IT’S probably safe to say not to expect too much upsets in the Cork North West Constituency.
But, then again politics is a funny game so best not to count any chickens just yet.This constituency is one of the largest in the country and stretches from Rockchapel down to the border of the Cork South West constituency, taking in parts of Ballineen and Newcestown, and as far east as Ballincollig.
Last time around, Fine Gael claimed two seats and Fianna Fáil one, in this three-seater. Now there are 13 candidates eyeing the prize, with five independents. Labour isn’t running a candidate, after Martin Coughlan failed to secure a seat in 2011.
Sitting Fine Gael TDs Michael Creed and Áine Collins are both contesting, along with sitting Fianna Fáil TD Michael Moynihan.
Fianna Fáíl are running two candidates – Cllr Aindrias Moynihan is certainly in with a chance of polling well, but it’s unlikely that the party would get two seats in this constituency. In 2011, Macroom-based TD Michael Creed topped the poll, getting 22% of the vote and it’s expected that he will repeat this.
Fianna Fáil’s Michael Moynihan is also expected to poll well as he secured 19.4% of the vote in 2011. Áine Collins secured the third seat and became the first woman TD to be elected in this constituency.
However, many observers are guessing Áine Collins’ seat could be up for grabs and independent County Mayor John Paul O’Shea is being tipped to steal it. Outsiders for the third seat could be Ballyhea protester, Diarmuid O’Flynn, who is running as an Independent and he could poll well in the northern end of the constituency.
The Communist Party of Ireland are running their only candidate, Michael O’Donnell, here, and Renua have selected Jason Fitzgerald to run, but neither are expected to create any major shake-up.