Candidates gear up for election


The upcoming General Election in the Cork East constituency looks like being one of the most unpredictable in many years, as parties add candidates to their line-ups, making for a crowded list of hopefuls. Fine Gael will run a third candidate in Cork East, with Tom Barry and David Stanton being joined by former Labour Party man, Cllr Noel McCarthy, while Fianna Fáil has added a second candidate to its ticket, Cllr Kevin O’Keeffe joined by Barbara Ahern, daughter of former poll-topper Michael Ahern. Minister of State Sean Sherlock will fly the Labour flag on his own, while Sinn Féin have selected Midleton-based Cllr Pat Buckley to replace outgoing deputy Sandra McLellan, who is stepping down at the end of this Dáil term.

Making a return to the general election fray is Senator Paul Bradford who at one time held a Fine Gael seat in Cork East, but is now running on the Renua party ticket headed by his wife, Lucinda Creighton, and other runners include former Sinn Fein councillor Kieran McCarthy, Ciara Leonardi Roche of the Anti-Austerity Alliance People Before Profit, and Claire Cullinane of the People’s Convention. These will be joined in coming weeks by other independent and party candidates.

With only three of the four sitting TDs running again, Kevin O’Keeffe has ambitions of regaining the seat held by his father, Ned, for so many years. For Fine Gael, David Stanton is expected to stake a firm claim, while Noel McCarthy will be a strong runner with his colleague Tom Barry. Sean Sherlock has had a strong public profile as minister of state and is hoping to buck the trend of expected Labour casualties in the election, while Kieran McCarthy who was expelled by Sinn Féin in recent months will make a strong battle too.