Adrian Kavanagh, First posted 17th October 2018, with updates as new candidate nominations announced. Any links in this post are to online announcements of candidate selections – there will be no specific links to candidate webpages.
The fourth of my series of rolling blog posts, in which I detail the latest information as to candidate selections relating to the different political parties and grouping and/or candidate declarations (as in the case of the non-party grouping). The rule of thumb here is that I will add party candidates in most cases only after they have been officially selected to run for the party at a selection convention or by some other means of candidate selection. I try my best to find information about local election candidate selection conventions, but in some cases this information is hard to find and occasionally it can be some time after a convention takes place before I find this information and hence am in a position to update this page accordingly.
The post will focus on Fine Gael candidate selections ahead of the 2019 City and County Council elections.
After a very strong performance at the 2009 Local Elections, where the party outpolled Fianna Fáil in a national election for the first time in its history, Fine Gael lost a number of seats at the 2014 contest. Winning 235 seats in these contests, Fine Gael once again became the second largest party at the local authority level behind Fianna Fáil, although they would retain their position as largest party in the state at general election contest at the subsequent 2016 General Election. Defections from the party reduced the overall number of Fine Gael City and County Councillors over the coming years, but this has been somewhat offset by the fact that a number of other Councillors have decided to join the party over this same period. According to my best estimates, I currently estimate that there are 234 Fine Gael City and County Councillors.
Unusually for a party in government, Fine Gael may well approach the 2019 Local Elections with the expectation of a number of gains, especially in light of trends in opinion polls over the past year and a half which show the party on a level of support that is a number of percentage points above the level of support won by Fine Gael at the 2016 General Election (and indeed the 2014 City and County Council elections). The changing local election boundaries could potentially help Fine Gael (and work against the smaller parties), given that lower district magnitudes are generally expected to give the largest political parties a “seat bonus”. While this applies very much to general elections, however, sometimes the “local” nature of City and County Council elections can mean that the potential for such a “seat bonus” is not as strong as might be anticipated.
As of now (13th November 2018), twenty three Fine Gael local election candidates are listed on this page. Nine of these candidates are women (39.1%) and fourteen of these are men (60.9%).
The candidates that have been officially selected to contest the 2019 Local Elections as Fine Gael candidates include:
|Area/Electoral Area||Fine Gael candidates|
|Killaloe||Cllr Joe Cooney, Cllr Pat Burke, Ger O’Halloran|
|Cork City North East|
|Cork City North West|
|Cork City South Central|
|Cork City South East|
|Cork City South West|
|North Inner City|
|South West Inner City||Eoghan Howe|
|South East Inner City|
|Blackrock||Cllr. Marie Baker, Cllr. Barry Ward, Rebecca Molloy|
|Dún Laoghaire||Cllr. John Bailey, Cllr. Mary Fayne, Lorraine Hall|
|Killiney-Shankill||Cllr. Jim Gildea, Frank McNamara|
|Stillorgan||Cllr. John Kennedy|
|South Dublin County|
|Galway City Central|
|Galway City East|
|Galway City West|
|Borris in Ossory-Mountmellick|
|Limerick City East||Cllr. Marian Hurley, Cllr Michael Sheahan, Michael Murphy|
|Limerick City North|
|Limerick City West||Cllr. Daniel Butler, Cllr. Elenora Hogan|
|Ratoath||Cllr. Maria Murphy, Cllr. Gillian Toole, Cllr. Gerry O’Connor|
|Carrickmacross-Castleblaney||Cllr. Aidan Campbell, Mary Kerr-Conlon|
|Waterford City East|
|Waterford City South|
|Tramore-Waterford City West|
(Please note that, as in the other similar posts, any links that are provided here are to posts/newspaper reports offering “evidence” of their candidatures and will normally not link back to candidate websites.):
I will be adding to this list as and when I come across further declarations of intentions to contest these elections on the part of other non-party candidates. This cohort of candidates often tends to be the hardest to glean information on, so this list may not be as up to date/accurate as the similar posts for the different parties.
The Fine Gael selection convention for Ratoath took place on 16th October 2018 and three candidates – all incumbents – were selected at this.
The selection convention for Limerick City East took place on 22nd October, as reported in the Limerick Leader (23rd October 2018), and three candidates, including two incumbents, were selected at this.
Cllr. John Kennedy was selected as the party candidate for the Stillorgan electoral area at a selection convention on 1st November 2018. Eoghan Howe was selected to contest the South West Inner City electoral area as the Fine Gael party candidate on 5th November 2018. As reported by the Limerick Leader (3rd November 2018), Cllrs. Daniel Butler and Elenora Hogan were selected to contest the Limerick City West electoral area for Fine Gael at a convention which took place on 3rd November 2018 – two Patrickswell-based nominees lost out at the convention; Fergus Kilcoyne and 20-year-old Daniel McSweeney.
Eight candidates were selected to contest the three electoral areas located within the Dún Laoghaire Dáil constituency on 9th November 2018 at a selection convention held at the Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel. Cllr. Aidan Campbell and Mary Kerr-Conlon were selected as candidates for Carrickamacross-Castleblaney at a selection convention which took on that same day – this convention was also contested by Pat Cassidy, as reported on the Northern Sound website (9th November 2018). The Killaloe selection convention took place on 12th November and selected three candidates.