By-election to replace Hogan is delayed until spring
THE by-election to replace Phil Hogan when he becomes European Commissioner won't be held until next spring – not with two other votes to replace departed TDs in the autumn.
The Environment Minister is expected to be confirmed as Ireland's nomination for the EU post today in line with the Cabinet reshuffle.
However, Mr Hogan will remain a TD until late October, when the new European Commission officially takes up office.
By-elections are due to be held in September or October to fill the seats vacated by two new MEPs elected in the European elections, Fine Gael's Brian Hayes and Independent Luke 'Ming' Flanagan.
A by-election has to be held within six months of the vacancy arising. Although the by-elections for the MEPs can be held anytime up to the end of November, the votes are expected to take place before the Budget in mid-October.
Mr Hogan will still be a TD at that stage. Instead, the Carlow-Kilkenny by-election will be held in the spring.
Fine Gael Senator Pat O'Neill is the favourite to be the party candidate, although he will face competition from new councillor David Fitzgerald.
Fianna Fail will possibly run a Carlow-based candidate, with Jennifer Murnane-O'Connor, Anne Ahern and Fintan Phelan linked with the ticket.