Wednesday 21 November 2018

Foolhardy run in capital was beginning of end

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

IN the early hours of the morning on June 6, 2009, after George Lee romped home with 27,000 votes -- elected on the first count with 52pc in Dublin South -- Deirdre de Burca saw her political career effectively ending.

Ms de Burca was reduced to tears over the personal and financial impact of her disastrous run in the European elections in the Dublin constituency.

Her results were so poor, she lost her deposit of €38,000 and was left with bills estimated at around €100,000 to pay off.

Even former Green Party MEP Patricia McKenna finished ahead of her.

After representing Wicklow for the previous decade as a councillor, twice an unsuccessful general election candidate and senator, Ms de Burca took the bizarre decision to run in her native Dublin.

The foolhardy run in the capital, rather than in Ireland East where her political base is located, was proven to be totally misguided.

Nine months on and Ms de Burca has called an end to her career in politics.

Few of her former political opponents in Wicklow will be shedding tears. Ms de Burca was involved in more than her fair share of spats during her time on the county council. To her credit, she was an advocate of proper planning and opposed many contentious rezonings in her time on the council.

Ms de Burca (46) has been involved in a range of interest groups throughout her adult life.

Born in Cork, she grew up in Loughlinstown in south county Dublin, where she went to Cabinteely Community School and then Carysfort Teacher Training College. She worked as a primary school teacher for three years and went back to college to study psychology at UCD. After qualifying, she worked with Rehab for over a decade as a psychologist. First elected to Wicklow County Council in 1999, she was re-elected in 2004 and also won a seat on Bray Town Council. She ran in both the 2002 and 2007 general elections.

After the Greens went into government, she was appointed to the Seanad as a Taoiseach's nominee.

Until yesterday, she was staunchly loyal to the Greens and defended the their participation in coalition with Fianna Fail.

Her departure was a surprise but not a shock for those within the party.

Irish Independent

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