5 February 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard


WITH all the guessing and date deliberations over, Election 2016 is upon us.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny finally made the trip to Áras an Uachtaráin yesterday morning to have the 31st Dáil formally dissolved by President Michael D Higgins.

Polling day is Friday, February 26, with voting to take place between 7 am and 10 pm. The 32nd Dáil is scheduled to meet for the first time on Thursday, March 10.

To quote PJ Mara, the recently deceased Fianna Fáil master of political intrigue, it’s now “game on”!   What this means to the electorate of Cavan/Monaghan, apart from the procession of candidates beating a pathway to their doors, is presenting as an interesting prospect of lasting change to the manner in which they have been represented to date in the corridors of power.

The old combinations of 3/2 Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael or visa versa, depending on national sentiment, which gave way to the 2/2/1 of FF, FG, and Sinn Féin of recent years, will never again present themselves to the constituency.

This has been ensured by the reduction of the constituency to a four-seater, which casts the political cat well and truly among the pigeons of this part of rural Ulster

The political tapestry that this provides us with is in the main, predictable, with the fourth seat capable of adding the colour to the mix which has the potential, provided that the right set of circumstances prevail post-election, to bring Cavan/Monaghan tumbling to the forefront of political intrigue and negotiation, reminiscent of the Gregory/Healy Rae negotiations of previous years.

That the electorate will return at least one Fine Gael, one Fianna Fáil and one Sinn Féin contender appears a foregone conclusion. However, just who these individuals will be becomes the subject of some conjecture.

It appears relatively safe to guess that post….


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