Cork South Central

Cork South Central (Dáil Éireann constituency)
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Over the years this blog has payed a great deal of attention to the constituency of Cork South Central. This mainly due to the fact that I am from that particular constituency and for most of my life, I have lived, studied and worked in the Constituency. The Evening Echo had an internal Fine Gael poll at the end of last week. The results made some interesting reading, the figures in brackets are the results from 2007.
Simon Coveney (FG) 15% (9.93%)
Ciaran Lynch (Lab) 14.5% (9.25%)
Micheal Martin (FF) 14% (19.01)
Deirdre Clune (FG) 12% (9.72%)
Paula Desmond (Lab) 11.5% (did not contest)
Jerry Buttimer (FG) 8% (8.77%)
Michael McGrath (FF) 8% (16.7%)
Des Cahill (FG) 4% (did not contest)
Green Party (Dan Boyle) 4% (8.37%)
Sinn Fein (Henry Cremin) 4% (5.11%)
The poll was taken before Cllr Laura McGonigle announced her candidacy.
While it is interesting to see Coveney topping the poll, it is not very surprising. After narrowly beating John Dennehy for the last seat in 2007, Simon has put in a lot of effort and it seems it has paid off. Clune to is polling well. Ciaran Lynch has proven himself an able performer and and will do well and may also get elected on the first count along with Simon Coveney. Paula Desmonds votes though are phenomenal. It will be interesting to see if she can carry it off. She will of course be helped over the line with transfers from Lynch and possible from Sinn Fein and Green transfers.
FF’s Micheal McGrath is in serious trouble under this poll as his vote is down nearly 50%. Martin will no longer have a huge number of transfers to bring a running mate over the line. Not that McGrath needed that in 2007. So he is in an uphill struggle.
The green party’s vote is also down by 50% so they have no hope of regaining the seat lost by Dan Boyle in 2007.
I do not understand why Des Chaill was included as he may have taken votes from Clune, Coveney and Buttimer in the poll. I wonder are FG looking at running four candidates. Personnally I hope not. As if Coveney gets in on the 1st count his transfers could bring Clune over the line (if she dosen’t manage it herself) and maybe put Buttimer in contention for the last seat with Desmond.
Fianna Fail have certainly lost a seat in Cork South Central. McGrath will put in a strong fight, but brand FF have suffered and it will be McGarth who will suffer the consequences in the election. Fine Gael will certainly win two seats with a possibility of a third fighting it out with Labour for that last seat.
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Stronger Local Democracy – Options for Change

The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Green Party Leader, John Gormley, launched a Green Paper Yesterday enititled “Stronger Local Democracy- Options for Change”. In his remarks on the announcment he had the following to say.

“Stronger Local Democracy presents a set of options for change which share a strong common theme of renewing local democratic leadership. Local government in Ireland is capable of doing much more to meet the needs of local communities. The options presented in this paper suggest how we might achieve that stronger local government system,”

Fine Gael’s Environment Spokesman, Phil Hogan TD, called the plan ‘High in Rhetoric but low in detail’, he explained

“The proposals include a directly elected Mayor for Dublin, with the possibility of directly elected Mayors in other cities and counties, but do not explain the functions of this office.”

Ciarán Lynch TD, Labours Spokesperson on Housing and Local Government welcomed the publication of the Green Paper, but he went to say

“The Green paper is, perhaps by its very nature, full of woolly aspiration, but it now needs to be tightened up, and flesh needs to be put on those bones. It is vital that as the reform process moves towards White Paper status, that these proposals become a reality, and not just a worthy list of aspirations that languish on the Govt’s desk, like we have seen in other areas of government.”

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Local Government, Martin Ferris TD had the following remarks to say

“While I welcome some of the proposals including the introduction of directly elected Mayors and the provision for holding plebiscites, I believe that in general it does not go far enough in setting out guidelines for a more radical strengthening of local democracy.”

He went on to say that nothing was being done to challenge the power of City and County Managers.

The Green Paper can be downloaded from the Departments Website in PDF