This is the first in a series of three Just the Facts briefings, in which we review in turn Ireland’s three European Parliament constituencies: Dublin, Midlands-North West, and South. First up is Dublin; followed by Midlands-North West and then South.
Constituency Profile: Dublin
Following a review that was necessitated by the loss of a European Parliament seat by Ireland after Croatia’s accession to the EU, the people of Ireland will elect their 11 MEPs from three constituencies.
In the first of this series of Just the Facts briefing notes, we look at the Dublin constituency and the candidates seeking election there. The Dublin constituency has a population of 1,273,069 and encompasses all of Dublin City and County.
The 2009 European Parliament results for the Dublin constituency with first preference votes listed were as follows:
|Gay Mitchell* (Fine Gael)||96,715 (23.78%)|
|Proinsias de Rossa* (Labour)||83,471 (20.53%)|
|Joe Higgins (Socialist Party)||50,510 (12.42%)|
|Eoin Ryan* (Fianna Fáil)||55,346 (13.61%)|
|Mary Lou McDonald* (Sinn Féin)||47,928 (11.79%)|
|Deirdre de Burca (Green Party)||19,086 (4.69%)|
|Eibhlin Byrne (Fianna Fáil)||18,956 (4.66%)|
|Patricia McKenna (Independent)||17,521 (4.31%)|
|Caroline Simons (Libertas)||13,514 (3.32%)|
|Emmanuel Sweeney (Independent)||3,583 (0.88%)|
Those listed in bold were elected and those with an * after their names were sitting MEPs at the time of the 2009 elections.
The three-seat Dublin constituency remains unchanged from the 2009 European Elections. That said, the three candidates who won seats in this constituency in 2009 will not be contesting the 2014 elections. Gay Mitchell MEP is retiring at the end of the term; Joe Higgins was elected to the Dáil in March 2011 and replaced in the European Parliament by his former assistant Paul Murphy; Pronsias de Rossa retired in January 2012 and was replaced by former Lord Mayor Emer Costello.
The full list of candidates standing in Dublin is as follows, listed in alphabetical order:
Lynn Boylan (Lynn Ní Bhaoigheallain) – Sinn Féin
A community programme coordinator with an environmental NGO, Ms Boylan is a member of the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle. She contested the 2007 General Election and the 2009 Local Elections in South Kerry. Ms Boylan is Chairperson of the Safefood Advisory Board, having served four years on the Board.
Nessa Childers – Independent
Ms Childers was educated at Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin before working as a psychoanalyst. She was first elected to Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council on behalf of the Green Party in 2004. She resigned as a Councillor and from the Green Party in 2008. She was elected as an MEP for the East constituency in 2009 representing the Labour Party, however, she left the Labour Party and subsequently the S&D Group in 2013. Ms Childers sits now as an Independent MEP and is a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the Delegation for relations with Japan.
Emer Costello – Labour Party
Emer Costello was co-opted to Dublin City Council in 2003 being elected and re-elected in 2004 and 2009. She also served as Lord Mayor of Dublin from 2009 to 2010. She replaced Proinsias de Rossa as an MEP in 2012. In the European Parliament, she is a member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Thomas Darcy – Direct Democracy Ireland
Based in Howth, Thomas Darcy is one of two Direct Democracy Ireland candidates in the European elections for the Dublin constituency. Currently working as a consultant, Mr Darcy was previously a property developer. Over the last number of years, Mr Darcy has been campaigning against evictions across the country and against distressed property auctions.
Mary Fitzpatrick – Fianna Fáil
A graduate of UCD, fluent in Italian and German, Councillor Fitzpatrick was co-opted to Dublin City Council in 2003, before being elected and re-elected in 2004 and 2009. She is currently Fianna Fáil Group Leader on the Council. She contested the 2007 and 2011 General Elections in the Dublin Central constituency. Her father Dermot Fitzpatrick served as a TD, Senator and Councillor.
Brian Hayes – Fine Gael
A former teacher by profession, graduating from NUI Maynooth and Trinity College Dublin, Minister Hayes has represented Dublin South West in Dáil Eireann since regaining his seat in 2007. Minister Hayes also previously served as both a Councillor and a Senator. He is currently serving as Minister of State for Public Service Reform and the Office of Public Works at the Department of Finance.
Paul Murphy – Socialist Party
Paul Murphy holds a degree in law from UCD. He was co-opted to replace Joe Higgins in the European Parliament in 2011, having previously worked as his assistant. Mr Murphy is a member of the International Trade Committee in the European Parliament and a member of the South Asia Delegation.
Eamon Ryan – Green Party
Eamon Ryan is the current leader of the Green Party in Ireland. He represented Dublin South in Dáil Eireann from 2002 to 2011; prior to that he was a member of Dublin City Council. Mr Ryan served as Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources from 2007 to 2011. A graduate of UCD, Mr Ryan was previously a self-employed businessman.
Brid Smith – People Before Profit
Councillor Smith was first elected to represent Ballyfermot/Drimnagh on Dublin City Council in 2009, having previously run in a number of General Elections as a Socialist Workers Party candidate. Councillor Smith was the first female shop steward in Dublin Bus and Dublin Branch Secretary of the National Bus and Railworkers’ Union.
Jim Tallon – Independent
A Wicklow-based farmer, Mr Tallon has contested six General Elections in several constituencies since 1981. Mr Tallon contested the 2009 European Elections in the East electoral constituency, securing 2,412 votes. Mr Tallon’s last electoral outing was the Meath East by-election in 2013.
Raymond Whitehead – Direct Democracy Ireland
Businessman Raymond Whitehead founded Direct Democracy Ireland in 2010. Mr Whitehead contested the Local Elections in 2009 and the General Election in the Dublin South constituency in 2011. Based in Leopardstown, Mr Whitehead is also a teacher of Transcendental Meditation.
Damon Matthew Wise – Fís Nua
Based in County Clare, Mr Wise is a voluntary community worker. Mr Wise previously sought a nomination to run in the 2011 Seanad Elections on the Administrative Panel.
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