WITH just under three weeks to go to Election Day, Cork South West has 11 candidates so far declared.
And almost half of those running are women – a remarkable change from the 2011 campaign which saw 13 men, and no women at all, running in the constituency.
There has never been a woman returned to the Dail for Cork South West.
The three sitting TDs – Jim Daly (FG), Noel Harrington (FG) and Michael McCarthy (Lab) have been joined by four sitting councillors, namely Alan Coleman (Ind), Michael Collins (Ind), Margaret Murphy O’Mahony (the only FF candidate) and Sinn Fein’s Rachel McCarthy.
There is also a Green candidate (Johnny O’Mahony), an autism and carers’ advocate (Fiona O’Leary), a Flood candidate (Gillian Powell) and in the last few days, a Catholic Democrats party member (Theresa Heaney) joined the race.
Voting day, on February 26th, will mean the counting of votes will take place over the last weekend of the month.
Bandon looks likely to be a royal battleground with a lot of town-based candidates in the running, including Rachel McCarthy, Gillian Powell, and Margaret Murphy O’Mahony and with Cllr Alan Coleman from Riverstick having a high profile campaign and office in Bandon town centre.