The Irish in Strasbourg

EU-ParliamentIts been a busy two days so far during this plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Following the re-election of Martin Schulz (DE, S&D) as President of the European Parliament the focus turned to the election of the 14 Vice Presidents of the Parliament.

The Vice Presidents make up the Bureau of the Parliament, along with the President and Quaestors of the Parliament. They also chair sessions of the Parliament when the President is not present.

Of the 14 Elected Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness (EPP, FG) was elected on the first count along with five of her colleagues from the European People’s Party. McGuinness actually had the 2nd highest number of votes with 441 votes only being beaten by her Italian EPP Colleague Antonia Tajani (452 votes).

Tomorrow the focus turns to the committees where much of the work of MEPs take place and much horse trading and bartering goes on. The size of the committees where set yesterday for the 20 committees and Irish MEPs will sit on 9 of those. The committee with the highest number of Irish MEPs is of course agriculture with three MEPs on it followed by Environment committee on which two Irish MEPs will sit.

  • Budgets (BUDG): Liadh Ni Riada (GUE/NGL, SF)
  • Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON): Brian Hayes (EPP, FG)
  • Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL): Marian Harkin (ALDE, IND)
  • Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI): Lynn Boylan (GUE/NGL, SF), Nessa Childers (S&D, IND)
  • Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE): Sean Kelly (EPP, FG)
  • Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO): Brian Crowley (ECR, IND/FF)
  • Transport and Tourism (TRAN): Deirdre Clune (EPP, FG)
  • Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI): Mairead McGuinness (EPP, FG), Matt Carthy (GUE/NGL, SF), Luke “Ming” Flanagan (GUE/NGL, IND)
  • Fisheries (PECH): Liadh Ni Riada (GUE/NGL, SF).

No Irish MEPs sit on Foreign Affairs, Development, International Trade, Budgetary Control, Regional Development, Culture and Education, Legal Affairs, Civil Liberties Justice and Home Affairs, Constitutional Affairs, Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, or Petitions. How ever they may be appointed as supplementary members of those committees at a later point.

For reference here is the list of which Committees Irish MEPs were members of in the last parliament.

Come Out and Vote!

to_vote_logo_largeTomorrow the Local and European Elections take place in Ireland. Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm.

These elections will be the last Elections held before the planned referendum on Marriage next year. It is therefore very important that candidates who support the LGBT Community in Ireland are supported at the polls tomorrow.

To help find out who is supporting the community. ILGA Europe have asked candidates to sign the Come Out 2014 Pledge. Signatures were gathered from across Europe with 1,156 candidates taking the pledge. Also check out the Youtube Video

In Ireland 19 out of the 41 candidates have signed it. All 6 Fine Gael candidates have signed the pledge as have the 3 Labour and Green Party Candidates.

Surprisingly Lynn Boylan is the only Sinn Fein signatory on pledge and Mary Fitzpatrick is the only Fianna Fail signatory. These are both Dublin Candidates and it is also important to not that Dublin has the highest number of candidates who have signed it with 8, followed by South with 6 and in Midlands North West only 5 candidates have signed it.

Dublin

  • Lynn Boylan (SF)
  • Nessa Childers (Ind)
  • Emer Costello (Lab)
  • Mary Fitzpatrick (FF)
  • Brian Hayes (FG)
  • Paul Murphy (Socialist)
  • Eamonn Ryan (Green)
  • Brid Smith (PBPA)

Midlands North West

  • Mark Deary (Greens)
  • Marian Harkin (Ind)
  • Lorraine Higgins (Lab)
  • Jim Higgins (FG)
  • Mairead McGuinness (FG)

South

  • Deirdre Clune (FG)
  • Simon Harris (FG)
  • Sean Kelly (FG)
  • Diarmuid O’Flynn (Ind)
  • Phil Prendergast (Lab)
  • Grace O’Sulliavan (Green)

In the local Elections no such pledge exists, but a number of candidates up and down the country have shown their worth on LGBT issues. Whether by marching in Gay Pride Parades, being the Grand Marshall on some occasions. Supporting the LGBT groups within their parties and their communities. Sometimes it just supporting the events and individuals. Either way do take this into account when you vote tomorrow.

Ensure you vote goes to someone who will support you, who ever you are!

Enhanced by Zemanta

European Elections 2014: Ireland South

European-Elections-2014I recently posted about those seeking election to Cork City Council, I am now turning to the European Elections and looking at who is running the European Elections. First up is Ireland South with its 4 seats. 15 candidates are standing and are canvassing across the counties of Carlow, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow for your vote over the last 9 days before the polls open on May 23rd.

The Candidates

Candidates listed by order of appearance on Ballot Paper with links to Social Media Profiles. * denotes current MEP

Richard Cahill, Non- Party

Richard is the only candidate from County Clare running in this election. He has decided not to have any posters. He is from Sixmilebridge and is a volunteer community worker. You can see his Youtube video here.

Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael

Deirdre is one of 3 Fine Gael candidates in Ireland South. She is from Cork and formerly represented Cork South Central in the Dáil. She is a former Lord Mayor of Cork and is currently a Senator where she is Spokesperson on Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation. She can be found on Youtube, Twitter and Facebook

Brian Crowley*, Fianna Fail

Brian Crowley is another Cork candidate hailing from Bandon. He has represented this are in the European Parliament since 1994 making him one of Ireland’s longest serving current MEP’s. He has topped the polls in the past and will more then likely do so again. He can be found on Facebook

Jillian Godsil, Non-Party

Jillian Godsil was in the papers long before she was a candidate. She forced the Government to change the law to allow bankrupts to run in the European Elections. She is a writer by profession and comes from Arklow in Co. Wicklow. Her tagline is “writing my way out of trouble”. She is also running for Wicklow County Council. She can be found on Twitter

Simon Harris, Fine Gael

Simon is currently the youngest TD in Dáil Eireann. He is from Greystones in County Wicklow. He is secretary of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party and a member of the Public Accounts Committee. He was previously a member of Wicklow County Council and Greystones Town Council. He can be found on Youtube, Facebook and Twitter

Kieran Hartley, Fianna Fail

Kieran Hartley is the second Fianna Fail Candidiate in Ireland South. Coming from Kilmacthomas in County Waterford. This is first time running for Elections and is self-employed. He can be found on Facebook.

Theresa Heaney, Catholic Democrats (The National Party)

Theresa Heaney is a Housewife from Timoleague County Cork. She has previously ran for the Dáil in Cork South West in 1997 for the National Party getting 5.12% of the vote and in 2002 as in independent polling 1.98%. She is the Chairman of the Mothers Alliance Ireland.

Sean Kelly*, Fine Gael

The 3rd Fine Gael candidate and current MEP. First elected to the European Parliament in 2009. A former GAA President from Killarney, County Kerry, he has been nominated and won MEP of the year from his peers in the European Parliament. He can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Liadh Ní Riada, Sinn Fein

Liahh Ní Riada, daughter of the late Musician Sean Ó’Riada, hails from Baile Mhic Ire in County Cork. She is the Irish Language Officer of Sinn Fein. She previously worked with RTÉ and TG4 as a Director and Producer. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Diarmuid O’Flynn, Non-Party

Diarmuid O’Flynn is a sports journalist from Ballyhea in County Cork. He currently writes for the Irish Examiner. He is known for starting the “Ballyhea says no” protests. He can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Peter O’Loughlin, Non- Party

While Peter O’Loughlin is registered as Non-Party is the sole candidate of the National Independent Party who advocate Irish withdrawal from the European Union and were formed early in 2014.

Dónal Ó’Ríordáin, Fís Nua

Dónal Ó’Ríordáin is an engineer from Bandon and this is his first election. This is also Fís Nua’s first European elections. He can be found on Facebook.

Grace O’Sullivan, Green Party

Grace O’Sullivan is from Waterford and is an ecologist. She has been an activist for many years with Greenpeace. She is a former Irish Surf Champion. This is also her first time contesting an election. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Phil Prendergast*, Labour

Phil took over this seat following Alan Kelly’s election to Dáil Eireann. She comes from Clonmel in County Tipperary making her the only Tipperary candidate in this election. She is a midwife by training and previously served on Clonmel Borough Council and South Tipperary County Council as an independent. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Jan Van De Ven, Direct Democracy Ireland

Jan Van De Ven is an entrepreneur from Avoca County Wicklow. He is the Chairman and Leader of Direct Democracy Ireland. He plans to use eDemocracy to bring decision making back to the people. He can be found on Facebook and Twitter 

Prediction

FF’s Brian Crowley is sure to top the poll and will more the likely be elected on the first count. Fine Gael’s Sean Kelly and Sinn Fein’s will get the 2nd and 3rd seats not sure in what order. Leaving Labour’s Phil Prendergast and Fine Gael’s Deirdre Clune the front runners for the last seat. If I were a betting man, I would but my money on Clune. I cannot see any of the independent or other party candidates getting anywhere close to quota.

The Replacements

As there are no Bye-Elections to the European Parliament following the resignation or death of an MEP there replacement is chosen from the list submitted by parties and candidates at the time of the election. Here are the replacement lists for Ireland South.

REPLACEMENT LIST R.C. (Presented by Richard Cahill)

  1. CAHILL, MARELEN, Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare.

REPLACEMENT LIST F.G. (Presented by Fine Gael)

  1. KELLY, SEÁN, Gortroe, Killarney, Co. Kerry.
  2. CLUNE, DEIRDRE, 144, Blackrock Road, Cork.
  3. HARRIS, SIMON, 79, Redford Park, Greystones, Co. Wicklow.
  4. D’ARCY, MICHAEL, Annagh, Inch, Gorey, Co. Wexford.
  5. BURKE, COLM, 36, Farranlea Grove, Cork.
  6. O’HALLORAN, EMMET, 42 Mercier Park, Cork.

REPLACEMENT LIST F.F. (Presented by Fianna Fáil)

  1. CROWLEY, BRIAN, Maryborough Lodge, Douglas, Cork.
  2. HARTLEY, KIERAN, Ballyboy, Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford.
  3. O’HIGGINS, ADRIAN, Shellumsrath, Callan Road, Kilkenny.
  4. O’SULLIVAN, NED, Cahirdown, Listowel, Co. Kerry.
  5. DALY, MARK, 34, Henry Street, Kenmare, Co. Kerry.
  6. AMBROSE, SIOBHAN, Dún Mhuire, Melview, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.

REPLACEMENT LIST C.D. (Presented by Catholic Democrats(The National Party).

  1. BENNIS, NORA, 16, Revington Pk, Limerick.
  2. CAREY, MARGARET, Horse & Jockey, Thurles.
  3. MAHON, ELIZABETH, Rathmines, Dublin 6.

REPLACEMENT LIST S.F. (Presented by Sinn Féin)

  1. GOULD, THOMAS, 121, Cathedral Road, Cork.
  2. O’LEARY CHRIS, 17, Loughmahon Road, Mahon, Cork.
  3. FUNCHION, KATHLEEN , 28, Whites Castle, Knocktopher, Kilkenny.

REPLACEMENT LIST D.O.F. (Presented by Diarmuid Patrick O’Flynn)

  1. FITZPATRICK, FIONA, Pike Farm, Charleville.
  2. MOLONEY, PATRICK, Broghill, Charleville.
  3. RYAN, PHILLIP, Shinanagh, Ballyhea.

REPLACEMENT LIST F.N. (Presented by Fís Nua)

  1. NUTTY, BEN, 34, Sweetbriar Terrace, Lower Newtown, Waterford.

REPLACEMENT LIST G.P. (Presented by Green Party/ Comhaontas Glas)

  1. NOONAN, MALCOLM, 35, Fr. Murphy Square, Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny.
  2. MANNING, CORMAC, 36, The Meadows, Classes Lake, Ballincollig, Co. Cork.
  3. RYDER, MARY, 17, O’Connell Avenue, Turners Cross, Cork.

REPLACEMENT LIST L.P. (Presented by The Labour Party)

  1. WALSH, DECLAN, Oldenburg, Lower Road, Cobh, Co. Cork.
  2. KANE, ADRIAN, 42 Idaville, Old Blackrock Road, Cork.
  3. SHORTT, CLLR. TOM, Walnut House, Browns Quay, Thomondgate, Limerick.
  4. Ó HÁRGAIN, CLLR. SEÁN, Sceilig, Green Hill, Kilkenny.

REPLACEMENT LIST D.D.I. (Presented by Direct Democracy Ireland).

  1. BURKE, LOUISE, Ballygahan Lower, Avoca, Co. Wicklow.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Diary of a Canvasser: Its all over

Generic FG Poster

So that last week of the flew by and before I knew it I was voting an tallying the results! I had a very long weekend awaiting results, but for a change in a national election, the results had me and others shocked. We knew Fine Gael were going to do well, but we didnt think we were going to do *this* well.

It was amazing to see Fine Gael Candidates who I had met over the years topping the poll and others coming in closely with their team to show that Fine Gael really can manage the vote.

In Cork South Central I was delighted that Simon Coveney and Jerry Buttimer were elected to the 31st Dáil. I was disappointed that Deirdre Clune lost her seat, but we also knew that Michael McGrath of Fianna Fail was going to be a hard candidate to beat.

We have no time to rest on our laurels. Fianna Fail are going to be fighting back and we need to be ready for them for when the local elections come around in 2014.

I wonder who I will be canvassing for then!

 

Diary of a Canvasser: Dawn to Dusk (and beyond!)

Election Poster

I have finished another week on the door steps and this week saw me canvassing for Jerry Buttimer and Deridre Clune.

On Monday we were out canvassing in Ballinlough for Jerry Buttimer and we got a good response. I got my first local issue on the door that night. Someone was giving out about City Council and the pothole outside their house. This was no ordinary pothole though! It was huge! So she had to complain! Thankfully Enda had decided to turn up to the debate on Monday so there was no questioning like the last time.

On Tuesday I was out in Ballinlough, again out canvassing for Jerry. This was the day that the Irish Language Policy really became an issue on the doors. I only got it the once, and I managed to canvass that vote as Gaeilge! I was very proud of myself! Enda’s debate performance was raised and it certainly impressed people.

Yesterday was my longest day of canvassing yet. It started with being collected at 7:45am by Jerry to canvass early morning traffic! This is a hard canvass as it can be difficult to interact with people, but people were receptive and will to take the literature.

After a coffee break we were down in Mahon at lunch time. It was a hit and miss area as a lot of homes were empty with the time of day and all that. But people were quite open to being engaged with. After another coffee break in Mahon Community Centre we headed out to Douglas to do a few estates. At this point I was drenched to the bone and my knee was acting up. I did canvass a number of houses, and got a good response, (limping always brings out the sympathy!) by the end of the canvass I was told to stay in the car cause I was in too much pain!

After going home and drying and dosing myself I headed out again (glutton for punishment I am!) This time to Donnybrook with Deirdre Clune. We got an amazing response and quite a number of people wanted to engage with us. Which is good. There was questions on one-party government, jobs, public sector, tax, education and student nurses. A really interesting canvass. I finally finished canvassing at 9pm! Thats makes it at about 13 hours of canvassing! Not to be done in rain I will advise! I have at least 2 more full days planned next week! Its going to be a long week!

Tomorrow is the last week of canvassing and it will be a case of canvassing up until the last moment. So dont be surprised if there is no update until election day! and remember be nice to canvassers!

Irish Examiner\Red C – Cork South Central Poll

Election Poster

The 2nd constituency in Cork to polled this week after Cork North Central’s poll on Monday for the Irish Times.

The Irish Examiner commissioned a phone survey of 500 voters in Cork South Central. The results are as follows:

  • Simon Coveney (FG) 19%;
  • Micheál Martin (FF) 18%;
  • Ciarán Lynch (Lab) 14%;
  • Michael McGrath (FF) 9%;
  • Jerry Buttimer (FG) 9%;
  • Deirdre Clune (FG) 8%;
  • Chris O’Leary (SF) 8%;
  • Paula Desmond (Lab) 5%;
  • Michael Finn (Ind) 5%;
  • Dan Boyle (GP) 3%;
  • David McCarthy (Ind) on 2%

A transfer analysis was also done and it shows that the following would be elected:

  • Simon Coveny (FG)
  • Micheal Martin (FF)
  • Ciaran Lynch (Lab)
  • Deridre Clune (FG)
  • Jerry Buttimer (FG)

Its an interesting result, but I wonder will it pan out that way on friday week?

If Fine Gael are to have a hope of one party government they will need three seats here in Cork South Central. But the last seat will go down to fight, it will be neck and neck between Buttimer or Clune and McGrath, perhaps with the last two candidates being elected without reaching the quota? I have a feeling we will be in for a long count in Cork South Central.

UPDATE: The full report is here

Diary of a Canvasser: 3 Nights, 3 Candidates

Cork South Central (Dáil Éireann constituency)
Image via Wikipedia

This week I have been sharing my time with the three Fine Gael candidates in Cork South Central. I find that is the best and easiest thing to do. It also broadens your canvassing experience!

Monday

So on Monday I was out with Deirdre Clune. We were canvassing in Donnybrook in Douglas. I was paired with Fiona and it seemed that we got every nice person in the estate! We had lovely chats with people who wanted to talk about disability, social welfare and of course the leadership of Fine Gael, which is a bit of a recurring issue!

There was one house with a bunch of lads and we ended up talking to a few of them and one of the was a Fine Gaeler from Wexford! So all in all a good canvass with a good response and again, people seemed more interested in national issues. That as I have said previously is a good thing in my book.

Tuesday

On Tuesday, after we finally found out when the election would actually be held, I went canvassing with Jerry Buttimer in Turners Cross. Here I was invited into a house for the first time! (yes, it was someone I knew but still!) The reaction was very positive towards change.. I would hate to have been a Fianna Failer knocking on any of those doors. Again the issues that came up were national issues. Higher Education funding and Social Welfare policy was brought up on doors and people were genuinely interested in the policies that Fine Gael had. I must say I am enjoying this campaign!

Wednesday

On Wednesday I went out with Simon Coveney in Ballyphehane. This is an area I knew well as it is where I went to school and have plenty of friends living in the area. It was also a fairly well established area. Again I noticed it was mainly national issues with the Economy being the major issue. Another thing I noticed was the number of people who did not know who they were going to vote for. This was extremely true of elderly people who said they would have normally voted for Fianna Fáil and now don’t know who to vote for. Its going to be interesting to see if they will change their votes on election day.

So all in all 3 nights which were very interesting and I didnt mix up candidate names too often! I am off to Paris now for the weekend so I won’t be on the canvass  trail until next Tuesday.

Cork South Central

Cork South Central (Dáil Éireann constituency)
Image via Wikipedia
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.
Enhanced by Zemanta

5 Candidates for Cork South Central FG Convention

Cork South Central (Dáil Éireann constituency)
Image via Wikipedia

I received a letter today from Cllr. Laura McGonigle announcing her candidacy for the Fine Gael Dáil Convention. This brings to five the number of declared candidates. Fine Gael is planning to run 3 candidates in the next General Election.

The other declared candidates are sitting TD’s Simon Coveney and Deirdre Clune, local Senator Jerry Buttimer and two Councillors from the South East Ward, Des Cahill and Laura McGonigle.

In the last General Election Fine Gael got 28.42% of the first preference vote. According to PoliticalReform.ie Fine Gael will get between 26.9% in the Ipsos MRBI poll to 34.3% in the Red C poll in Cork South Central. Fine Gael could take three seats depending on transfers, if the support is closer to the Red C poll.

The question is what 3 will be standing. The sitting TD’s obviously have a really good chance of being re-selected. The question will be who will be the third. Jerry Buttimer has a very good chance of being the representative as neither Clune or Coveney are based in the West of the constituency while Cahill and McGonigle are based in the East, as are Clune and Coveney. Jerry also has the advantage of having being tested in the last General Election. In that time he got 8.77% of the vote and lasted till the 4th count.

Des Cahill faced his first election in the local elections and topped the poll in Cork South East ward with 15.48% of the vote. Laura McGonigle who was also elected on the first count in the first count in 2009 in the same ward with 14.58%  of the vote. Laura was also facing her first election to the council having been co-opted to replace Deirdre Clune after the Dual mandate was abolished.

I think the line up for Cork South Central will be as follows:

  • Deirdre Clune
  • Simon Coveney
  • Jerry Buttimer

While I think it would great for Laura McGonigle to be on the ticket due to her youth, enthusiasm and experience, I don’t think she will make this time.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Some scary figures

Things aren’t looking well for the Irish Economy at the moment and a few numbers seem to look fairly ominous for the economy and therefore the rest of us.

FinanceDublin.com supplies one of the figures which is actually a Debt Clock tracking the Irish Governments Debt which currently stands at over 64 billion euro. That is a shocking figure which we and our children will have to pay off.

The second figure comes from a press release by Deirdre Clune of Fine Gael on the issue of Youth Unemployment (found via Youth Politics on facebook)

“Figures released by the CSO show that youth unemployment has jumped by 170.9% in the last two years. In June 2007, just two years ago, 33,872 people under the age of 25 were on the Live Register. This had increased to 91,755 by June 2009.

“This represents some 57,833 young people joining the live register in the last 24 months. The devastating effect this is having on these young people and their families cannot be displayed in figures and graphs. But it does exist, and it is being ignored.

“Youth unemployment growth of 171% in this two year period has been well above the national average of 151.6%. Young people are clearly facing the brunt of the economic downturn.

That isn’t great news for us young people in Ireland.

The thrid figure is from the recent IMF report on Ireland which shows that the Irish Economy is worst placed among the developed countries

GDP is projected to contract by 13½ percent through 2010, the largest among advanced economies

Read full report (PDF)

Things aren’t looking well at the moment, when will they pick up? Who knows. It depends on what the Government does and how well it does it.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]