27 candidates in Midlands Northwest to contest EU Elections

Twenty seven candidates have now thrown their hat into the political ring to contest the European Elections in the Midlands Northwest Constituency when polls open on June 7. The expanded constituency comprises 15 counties - Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan, Louth, Longford, Meath, Westmeath, Kildare, Laois and Offaly with five seats at the EU Parliament table up for grabs.

Fianna Fáil is running three candidates - Deputy Barry Cowan, Senator Lisa Chambers and Senator Niall Blayney; while Maria Wlash MEP and Nina Carberry have been selected to run for Fine Gael. Two Sinn Féin candidates are set to contest the elections including Chris McManus MEP and Michelle Gildernew; while Luke ‘Ming Flanagan’ MEP and John Waters will run Independently.

Former RTE journalist, Ciarán Mullooly, will contest the elections for Independent Ireland; while Dr Danny O’Boyle is on the ticket for People Before Profit. Hermann Kelly is running for the Irish Freedom Party; Fergal Landy for Labour; Senator Pauline O’Reilly has been nominated by the Green Party; Rory Hearne for the Social Democrats, Deputy Peadar Tobín will run for Aontú and James Reynolds and Justin Barrett are running for the National Party.

Stephen Garland from Granard, Michelle Smith, Dr Gerry Waters, Saoirse McHugh, Charlotte Keenan, Peter Casey and Daniel Pocock have also put their names forward to run as Independents. Margaret Alacoque Maguire is running for Ireland First; while Anthony Cahill is on the ticket for Irish People party.

Last time round, the constituency held four seats but this changed last year with the addition of one seat bringing the total allocation to five.

Mairead McGuinness (FG) who is now European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union has indicated her intention not to run this time round in the Midlands Northwest. Sitting MEP Colm Markey - who was co-opted onto the seat left vacant by Sinn Fein’s Matt Carthy after he was elected a TD for the Cavan Monaghan constituency in the General Election 2020 - has also signalled his intention not to run for a EU Parliament seat in June.

Elsewhere, the remaining EU constituencies in Ireland include Dublin and Ireland south. There are 23 candidates running in Ireland South where there are five seats available, and 23 candidates running in the Dublin constituency, where four seats must be filled.

Those elected to the European Parliament promote the interests of the 448 million citizens of the European Union. It has legislative, budgetary and supervisory powers that play an important part in the EU legislative process, shaping the annual EU budget and in the supervision of the economy.

In 2024, Ireland will elect 14 MEPs. The Parliament originally consisted of delegates nominated by the national parliaments of the Member States but, since 1979, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have been elected directly.

Ireland elected 15 MEPs from the first direct elections but that number was reduced to 13 in the 2004 elections; 12 in the 2009 elections and to 11 in the 2014 elections as part of the EU enlargement process.

At the 2019 elections, 13 MEPs were elected, but the last candidate elected in the Dublin Constituency and in the South Constituency did not take their seats until the UK left the EU on January 31, 2020.