Friday 6 December 2019

Dublin Fingal by-election: Race was Clifford-Lee's to lose - she'll rue Twitter storm if she doesn't win


Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee
Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee Newsdesk Newsdesk

The Dublin Fingal by-election was very much Fianna Fáil candidate Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee's race to lose.

If she fails to take a Dáil seat, she will be ruing the storm over those ill-judged and derogatory tweets about Travellers and others she posted almost a decade ago. While Fianna Fáil hasn't written off her chances, she will need a high turn-out - particularly from the party faithful - if she is to get over the line, and it's a big ask.

Ms Clifford-Lee has apologised but it offered a lifeline to her rivals. And if she is knocked out, her transfers could well determine who wins the seat - Labour councillor Duncan Smith or the Green Party's Joe O'Brien.

Fine Gael's candidate is former health minister Dr James Reilly. Not many rate his chances.

Please log in or register with for free access to this article.

Log In

Mr Smith is well known and Labour traditionally has a strong support base in the area.

The Green Party's Mr O'Brien, meanwhile, has been joined on the campaign by former leader and local TD Trevor Sargent. The so-called 'Green Wave' evident in the local elections may well propel him to a surprise victory. Sinn Féin's campaign for councillor Ann Graves hasn't taken off.

Former Independents4Change TD Clare Daly's departure for Europe sparked the by-election.

The other candidates are: Glenn Brady (Ind); Tracey Carey (Social Democrats); Charlie Keddy (Ind); Cormac McKay (Ind); Gemma O'Doherty (Ind); Dean Mulligan (Independents4Change); and Peadar O'Kelly (Ind).

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section