During the past 72 hours, The Clare Herald has been inviting members of the public to cast their vote on who they would like to see represent the Clare Constituency at Dáil Éireann following the next General Election, which takes place on Friday 26th February 2016.
As Clare is a 4-seat Constituency, poll participants were invited to vote for up to 4 of their preferred candidates. 3,057 votes were cast by 1,409 voters.
The below image illustrates the votes received by all 16 candidates.
MEET THE CANDIDATES (sorted alphabetically):
BREEN, PAT (FG) – Pat Breen has been a Fine Gael TD for Clare since 2002. The former Clare County Councillor from Ballynacally is the Chairman of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee and is deputy leader of the Irish Delegation to the Council of Europe.
CAHILL, RICHARD (IND) – Richard Cahill from Sixmilebridge has been an active campaigner for community services in Clare for the past 30 years. He ran for election to the European Parliament in 2014 polling approximately 10,000 1st preference votes in Clare.
CAREY, JOE (FG) – Joe Carey from Clarecastle was a member of Clare County Council prior (1997-2007) to his election as a TD for Clare in 2007, a position he has held since. In 2011, he was appointed as Assistant Government Chief Whip.
COLLERAN-MOLLOY, CLARE (FF) – Claire Colleran Molloy from Quin was elected as a County Councillor in 2014. She was elected to Clare County Council in 2014 and was added to the Fianna Fáil party ticket alongside Timmy Dooley and Michael McDonagh in late 2015.
DOOLEY, TIMMY (FF) – Timmy Dooley from Mountshannon was elected to Dáil Éireann in 2007 having previously served as a Senator. He is Fianna Fáil’s Transport spokesperson and serves as one of 4 Vice-Presidents of the party as elected by the members at the 73rd Árd Fheis.
HAKIZIMANA, ANDRÉ SIMO (IND) – André Sibo Hakizimana is one of two late additions to the ticket in Clare. He is an economic policy consultant living in Ennis and is running as an Independent candidate. It is his first foray into politics in the Banner County.
HOWARD, MARY (FG) – Former Ennis Town Councillor and sitting Clare County Councillor, Mary Howard from Ennis was added to the Fine Gael ticket in early January. The Deputy Mayor of Ennis is the daughter of long-serving Senator Michael Howard.
LYNCH, IAN (IND) – Ian Lynch was elected as a Member of Clare County Council for the first time in 2014. He is a former member of Fine Gael and Kilrush Town Council. He is employed by L&M Keating Ltd, the largest civil contractors in Clare, as a Health, Safety, Environment & Quality Manager.
MCDONAGH, MICHAEL (FF) – Michael McDonagh from Miltown Malbay was selected as a Fianna Fáil candidate at the party convention in Ennis. He joins Timmy Dooley on the Party ticket. McDonagh is a former Chairman of the Clare County Board and is a former member of An Garda Síochána. He is contesting a General Election for the first time.
MCNAMARA, MICHAEL (LAB) – Michael McNamara from Scarriff is seeking re-election to Dáil Éireann for the first time having been elected in 2011. McNamara has previously worked as a human rights lawyer with the OSCE in Eastern Europe and with the UN in Afghanistan before returning to Ireland to run a family farm and practice at the Bar.
MORAN, NOELEEN (SF) – Noeleen Moran from Ballyvaughan narrowly lost in her bid to be elected to Clare County Council in 2014 despite securing more than 1,000 first preference votes. She currently serves as Sinn Féin County Secretary and is Chairperson of her local Cumann in North Clare.
MULQUEEN, DERMOT (IND) – Dermot ‘President’ Mulqueen is one of two late additions to the ticket in Clare. The Ennis based candidate has claimed on his Facebook page that he will be demanding Direct Democracy and reinstate48.ie if elected.
NORTON, ANN (IND) – Ann Norton from Barefield is a sitting Clare County Councillor having being elected from the Ennis Electoral Area for the first time in 2014. Norton has voluntarily managed the Clare Crusaders Children’s Clinic, which caters for more than 400 children with disabilities, for the past 12 years having previously operated a business in Ennis.
O’BRIEN, NIAMH (FN) – Niamh O’Brien O’Callaghans Mills describes herself as a ‘an Activist, not a politician!’. She contested the 2014 Local Election on behalf of the Fís Nua Party in the Killaloe Electoral Area and was eliminated despite securing 731 votes.
SMITH, FERGAL (G) – Fergal Smith is a former Irish surf champion and runs the community garden at Moy, near Lahinch. Smith is representing the Green Party which was represented by former Party member Brian Meaney in the last election. This is his first time contesting the General Election.