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Mary Hanafin is number one on Barry Andrews' replacement list. Sam Boal/
super subs

The Euro subs who could become MEPs without being elected

These people are on the candidates’ replacement lists.

THE POTENTIAL REPLACEMENTS for the MEP candidates running in next week’s election include other candidates, former ministers and several spouses.

In total, there are 59 candidates running for 13 seats across three constituencies in the Republic of Ireland.

As part of the nominations process, candidates are required to submit a list of replacements should they resign from office or even die during their term.

An example of this occurred in 2011 when Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party was elected to the Dáil and had to resign his Dublin MEP seat. His seat was taken by Paul Murphy, who was the first replacement on the Socialist Party’s replacement list in Dublin.

Parties who are running a number of candidates in a constituency can submit a replacement list that applies to each of their candidates.

So who is on the replacement lists in the three constituencies? Here are some notable names.


In the capital, Barry Andrews’ three replacements are the Fianna Fáilers who he competed against to be the party’s nominee in Dublin. Namely, Mary Hanafin, Tiernan Brady and Conor Lenihan.

For Fine Gael, candidates Mark Durkan and Frances Fitzgerald both feature on the replacement list should one not be elected. Also on the Fine Gael list are two members of the Oireachtas, Alan Farrell TD and Senator Neale Richmond.

Sinn Féin’s list for Lynn Boylan includes two current members of the Oireachtas, Senators Máire Devine and Fintan Warfield as well as former Dublin mayor Míchéal MacDonncha.

Labour has two substitutes for Alex White, including Hannah Deasy, the communications director of the Institute of International and European Affairs. 

The Green Party’s list for candidate Ciarán Cuffe has five people, and includes sitting councillors such as Roderic O’Gorman and David Healy.

Clare Daly of Independents 4 Change has five people including Micheál Kelliher, who is the first Deaf person to run for election in Ireland.

For Gary Gannon and the Social Democrats, Councillor Cian O’Callaghan is the first person on a replacement list that also contains journalist Philip O’Connor, who had sought to run for the party.

Senator Alice-Mary Higgins has three other Senators on her replacement list (Lynn Ruane, Frances Black and John Dolan) as well as Maynooth University academic Rory Hearne.

Gemma O’Doherty’s replacement would be former MEP Kathy Sinnott, who is also listed as a replacement for Theresa Heaney and Liam Minehan in Ireland South.

Speaking of…

Ireland South

In this constituency Fianna Fáil have two candidates, Malcolm Byrne and Billy Kelleher.

They both feature on the party’s replacement list along with two members of the Oireachtas, John McGuinness TD and Senator Ned O’Sullivan.

For Fine Gael, TDs Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy and Dara Murphy could also be co-opted to the European Parliament after both being listed as replacements.

There are three substitutes for Labour’s Sheila Nunan, including UCC law lecturer Declan Walsh. 

Former mayor of Kilkenny Malcolm Noonan is on the replacement list for Green Party candidate Grace O’Sullivan.

Independent Paddy Fitzgerald has listed two subs, William Fitzgerald and Patrick Fitzgerald.

He is one of numerous candidates to list relations as their replacement.

Midlands North-West

One such example is Peter Casey, who lists his wife Helen Casey as his first replacement.

As a presidential candidate last year, Casey said he would nominate his wife to be on the Council of State and he has now nominated her to take his place as an MEP should he step down. has asked each candidate whether or not they will guarantee to sit their entire term or whether they may, for example, stand in Dáil elections when they happen.

Casey has previously expressed an interest in running for the Dáil.

Another candidate who may have general election intentions is Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy, who was elected to an MEP seat in 2014 and is seeking reelection.

Should he be elected and subsequently step down, Darren O’Rourke is top of his replacement list.

O’Rourke is a councillor who is running in the local elections and has been campaigning alongside Carthy.

Elsewhere in MNW other notable names can be seen on Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan’s replacement list. TDs Thomas Pringle and Catherine Connolly are listed as Flanagan’s subs while Fine Gael has Senators Gabrielle McFadden and Frank Feighan on its replacement list.

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