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
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie 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.

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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

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