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Wednesday 25 April 2018

Date set for Donegal South West by-election

The long-awaited Donegal South West by-election will be held on Thursday November 25, it was revealed today.

Plans to contest the seat, empty for 17 months, were unveiled after the Government was severely criticised yesterday for the delay by the President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns.

Tanaiste Mary Coughlan announced the date as the Opposition accused the coalition of trying to stay in power by delaying three other by-elections.

Ms Coughlan said the Government was appealing against the decision because the judgment had raised constitutional issues concerning the separation of powers between the judiciary and Oireachtas.

Sinn Fein's Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said the Government was appealing to delay by-elections in Waterford, after former minister Martin Cullen resigned on health grounds, Dublin South, left empty by journalist George Lee, and Donegal North East, vacated by Jim McDaid.

"The Government claims to want to appeal this case in order to clarify the issues. That is nonsense. The issues could not be clearer. The judgment is crystal clear," he said.

"The reality is that the Government wants to appeal this in order to forestall citizens in Waterford and Dublin South from taking the same course as Senator Pearse Doherty."

The Dail was suspended twice amid rowdy scenes involving the Opposition.

Press Association

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