Sunday 20 January 2019

Lord Mayor flags run for Senate in 2016

Dublin's Lord Mayor Christy Burke.
Dublin's Lord Mayor Christy Burke.

Dublin's Lord Mayor Christy Burke is considering running for the Seanad in the next election.

Mr Burke is holding meetings with his long term activists and political partners to discuss whether or not he should throw his hat in the ring.

Mr Burke told the Herald that he had not reached his final decision about his political future.

"My mind is not made up but I would not rule anything in or out.

"I have to meet my long-time activists to hear what they will say," the city's Lord Mayor said.

When asked was it just the Seanad that he was considering, Mr Burke said that he was still interested in a seat in Dail Eireann.

"The general election is not ruled out but the Senate would be my first choice," he said.

"My team will discuss this soon - we see a gap in the generals," Mr Burke said.

The Independent north inner city councillor has said he will not join a party for his Seanad bid.

Next year will be his 30th year as a councillor in Dublin City Council (DCC).

If the current Fine Gael/Labour coalition sees out its five-year term the next general election will be held in March 2016.

An election to the Seanad must be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the Dail.

The Independent councillor was a member of Sinn Fein up until June 2009.

He left the party three days after being elected that year and declared as an Independent.

At the time he described it "as a very difficult decision," to leave the party.

And in 2010 he stated: "Sinn Fein's problems stem from senior personnel in the party not listening to councillors on the ground."

He has run in general elections for Dublin Central before. Mr Burke last contested the elections in 2011, where he won 1,315 first preference votes.

He lost out to Paschal Donohoe, Joe Costello, Maureen O'Sullivan and Mary Lou McDonald on that occasion.


Mr Burke's interest in running comes after a group of independent politicians in the capital began talks aimed at forming an alliance in a bid to unseat a high-profile cabinet minister at the next general election.

Up to five independent councillors elected to DCC are convinced the group can secure a Dail seat at the expense of Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe.

The number of seats in Dublin Central has been reduced from four to three so competition will be tough.


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