Sunday 24 March 2019


Deputy Stephen Donnelly
Deputy Stephen Donnelly

It might have once been a grand stable sort of place, but Wicklow is another constituency which, having been kind to the government in 2011 with four out of five TDs, is poised to turn feral.

It will be difficult now that the much loved Dick Roche is gone but Wicklow is a constituency where FF will be targeting at least one out of the five seats.

The loss of the unique personal qualities of warmth and modesty which Dick was so loved for means it will be difficult but if they are to continue to be a viable force FF will have to win here.

The constituency will also evolve into a key test of the real strength of the Independent revival.

As of now it is poised to elect both Stephen Donnelly and Billy Timmins and others may yet be tempted to run, given the strength of the Independent vote in the local elections.

Sinn Fein will also be targeting a seat after their narrow miss in 2011.

All this means the remaining three Coalition TDs are under serious pressure to secure the single sure government seat.

So who out of Simon 'the boy wonder' Harris, Andrew Doyle or Anne Ferris will survive?

For now Ferris, despite her loss of the Whip on abortion is believed to be the weakest.

Simon Harris, particularly after his run in Europe, is the favourite of the tense troika when it comes to the survival stakes.

He will, however, be looking carefully at Andrew 'the Quiet Man' Doyle who will also be hoping to edge one of the Independents out of the mix.

If he doesn't then the place known as the 'garden county' will have turned into quite the political desert for the Coalition.

John Drennan's Guide to Politics - Spring 2015

The next election will change your life. In a special supplement with the Sunday Independent, John Drennan presents his guide to Irish politics.

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