News Politics

Thursday 22 February 2018

Six TDs fight for five seats in Dublin Bay North

Richard Bruton
Richard Bruton
Aodhán Ó Riordan
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

The newly-configured Dublin Bay North constituency is shaping up as one of the most competitive constituencies in the capital.

Six sitting TDs, including two ministers, are vying for just five seats on offer.

Heavy hitters such as Fine Gael's Richard Bruton and Independent TDs Finian McGrath and Tommy Broughan are expected to be re-elected in the new sprawling constituency.

While the Jobs Minister suffered a shock defeat at Fine Gael's selection convention last month, his high profile is expected to ensure he is re-elected.

Both Mr McGrath and Mr Broughan are seen as extremely hard-working TDs and have so far resisted the temptation to join forces with any new party.

Mr Broughan quit the Labour Party and has aligned himself with Róisin Shortall in the Dáil.

Labour's Aodhán Ó Riordáin has seen his profile grow since he was appointed junior minister - but even his seat is far from secure.

Mr Ó Riordáin's running mate is sitting TD Sean Kenny, who could be damaged by the Government's decision to sell off its stake in Aer Lingus.

On the current poll rating, both Labour politicians could lose their seats.

Another TD who is vulnerable is Terence Flanagan, who has worked hard alongside Lucinda Creighton to build up the newly formed Renua party.

But Mr Flanagan's recent car-crash performance on RTÉ radio is seen as having damaged his confidence.

A dog fight is likely to emerge for the seats at the business end of the contest as Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil and left-wing groups look set to battle it out.

With Averil Power considering whether to run at all, now that she is an independent, Fianna Fáil is expected to field former minister Sean Haughey. But the son of the late Taoiseach Charles Haughey will be challenged at convention by councillors Deirdre Heney and Tom Brabazon as Fianna Fáil now weigh up whether to adopt a two-candidate strategy.

However, Ms Power's decision to run as an independent could end up being a wise decision. Despite claims by Fianna Fáil to the contrary, she has a solid chance of taking a seat and has worked tirelessly on the ground and in communities in Dublin Bay North over the past four years.

Smart money will be on Sinn Féin to take a seat through either councillor Micheal MacDonncha or Denise Mitchell.

But Fine Gael will look to land two seats. The party is also fielding former Lord Mayor Naoise Ó Muiri and local activist Stephanie Regan.

Both have been nipping at the heels of Minister Bruton and managed to defeat him in the selection convention.

Left-wing groups could spring a surprise in the constituency, which includes Beaumont, Clontarf, Raheny and Donaghmede.

Michael O'Brien is representing the Anti-Austerity Alliance, while John Lyons is the People Before Profit candidate.

Irish Independent

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