermoy, Midleton, and Mallow electoral areas of Cork County Council.
The Electoral (Amendment) Act 2009 defines the constituency as:
- "In the county of Cork the electoral divisions of:
- Cobh Rural, Knockraha, in the former Rural District of Cork;
- Aghern, Ballyhooly, Ballynoe, Castlecooke, Castle Hyde, Castlelyons, Castletownroche, Coole, Curraglass, Fermoy Rural, Glanworth East, Glanworth West, Gortnaskehy, Gortroe, Kilcor, Kilcummer, Killathy, Kilworth, Knockmourne, Leitrim, Rathcormack, in the former Rural District of Fermoy;
- Ballyclogh, Buttevant, Caherduggan, Carrig, Clenor, Doneraile, Kilmaclenine, Mallow Rural, Monanimy, Shanballymore, Skahanagh, Wallstown, in the former Rural District of Mallow;
- Ballintemple, Ballycottin, Ballyspillane, Carrigtohill, Castlemartyr, Clonmult, Cloyne, Corkbeg, Dangan, Dungourney, Garryvoe, Ightermurragh, Inch, Lisgoold, Midleton Rural, Mogeely, Rostellan, Templebodan, Templenacarriga, in the former Rural District of Midleton;
- Ballyarthur, Derryvillane, Farahy, Kildorrery, Kilgullane, Kilphelan, Marshalstown, Mitchelstown, Templemolaga, in the former Rural District of Mitchelstown No. 1;
- Ardagh, Clonpriest, Kilcronat, Killeagh, Kilmacdonagh, Youghal Rural, in the former Rural District of Youghal No. 1;
- and the towns of Cobh, Fermoy, Mallow, Midleton and Youghal."