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Schools and housing on the agenda in eight-seater likely to throw up a few surprises

Stretching from Wood Quay to the shores of Sandymount, from Rathmines to Ballsbridge, this newly created eight-seat constituency is likely to throw up quite a few surprises come polling day.

This is because there is a host of unknown first-time candidates in the field.

But much is being made of the likely fortunes of former Fianna Fail TD turned Sinn Fein candidate, Chris Andrews, with some saying he is well-placed to take a seat, given the rise in the party’s fortunes.

Speaking to the

“I’m not just talking about social housing, but young professionals can’t access the property market,” he said.

MORTGAGE

“They can’t get a mortgage and they can’t afford the rent.”

Andrews also decried the starving of resources of local services within the community. He highlighted the plight of local football teams losing out on access to pitches to corporate customers.

One of the unknown candidates seeking election is the attractive and impressive Lorraine Clifford, who is standing for Fianna Fail.

Clifford, a solicitor, says that alongside housing, the lack of school places in the area is a major issue.

“There are very few non fee-paying schools in the area, so hundreds of children simply have no place in school. Their only option is to go a fee-paying school, which many can’t afford, or go to a school outside the district,” she said.

Clifford added that the level of concern over property tax and pending water charges is incredibly high among older voters.

Given that some of the properties in the area are among the most expensive in Ireland, the level of property tax levied on some voters is very high, which many can’t afford.

As a result, older voters are concerned they will not be able to pay the tax.

Of interest, voters across the constituency have expressed criticism of the new Irish Water boss, given his previous involvement in the Poolbeg incinerator debacle during his time as Dublin City manager.

The Labour Party is running a brother and sister team and will be hoping to try to retain the seats of Dermot Lacey and Gerry Ashe. One of the party’s strongest council performers, Maria Parodi, is not standing again.

Fine Gael are running four candidates including sitting councilors Kieran Binchy and Paddy McCartan alongside solicitor Linda O’Shea Farren and Nadine Meisonnave.

Of the 18 candidates, seven of them are independent, and artist Mannix Flynn is looking well-placed to take a seat.

But with so many new faces, the battle to be elected will be probably the most intense of any area in Dublin.

hnews@herald.ie


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