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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 24 October, 2014

Can you name one of your local MEPs? 91 per cent of Dubliners can’t

One of those surveyed answered sincerely that they believed Angela Merkel was their MEP.

Gay Mitchell was the most identified MEP but still most people couldn't name him or Dublin's two other MEPs.
Gay Mitchell was the most identified MEP but still most people couldn't name him or Dublin's two other MEPs.
Image: Photocall Ireland

MORE THAN 90 per cent of people in Dublin can’t name any one of their three MEPs, according to a survey carried out by a Fine Gael senator.

The survey of over 300 people in Dublin city centre, on behalf of Catherine Noone, found that only 9 per cent could name one of their Members of the Parliament with Fine Gael’s Gay Mitchell the most recognised of the three.

Only two per cent of those surveyed could name two MEPs, while just one per cent able to name all three for the Dublin region – the outgoing Mitchell, Labour’s Emer Costello and the Socialist Party’s Paul Murphy.

The full breakdown shows that 6.65 per cent of those surveyed identified Mitchell with Murphy – identified by 3.3 per cent and Costello identified by just under 3 per cent.

One person surveyed answered sincerely that they believed German chancellor Angela Merkel was an MEP.

Noone said the results highlight a “dangerous disconnect” between MEPs in Dublin and their electorate ahead of next year’s elections for the European Parliament.

“Awareness of the functions and roles carried out by MEPs needs to be raised,” she said.

Noone, who has been among those speculated abut as a possible Fine Gael candidate in Dublin, said that co-opting of party members into vacant seats has contributed to the lack of awareness among people about who their MEP is.

In Dublin, two of the three MEPs were co-opted with Costello replacing Pronsias De Rossa when he resigned in February 2012, while Murphy replaced Joe Higgins after he was elected to the Dáil in 2011.

Are you based outside of Dublin? Can you name your local MEP? Without Googling it, let us know in the comments…

Read TheJournal.ie’s full coverage of the European elections >

Read: Dublin a three-seater in Ireland’s new-look European constituency map

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