News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

May 24, 2007

Election 2007 Preview

News about Ireland & the Irish

RT 05/24/07 Election 2007: Party Leaders Cast Their Votes
RT 05/22/07 Election 2007: Bookmaker Odds For Coalitions
RT 05/24/07 Election 2007: Fianna Fail Quick Take
RT 05/24/07 Election 2007: Fine Gael Quick Take
RT 05/24/07 Election 2007: Labour Quick Take
RT 05/24/07 Election 2007: Independents Quick Take
RT 05/24/07 Election 2007: Progressive Democrats Quick Take
RT 05/24/07 Election 2007: Green Party Quick Take
RT 05/24/07 Election 2007: Sinn Fein Quick Take
RT 05/24/07 Election 2007: Socialist Party Quick Take
BT 05/24/07 Did Police Give Lucrative Contracts To A UVF Leader?
BN 05/24/07 Thomas Kinsella & Louis le Brocquy Honoured In Dublin

Party Summary

Party Seats Held Candidates

Fianna Fail------78-----------106
Fine Gael--------33----------- 91
Labour-----------21----------- 50
Independents-----14----------- 77
PDs-------------- 8----------- 27
Greens----------- 6----------- 44
Sinn Fein-------- 5----------- 41
Socialists------- 1----------- 4


Election 2007: Party Leaders Cast Their Votes

Thursday, 24 May 2007 12:18

More than three million Irish voters go to the polls today in one
of the tightest General Election contests in history.

Voting for candidates to the 30th D il began at 7.30am.

Party leaders across the country have been voting in the General

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, cast his vote shortly after 11am at
a Dublin school on Richmond Road, Drumcondra.

In Co Mayo, the Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and his wife Fionnula
cast their votes in the parish centre in Castlebar at around

The leader of the Labour Party Pat Rabbitte, PDs' leader Michael
McDowell and Green Party leader Trevor Sargent have also cast
their votes.

There are 466 candidates standing for election in 43
constituencies. Of these 165 candidates will be elected to the
D il; the Ceann Comhairle will be returned automatically.

All voters, including those who have polling cards, are advised
to bring suitable identification with them, as spot checks will
be carried out.

People who did not receive polling cards are still entitled to
vote provided that their name is on the register, and that they
can prove their identity.

Polls stay open until 10.30pm and counting of votes begins


Election 2007: Bookmaker Odds For Coalitions

Tuesday, 22 May 2007 17:42

Party leaders spent the day re-confirming their pledges as to who
they will and will not share power with, but opinion polls show
voters doubt such promises will hold once the results are in.

With that in mind, bookmakers have placed odds on possible


Opposition Labour leader Pat Rabbitte has ruled out entering
coalition with Prime Minister Bertie Ahern's ruling party, but if
the opposition's 'rainbow' option fails to secure a majority
Labour may switch sides, perhaps under a new leader.


The main opposition Fine Gael party and the left-leaning Labour
party are running on a joint ticket and are favourites to win as
long as they can count on the support of the so far unaligned
Green Party in a 'rainbow' coalition.


Green Party leader Trevor Sargent has said he will not go into
government with Ahern's party and ruled out a deal with Fine Gael
if all it offered was 'Fianna Fail-Lite'. The party has yet to be
part of an Irish governing coalition.


Both parties in the current governing coalition look to have lost
ground since the last general election and Fianna Fail may need
the support of a bigger party than the pro-business Progressive
Democrats if it is to stay in power.


Fianna Fail has ruled out governing with the political wing of a
now disarmed IRA, saying it could not work with Sinn Fein's
socialist economic policies, but polls show many voters believe
Ahern could do a deal in a last-ditch bid to stay in power.


Considered something of a long shot, given heated exchanges
between Progressive Democrat and Green lawmakers, but the odds
have shortened following an improvement in Fianna Fail's standing
in opinion polls.


The two biggest opposition parties have forged a pact to unseat
the governing coalition but polls indicate they will need the
support of a third party to defeat Fianna Fail, which has
dominated Irish politics for decades.


Fianna Fail Quick Take

Number of Sitting TDs: 78
Candidates: 106
Telephone: 01-6761551
National Headquarters: 65-66 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2.


Fianna Fail was founded by amon de Valera in 1926. It has been
the largest political party in the State since 1932 and was the
only party to form single-party governments between 1932 and
1981. The party has failed to win an overall parliamentary
majority since 1977. It draws support from across the socio-
economic spectrum in urban areas as well as in rural Ireland. The
party has had just six leaders and has been in office for over 50
years during its history.

Historically opposed to coalition, the party shed this core
principle in 1989, when the then party leader, Charles Haughey,
agreed to enter government alongside his arch-rival and leader of
the Progressive Democrats, Des O'Malley. Bertie Ahern succeeded
Albert Reynolds as party leader in November 1994. His popularity,
and excellent vote-management strategies nationally, contributed
to the party's success at the polls in 1997.

At the 1997 general election, support for Fianna Fail rose
slightly but remained below 40%. Despite this, the party won an
additional nine seats, reversing the disastrous outcome of the
November 1992 election when only 68 Fianna Fail TDs were

Following the election, Fianna Fail formed their third coalition
government with the Progressive Democrats. From 1997-2002, this
coalition had the management of the economic boom brought about
by the Celtic Tiger. However, it was also beset by several
political scandals and increasing industrial unrest.

The Fianna Fail-led coalition was put to the test when the
country went to the polls in 2002. Rumours abounded of an overall
majority for Bertie Ahern's party, but it fell just short, taking
81 seats.

Following the election, it was thought that Fianna Fail might
enter into talks with some sympathetic independent TDs instead of
a coalition with the Progressive Democrats. But the party again
formed a government with the PDs, who had been returned with
eight seats.


Even the most determined optimist in Fianna Fail has been braced
for a tough election since the beginning of the year.

When the party secured 81 seats in Election 2002 it really was a

high-water mark - this equalled the best result secured by Fianna
Fail since the early 1980s.

Under the former Taoiseach and leader, Charles J Haughey, the
party won 81 seats in February 1982 and again in 1987 and on each
occasion Fianna Fail formed minority governments.

Last time out, Fianna Fail's 81 seats combined with 8 for the PDs

provided the basis for a solid coalition and a second term for


Despite one of the Government's best-crafted Budgets the party
has been suffering slippage across several polls since January.

Privately, the party's strategists admit that a loss of five to
ten seats would be an extraordinary good return after a decade in
office and a succession of poor national poll ratings. Losses in
that range would guarantee office for another term.

Even losses of 10-15 seats would still leave a range of post-
election options in play since seats losses at the worst end of
that scale would mean it would be virtually impossible for any
other alternative coalition combination to put the required
numbers together.

For those reasons, Fianna Fail remains the party best positioned
to be the anchor of the next coalition. In that respect this
election really is an election the party should win rather than

Notwithstanding all the huffing and puffing about post-election
deals, Fianna Fail losses of 5-15 seats keeps the following
options in play: Fianna Fail and the PDs; Fianna Fail, the PDs
and Independents; Fianna Fail, the PDs and the Greens; Fianna
Fail and Greens and the great unmentionable, Fianna Fail and

The prospect of a coalition without Fianna Fail only comes into
focus if the party were to start losing more than 15 seats.

As the biggest party with Bertie Ahern, the most successful
leader since Eamon de Valera, and a formidable election machine,
Fianna Fail has enjoyed notable successes on the economic front
and in respect of Northern Ireland.

But being in power for a decade brings its own problems and
challenges - the successes may be taken for granted and there is
less tolerance for shortcomings in delivery of promises.

The party is in one of its toughest elections for decades and it
knows it.

- Brian Dowling, RT political reporter


Bobby Aylward, John McGuinness TD, MJ Nolan TD
Margaret Conlon, Brendan Smith TD, Minister of State

Senator Brendan Daly, Senator Timmy Dooley, Tony Killeen TD,
Minister of State

Cork East
Michael Ahern TD, Minister of State, Ned O'Keeffe TD
Cork North-Central
Billy Kelleher TD, Noel O'Flynn TD

Cork North-West
Donal Moynihan TD, Michael Moynihan TD, Batt O'Keeffe TD,
Minister of State

Cork South-Central
John Dennehy TD, Miche l Martin TD, Michael McGrath

Cork South-West
Denis O'Donovan TD, Christy O'Sullivan

Donegal South-West
Niall Blaney TD, Cecilia Keaveney TD, James McDaid TD

Donegal North-East
Minister Mary Coughlan, Pat the Cope Gallagher TD, Minister of

Dublin Central
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Senator Cyprian Brady, Mary Fitzpatrick

Dublin Mid-West
John Curran TD, Luke Moriarty

Dublin North
Michael Kennedy, Darragh O'Brien, John O'Leary

Dublin North-East
Martin Brady TD, Michael Woods TD

Dublin North-West
Noel Ahern TD, Minister of State, Pat Carey TD

Dublin North-Ctrl
Ivor Callely TD, Sean Haughey TD, Minister of State

Dublin South
Minister S‚amus Brennan, Maria Corrigan,Tom Kitt TD, Minister of

Dublin South-Ctrl
Sean Ardagh TD, Michael Mulcahy TD

Dublin South-East
Chris Andrews, Jim O'Callaghan

Dublin South-West
Conor Lenihan, Minister of State, Charlie O'Connor TD

Dublin West
Brian Lenihan, Minister of State, Gerry Lynam

Dun Laoghaire
Barry Andrews TD, Minister Mary Hanafin

Galway East
Joe Callanan TD, Senator Michael P Kitt, Noel Treacy TD, Minister
of State

Galway West
Michael Crowe, Frank Fahey TD, Minister of State, Minister amon
O Cu¡v

Kerry North
Norma Foley, Tom McEllistrim TD

Kerry South
Tom Fleming, Minister John O'Donoghue

Kildare North
Aine Brady, Michael Fitzpatrick

Kildare South
Sean O'Fearghaill TD, Se n Power TD, Minister of State

Minister Brian Cowen TD, Sean Fleming TD, John Foley, John
Moloney TD

Limerick East
Minister Willie O'Dea TD, Peter Power TD, Noreen Ryan

Limerick West
Niall Collins, John Cregan TD

Donie Cassidy TD, Peter Kelly TD, Senator Mary O'Rourke

Dermot Ahern TD, Seamus Kirk TD, Frank Maher

Dara Calleary, John Carty TD, Frank Chambers

Meath East
Thomas Byrne, Mary Wallace TD, Minister of State

Meath West
Johnny Brady TD, Minister Noel Dempsey TD

Roscommon-South Leitrim
John Ellis TD, Michael Finneran TD

Sligo-North Leitrim
Jimmy Devins TD, Senator Eamon Scanlon

Tipperary South
M ire Hoctor TD, Michael Smith TD

Tipperary North
Siobhan Ambrose, Senator Martin Mansergh, Mattie McGrath

Minister Martin Cullen TD, Senator Brendan Kenneally, Ollie
Wilkinson TD

John Browne TD, Minister of State, Sean Connick, Lisa McDonald

Joe Behan, Pat Fitzgerald, Minister Dick Roche TD


Fine Gael Quick Take

Sitting TDs: 33
Candidates: 91
Party leader: Enda Kenny
National Headquarters: 51 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: 01-6198444


Fine Gael is the second largest party in the State. It was
founded in 1933 with the merger of Cumann na nGaedheal and a
number of smaller parties.

Cumann na nGaedheal ruled for the first ten years on the Irish
Free State and defended the new democratic institutions during
the Irish civil war. The party relinquished power peacefully in
1932, when their political adversaries in Fianna Fail became the
largest party in D il ireann. Since 1932, the party has been in
Government for just 18 years, typically in coalition with the
Labour Party.

Historically the party represented large farmers and business
interests throughout the State. However, the party broadened its
appeal by adopting a social democratic programme in their "Just
Society" policy document of 1965.

Electoral support for Fine Gael peaked in the November 1982
general election during Dr Garret FitzGerald's tenure as party
leader. On that occasion, the party won 70 seats with a 39% share
of the vote. Repeating this success has proved impossible.

The party has managed between 22.5% and 29.5% nationally in
subsequent elections.

The general election in November 1992 proved disastrous for the
party with only 45 Fine Gael TDs winning seats. In Dublin, the
party was eclipsed by Labour. Yet two years later, both parties
were partners in the "Rainbow Coalition" alongside Democratic
Left under a Fine Gael Taoiseach, John Bruton.

In 1997, the party recovered much of its losses at the previous
election winning 54 seats with a 28% share of the vote. Mr Bruton
was ousted as leader in January 2001, to be replaced by Michael
Noonan just over a week later.

Mr Noonan went on to lead the party to another disastrous
election in May 2002. Perceptions of the party as somewhat
redundant led to the loss of 6% of the vote, and over 20 seats.
Of the party's 31 TDs, only three were elected in Dublin,
representing an 8% drop in its vote there.

Following the party's performance, Michael Noonan resigned as
leader and Enda Kenny was subsequently elected. Jim Mitchell was
replaced as deputy leader by Richard Bruton, the brother of
former leader and Taoiseach, John.


In the last general election, Fine Gael slumped to its lowest
share of the vote since 1948 - as well as the same number of
seats, just 31, a loss of 23 on the previous election. The
campaign had been a disaster from the start, and it was no
surprise when leader Michael Noonan resigned on the day of the

Enda Kenny emerged as the new leader in a four-way contest with
Richard Bruton, Phil Hogan and Gay Mitchell, and immediately set
about the difficult task of rebuilding a shattered party. His
efforts paid off in the local and European elections in the
summer of 2004 - in the locals, Fine Gael won just nine seats
less than Fianna Fail, while it returned more MEPs than the main
Government party - the first time since 1927 it had beaten Fianna
Fail's seat total in a national election.

Kenny built on that success with the 'Mullingar Accord', an
agreement with Labour to share power on Westmeath County Council,
which was clearly the forerunner of a general election pact. In
2002, thanks to the Government's runaway popularity and Labour's
refusal to play ball on a pre-election pact, Fine Gael became
irrelevant and was hammered. 2007 will be very different - the
only question being whether Fine Gael's recovery can be
accomplished in one go.

- David McCullagh, RT Political Correspondent


Carlow Kilkenny
Senator Fergal Browne, Phil Hogan TD, Senator John Paul Phelan

Cavan Monaghan
Seymour Crawford TD, Cllr Joe O'Reily Clare, Pat Breen TD, Cllr
Tony Mulcahy, Cllr Joe Carey, Cllr Madeleine Taylor-Quinn

Cork East
Senator Paul Bradford, David Stanton TD

Cork North Central
Bernard Allen TD, Cllr Gerry Kelly

Cork North West
Cllr Michael Creed, Gerard Murphy TD,

Cork South Central
Cllr Jerry Buttimer, Cllr Deirdre Clune, Simon Coveney TD/MEP

Cork South West
Jim O'Keeffe TD, Cllr PJ Sheehan

Donegal NE
Senator Joe McHugh

Donegal SW
Dinny McGinley TD

Dublin Central
Cllr Paschal Donohoe

Dublin Mid West
Frances Fitzgerald

Dublin North
Dr James Reilly

Dublin North Central
Richard Bruton TD

Dublin North East
Brody Sweeney, Cllr Terence Flanagan

Dublin North West
Cllr Bill Tormey

Dublin South
Olivia Mitchell TD, Cllr Jim O'Leary, Alan Shatter

Dublin South Central
Cllr Catherine Byrne, Cllr Ann Marie Martin

Dublin South East
Cllr Lucinda Creighton

Dublin South West
Senator Brian Hayes

Dublin West
Cllr Leo Varadkar

D£n Laoghaire
Sean Barrett, Cllr Eugene Regan, Cllr John Bailey

Galway East
Dr John Barton, Senator Ulick Burke, Paul Connaughton TD, Cllr
Tom McHugh

Galway West
Cllr Fidelma Healy-Eames, Cllr Se n Kyne, Padraic McCormack TD

Kerry North
Jimmy Deenihan TD

Kerry South
Cllr S‚amus Fitzgerald, Cllr Tom Sheahan

Kildare North
Bernard Durkan TD, Cllr Darren Scully

Kildare South
Cllr Richard Daly, Alan Gillis

Laois Offaly
Cllr Molly Buckley, Olwyn Enright TD, Charles Flanagan

Limerick East
Michael Noonan TD, Cllr Kieran O'Donnell

Limerick West
Dan Neville TD, Senator Michael Finuncane

Senator James Bannon, Peter Burke, Cllr Nicky McFadden

Cllr Jim D'Arcy, Fergus O'Dowd TD, Mairead McGuinness MEP

Enda Kenny TD, Cllr Michelle Mulherin, John O'Mahony, Michael
Ring TD

Meath East
Regina Doherty, Shane McEntee TD

Meath West
Damien English TD, Graham Geraghty, Cllr Peter Higgins

Roscommon/S Leitrim
Senator Frank Feighan, Denis Naughten TD

Sligo/N Leitrim
Michael Comiskey, John Perry TD

Tipperary North
Senator Noel Coonan

Tipperary South
Tom Hayes TD

Cllr Paudie Coffey, Cllr Jim D'Arcy, John Deasy TD

Cllr Michael Darcy, Paul Kehoe TD, Liam Twomey TD

Cllr Andrew Doyle, Billy Timmins TD


Labour Quick Take

Number of Sitting TDs: 21
Candidates: 50
Telephone: 01-6784700
National Headquarters: 17 Ely Place, Dublin 2


The Labour Party was founded in 1912 as the political wing of the
Irish Trade Union Congress. It is the oldest political party in
the State. The party chose not to contest the 1918 general
election. This decision inhibited the party's subsequent
performances at the polls as the electorate became politicized by
the national question in the aftermath of the civil war.

Labour has traditionally joined with Fine Gael in coalition
administration, thereby providing an alternative to single-party
rule by Fianna Fail. The party has been more successful since
1990, when it backed the campaign to elect Mary Robinson as the
first female President of Ireland.

In the general election of 1992, the party polled 19.3% of the
first preference votes and won 33 seats nationally. In Dublin,
they secured more than 26% of the vote and became the second
largest party in the capital. The party held the balance of power
and chose to go into coalition with Fianna Fail.

This administration was short lived though, collapsing in
acrimonious circumstances in November 1994 when the then
Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds, attempted to force through the
appointment of Harry Whelehan as President of the High Court.

The Rainbow Coalition was formed in January 1995 between Fine
Gael, Labour and Democratic Left. The three parties contested the
1997 general election on an agreed manifesto. However, the Labour
vote collapsed to 10.4% and 16 TDs failed to retain their seats.

In November 1997, Dick Spring resigned as party leader following
Adi Roche's disappointing performance in the Presidential
Election. Ruair¡ Quinn was the victor in the ensuing leadership

Since then, the party has effected a merger with Democratic Left.
The first general election contested following the merger was a
lacklustre affair for Labour, as it held on to all of its D il
seats, but lost 2.1% of its first preferences. It was again the
second largest party in Dublin, with three times the number of
seats held by its closest rival, Fine Gael, in the capital.

On 27 August 2002, Ruair¡ Quinn announced he would not be seeking
re-election when his term as leader came to an end on 25 October.
Pat Rabbitte was subsequently elected leader, with former
Democratic Left colleague Liz McManus taking up the post of
deputy leader.


Embarking on this campaign the Labour Party knows that Pat
Rabbitte is the second most popular leader after Bertie Ahern.

For all that, the rise in Rabbitte's popularity has not, so far,
resulted in a pull factor for the Labour Party.

In 1997 and 2002 the party polled just over 10% and most recent
polls suggest that as the campaign begins it is still pretty much
in the same territory.

With 21 seats going into the election Labour faces a significant
enough task in holding onto its tally. It has targeted a number
of additional seats, notably in Dublin, Meath East and Kerry

While it talks of repeating the 1992 result that saw Labour win
an historic 33 seats that remains a big ask. If Labour is to push
its seat numbers into the mid-20s it needs to pull a national
share of the vote in the 12-14% range and that alone will is a
big challenge.

The party is no doubt hoping that the pact with Fine Gael will
not only strike a chord with voters but that it will also
consolidate crucial transfers in a number of constituencies
around the country.

Going into the campaign the evidence to date would suggest that,
to date, Fine Gael have been the biggest beneficiaries of the

Still, it has been a bold and determined strategy and the
alliance has certainly helped position Labour and Fine Gael to
mount a real challenge for Government.

In the mounting that challenge Labour also knows that while it
has remained somewhat stagnant in polls, its main rivals the
Green Party and Sinn Fein have been steadily gaining ground,
particularly in Dublin.

Labour badly needs to bring on a layer of new TDs if it is to
fend off challenges from the smaller, but steadily growing
parties, in the years ahead.

The party is committed to trying to form a Government with Fine
Gael but if the numbers do not add up at the end of the election
then, like it or not, Labour will have to face up to the prospect
of coalition with Fianna Fail.

- Brian Dowling, RT political staff


Cllr Jim Townsend
Cllr Michael O'Brien

Cllr Des Cullen

Cllr Pascal Fitzgerald

Cork East
Cllr John Mulvihill
Cllr S‚an Sherlock

Cork North-Central
Kathleen Lynch TD

Cork North-West
Cllr Martin Coughlan

Cork South-Central
Cllr Ciar n Lynch

Cork South-West
Senator Michael McCarthy

Donegal South-West
Seamus Rodgers

Donegal North-East
Siobhan McLaughlin

Dublin Central
Joe Costello TD

Dublin Mid-West
Senator Joanna Tuffy

Dublin North
Brendan Ryan

Dublin North-East
Tommy Broughan TD

Dublin North-West
Cllr Martin Coughlan

Dublin North-Ctrl
Senator Derek McDowell

Dublin South
Cllr Alex White, Cllr Aidan Culhane

Dublin South-Ctrl
Cllr Eric Byrne
Mary Upton TD

Dublin South-East
Ruairi Quinn TD

Dublin South-West
Pat Rabbitte

Dublin West
Joan Burton TD

Dun Laoghaire
Eamon Gilmore TD
Cllr Ois¡n Quinn

Galway East
Cllr Colm Keaveney

Galway West
Michael D Higgins TD

Kerry North
Cllr Terry O'Brien

Kerry South
Breeda Moynihan Cronin TD

Kildare North
Emmet Stagg TD

Kildare South
Jack Wall TD

Jim O'Brien
David Whelan

Limerick East
Jan O'Sullivan TD

Limerick West
James Heffernan

Willie Penrose TD

Cllr Gerald Nash

Harry Barrett

Meath East
Cllr Dominic Hannigan

Meath West
Cllr Brian Collins

Roscommon South Leitrim
Hughie Baxter

Sligo-North Leitrim
Jim McGarry

Tipperary South
Cllr Phil Prendergast

Tipperary North
Senator Kathleen O'Meara

Brian O'Shea TD

Brendan Howlin TD

Liz McManus TD

Cllr Nicky Kelly


Independents Quick Take

Number of Sitting TDs: 14
Number of Candidates: 77


The D il's 14 deputies who do not represent any particular party
are, as one would expect, a diverse group of politicians.

The Independents from rural areas are generally conservative.
Jackie Healy-Rae, Mildred Fox, James Breen, Paddy McHugh and
Niall Blaney all have political roots in Fianna Fail, and are
expected to follow the largest party's lead on most issues.

Other independents have populist left-wing agendas, such as
Seamus Healy from Tipperary South, and Tony Gregory, who has
represented the people of Dublin's north inner city for 20 years.

The biggest group of new Independent TDs were elected due to
their health campaigning, reflecting the importance of the issue
to the electorate. Paudge Connolly from Monaghan, Dr Jerry Cowley
in Mayo, Dr Liam Twomey in Wexford and Finian McGrath in Dublin,
all have an interest in improving the health services in their
part of the country and in Ireland in general.

Michael Lowry, a former Fine Gael TD who left his party following
revelations of discrepancies in his tax affairs, was again
returned to the D il as an Independent in 2002.


TJ Fay, Paudge Connolly TD

James Breen TD

Cork East
Christy Carr (FRR), John Cronin

Cork North Central
Stephen Saleh, Dave McCarthy, John McCarthy

Cork South Central
Maurice Fitzgerald, Gerard Linehan, Morgan Stack

Donegal North East
Jimmy Harte, Ian McGarvey, Arthur McGuinness

Donegal South West
John Doherty

Dublin Central
Alan Beirne FRR, Cieran Perry, Tony Gregory TD

Dublin Mid West
Derek Keating, Jim McHale

Dublin North
David O'Connor

Dublin North Central
Finian McGrath TD

Dublin North West
John O'Neill (Irish Socialist Network)

Dublin South Central
Joan Collins, Con Gunning, Dr Roisin Healy,

Dublin South East
Noel Ivory, Eoin Tierney, Esther Uzell, Noel O'Gara, Peter

Galway East
Adrian Feeney, Clare Flynn, Paddy McHugh TD

Galway West
Catherine Connolly, Margaret Cox, Thomas King

Kerry North
Anthony Dineen, Tom Donovan, Sam Locke, Michael O'Connor

Kerry South
Jackie Healy Rae

Kildare North
Gerry Browne, Dr John Corish, Catherine Murphy

Kildare South
Tom Doyle

John Bracken, JJ McCormack, Noel O'Gara

Limerick East
John Devane, Cathal McCarthy, Patrick Moore, Denis O'Riordan

Dermot Duke

Noel O'Gara

Beverley Flynn TD, Jerry Cowley TD

Meath East
AJ Cahill, Jospeh Bonner, Brian Fitzgerald,

Meath West
Phil Cantwell

Roscommon-South Leitrim
John Kelly, Noel O'Gara

Sligo-North Leitrim
John Higgins, Andrew McSharry

Tipperary North
Michael Lowry TD, Jim Ryan

Tipperary South
Seamus Healy TD, Tom Wood

FJ Hennessy, Mary Roche, Declan Waters

Alan McGuire

Evelyn Cawley, Pat Doran, Norman Newell, Jim Tallon


Progressive Democrats Quick Take

Party leader: Michael McDowell
Number of Sitting TDs: 8
Candidates: 27
Telephone: 01-6794399
National Headquarters: 25 South Frederick Street, Dublin 2.


The Progressive Democrats were founded by Des O'Malley in 1985
following his expulsion from Fianna Fail. The PDs describe
themselves as a liberal party with a strong belief in the
sovereignty of the individual. They are the longest surviving new
party in Ireland since the formation of Fianna Fail 1926.

Their electoral fortunes have varied dramatically throughout the
15 years of their existence. The party won 14 D il seats in 1987
when they contested the general election on a manifesto that
advocated 'breaking the mould' of civil war politics. Support for
the party collapsed in 1989 when only 6 TDs retained their seats.
In 1992, the party won 10 seats despite a further decline in
their percentage share of the vote.

In October 1993, founder leader Des O'Malley resigned as party
leader. He was succeeded by another founder member, Mary Harney,
who became the first woman to lead a political party in Irish

Under her stewardship, the PDs won just four seats in 1997, with
4.7% of the vote. Five years later, Mary Harney confounded the
critics and led her party to its greatest electoral success in
ten years, doubling the number of PD TDs in the D il with 0.7%
less first preferences.

The PDs have been Fianna Fail's coalition partners on four
occasions. The party has strong representation in urban Ireland,
with four TDs in Dublin. They achieved somewhat of a rural
breakthrough in 2002, with the election of Mae Sexton in
Longford-Roscommon and Tom Parlon in Laois-Offaly.


The Progressive Democrats have been the most successful small
party in Irish political history, spending more than half of
their 21-year lifespan in Government, and redefining public
debate on the economy - as recent manifesto pledges have shown,
all the main parties have now been converted to the merits of low

But despite this success, the party has had a very varied
electoral history, from a high of 14 seats on its first election
in 1987, to a low of just four 10 years later. In the last three
elections, their share of the vote has been very similar - 4.7%
in 1992, 4.7% in 1997, and 4 % in 2002 - but their seat tally was
10, 4 and 8 respectively.

And there are two conflicting historical trends - on the one
hand, the PDs are the only junior coalition partners in Irish
electoral history to increase their number of seats after a spell
in Government - and they have done it twice. On the other hand,
in every second election, they have lost more than half their
seats (including that of Michael McDowell). One of those trends
is about to be broken.

- David McCullagh, Political Correspondent


Cllr Walter Lacey

Murt Collins

Cork South-Central
John Minihan

Dublin Mid-West
Mary Harney

Dublin North
Tom Morrissey

Dublin North-East
Keith Redmond

Dublin South
Liz O'Donnell

Dublin South-Ctrl
Ben Doyle
Frank McNamara

Dublin South-East
Michael McDowell

Dublin West
Cllr Mags Murray

Dun Laoghaire
Fiona O'Malley

Galway East
Ciaran Cannon

Galway West
Noel Grealis, Donal Lyons, Tom Welby

Kildare North
Jeff Aherne

Kildare South
Jane Mullins

Tom Parlon

Limerick East
Tim O'Malley

Limerick West
Michael Brennan

Mae Sexton

Tommy Cooke

Meath East
Sirena Campbell

Tipperary South
Richie Molloy
Peader O'Donnell

Tipperary North
Tony Sheary

Colm O'Gorman

Donal O'Siochain


Green Party Quick Take

Number of Sitting TDs: 6
Candidates: 44
Telephone: 01-6797168
National Headquarters: 16/17 Suffolk Street, Dublin 2


The Green Party was founded in 1981 as the Ecology Party of
Ireland. This later became the Green Alliance\Comhaontas Glas in
1983, and in 1986, the name was changed to The Green
Party\Comhaontas Glas.

The party is founded on the principles that economic and social
progress should not negatively impinge on the environment. In
1989, Roger Garland became the first Green Party TD when he took
a seat in Dublin South. Although he failed to hold this seat in
1992, the Green Party retained its D il presence when Trevor
Sargent won in Dublin North.

In 1997, John Gormley joined his colleague when he narrowly
defeated the Progressive Democrat leader, Michael McDowell, then
a candidate and incumbent Attorney General, in Dublin South East.

The Green Party has been particularly successful in European
elections. They posted a spectacular performance in 1994 when
Patricia McKenna and Nuala Ahern were elected to the European
Parliament to represent the Dublin and Leinster constituencies
respectively. Both retained their seats in the 1999 European

Historically, the Green Party did not have a leader, but used
collective decision-making within its ranks. The party elected
Trevor Sargent its first leader in 2001, and Mr Sargent led the
Greens to their greatest general election success yet. He and Mr
Gormley were joined by four other colleagues in the 29th D il,
which was a threefold increase in D il representation. The
party's vote was up 1%.


Six years ago the Green Party did not even have a leader. Now,

depending on the numbers game after the election, a Green leader
could even be the next T naiste.

Talk about climate change!

The scenario of a Green Party T naiste, of course, would only
come into play if the party entered a coalition with Fianna Fail.

Trevor Sargent, the party leader, has said that while he would
not lead the Greens into a coalition with Fianna Fail, he would
consider serving in Cabinet.

That may be considered a strange position to adopt but these are

different times for the Greens.

Since dropping the notion of collective leadership in 2001, the
party has been on a curve of increasing professionalism. That
evolution saw the party go from one seat in the 28th Dail to six
in the now dissolved 29th D il.

The party has continued to adopt modern campaigning methods and
techniques and these, allied to heightened global awareness of
environmental issues, the impact of the Al Gore movie and local
issues such as the contamination of the Galway water supply have
all combined to give momentum the Greens as they hit the campaign

Most political pundits now accept the party will certainly hold
its six seats and that it could even double it to 12 seats,
perhaps even a few more if it gets all the right breaks.

Even if the Greens do not hold the position of T naiste after the

election the party looks a sure bet to have ministers at the
Cabinet table, whatever the shape of the next government.

- Brian Dowling, RT political staff


Carlow Kilkenny
Cllr Mary White

Cllr Vincent P Martin

Cllr Brian Meaney

Cork East
Sarah Iremonger

Cork North Central
Cllr Chris O'Leary

Cork North West
Caroline Robinson

Cork South Central
Dan Boyle

Cork South West
Quentin Gargan

Donegal North East
Frank Gallagher

Donegal South West
Se n O Maolchallann

Dublin Central
Patricia McKenna

Dublin North
Trevor Sargent TD
Cllr Joe Corr

Dublin North Central
Cllr Bronwen Maher

Dublin North East
Cllr David Healy

Dublin Mid West
Paul Gogarty TD

Dublin North West
Declan Fitzgerald

Dublin South
Eamon Ryan TD

Dublin South Central
Tony McDermott

Dublin South East
John Gormley TD

Dublin South West
Elizabeth Davidson

Dublin West
Roderic O'Gorman

D£n Laoghaire
Ciaran Cuffe TD

Galway West
Cllr Niall O Brolch in

Kerry North
David Grey

Kerry South
John Hickey

Kildare North
Cllr Shane Fitzgerald

Kildare South
Cllr JJ Power

Laois Offaly
M ire McKay

Limerick East
Trish Forde Brennan

Limerick West
James Nix

Betty Doran

Mark Dearey

Peter Enright

Meath East
Se n O Buachalla

Meath West
Brian Flanagan

Roscommon - South Leitrim
Garreth McDaid

Sligo - North Leitrim
Brian Scanlon

Tipperary North
Paul McNally

Tipperary South
Bernard Lennon

Brendan McCann

Tom Harpur

Cllr Deirdre de Burca


Sinn Fein Quick Take

Number of Sitting TDs: 5
Candidates: 41
Telephone: 01-8726936
National Headquarters: 44 Parnell Square, Dublin 1


Not too long ago there was talk about the party winning up to 15
D ail seats in this election.

Two years ago there seemed to be unstoppable momentum behind Sinn
Fein but that now appears to have stalled to some extent.

The party, with 5 TDs in the present D il, is still on course to
win additional seats with its best prospects in Donegal and

There was a widely-held consensus that the completion of IRA
decommissioning and the decision to end armed struggle would have
given a significant boost to Sinn Fein in the Republic.

Instead, the party's poll ratings began to decline within weeks
of IRA decommissioning last summer.

As the General Election approached there were renewed signs of
upward movement in the polls. This may be a spin-off from the
successful conclusion of talks on a new power-sharing Executive
with the DUP.

Within the D il, Sinn Fein has not made as big an impact as the
Greens as its TDs tend, for the most part, to focus on local

Sinn Fein wants to be in coalition after the General Election
although there appears to be little or no prospect of this in the
next D il.

Election 2007 will be about consolidating its existing seats and
building on that with a definite and more realistic focus on
coalition after the next General Election.

That, of course, would encompass the centenary of 1916.

As the election gets underway Sinn Fein will deploy a highly
organised constituency machine with high-profile campaigning by
Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.


Kathleen Funchion

Caoimhgh¡n O Caol in TD

Anna Prior

Cork East
Sandra McLellan

Cork North Central
Jonathan O'Brien

Cork South Central
Henry Cremin

Cork South West
Cionnaith O S£illeabh in

Donegal North East
P draig Mac Lochlainn

Donegal South West
Pearse Doherty

Dublin Central
Mary Lou McDonald MEP

Dublin Mid West
Joanne Spain

Dublin North
Matt McCormack

Dublin North Central
Peter Lawlor

Dublin North East
Larry O'Toole

Dublin North West
Dessie Ellis

Dublin South
Sorcha nic Cormac
Shaun Tracey

Dublin South Central
Aengus O Snodaigh TD

Dublin South East
Daith¡ Doolan

Dublin South West
Se n Crowe TD

Dublin West
Felix Gallgher

D£n Laoghaire
Eoin O Broin

Galway East
Jason Devlin

Galway West
Ann Maire Carroll

Kerry North
Martin Ferris TD

Kerry South
Lynn N¡ Bhaoigheall in

Kildare North
Crist¡n McCauley

Brian Stanley

Limerick East
Maurice Quinlivan

Paul Hogan

Arthur Morgan TD

Meath East
Joanne Finnegan

Meath West
Joe Reilly

Gerry Murray

Roscommon/South Leitrim
Martin Kenny

Sligo/North Leitrim
Se n Mac Manus

Tipperary North
Seamus Morris

Tipperary South
Liam Browne

David Cullinane

John Dwyer

John Brady


The Socialist Party Quick Take

Number of Sitting TDs: 1
Candidates: 4
Telephone: 01 6772686
National Headquarters: 141 Thomas Street, Dublin 1


The Socialist Party was founded in 1996 by Joe Higgins, believing
that Labour and Democratic Left had embraced the dictates of the
market and no longer represented the independent class interests
of working people.

Mr Higgins was previously a member of the so-called Militant
Tendency of the Labour Party.

The Socialist Party has campaigned against service charges, the
Maastricht Agreement, and social partnership between unions,
employers' organisations and the Government.

The party advocates state-owned industry and services, a 30-hour
working week, six weeks of paid holidays per year and a
guaranteed permanent job for everyone.


Joe Higgins is usually included among the Independents in the
D il. After all, he has been nominated by the Independent TDs to
put Leaders' Questions to the Taoiseach. But Deputy Higgins is
not a one man band, he is the leader of a fully fledged political
party. And he may not be its sole representative in the 30th
D il. The party has four County Councillors, and is running three
of them in the general election, along with Deputy Higgins.

Cllr Clare Daly in Dublin North is seen as the party's best bet
for a second seat - she won five and a half thousand first
preference votes, and ended up in fifth place in this four seat

The party's standing has been boosted by Joe Higgins' high D il
profile, and by the jailing of himself and Cllr Daly as part of
the protest against bin charges.

The party supports an international struggle against capitalism.

- David McCullagh, RT Political Correspondent


Dublin West
Joe Higgins

Dublin North
Clare Daly

Dublin South West
Mick Murphy

Cork North Central
Mick Barry


Did The Police Give Lucrative Contracts To A UVF Leader?

[Published: Thursday 24, May 2007 - 09:14]
By Chris Thornton

Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan has been asked to investigate a UVF
boss who was allegedly given lucrative deals to carry out work
for the police and Army.

The father of a teenager butchered by the terror chief's gang has
made a complaint to Mrs O'Loan's office, alleging that the UVF
leader was awarded contracts because he was an agent.

Mrs O'Loan's officials are currently considering whether they can
pursue the complaint, since it involves civilians who vet
contracts on behalf of the security forces.

The complaint has been made by Paul McIlwaine, whose son David
was stabbed repeatedly along with another Portadown teenager,
Andrew Robb, in February 2000.

The Ombudsman is already investigating aspects of the case
touching on whether the Co Armagh UVF boss was working as an
informer when the murders took place.

The man, who has never appeared before the courts in connection
with the murders, was identified as the owner of an apparent hit
list by a witness in the case.

But police destroyed the list - saying bullet marks next to
Catholic names were made by a child.

Mr McIlwaine alleges the agent was rewarded with high-paying
contracts from the security forces and allowed to carry a
personal protection weapon.

"I don't believe that paramilitaries of any kind should be given
preferential treatment as regards tenders and contracts," he

"If the shoe had been on the other foot - and a republican was
being paid to work on security force bases - there would have
been uproar."

Mr McIlwaine added: "My understanding is that tenders ... are
awarded by a civilian organisation.

"A vetting procedure is requested by the police but I'm told it
is carried out by the civilian body as well.

"I'm particularly concerned about that, because I believe he
would have been working on security force bases even after the
murder, possibly as a sub-contractor to another firm with
loyalist connections."

The grieving father has also written to the PSNI to determine who
was responsible for awarding contracts.

"I understand fully the procedures of the Police Ombudsman and
why they are not allowed to look at civilian organisations. I'm
looking at different avenues to get appropriate answers."

Mr McIlwaine has already lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman
about long delays in using forensic evidence in the murder of his
son and Andrew Robb.

Two men are currently awaiting trial for the murders, which took
place outside Tandragee.

c Belfast Telegraph


Thomas Kinsella And Louis le Brocquy To Be Honoured In Dublin

24/05/2007 - 08:07:16

Thomas Kinsella and Louis le Brocquy will be bestowed with the
Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin in a ceremony tonight.

The poet and artist will be honoured as a tribute and
acknowledgement of their artistic prowess and their valuable
contribution to the arts both at home and abroad.

"Receiving the Freeman of the City does not bring with it any
financial benefit, however the prestige and honour it carries is
immense," said Councillor Vincent Jackson, who will confer the
men at a ceremony in City Hall.

"It is a privilege for me personally to be in this position as
Dublin's First Citizen, to pay tribute to Thomas Kinsella and
Louis le Brocquy, two highly deserving recipients."

Kinsella will receive a detailed crystal book in recognition of
his valuable and consistent contribution to Irish literature,
while le Brocquy will get a crystal palette to signify his
unwavering influence in the world of art. Both gifts are designed
by Waterford Crystal.

"The contribution Thomas Kinsella has made to Irish literature is
enormous, he has without doubt been one of Ireland's most
influential writers and his works have been studied and loved my
many students, aspiring writers and poets alike," continued Mr

"Louis le Brocquy's paintings and tapestries have been
inspirational and his outstanding contribution to the arts both
at home and abroad has been immeasurable."

The Freedom has previously been conferred on 74 persons ranging
from presidents to prisoners of conscience and people in sports
and entertainment.

The first recipient of the Freedom of the City was Isaac Butt in
1876, with subsequent recipients including Pope John Paul II,
President Bill Clinton, Gay Byrne, Nelson Mandela, rock group U2,
Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Bob Geldof.

To Subscribe to Irish Aires Google News List, click Here.
To Unsub from Irish Aires Google News List, click Here
For options visit:

Or join our Irish Aires Yahoo Group, Click here

To Get RSS Feed for Irish Aires News click HERE
(Paste into a News Reader)

To May Index
To Index of Monthly Archives
To Searches & Sources of Other Irish News
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?