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Tag Archives: general election

What way will former Harty voters go?

THE absence of Dr Michael Harty from the race poses an interesting question for those trying to read the tea leaves ahead of Clare going to the polls. In 2016, Dr Harty took 8,629 first preferences, 15% of the overall vote, a fantastic performance for a first-time candidate after a relatively short campaign, and he won the second seat. From Kilmihil and standing on the No Doctor No Village platform, it might have been expected that he would take his support from West Clare but people from different parts of the county also got behind him. For instance, tallies show that he took 230 votes from the boxes at the Ennis Town Council offices, about as urban as Clare gets, and a place where doctors are very accessible to voters. He took 76 first preferences from boxes at Quin National School, while tallies at Toonagh National School show he took 95 first preferences, more than any other candidate. Just up …

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People power as Ballinruan polling station stays open

LATE last week, there was surprise and then anger in Ballinruan as it emerged that there were no plans to use the local community centre as a polling station in the General Election. The community centre is where Ballinruan people have voted for decades and some works have been carried out on it even since last year’s local elections, with a view to keeping the facility up-to-date and as user-friendly as possible. Frustration was even more acute, as there was no notice given of the decision to close. “It’s very disappointing for people in Ballinruan, who always voted there and something else they have removed from a rural community without even telling us,” was part of the content of one post put on the Ballinruan Development Association Facebook page. However, local people were not about to take the decision lying down and quickly began to mobilise to ensure that the centre, which would have been used by generations of local …

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SF choose Clare General Election candidate

ON Saturday afternoon Sinn Féin selected Violet Anne Wynne as its candidate in Clare for next month’s general election. Originally the party had chosen Mike McKee and Noeleen Moran to run. However Councillor McKee became ill and died earlier this year. In addition, so long had elapsed following its original selection convention, that Ms Moran’s nomination was no longer valid, and another convention was required. On Friday Ms Moran issued a statement ruling herself out of the race, making it clear she was not happy with the process that had been followed. “I will not be putting my name forward at the Sinn Féin selection convention for the forthcoming General Election. Sinn Féin has had since last August to select a candidate in Clare, yet they chose to leave it until this very late stage to do so. “I do not think that is an appropriate or fair way to treat someone who was willing to put their name forward …

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Can FG retain both Clare seats?

TO hold the two seats it has will be the objective for Fine Gael in this county in the next general election. While Pat Breen and Joe Carey have worked the oracle three times in a row (2007, 2011 and 2016), there is no doubt that holding both seats will not be easy in 2020. In 1992, 1997 and 2002, the party had to be content with just a single seat in Clare, during what was a fairly glum time for Fine Gael overall, as it held power for just two and a half years, after Labour ditched Fianna Fáil in the mid nineties. Following a mauling in the 2002 election the party’s long term existence was in doubt, before a dramatic resurgence. Narrowly denied power in 2007, the party still won back a second seat in Clare, and avoiding going into government proved a blessing in disguise as the Irish economy was about to be cruelly exposed. The Breen …

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Voters urged to register by November 25

FIANNA Fáil General Election candidate, Rita McInerney, has urged all Clare residents to check that they are on the Electoral Register, and if not, to register to vote by November 25. Ms McInerney made the call as the new draft electoral register for the county was published. “It is vitally important that everyone checks, and double-checks, that they are on the Electoral Register. You can do this very simply by visiting www.checktheregister.ie and searching for your details. You can also check if you are on the register at your local post office, Garda station, library or Clare County Council office,” the Doonbeg woman said. “The right to vote is one of the privileges of living in a free and democratic republic. Millions of people across the work are denied this basic right, so I firmly believe that we all have an obligation to use our vote. If you spot a mistake on the electoral register, or can’t find your details, …

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McKee to run for Sinn Féin

SINN Féín’s sole Clare County Councillor Mike McKee is to run in the next general election. He will be joined on the party’s ticket in Clare by Noeleen Moran, who ran in 2016. The party is clearly hoping that a two-candidate strategy, which has not been attempted here by them in any recent election, can deliver a seat. Sinn Féin are to hold their selection convention on this Thursday night but, with only two candidates nominated, this is a formality. While they have not won a seat in Clare for generations, nor even come close since the party’s revival after the Good Friday Agreement, it is far from impossible that they will do so next time out, with the party polling between 14% and 18% nationally. In addition, they are set to go into the next election without Gerry Adams as leader. While Adams is Sinn Féin royalty, a sizeable cohort of voters in the South have never warmed to …

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Candidates in election mode

THE expected return of Dr John Hillery as a possible candidate for the next general election is adding spice to the political manoeuvrings that have stepped up a gear across all parties. Although the resignation of Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald on Tuesday prevented a Christmas snap election, which no politician or voter wanted, all prospective candidates are now firmly in general election mode. The extraordinary political events of the past week suggest that, unless Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin add new safeguards to their confidence and supply agreement, which was severely dented over the Department of Justice emails debacle, a general election could be called early next year. Fine Gael, which leads the beleaguered, minority-led Government, moved quickly to select its two outgoing Clare deputies, Minister of State Pat Breen and Joe Carey, at its selection convention on Monday night. While Senator Martin Conway, who was one of the three nominations, withdrew at the last minute to …

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Carey and Breen are selected on Dáil ticket

  There were no surprises at the Clare Fine Gael Dáil Selection Convention as the party’s two outgoing deputies – Minister of State, Deputy Pat Breen and Deputy Joe Carey were returned unopposed. There was standing room only as delegates packed the Auburn Lodge Hotel on Monday night to select their General Election team. Three candidates were nominated Deputy Pat Breen, Deputy Joe Carey and Senator Martin Conway. Delegates were told that the national directive was to select just two candidates at the convention with the option that another candidate may be added, if necessary at a later stage. Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin were criticised for causing the latest political crisis, which has seen the country on the brink of a General Election. Senator Conway seemed to be unaware of the latest revelations concerning beleaguered Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald when he stated that he was proud in what she has achieved in her department. The need for a contest …

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