Author: Harry McGee
~ 2 minutes read
World of Politics with Harry McGee
A wet Monday night in Mullingar, early February; probably not the most inviting of sentences I’m ever going to write. It did have its compensations, though; it was a good example of democracy in action.
The Westmeath town was the venue for the Fianna Fáil convention to select its first candidate for the European Elections in the Midlands North West constituency.
It’s a sprawling behemoth of a constituency going all the way from Kildare to Donegal and going across from Louth to Galway – essentially the top half of the country, excluding Dublin.
It used to be 13 counties but is now 15 counties, thanks to the addition of Laois and Offaly this year, thanks to the Electoral Commission.
The addition of two counties to Midlands North West makes a little more sense now as the hinterland of Laois-Offaly are in the northern half of the island rather than the south.
All of the other conventions held by parties so far have been pedestrian with no contests. But there was more than normal interest in this one because three relatively prominent figures in Fianna Fáil had expressed and interest.
The first was the highly-regarded Lisa Chambers from Mayo, the party’s leader in the Seanad. Then there was Niall Blaney, the Donegal Senator and member of the well-known political dynasty. He had put in mountains of work.
The fly in the ointment was Barry Cowen, the TD for Laois-Offaly. He is also a member of a powerful Fianna Fáil family and has maintained a high profile, even after being sacked as Minister for Agriculture days after this government took office.
From the moment he announced, Cowen was the front-runner.
Fianna Fáil has not held a seat in this constituency for ten years, since Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher lost his seat in 2014.
Pictured: Fianna Fáil Director of European Elections Minister Darragh O’Brien and Fianna Fáil Midlands North-West candidate Barry Cowen TD.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:
Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App
Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.
Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.
Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.
More like this:
A public consultation on the long-awaited Ballinasloe Flood Relief Scheme will be held in the tow...
A Loughrea woman is set to receive a Member of the Order of Australia for her work in researching...
The Junior Transport Minister says he accepts traffic is a major concern in Galway, in terms of d...
Galway’s Eye Cinema has been awarded the Cinema of the Year prize at this year’s Pres...
Galway Dog Rescue group MADRA is reporting an overwhelming number of unwanted collies. It’s...
The Mayor of Galway says he cannot understand the mindset of those responsible for mindless and d...
CarsIreland, the nation’s leading online classified marketplace for the motor industry, is thrill...
Just under 1,400 work permits were issued in Galway from outside the European Economic Area last ...