Healy Eames rules out another bid for Dáil seat

Fidelma Healy Eames
Fidelma Healy Eames

Fidelma Healy Eames has ruled out another bid for a Dáil seat.

The Oranmore-based former two-time senator, who did not take a seat in the European Parliament elections, said she has no interest in contesting the next election to Dáil Éireann.

Ms Healy Eames polled 15,991 first preference votes in the vast Midlands-North-West constituency. It was higher than the Labour Party’s Dominic Halligan, and ninth highest in the field of 17 candidates, however, she was eliminated on the 9th count.

She has served as a Galway County Councillor from 2004-2007, and as a senator from 2007-2016.

Ms Healy Eames unsuccessfully contested general elections in Galway West including in 2007 and 2011. She ran again, unsuccessfully, as an independent in the 2016 general election after losing the Fine Gael party whip over her stance on abortion.

After that, the educator declared she was leaving politics but re-entered the political fray when running for Europe.

When asked if she was planning another Dáil run, in the wake of this latest result, Ms Healy Eames said: “I’m not even thinking of that to be honest with you . . . No, I’ve no plans for the Dáil.”

She said she was fortunate to have served as a local and national politician and the main reason she put her name forward for Europe was “I saw that so much of the legislation enacted in the Oireachtas originated in Europe.”

“I just felt it was an area I could contribute to. I think the Irish people need more heads-up on what’s happening before it lands over here. More joined-up thinking between MEPs and Oireachtas is needed,” she said.

The campaign itself was bitter sweet – she met an array of new people during her canvass of the 13 counties but was “very disappointed” by the national broadcaster’s decision to exclude her from an influential TV debate.

“Of course, I would have loved to have won. Mine was a low budget campaign. I decided against posters for environment reasons and also financial constraints. It’s just really difficult to compete against big budgets. I was disappointed and felt it was very unfair not to be on the Prime Time debate on RTÉ. I think those two factors were huge,” she said.