General Election 2016 candidates who previously contested elections for other parties/political groupings

Adrian Kavanagh, 25th June 2015

In this post, I have attempted to list all the candidates for the upcoming general election who have previously contested elections for political parties/political groupings that are different to the one they are currently in. In the main, many of these candidates are independents, with many of these joining the independent ranks effectively due to “selection defections” – having left their party arising from the handling of/results of a party selection convention either in the run up to the next general election or as associated with candidate selection processes for earlier local or general election contests. But there are also a number of these candidates who will be contesting the 2016 General Election as members of political parties. This post will not list those candidates who might or might not be running in the next general election, but will instead just list those party candidates who have been officially selected to contest the next general election and those independent candidates who have declared their intention to contest this election. Cases where related to parties that were amalgamated/merged together (as, for instance, the case with the Labour Party and Democratic Left/the Democratic Socialist Party) or subsumed into larger groupings/alliances (as, for instance, the case with the Socialist Party and the Anti-Austerity Alliance, or the Socialist Workers Party and the People Before Profit Alliance) – often on a temporary basis – will not be included here.

This list does not include candidates who were previously members of/associated with another political party, but who did not contest an election for that party, as with Independent Dail deputy, Michael Healy-Rae (Kerry),  or Social Democrats candidate, Ken Curtin (Cork East), who were both previously members of Fianna Fail but did not contest an election as a Fianna Fail candidate. Renua’s Ronan McMahon is listed here as someone who previously contested elections as an independent, but he was also a member of Fine Gael (but did not contest an election for that party).

Candidates will be listed by political party or political grouping and then by constituency, with their former political allegiances highlighted in brackets/italics after their names.

This list currently (as of 15th February 2016) includes 71 different candidates, with close to half of these being associated with the Independents ranks. As of 15th February 2016, this group of candidates accounts for 12.9% of all of the selected/declared general election candidates, at this point in time.

The current list includes 14 former Labour Party candidates, 13 former Fine Gael candidates, 12 former Fianna Fail candidates, former Progressive Democrat candidates, 6 former Sinn Fein candidates, former People Before Profit Alliance candidates, former Green Party candidates, and 1 former Socialist Party candidate, as well as 12 former Independent candidates.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. As further candidates are selected/declared, this list will be further added to. There are, no doubt, other candidates that I haven’t noted here, but who should be listed here.


Fine Gael (6)

Cork East: Noel McCarthy (Labour Party)

Dublin Mid-West: Derek Keating (Independent)

Dun Laoghaire: Mary Mitchell O’Connor (Progressive Democrats)

Galway East: Ciaran Cannon (Progressive Democrats)

Kildare North: Anthony Lawlor (Independent)

Louth: Fergus O’Dowd (Labour Party)


Fianna Fail (3)

Dublin North-West: Paul McAuliffe (Progressive Democrats)

Galway East: Colm Keaveney (Labour Party)

Offaly: Eddie Fitzpatrick (Progressive Democrats)


Sinn Fein (2)

Dublin Bay South: Chris Andrews (Fianna Fail)

Galway West:  Trevor O Clochartaigh (Labour)


Labour Party (2)

Galway East: Lorraine Higgins (Independent)

Roscommon-Galway: John Kelly (Independent)


Renua Ireland (9)

Carlow-Kilkenny: Patrick McKee (Fianna Fail)

Cork East: Paul Bradford (Fine Gael)

Dubin Bay North:  Terence Flanagan (Fine Gael)

Dublin Bay South: Lucinda Creighton (Fine Gael)

Dublin South-West: Ronan McMahon (Independent)

Kildare North: Shane Fitzgerald (Green Party)

Louth: Michael O’Dowd (Fine Gael)

Offaly: John Leahy (Independent)

Wicklow: Billy Timmins (Fine Gael)


Social Democrats (9)

Dublin Central: Gary Gannon (Independent)

Dublin Bay North: Cian O’Callaghan (Labour Party)

Dublin North-West: Roisin Shortall (Labour Party)

Kildare North: Catherine Murphy (Workers Party/Democratic Left/Labour Party/Independent)

Limerick City: Sarah-Jane Hennelly (Labour Party)

Limerick County: James Heffernan (Labour Party)

Meath East: Aisling O’Neill (Independent)

Wicklow: Stephen Donnelly (Independent)

Wexford: Leonard Kelly (Independent)


Workers Party (1)

Dubin Central: Eilis Ryan (Independent)


Direct Democracy Ireland (1)

Meath West: Alan Lawes (People Before Profit)


Independents (38)

Cavan-Monaghan: Sean Conlan (Fine Gael)

Clare: Ian Lynch (Fine Gael)

Cork East: Kieran McCarthy (Sinn Fein), Mary Linehan Foley (Fianna Fail)

Cork North-Central: Ger Keohane (Sinn Fein)

Cork South-West:  Alan Coleman (Fianna Fail)

Donegal: Frank McBrearty (Labour), Thomas Pringle (Sinn Fein)

Dublin Mid West:  Paul Gogarty (Green Party)

Dublin Central:  Christy Burke (Sinn Fein)

Dublin Fingal:  Claire Daly (Socialist Party), Barry Martin (People Before Profit)

Dublin Bay North:  Averil Power (Fianna Fail), Tommy Broughan (Labour), Paul Clarke (People’s Convention)

Dublin South: Shane Ross (Fine Gael), Peter Mathews (Fine Gael)

Dubin South Central:  Joan Collins (People Before Profit Alliance)

Dublin West: David McGuinness (Fianna Fail)

Galway East:  Michael Fahy (Fianna Fail)

Galway West:  Noel Grealish (Progressive Democrats), Catherine Connolly (Labour Party),  Fidelma Healy-Eames (Fine Gael)  

Limerick County: Richard O’Donoghue (Fianna Fail)

Longford-Westmeath: Kevin “Boxer” Moran (Fianna Fail), Barbara Smyth (Sinn Fein), Mae Sexton (Progressive Democrats/Labour Party) 

Louth: Kevin Callan (Fine Gael)

Mayo: Jerry Cowley (Labour)

Offaly: John Foley (Fianna Fail)

Roscommon-Galway: Denis Naughten (Fine Gael)

Sligo-Leitrim: Declan Bree (Labour/United Left Alliance)

Tipperary: Mattie McGrath (Fianna Fail), Michael Lowry (Fine Gael)

Waterford: John Halligan (Workers Party)

Wexford: John Dwyer (Sinn Fein/Eirigi)

Wicklow: Joe Behan (Fianna Fail)



About Adrian Kavanagh

Lecturer at the Maynooth University Department of Geography. Email:
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1 Response to General Election 2016 candidates who previously contested elections for other parties/political groupings

  1. PJ Cleere says:

    Hi Adrian, just a note to say how much we readers appreciate your posts and how relevant they are. Nobody else is doing this work to anything like the same level so as a reader and user of your information I wanted to thank you and acknowledge the work you are doing to inform as many people as possible. Best wishes P J Cleere DFI

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