Monday 27 March 2017

Dublin North-West: Lyons's share of vote may bring in Labour double

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

THE main problem facing John Lyons is simply trying to convince people to turn up to vote.

The Labour Party's candidate is a genuine prospect for a second seat for the party with Roisin Shortall in Dublin North-West.

He's not complaining about it, but the carve-up of turf between the pair does appear to have strongly favoured his more senior colleague.

Born and bred in Ballymun, Mr Lyons is a teacher in St Vincent's School in Glasnevin and only went on unpaid leave from work last weekend.

"There is always a lower turnout on this side. But in the local elections we took out a Sinn Fein councillor and elected a second Labour councillor for the first time. The big challenge is getting people out to vote," he said.

The 33-year-old is also finding it hard to persuade people that every politician is not the same as what was in government up to now.

In a traditionally disadvantaged part of Dublin, the issue of jobs is unsurprisingly the biggest issue and the low-paid are concerned about their pay packets.

"Young people unemployed and the universal social charge is absolutely huge," he said.

The areas of Ballymun and Finglas are also heavily reliant on community, education and health services, he says.

Mr Lyons said there was no point in telling people the tough decisions didn't have to be made, but cuts did have to be done in a fair way.

"It is about making the right hard decisions. People need to feel there is a fair deal for everyone," he said.

Mr Lyons is among a number of candidates targeting the seat vacated by former Fianna Fail junior minister Noel Ahern, the brother of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

In an effort to ensure Community Affairs Minister Pat Carey retains his seat, Mr Ahern is not being replaced on the party ticket.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael's ticket of veteran candidate Dr Bill Tormey and Lord Mayor of Dublin Gerry Breen is resulting in an entertaining internal battle, which is attracting plenty of attention.

CANDIDATES

FIANNA FAIL

Pat Carey TD

FINE GAEL

Bill Tormey

Gerry Breen

LABOUR

Roisin Shortall TD

John Lyons

GREEN PARTY

Ruairi Holohan

SINN FEIN

Dessie Ellis

WORKERS PARTY

John Dunne

UNITED LEFT ALLIANCE

Andrew Keegan

CHRISTIAN SOLIDARITY

Michael Pearse Francis Larkin

INDEPENDENTS

Michael J Loftus

Sean Mooneyn







Last time out

Same trio returned

Fianna Fail’s Noel Ahern topped the poll, followed by party colleague Pat Carey and then Labour’s Roisin Shortall

Sinn Fein’s Dessie Ellis and Fine Gael’s Dr Bill Tormey fell well short





THE NUMBERS

SEATS 3

ELECTORATE 48,929

VOTERS PER TD 16,310

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