Monday 18 November 2019

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Eight running in by-election

Thursday, 7th November, 2019 8:56am

More candidates threw their hat in the ring this week to fill the Dáil seat vacated by now MEP Billy Kelleher.

Six men and two women have put themselves forward to fill the Fianna Fáil MEP’s place in the Cork North Central by-election, the latest being James Coughlan representing the Workers’ Party.

Mr Coughlan is a general operative employed in the Cleansing Department of Cork City Council. He is an active trade unionist and is Vice-Chairman of the Cork Local Authority Branch of SIPTU.

He claimed: “Cork North Central has been neglected by successive governments for many years. Despite being one of the most working-class constituencies in the country, it is represented by overwhelmingly right-wing TDs from parties which have failed utterly to deal with the crises in housing, health and education.”

He was the party’s candidate in the then Cork North-West ward of the city in the 2014 local election.

The other candidates are no strangers to politics. Fine Gael has put forward Senator Colm Burke while Fianna Fáil are running county councillor Pádraig O’Sullivan.

Sitting city councillor Thomas Gould is Sinn Féin’s pick while newly elected city councillor Oliver Moran with the Green Party is hoping to add to the so called green wave that rippled through the country at the recent local elections.

Cllr Gould has remarked that it’s a three horse race between himself, Cllr O’Sullivan and Senator Burke.

However, this comment went down like a lead balloon with Cllr Moran, who said: “If Cllr Gould thinks this is a three horse race, then he hasn't learned the lesson of May's local elections for Sinn Féin in Cork.”

Solidarity councillor Fiona Ryan, who retained her seat in May’s elections, is also in the running as is Social Democrats local election candidate Sinéad Halpin.

Meanwhile, another newly elected councillor, Labour’s John Maher is also running for his party after long-standing former TD Kathleen Lynch decided to take a step back to allow a new generation to progress.

“This is the right time now for me to take a step back, and allow a new generation to put their name forward in the by-election,” she said.

The by-election is set to take place on 29 November.

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