Cookies on Dublin People website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Dublin People website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
Hide Message
  • Northside East

By-election race is on

Wednesday, 23rd October, 2019 8:00am
By-election race is on

The race is on for a seat in Dáil Eireann. FILE PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

By-election race is on

The race is on for a seat in Dáil Eireann. FILE PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

Aoife O’Brien

THE countdown is on for the Dublin Fingal by-election to fill the seat vacated by MEP Clare Daly in May.

While no date has been confirmed for the election at the time of going to press, it is expected to take place at the end of next month, with November 29 the most likely date.

Despite the date not being announced, a number of parties have already declared their candidates for the position.

Fianna Fáil were fast out of the blocks declaring Senator Lorrraine Clifford-Lee as their candidate.

Senator Clifford-Lee is spokesperson on Justice and Equality, Children and Youth Affairs in the Seanad where she is also Deputy Leader of Fianna Fáil.

According to Senator Clifford-Lee, this by-election is an opportunity to make clear that the communities of Dublin Fingal are “not being served” by the Government across a wide range of areas. She believes that public transport is a massive issue in Fingal. 

“If we want to reduce carbon emissions we need to have a fit for purpose public transport system,” said Senator Clifford-Lee.

The environment is also an important issue for the Green Party candidate Cllr Joe O’Brien, who is hoping to make history as the first Green Party candidate to win a Dáil by-election.

One of the key pillars of Cllr O’Brien’s campaign will be to give young people a voice in the constituency.

“Climate change is going to impact them the most but yet they don’t have a vote,” said Cllr O’Brien. 

“I am going out of my way trying to give them a voice and trying to develop a climate action monitoring forum for young people in Fingal.”

The Labour Party have declared Cllr Duncan Smith, who represents the Swords Local Electoral Area (LEA), as their candidate. 

As Chair of Fingal County Council’s Housing Strategic Policy Committee, affordable housing will play a large part in Cllr Smith’s campaign.

“People in Fingal are living on the hard edge of the affordable housing and homeless emergency,” Cllr Smith said. 

“I am more than aware of the scale of the housing crisis in our country and the solutions needed.”

The Social Democrats’ candidate, Tracey Carey, has a professional interest in employment rights, support for working parents and affordable childcare, which she will bring to her campaign. 

According to Carey, Fingal has suffered from poor investment in many areas over the past number of decades and she believes the Social Democrats have proven that they are a party who will fight for people in a particular way.

“Look at our Parental Leave Act, and our work on Sláintecare health reform plan,” she said. “No other party, and no other candidate can stand by that kind of commitment to make quality of life better for our constituents."

Senator James Reilly has been selected as the Fine Gael candidate. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has appointed Minister Richard Bruton as the director of election for Senator Reilly after admitting winning by-elections is very difficult for Government parties, at the Fine Gael Presidential Dinner earlier this month.

An important factor in the upcoming by-election will be whether Clare Daly endorses a candidate or puts one forward under her Independents4Change banner. 

However, no candidate had been declared by the party at the time of going to press. Sinn Fein also haven't announced a candidate. 

The Dublin Fingal by-election is one of four by-elections taking place as a result of four TDs who vacated their seats after being elected to the European Parliament in May.

• This article does not provide a definitive list of all the candidates for the Dublin Fingal By-election and there are likely to be new entrants before polling day.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here