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Kildare North: Independent hopeful after 'celebrity party' fails

INDEPENDENT candidate Catherine Murphy was one of those set to run under the ill-fated 'Democracy Now' umbrella with celebrities such as Fintan O'Toole and Eamon Dunphy.

The collapse of the project over the weekend led to criticism of some of those involved, but Ms Murphy was all set to try and regain the Kildare North seat she lost in 2007 before she was approached by the group.

She narrowly lost out at the last election, after winning the 2005 by-election when former Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy took up a position with the European Commission.

"I would have been one of the people Fintan approached," Ms Murphy (57) told the Irish Independent. "It would have been a good opportunity but the time wasn't right."

But amid widespread scepticism of claims by Mr O'Toole and economist David McWilliams, also involved in 'Democracy Now', that the election came around too soon for them to fully prepare, Ms Murphy insists she fully accepts their explanation.

"I know what it takes to win a seat in a constituency and I do buy what they said," she said.

Kildare North increased to a four-seater for 2007, and it was never assumed that Fianna Fail would take two seats. But Fianna Fail's Aine Brady and Michael Fitzpatrick both took seats against all expectations.

And now with the FF vote collapsing, Ms Murphy -- who used to be in the Worker's Party, Democratic Left and Labour -- has one of their seats in her sights.

"There was an expectation that Fianna Fail would not win two seats the last time around," Ms Murphy said yesterday. "But there is a lot of talk about their two-candidate strategy this time and I'm getting a good reception on the doors."



Aine Brady TD, Michael Fitzpatrick TD


Bernard Durkan TD, Cllr Anthony Lawlor, Peter Griffin


Emmet Stagg TD, Cllr John McGinley


Martin Kelly


Shane Fitzgerald


Catherine Murphy, Eric Doyle-Higgins

Last time out in 2007

? The constituency went from three to four seats, with the extra seat won by Fianna Fail.

? The two Fianna Fail TDs were elected for the first time – Aine Brady, sister of TDs Tom and Michael Kitt, and Michael Fitzpatrick, who was an adviser to Charlie McCreevy.

? Independent Catherine Murphy narrowly lost out to FG’s Bernard Durkan on the sixth count.





Irish Independent