Voters in the Cork North Central constituency are set to go to the polls on Friday November 29th.
Writs for the four by-elections in Cork, as well as Dublin Fingal, Dublin Mid-West and Wexford were formally moved in the Dáil on Thursday afternoon.
Party chief whip for Fianna Fáil Michael Moynihan formally unveiled the by-election for Cork North Central.
Nine candidates have now been declared in the running for the seat vacated by now MEP Billy Kelleher.
The latest candidate to enter the race is Aontú’s Finian Toomey who is from Blarney. Party leader Peader Tóibín made the announcement on Twitter on Thursday afternoon.
The Fianna Fáil party has always held a seat in the Cork North Central constituency since it was first used in the 1981 General Election, meaning all eyes will be on Fianna Fáil’s Pádraig O’Sullivan, who will be hoping to keep that trend going.
However, he will be up against at least eight other candidates, many of whom have vast political experience.
Fine Gael Senator Colm Burke and Sinn Féin Councillor Thomas Gould are both expected to poll well. Green Party Councillor Oliver Moran, Labour Councillor John Maher, and Solidarity Councillor Fiona Ryan are the other local representatives in the running, while Social Democrats Sinéad Halpin, Workers’ Party’s James Coughlan, and Aontú’s Finian Toomey have also put their names forward.
Now that the writ has been moved, the Minister must publish a notice of election. Nominations must be made by 12 noon on the 7th day after the issue of the writ by the Dáil.
A Dáil by-election in Ireland must be held within six months of a vacancy occurring.
The by-election is necessary to fill MEP Billy Kelleher’s seat, after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar chose not to call a pre-Christmas General Election. That now seems likely to take place next May.