herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Battle of the Bay as six TDs face 5-seat 'constituency of death'

election

Naoise O Muiri
Naoise O Muiri
Fine Gael's Stephanie Regan is expected to run

THE newly-configured Dublin Bay North constituency is shaping up as one of the most competitive battles in the capital.

Six sitting TDs, including two ministers, are vying for just five seats.

Heavy hitters such as Fine Gael's Richard Bruton and Independent TDs Finian McGrath and Tommy Broughan are expected to be re-elected in the new sprawling constituency.

Labour's Aodhan O Riordain has seen his profile grow since he was appointed junior minister but even his seat is far from secure.

Mr O Riordain's running mate is sitting TD Sean Kenny, who could be damaged by the Government's decision to sell off its stake in Aer Lingus.

Another TD who is vulnerable is Terence Flanagan, who has worked hard alongside Lucinda Creighton to build up the newly-formed Renua party.

A dogfight is also likely to emerge with Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail and left wing groups set to fight it out.

RUN

With Averil Power considering whether to run at all, now that she is an independent, Fianna Fail is expected to field former minister Sean Haughey.

But the son of the late Taoiseach Charles Haughey will be challenged at convention by councillors Deirdre Heney and Tom Brabazon as Fianna Fail weigh up whether to adopt a two-candidate strategy.

However, Ms Power's decision to run as an independent could end up being a wise decision.

Despite claims by Fianna Fail to the contrary, she has a solid chance of taking a seat and has worked tirelessly on the ground and in communities in Dublin Bay North over the past four years.

Fine Gael will look to land two seats. The party is also fielding former Lord Mayor Naoise O Muiri and local activist Stephanie Regan.

The smart money is on Sinn Fein through councillor Micheal MacDonncha.

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