19 February 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A total of fifteen candidates are placing themselves before the electorate of Cavan/Monaghan in the February 26 General Election.

The final list of contenders was finalised last week when the deadline for nominations to be handed in to Returning Officer Joe Smith at Cavan Courthouse was reached.

One-third of the field are of Independent or non-party designation, with outgoing TD Sean Conlan, who recanted his Fine Gael affiliation late last year over the EirGrid electricity interconnector issue, being joined on the ballot paper by Mary Smyth, who is running on a strong pro-life platform; Garda whistleblower John Wilson, the Right2Change-affiliated Emmett Smith and the well-known charity campaigner Jimmy Mee.

Direct Democracy Ireland has two hopefuls in the field, Aoife O’Connell and Michael McDermott, while Micheál Callaghan is hoping to contribute to a renaissance for the Green Party on the national electoral stage.

The traditional “big three” parties of the Cavan/Monaghan political narrative make up the rest of the choice on offer to the voter.

Deputy Conlan’s defection leaves Fine Gael with their outgoing Dáil representatives, Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys in the Monaghan end of the constituency and Joe O’Reilly in Cavan.

Sinn Féin are also fielding established names in national politics with sitting TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asking for the No 1s in Co Monaghan and Senator Kathryn O’Reilly seeking the first preferences in Co Cavan.

The long agonised over Fianna Fáil ticket in the constituency is made up of the outgoing TD Brendan Smith, his fellow Cavan contender Co Councillor Niamh Smyth, and the…

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