This Friday we go to the polls and vote in the European and local elections.
In the European elections there are four seats in our new monster 15 county constituency of Midlands-North-West that includes Louth and stretches over to Galway.
The Louth candidates are outgoing MEP Mairead McGuinness, the Green Party’s Mark Dearey, who is also standing in the local elections, and independent Mark Fitzsimons.
The European constituencies have been reduced to three.
Running a European election campaign is always difficult, but when you have a constituency as big as half the country, it’s near impossible.
Unless you can talk about the Common Agriculture Policy you are likely to meet with blank faces.
This is where Mairead McGuinness - who is topping the opinion polls at 21 per cent - is likely to stand out. She has the experience and the expertise, particularly in agriculture. The local elec
tions is something of a new scene also. The abolition of Dundalk Town Council, and Ardee and Drogheda means that the number of seats has risen from 26 to 29.
But the abolition of Dundalk and Ardee town councils means that a total of 21 town council seats are gone.
The candidate: Dundalk-Carlingford: Edel Corrigan (Sinn Fein), Mark Dearey (Green Party), Sylwia Golebiewska-Jakubas, Goss (Ind), Conor Keelan (Fianna fail), Sean Kelly (Fianna Fail), Jim Loughran (Sinn Fein), Luke Martin (Ind), John McGahon (Fine Gael), Martin Murnaghan (Fine Gael), Eamonn O’Boyle (Ind), JJ Quigley (Sinn Fein), Jim Ryan (Ind), Peter Savage (Fianna Fail), Syd Smith (People Before Profit Alliance).
Dundalk-South: Sean Bellew (Ind), Declan Breathnach (Fianna Fail), Marianne Butler (Green Party), Maria Doyle (Fine Gael), Stephen Egan (Fianna Fail), Linus English (Fine Gael), Mark Fitzsimmons (Ind), Jennifer Green (Sinn Fein), Paddy Malone (Fine Gael), Kevin Meenan (Sinn Fein), Oliver Morgan (Ind), Eamonn O’Boyle (Ind), Brian O’Neill (Ind), Tomas Sharkey (Sinn Fein), Maeve Yore (Ind).
Ardee: Kevin Bailey (Ind), Hugh Conlon (Ind), Tom Cunningham (Sinn Fein), Michael Farrelly (Ind), Pat Greene (Direct Democracy Ireland), Gavan Kierans (Labour Party), Jim Lennon (Fine Gael), Jim Levins (Ind), Fintan Malone (Fianna Fail), Colm Markey (Fine Gael), Fred Matthews (Ind), Finnan McCoy (Fine Gael), Pearse McGeough (Sinn Fein), Berniece McKeever (Ind), Dolores Minogue (Fine Gael), Liam Reilly (Fianna Fail), Jim Tenanty (Ind), Tomas Wilkinson (Fianna Fail).