Donegal south west Deputy Dinny McGinley
By Michael McHugh
There have been significant changes in the structure of our national parliament over the last number of days. Fianna Fáil have been decimated, while Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Fein have been the big winners.
That picture has been reciprocated in Donegal but not in the same order. In terms of the big chiefs with an ear to the next government cabinet, veteran Fine Gael Deputy Dinny McGinley (tipped for a Ministry or Ceann Comhairle position) and Joe McHugh will be the county’s flag bearers. Read more
Pearse Doherty casting his vote in Ard Scoil Mhuire, Bunbeg.
Coming up to tea time on the day of the Irish General election, the turn out in Cloughaneely is reported to be 36%, while the Rosses is around 30% in the constituency of Donegal south west.
The voting has been helped by good weather. MEP Pat the Cope Gallagher who was on his way to Carrick said that voting in his constituency had been fairly brisk and steady all day.
He predicted that the turnout could be in the high sixties, eclipsing the November bye election turnout of 57.4%.
Ballyshannon has reported a turnout of 27% with polling high in the Rossnowlagh area.
Two other turnout figures to hand are Loughanure with aturnout of 32.5% and Annagry with a turnout of 28.56% (Figures from about 30 minutes ago).
There have been conflicting reports of the number of young people voting, but many students are not expected to return home from college from around the country until later this evening. They have until 10pm to cast their vote in one of the most important elections in modern Irish history.
The biggest battles in the two Donegal constituencies will be for the third and final seat. It is here where Fianna Fáil will be fighting for their political survival.
Labour Education spokesperson Ruari Quinn has slated the Tanaiste Mary Coughlan's announcement as a cynical electoral stunt
Donegal based Tanaiste Mary Coughlan’s announcement that 400 projects are to be given the green light under the school building project, represents the first cynical campaign promise in an election that hasn’t even been called yet, Labour party’s Education spokesperson Ruairi Quinn has said.
“The days of making such grandiose promises to hundreds of communities around the country, in the run-up to an election, is the politics of yesteryear, and should, like the political culture of a morally bankrupt Fianna Fail, be consigned to the dustbin of history,” he said. Read more
Cllr Frank McBrearty Jnr
Arising from recent media speculation, The Irish Labour party say they want to reiterate that Cllr. Frank McBrearty is the sole candidate for the Party in the Donegal South West constituency.
While Mr McBrearty increased the Labour vote at the November bye-election, it was felt that outbursts in the County Council chamber against the County manager, further comments on Highland radio and his often pugnacious approach to the general handling of media interviews, had not been, what many had expected.
It also follows the claims by Independent Donegal Cllr Thomas Pringle that he was offered a Seanad seat by a senior member of the Labour party, if he would run for them in Donegal south west – this after Cllr McBrearty was selected to run for them in Donegal south west. Cllr Pringle said that the alleged offer was strange in the context of Labour wanting to abolish the Seanad.
However today the party hit back: Read more
Tanaiste Mary Coughlan and Senator Brian O'Domhnaill at yesterday's selection convention
Tanaiste and Donegal south west TD Mary Coughlan believes she has “at least another 20 years” in her, after she was selected to contest a seat in Donegal south west at a hastily arranged Fianna Fail selection convention in Glenties yesterday afternoon.
She will be joined on the general election ticket by Senator Brian O’Domhnaill, whose first foray into national politics saw him soundly defeated last November in the Donegal south west bye-election, forced by Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty through the Irish courts.
Coughlan, who was appointed Brian Cowen’s first lieutantant after he replaced Bertie Ahern as Taoiseach gave a fighting talk, in contrast to her many government Cabinet colleagues, who have already indicated that they will not be contesting the next general election, for a variety of reasons. Read more
Constituency of Donegal south west marked in green
ISLANDERS OFF Donegal voted yesterday in the Donegal South West byelection, three days before mainlanders cast their votes, writes Paddy Clancy.
There were 754 ballot papers carried to polling boxes in Arranmore, Tory, Inishbofin, Inishfree and Gola, but islanders said quite a number of people had emigrated in recent years and were not there to vote.
Ferries and small boats carried 521 papers to two polling booths on Arranmore, 23 on Gola and seven to Inishfree. Read more