Saturday 16 December 2017

Sinn Fein's new TD for Fingal... actually lives 19km away in Crumlin

Louise O’Reilly, right, pictured with party colleagues, was elected in Fingal, but lives in Crumlin (Leah Farrell/
Louise O’Reilly, right, pictured with party colleagues, was elected in Fingal, but lives in Crumlin (Leah Farrell/

She has been billed by many as the 'one to watch' within the ranks of Sinn Fein.

When Louise O'Reilly beat outgoing Health Minister and Fine Gael deputy leader James Reilly to a seat in the constituency of Fingal in North Dublin last month, many applauded.

Sinn Fein hierarchy appeared to recognise the potential in the young woman - even though she was not a sitting TD, she represented the party in a number of high-profile radio and TV programmes prior to the election.

However, some people may be surprised to learn Deputy O'Reilly does not live in the Fingal area - she lives 19km away in Crumlin in the constituency of Dublin South Central.

For Louise to get to Fingal, she has to travel through two other electoral areas.

However, the newly appointed deputy told the Herald last night that she does intend on relocating to Fingal.

"I am planning on moving to Fingal. The timeline of the move will take into consideration a number of factors, including my family," she said in a statement issued through the party's press office.


In the meantime, her average commute between Crumlin and Fingal will be at least 40 minutes if she travels through the city centre.

The alternative is to take the M50 - which would add 10km to her journey but take 10 minutes off it.

Fingal is one the largest constituencies in Dublin, with the five-seater stretching as far as Balbriggan - nearly 40km from her home.

Also elected to the same constituency was Fine Gael's Alan Farrell.

He said that, while it was not vital that a candidate live in their constituency, it would be "an advantage".

"The decision is made now, and the people have decided who they want to represent them. They knew the candidates on offer and they made their choices," he said.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that O'Reilly's car was stolen from outside her Crumlin home as she was celebrating her victory in Fingal.

The 14D registered Audi A4 was robbed in the middle of the night.

It is not known if Louise or her family were at home when the incident occurred.

"It's an awful thing to happen to her after the good news of her winning the election," said a source.

O'Reilly confirmed to The Herald through a spokeswoman that the car had indeed been stolen.

She was one of the 23 successful Sinn Fein candidates in the recent General Election.

Workers' rights and campaigning against inequality have been two issues she has highlighted in the past.

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