Monday 19 February 2018

Big names gone from ticket - leaving the door wide open

Fine Gael candidate Colm Brophy predicts that his party will take at least one seat in his Dublin South West constituency Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Fine Gael candidate Colm Brophy predicts that his party will take at least one seat in his Dublin South West constituency Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Fine Gael councillor Colm Brophy has urged young constituents in Dublin South West to read up on Sinn Féin's "very murky past" before they go to the polls next week.

Mr Brophy believes voters should be aware of Sinn Féin's violent history and "high-tax policies" when they cast their vote in the constituency where Gerry Adams is running two candidates.

"People, especially young people, should look at Sinn Féin's track record when it comes to the untold devastation that was inflicted on people in the North during the Troubles," Mr Brophy told the Irish Independent.

The Dublin South West constituency was home to Labour's former Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte and Fine Gael's ex-Junior Finance Minister Brian Hayes five years ago. Now neither politician's name is on the ballot paper.

Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy moved to Tallaght from his apartment in the upmarket Ballinteer area of South Dublin after he was elected and is expected to keep his seat. However, the only safe seat in the newly enlarged constituency belongs to Sinn Féin stalwart Seán Crowe.

Sinn Féin is also running Belfast woman Sarah Holland in the hope Mr Crowe's surplus will help her over the line.

But with the new end of the constituency taking in more middle-class voters, it is unlikely three left-leaning TDs will be elected.

Mr Brophy is confident Fine Gael will take at least one seat and will be in a dogfight for the final seat.

The party opted for a three-candidate strategy and Mr Brophy is joined on the Fine Gael ticket by Anne-Marie Dermody and Tallaght-based Karen Warren.

Sole Fianna Fáil candidate John Lahart has been given a free run at the constituency - but this has left him with a lot of ground to cover after he disappointed with just 8pc of the vote in the by-election two years ago.

First-time TD Eamonn Maloney landed a seat with Labour but quit over the party's constituency strategy and is now running as an Independent.

Labour is fielding councillors Pamela Kearns and Mick Duff, with the Templeogue-based female candidate seen as the party's best chance.

Senator Katherine Zappone is running as an Independent and is expected to do well in her first Dáil run.

A good outside bet is Renua County Councillor Ronan McMahon, who got a good vote in the by-election as an Independent candidate. However, a lot of his vote in the local elections was based in Dublin South-Central.

Dublin South West

Candidates:5 seats

FG Anne Marie Dermody, FG Colm Brophy, FG Karen Warren, LAB Mick Duff, LAB Pamela Kearns, FF John Lahart, SF Sarah Holland, SF Seán Crowe, AAA Sandra Fay, AAA Paul Murphy TD, R Ronan McMahon, DDI Stephen Sinclair, GP Francis Duffy, IND Eamonn Maloney TD, IND Declan Burke, IND Peter Fitzpatrick, IND Deirdre O'Donovan, IND Katherine Zappone, IND Joan Sullivan Molloy, IND Kieran Quigley, IND Frank O'Gorman.

PREDICTION: Fianna Fáil (1), Fine Gael (2), Sinn Féin (1), Anti Austerity Alliance (1)

Irish Independent

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