Sunday 25 September 2016

Cavan-Monaghan

Sinn Fein (1), Fianna Fail (1), Fine Gael (2)

Published 18/01/2016 | 15:17

Cavan-Monaghan is tipped as being a relatively straightforward affair despite the number of seats reducing from five to four and loss of several thousand voters in a redrawing of the constituency.

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Last time round, Sinn Fein stalwart Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin topped the poll in the first count and is likely to do the same when the country goes to the polls in the coming weeks.

Fianna Fáil’s Brendan Smith is also considered a shoo-in having been elected in every Dáil election since 1992.

Mr Smith has served in a number of ministries during his political career which also gives him a slight advantage on his opponents.

Fine Gael’s Heather Humphreys, the current Arts Minister, is also well-placed to return to Leinster House.

The final seat will be a dogfight between Fine Gael’s Cavan based TD Joe O’Reilly and Sinn Fein Senator Kathryn Reilly.

Fine Gael is hopeful they can take two seats but an equally confident Sinn Féin is also hoping to return a second TD in one of several constituencies they have adopted a two candidate approach.

Both TDs are Cavan based and will hope for transfers from their Monaghan based party colleagues.

Former Fine Gael TD Sean Conlan all but destroyed his chances of re-election by quitting the party.

Mr Conlan decided to leave the party days before he was charged with assault, saying he stepped down over the construction of a major pylon project in the constituency.

Also in the field is Garda Whistleblower John Wilson, who came to national attention during the garda scandals which led to the resignation of former Justice Minister Alan Shatter and the retirement of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

Mr Wilson, who is the brother of Fianna Fail Senator Diarmuid Wilson,  will not take a seat but will build his profile ahead of the local elections in 2019.

Other Candidates include the Green Party’s Micheál Callaghan, Mick McDermott (DDI-NCM), Sean Conlan (IND), John Wilson (IND), Jimmy Mee (IND)

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