Cork North Central ramps up
As the parties ratchet up their General Election campaigns, news editor Niamh Áine Ryan takes a look at the candidates who have declared so far in Cork North Central Ward.
It’s less than 48 hours since a General Election was called and already Cork North Central (CNC) is shaping up to be one to watch.
Fianna Fáil have given the ward a vote of confidence, deciding to run three candidates in the four-seater race, which doesn’t include a top polling local councillor, Kenneth O’Flynn. He was the first to be elected in his ward in last year’s local elections and he has announced he will be running as an Independent in this election.
The party has opted for current TD Padráig O’Sullivan, who won the by-election last Novemeber to fill his partymate Billy Keheller’s seat after he was elected as an MEP.
The party has also chosen Cllr Tony Fitzgerald to run, despite him having to contact Fianna Fáil HQ asking to be put on the local election ticket last year.
Also on the ticket is Sandra Murphy, a former ‘Apprentice’ star and current events manager with the Trigon Group.
When asked about running Ms Murphy in the General Election instead of working locally as a councillor first, a party spokesperson told the Cork Independent: “The National Constituencies Committee makes decisions on the General Election tickets based on maximising the vote in each constituency. The Committee believes that Fianna Fáil has an exceptionally strong ticket in Cork North Central in Padraig O'Sullivan TD, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald and Sandra Murphy and we look forward to a strong and focused campaign over the next three weeks.”
Sinn Féin Cllr Thomas Gould enters the race on the back of receiving the second highest number of votes in the recent by-election.
Meanwhile, Senator Colm Burke and Lorraine O’Neill are flying the flag for Fine Gael.
Solidarity TD Mick Barry is the only candidate running in CNC who was elected in 2016's General Election.
Both the Green Party and Labour are fielding candidates who are currently councillors – Oliver Moran (GP) and John Maher (Lab).
Social Democrats are running Sinéad Halpin and Martin Condon is running as an Independent, as is former county councillor Diarmuid Ó Cadhla, with Finian Twomey running for Aontú.
This year’s General Election will take place on 8 February. If you are running in Cork and haven’t been mentioned in our coverage in this week's issue, email firstname.lastname@example.org.