Former Tanaiste Mary Coughlan
In an amazing feat of collective amnesia last night on TV3′s popular Vincent Browne Show, not one single member of the five member panel, including the current Fianna Fáil health spokesperson, Billy Kelleher could remember that former Donegal Tanaiste Mary Coughlan was the last Fianna Fail Health Minister. Read more
Mary Coughlan was probably the biggest casualty in Friday's General election heave against Fianna Fail
Tanaiste Mary Coughlan was the biggest casualty of the mass heave against Fianna Fail in Friday’s General election.
She lost her seat to Independent Thomas Pringle, in one of the many upsets that have occurred throughout Ireland in the last 48 hours.
In her home constituency of Donegal south west, Pearse Doherty of Sinn Fein topped the poll with a massive 33% of first preferences, while veteran Fine Gael TD, Dinny McGinley took the second seat.
In the end, even Fianna Fail running mate Brian O’Domhnaill passed her in terms of votes, in what was a dramatic day at the count centre, in the St John Bosco count centre in Donegal Town.
She spoke briefly to reporters as she left the centre in teh late evening and while she was not conceding defeat, the writing was already on the wall and the amazing performance of Cllr Thomas Pringle was still been analysed.
Pringle benefitted with transfers from all quarters, including Doherty’s surplus of some 3,000 votes and when another Independent Stephen McCahill was eliminated. While their star was rising elsewhere, Labour’s Frank McBrearty Jnr, had a disappointing day for the likely coalition partners of Fine Gael in the weeks ahead.
Tanaiste Mary Coughlan
In a statement that was issued just after midnight last night, Tanaiste Mary Coughlan said that she had every intention of contesting the Donegal south west constituency for one of the three seats.
In a short, terse and brief announcement, the statement reads:
“The Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan TD, has tonight rubbished speculation that she will not be contesting the forthcoming General Election.
“The Tánaiste was ratified as a candidate in Donegal South West at convention held in Glenties on January 9th last and is fully focused on the campaign ahead.” Read more
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
Tanaiste Mary Coughlan
Tanaiste Mary Coughlan this evening declared that she was not interested in seeking the leadership of Fianna Fail at this time.
She said that she expected other potential leaders to emerge in the coming hours, other than those who have already declared. These include former Foreign Affairs Minister Michael Martin, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan and Minister for Social Protection, Eamon O’Cuiv.
Once the darling girl of Fianna Fail, her star began to wane when, as Minister for Employment, the Celtic Tiger came crashing down and she took a big hit in the popularity stakes. When appointed Tanaiste, many signalled that she could become the first female leader of Fianna Fail.
Having sided so publicly with Brian Cowen, it now appears she will pay the price politically and if she continues in political life, will have to hide in the long grass, until at least the end of the country’s current economic fiasco.
Speaking on RTE this evening, she refused to answer the question of who she would be supporting in the Fianna Fail leadership battle. A wise decision, Mary!
Taoiseach Brian Cowen addressing the Dail this afternoon as an anxious Tanaiste Mary Coughlan looks on.
Up here in the north west, it looks like Tanaiste and Minsiter for Education Mary Coughlan is running the country, after she was also given the title of Minister for Health and Children this afternoon by Taoiseach Brian Cowen.
It comes on the day that Taoiseach Brian Cowen finally announced the day of the next General election – March 11th 2011.
Ms Coughlan, as well as being the Irish Deputy Prime Minister will now have two senior ministerial roles. She replaces the ‘other Mary’, former Progressive Democrat leader, Mary Harney, who yesterday announced her resignation as Health Minister.
Ms Coughlan will also retain her current portfolio as Minister for Education. Read more
Tanaiste Mary Coughlan
The Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan, TD has approved funding to Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) in Donegal to purchase two separate parcels of land to allow for the future growth and expansion of the Institute.
Announcing the move on a visit to the Institute today, the Tánaiste said: ‘These acquisitions will transform the campus in LYIT.
“With a current student population of almost 3,000 and with a projected growth in enrolments of 25% by 2014/15, the need for additional lands has been a priority for the Institute for a number of years. 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
Tanaiste Mary Coughlan
The Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan T.D., has today welcomed news that €13,000 is to be made available to two animal welfare organisations in Donegal South West.
The “Animals in Need” organisation based at Claredon Drive in Donegal Town has been approved for €12,000 with the remaining €1,000 being allocated to the Donegal Donkey Sanctuary in Raphoe.
“This year has been a particularly busy one for those tireless groups which look after the welfare of surrendered and abandoned pets and animals. Read more
Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP and Tanaiste Mary Coughlan seem to have some residual issues to deal with this week
Donegal remained firmly at the top of the news agenda throughout Ireland this week after political events here could have a dramatic bearing on how long it is before the next general election.
The first indication that a week was a very long time in politics came with the announcement that former FF Minister and Donegal North east TD, Dr James McDaid had handed in his resignation to the Dail.
On Thursday we learned the Donegal south west by election, which has been in the pipeline for over 17 months, since Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP was elected to the European parliament in June of 2009, will now be held on Thursday November 25h, less than three weeks from now. Read more