Voters in Louth will have 15 candidates to choose from when they go to the polls on February 8 after the deadline for nominations passed on Wednesday afternoon.
Four non-party candidates help make up the 15-strong list released this afternoon. They will all compete for just five seats in the constituency. Sitting TDs Imelda Munster (Sinn Fein), Fergus O’Dowd (Fine Gael), Declan Breathnach (Fianna Fail) and Peter Fitzpatrick are all running for re-election as is widely known.
Louth County councillors Ruairi O Murchu (Sinn Fein), John McGahon (Fine Gael) and James Byrne (Fianna Fail) make up the tickets of their respective parties. Each man is running for Dáil Éireann for the very first time. Of the trio, Dundalk Municipal District cathaoirleach McGahon, 29, is the most experienced public representative having sat on Louth County Council for the last five years.
O Murchu was co-opted onto the council in 2017 while Byrne, son of the late Tommy Byrne and brother of Thomas Byrne TD, was elected to Drogheda Borough Council in May 2019.
Two other female candidates join Munster on the ballot in Louth. Community organiser Topanga Bird of Hughes Park, Dundalk and Audrey Fergus from Point Road in the town are also running. Bird is an Independent candidate while Fergus represents Solidarity – People Before Profit.
Labour Senator Ged Nash was the first candidate to announce his intention to run again back in April 2017. The Drogheda man and former Minister for Minister for Business and Employment is joined on the ballot by former Louth County councillor Mark Dearey of the Green Party. He did not stand for re-election in 2019 but is back in politics. He was proposed by his party colleague Marianne Butler.
WHO IS RUNNING IN 2020?
Here’s a quick at-a-glance look at who you have to choose from in Election 2020.
Renua Ireland and the Irish Freedom Party are represented on the ballot by Eamon Sweeney and Cathal O Murchu. Elsewhere, Drogheda man David Bradley is running as a non-party candidate, as is Ardee’s Albert Byrne. Both Sweeney and Byrne ran unsuccessful campaigns in last year’s Local Elections.
Candidates are given a 24 hour grace period to withdraw their nomination.