Workers Party select candidate for Cork North Central by-election 

Workers Party select candidate for Cork North Central by-election 
Ballots are sorted at the Ireland South constituency and local election count in Nemo Rangers Sports Centre, Cork. Fianna Fáil's Billy Kelleher was elected, leaving his seat in the Cork North Central Dáil constituency vacant.Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Writs for the four by-elections are to be moved later this week.

Motions regarding the by-elections in Cork North Central, Dublin Fingal, Dublin Mid-West and Wexford are penciled in on the Dáil schedule for Thursday November 7th.

There has been much speculation about the date the by-election will be held, but it’s now thought that polling day will be Friday November 29th.

It comes after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar last week decided not to call a pre-Christmas general election, saying that without clear certainty over Brexit it would not be a good idea to go to the polls.

Eight candidates have now declared themselves in the running in the Cork North Central ward.

They are: Councillor Thomas Gould (Sinn Féin), Councillor Fiona Ryan (Solidarity), Councillor John Maher (Labour Party), Councillor Pádraig O’Sullivan (Fianna Fáil), Senator Colm Burke (Fine Gael), Councillor Oliver Moran (Green Party), and Sinéad Hapin (Social Democrats).

The eighth candidate, the Workers' Party's James Coughlan has today been confirmed as in the race.

He was the party’s candidate in the Cork North West ward of the city in the 2014 local elections.

James Coughlan is a general operative employed in the Cleansing Department of Cork City Council and is Vice-Chairman of the Cork Local Authority Branch of SIPTU.

He has lived on the Northside of Cork city all his life, and has been a member of the Workers’ Party since 1994.

On his selection Mr Coughlan said: “Cork North Central has been neglected by successive governments for many years. Despite being one of the most working-class constituencies in the country it is represented by overwhelmingly right-wing TDs from parties which have failed utterly to deal with the crises in housing, health and education.

“A vote for the Workers’ Party is a vote for public housing and for policies that favour working people and their families over ruthless landlords and developers. Capitalism is the root of homelessness, poverty and disadvantage and is destroying lives in this constituency. There must be a fight-back against austerity and its creators and I intend to lead that fight-back in this election,” he added.

The so-far eight candidates declared are vying for the Cork North Central seat left vacant by Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher, following his election to the European Parliament in May.

The constituency takes in parts of the former Cork City and Cork Mid constituencies, and was first used at the 1981 general election as a five-seat constituency.

It was reduced to four seats for the 2007 general election.

Since the creation of the constituency Fianna Fáil have always held at least one seat there, so all eyes will be on Councillor Pádraig O’Sullivan who was chosen by the party to run.

The County Councillor beat City Councillors Ken O’Flynn and Tony Fitzgerald to get his name on the ticket at the selection convention in August.

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