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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 20 August, 2019

A barista, a receptionist ... a hunger-striker: Here's who ELSE is on the ballot in Dublin South West

If you live there, you’ll have seen the posters for all the main candidates… Here are some of the less well-known additions to the ballot.

THE MAIN DÁIL parties hoping to secure another seat in Leinster House wrapped up their nomination process in Dublin South West at the end of last month, with the selection of Councillor Cathal King to contest the vote on behalf of Sinn Féin.

King, now considered the front-runner to take MEP Brian Hayes’ vacant seat, is joined in the contest by Senator Cáit Keane of Fine Gael, Councillor John Lahart of Fianna Fáil, and Terenure councillor Pamela Kearns, of Labour.

Amongst the other well-known names, former MEP Paul Murphy is campaigning under the Anti-Austerity Alliance banner. He faces competition for the left-wing vote from Nicky Coules of People Before Profit, a retired plumber and recently-elected councillor.

For the Greens, Francis Duffy — a councillor and architect — will be hoping to build on his recent local election success.

That’s seven names from groups you’ll have heard of… But there are still another four people on the list…

So who are they? And why are they running for election?

[Dublin County Returning Officer]

The non-party candidates

Ronan McMahon, a former Fine Gael member who was elected to South Dublin County Council in May after parting ways with the organisation, is perhaps the best-known name locally.

The Tallaght man has been running Snap Printing on the Belgard Road for the last 21 years. His father, Larry McMahon, served as a TD and senator in the 1970s and 80s.

“My number one priority from a national point of view would be employment,” McMahon told

“I feel Dublin South West has been a little bit neglected in terms of inward investment, so I’d work on a local level to get companies back into the area.

Ronan McMahon.

“One way I would work on a national level would be to put money back into people’s pockets,” McMahon said, stressing that he was concerned water charges could have a negative effect on the overall economy next year, and “push the county back into recession”.

The latest odds from Paddy Power put McMahon on 10 to 1 to gain the seat — in third place, just behind ex-MEP Murphy.

He’s promised to be a “thorn in the side” of Fine Gael, if elected to the Dáil.

Declan Burke.

Staying in the Tallaght area, local graduate Declan Burke has also thrown his hat in the ring for the contest in recent days.

The 21-year-old, who recently finished a BA in journalism at Griffith College, is running as a ‘People’s Contract’ candidate — meaning he intends to seek a consensus from constituents on each major issue he’s faced with.

“That won’t mean knocking on every single door every time there’s a Dáil vote,” Burke noted. He simply intends to “uphold the views of voters ahead of my own”.

If elected, he’ll conduct regular polls and hold public forums in order to stay in contact with constituents, he said.

Essentially I want to push the Government and put pressure on the Government to stop the attacks they have implemented on hard-working people.

Burke, who also ran for election in May’s local authority vote, is currently working as a barista in a city centre deli.

Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland ... Tony Rochford

Further down the ballot, Meath-based builder and anti-austerity campaigner Tony Rochford is also appealing for votes.

The Trim man came to national prominence last summer after he mounted a three-week long hunger strike outside the Dáil in opposition to the property tax.

Rochford hadn’t responded to’s request for phone interview by the time this article was filed last evening (but we’ll update the piece later if he does).

Finally, Colm O’Keeffe, listed as a receptionist from Templeogue, completes the eleven-person list of names on the ballot…

We did a call-around of candidates and other political activists in the area yesterday, but,  - aside from his name and address – no-one seems to know anything else about him. Curiously for someone running for public office in 2014, he doesn’t appear to have any web footprint either.

Read: It’s on… All the main parties have now picked their hopefuls in the battle for Dublin SW

Read: Here’s when by-elections for two empty Dáil seats are set to take place

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