Irish Republican News · October 26, 2011
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Voting for change in Dublin West
Voting for change in Dublin West
pauldonnellyruthcoppinger.jpg

As well as voting in two referendums and the presidential election on Thursday, the constituents of Dublin West will be voting in a by-election to fill the seat vacated by the death of Brian Lenihan earlier this year.

In total 13 men and women are contesting the by-election with all the main parties running a candidate along with six independents including a former firefighter and (another) reality TV celebrity.

An internal poll carried out by Fine Gael has suggested that Labour’s Patrick Nulty, Fine Gael’s Eithne Loftus and the Socialist Party’s Ruth Coppinger will be competing for the seat.

A victory for the secondary school teacher would be a remarkable result for the tiny Socialist Party, giving it two seats out of four in the constituency and a third seat in the Dublin parliament.

Coppinger’s website states that she is campaigning against austerity cutbacks: “Instead I stand for a socialist Ireland based on democratic public ownership and control of the major industries and resources so that social need is prioritised over profit”.

Sinn Fein candidate Paul Donnelly, a project worker and chairperson of Sinn Fein in Dublin, will hope to improve on his party’s performance in the general election. Sinn Fein does not have a strong base in this constituency, but Donnelly could yet feature in the final shake-up.

“This by-election is a unique opportunity for the people of Dublin West to give their verdict on the performance of the Fine Gael / Labour coalition government,” he said.

“It’s hard to believe that this time last year; both of these parties were castigating Fianna Fail policy from the opposition benches, and now, 12 months on, they are implementing it. Only a few short months ago, both parties were making promises not to close hospital wards, not to cut Garda numbers and not to raise income taxes. And what of the promises of jobs for our young people? They have been found out.”

Some political pundits are claiming the by-election could produce the first victory for a governing party since 1982.

Currently two members of the cabinet have their constituency in Dublin West, Transport Minister and Fine Gael TD Leo Varadkar and Social Protection Minister and Labour TD Joan Burton. The Socialist Party’s Joe Higgins holds the third seat.

The candidates are:

David McGuinness, Fianna Fail
Eithne Loftus, Fine Gael
Peadar O Ceallaigh, Fis Nua
Roderic O’Gorman, Green Party
Patrick Nulty, Labour Party
Paul Donnelly, Sinn Fein
Ruth Coppinger, Socialist Party
Gary Bermingham, independent
Benny Cooney, independent
Brendan Doris, independent
Barry Caesar Hunt, independent
John Frank Kidd, independent
Jim Tallon, independent

© 2011 Irish Republican News