14 candidates to contest Euro MNW

Story by Seamus Enright

Friday, 19th April, 2019 2:23pm

14 candidates to contest Euro MNW

Pictured above is Brendan Smith T.D., Fianna Fáil candidate handing in his nomination papers to Fintan Murphy, Returning Officer for the Midlands North-West Constituency for the forthcoming European Parliament Elections. Photo © Ken Wright 2019.

A total of 14 candidates will contest the European Parliament elections in the Midlands North-East after nominations closed at noon last Monday, April 15. 
For the main parties, they include sitting TDs Brendan Smith and Anne Rabbitte for Fianna Fáil; sitting MEP Mairead McGuinness, and former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh for Fine Gael; and Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy.
The Labour Party nominated candidate is Drogheda native Dominic Hannigan; with Ballyshannon activist Cyril Brennan for Solidarity/People Before Profit; and Patrick Greene; Leader of Direct Democracy Ireland also looking to get elected.
The Green Party candidate is Saoirse McHugh from Achill in Mayo; and Michael O'Dowd, a former member of Fine Gael and twice Mayor of Drogheda, is standing for Renua.
That leaves four Independent candidates, many of whom will hope to capitalise on the votes left available by retiring MEP Marian Harkin from Sligo.
The field of independents includes sitting MEP Luke 'Ming' Flanagan from Roscommon, and failed presidential hopeful Peter Casey.
Others include former Senator, Fidelma Healy Eames from Galway; and Dilip Mahapatra, a consultant doctor who challenged for a place on the Fianna Fáil ticket alongside Deputy Smith.
Last week, while announcing his intention to run, Mr Casey called on all election candidates to “do the right thing for the environment” by ditching plastic campaign posters.
He is further calling for local authorities to place outright bans on the erection of plastic campaign posters, and for the introduction of a tax on all single-use plastics that are not biodegradable.
“We are totally opposed to any election candidates putting up plastic posters. Not only are plastic election campaign posters not eco-friendly, but they are unsightly as well as being unstable in high winds, and dangerous distractions for motorists and cyclists,” the former Dragons’ Den star said.
A total of 13 MEPs will be elected to represent Ireland in Europe after voters go to the polls on Friday, May 24.
There are four seats available in the Midlands-North West constituency, which stretches from Donegal to Clare, and takes in 13 counties including Cavan and Monaghan.
In 2014, Luke 'Ming' Flanagan topped the poll with almost 20 per cent of the total first preference votes.
He was elected in Count 2, followed by Fine Gael's Mairead McGuinness in Count 5 after she received 14.2 per cent of the first preference votes; then Sinn Féin's Matt Carthy in Count 7; and finally Marian Harkin in Count 8 ahead of the Fianna Fáil candidate Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher.
Ms Harkin was elected by a margin of less than 300 votes ahead of Mr Gallagher.
Aside from the sitting candidates, none of the rest of the field have ever contested an election in the Midlands-North West constituency.

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