Adrian Kavanagh, 6th June 2015 (with subsequent updates)
A good number of former TDs will often decide to contest the following general election contest after the one that they lost their seat in. Some of these will have already contested the 2014 City/County Council elections, in the hope that these could act as a stepping stone towards rebuilding their national careers, although some of these may finish their political careers at the local level. Fine Gael TDs, such as Michael Creed and PJ Sheehan, were able to use victory at the 2004 Local Elections as a stepping stone to regaining their Dail seats at the 2007 General Election, having lost these in the 2002 contest. The 2009 Local Elections were also contested by candidates such as Joe Higgins and Catherine Murphy, who had lost their seats at the 2007 election but would go on to successfully regain their seats at the 2011 contest (Higgins, of course, immediately gave up his Fingal County Council seat as he also won a seat in the European Elections on the same day).
It would be expected that the upcoming general election will be contested by a number of the candidates who lost their Dail seats at the 2011 General Election and this indeed has proven to be the case. At present (as of 26th January 2016) I account for seventeen candidates in this group (eleven of these lost their Dail seats at the 2011 contest, one stood down after winning a seat in the European Parliament elections of 2009, two lost their seats at the 2007 election, two lost their seats at the 2002 General Election and one lost his seat at the 1997 General Election). I will add to this list over the coming weeks/months as further candidates in this group are selected/declare themselves. Seven of the candidates in this group are running for Fianna Fail while a further two of these had previously won their seats as Fianna Fail candidates in earlier general elections. This group also includes two former Green Party TDs (one of whom is contesting the election as an independent candidate), one former Progressive Democrat TD and three former Fine Gael TDs (one of whom is contesting the election as a Renua Ireland candidate).
These candidates are:
Paul Bradford Renua Ireland – contesting Cork East (lost seat in Cork East in 2002 as a Fine Gael candidate)
Pat The Cope Gallagher Fianna Fail – contesting Donegal
John Curran Fianna Fail – contesting Dublin Mid-West
Paul Gogarty Independent – contesting Dublin Mid-West
Darragh O’Brien Fianna Fail – contesting Dublin Fingal
Sean Haughey Fianna Fail – contesting Dublin Bay North
Eamon Ryan Green Party – contesting Dublin Bay South
Chris Andrews Sinn Fein – contesting Dublin Bay South (lost seat in Dublin South-East in 2011 as a Fianna Fail candidate)
Mary Hanafin Fianna Fail – contesting Dun Laoghaire
Mae Sexton Independent – contesting Longford-Westmeath
Thomas Byrne Fianna Fail – contesting Meath East
Jerry Cowley Independent – contesting Mayo
Eamon Scanlon Fianna Fail – contesting Sligo-Leitrim
Gerry Reynolds Fine Gael – contesting Sligo-Leitrim
Declan Bree Independent – contesting Sligo-Leitrim (lost seat in 1997 as a Labour Party candidate)
Joe Behan Independent – contesting Wicklow
Michael D’Arcy Fine Gael – contesting Wexford
A number of other former TDs contested selection conventions, but failed to be selected at these and were not subsequently (at this point in time) been added to the party ticket, including Tom McEllistrim (Kerry), Martin Mansergh (Tipperary), and Charlie O’Connor (Dublin South-West) for Fianna Fail and Tom Sheahan (Kerry) for Fine Gael. Sean Haughey was added to the party ticket for Dublin Bay North (after losing at the selection convention) by Fianna Fail party headquarters on 8th September 2015, and Mary Hanafin was similarly added to the party ticket in Dun Laoghaire after losing out at the selection convention there. Michael Ahern had declared an interest in contesting the Fianna Fail selection convention for Cork East (where he lost his seat in 2011), but withdrew from the contest a few days before that convention took place. His daughter, Barbara, was subsequently addd to the Fianna Fail ticket. It had been expected that former Fianna Fail Dail deputy, John Moloney, would be contesting the party nomination for the new Laois constituency, but he announced in early June 2015 that he would not be contesting the selection convention. In an Irish Independent article (29th May 2015), former Fianna Fail deputy, Noel O’Flynn (who did not contest the 2011 elections), said it was “quite possible” that he could contest the upcoming election as an independent candidate. But in January 2016 it was announced that he would not be contesting the election for health reasons.