Politics

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Peter Mathews close to final decision on EU elections bid

JOHN DRENNAN, Political Editor

Published 23/02/2014|02:30

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Peter Mathews, Fine Gael deputy for Dublin South
Peter Mathews, Fine Gael deputy for Dublin South

REFORM Alliance TD Peter Mathews is believed to be close to making a final decision on whether he will run in the European elections.

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Mr Mathews has been raising his profile on European issues, intensifying the speculation that he is planning to throw his hat into the ring.

Significantly, the former Fine Gael TD published a one-page article last week across the 'People' local newspaper group in Dublin, outlining his views on the potential for the upcoming European elections for Irish citizens to make their voices heard on debt reduction.

"Peter is still in the Garden of Gethsemane when it comes to Europe and there are a few others who will be in there with him until he decides," a Fine Gael source noted.

Former minister Eamon Ryan is being tipped to make a dramatic political comeback as the Green Party leader is being tipped to take a seat in the European elections.

The higher profile he developed from the debate on pylons is being attributed as the reason behind his renaissance.

The reduction in the numbers of seats in Mr Ryan's old Dublin South constituency meant most political observers believed his political career was finished.

But a series of polls are showing the former communications minister in serious contention for a seat.

The latest polling data is understood to even have Mr Ryan competing with Fine Gael junior minister Brian Hayes to top the poll.

Mr Hayes is regarded as a certainty to take a seat but Mr Ryan is believed to have emerged from the chasing pack fighting for the remaining two seats in Dublin.

A Fianna Fail source told the Sunday Independent his emergence was not a surprise.

"Eamon has taken a high- profile, fairly brave stance on the pylon issue," the source said.

"People are starting to remember the Greens were fairly unfortunate. Whatever about our fellows they were the best of a bad lot in that last government."

The race for the third seat is impossible to call between a tightly-bunched group of candidates that include independent MEP Nessa Childers, Labour Party MEP Emer Costello, Fianna Fail's Mary Fitzpatrick and Sinn Fein's Lynn Boylan.

The status of all four, who are believed to be up to 10 per cent behind the front runners, has led to speculation that there may be "space for a new candidate".

"All of these, Emer, the Sinn Fein woman, Nessa and Mary Fitzpatrick, are in the field for a while now and none of them have won the hearts and minds of the voters. There is still space for someone new to make waves," a source said.

Sunday Independent

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