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Confirmed: There are going to be two by-elections on the 23 May

Voters in Dublin West and Longford-Westmeath will have an extra ballot paper later this month.

Eamon Gilmore and Enda Kenny will be hoping for by-election success on 23 May.
Eamon Gilmore and Enda Kenny will be hoping for by-election success on 23 May.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

TWO DÁIL BY-ELECTIONS will be held on the same day as the local and European elections later this month.

The Dáil agreed to holding the by-elections in Dublin West and Longford Westmeath on 23 May without a vote this afternoon.

The vacancy in Dublin-West, the second in this Dáil term, arises out of the resignation of independent TD Patrick Nulty over inappropriate messages he sent to a teenage girl.

While in Longford Westmeath, the death of Fine Gael TD Nicky McFadden means a vote must be held. Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore paid tribute to McFadden in the chamber today.

He also offered sympathies to former party colleague Patrick Nulty whose father died recently, noting that it should not be forgotten that politics is “a human business”.

Gilmore and Labour are unlikely to take a seat in either election but will field candidates in both. Fine Gael will be hoping to pull off a rare government success in by-elections and win one if not two seats.

In Dublin West, Fine Gael is likely to run senator and former Olympian Eamonn Coghlan.

Fianna Fáil has selected local councillor David McGuinness. The Socialist Party is also running a local councillor, Ruth Coppinger.

Labour is likely to run local councillor Mary McCamley and Sinn Féin will run Paul Donnelly, who ran in the general election and the by-election three years ago.

The Green Party will pick local activist Roderic O’Gorman. Among the independent candidates are David Hall, the prominent mortgage arrears campaigner.

In Longford-Westmeath, Nicky McFadden’s sister, Gabrielle, will be the Fine Gael nominee. Fianna Fáil is running Aengus O’Rourke, son of former minister Mary O’Rourke.

Labour could run local councillor Denis Leonard while Sinn Féin will run Paul Hogan.

Among the possible independent candidates, local councillor Kevin Moran is being strongly tipped to run having picked up over 6 per cent of first preference votes in 2011.

Read more: Here’s why most political parties aren’t ready for the two by-elections happening next month

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Hugh O'Connell

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