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European elections

European Parliament Election: Your Midlands North-West Candidates

Get to know your candidates ahead of the vote on 7 June.

WITH JUST TWO weeks to go before the European Elections on June 7, The Journal has assembled a candidate database to help inform voters on who their candidates are.

A record number of 73 candidates are contesting a seat in the European Parliament from the three constituencies of Dublin, Midlands-North-West, and South.

Midlands-North-West has a total of five seats available, with 27 candidates running for election.

You can access our candidate database here. It is broken down by constituency and we have also asked every candidate which European Parliamentary grouping they would consider joining if they are elected. These groupings are important for the make up of the next parliament.

There is biographical details and a Q&A to help you decide which person you want representing you in Europe. 

If you’re living in Midlands North-West, here are your 27 candidates

Justin Barrett - National Party

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Originally from Tipperary, Justin Barrett started in politics as a member of Young Fine Gael but left in the early 1990s before taking up a position in the militant anti-abortion group Youth Defence. He ran unsuccessfully for an EU Parliament seat in 2004 and later founded the National Party in 2016. He is one of two men who claim to be the current leader of the ethno-nationalist party.

Niall BlaneyFianna Fáil

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Prior to entering politics, Niall Blaney was a civil engineering technician for Donegal County Council. He replaced his father as a TD and held the seat for Donegal North-East from 2002 to 2011. He was also co-chair of the British/Irish Parliamentary Assembly. He was elected as a Senator in 2020.

Anthony CahillThe Irish People

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Anthony Cahill is an engineer from Salthill in Galway.

Nina CarberryFine Gael

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Meath woman Nina Carberry is a retired champion jockey who has also appeared on a number of reality TV shows, including Dancing with the Stars and Ireland’s Fittest Family.

Peter Casey - Independent

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Peter Casey is an entrepreneur and businessman from Derry. He was a ‘dragon’ on the reality TV show Dragon’s Den and ran for the Irish presidency in 2018.

Lisa Chambers Fianna Fáil

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Lisa Chambers is a Fianna Fáil Senator and leader of Seanad Éireann. A former TD for Mayo, she was first elected to Castlebar Municipal District Council in 2014. She is the party’s spokesperson on foreign and European affairs and is chair of the Seanad Brexit Committee. Prior to entering politics, she was a barrister by profession.

Barry Cowen Fianna Fáil

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Barry Cowen has been a TD for the Laois-Offaly constituency since he was elected in 2020. He previously held a seat in the Dáil between 2011 and 2016. He was briefly Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine in 2020.

Luke ‘Ming’ FlanaganIndependent

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Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2014. He sits on the Committee on Budgetary Control and the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. He is part of The Left group in the EU Parliament.

Stephen GarlandIndependent

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Stephen Garland is an events manager and his company Ferdian Events is based in Barcelona, Spain. He is an advocate for the legalisation of medical cannabis.

Michelle Gildernew - Sinn Féin

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Michelle Gildernew is an MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, a position she has held since 2017, having previously held a seat from 2001 to 2015. Her work primarily focuses on implementing anti-poverty measures in rural communities. She was also Agriculture and Rural Development Minister from 2007 to 2011.

Rory Hearne - Social Democrats

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Rory Hearne is an Associate Professor in Social Policy at Maynooth University. He is the author of ‘Gaffs’, a book about the implications of the housing crisis for certain generations.

Charlotte KeenanIndependent

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Charlotte Keenan is a sports psychologist, songwriter and artist from Tullamore, Co Offaly.

Hermann Kelly - Irish Freedom Party

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Hermann Kelly has been a member of the Irish Freedom Party since its inception in 2018 and is the current party leader. Since 2021, he has worked as an assistant to Romanian MEP Cristian Terheș. He is the former Director of Communications for the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group at the European Parliament. He began his career as a secondary school teacher and journalist and also worked as a press officer for UK politician Nigel Farage.

Fergal Landy - Labour

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A newcomer to electoral politics, Fergal Landy is currently CEO of the Family Resource Centre National Forum, which represents family resource centres around the country. He has worked in social services for over 20 years, including as a social worker and a community development worker with the HSE. Originally from Sixmilebridge Co Clare, Landy currently lives in Oranmore/Maree, Co Galway with his wife and three children.

Chris MacManus Sinn Féin

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Chris MacManus has served as an MEP for the Midlands North-West constituency since 2020. He sits on the agriculture and rural development committee and is part of The Left group in the EU Parliament. He was previously a member of the Sligo Borough Council and Sligo County Council.

Margaret ‘”Alacoque” Maguire - Ireland First

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From Mullingar, Margaret “Alacoque” Maguire spent most of her life in the UK and is the vice president of the Ireland First party, which is headed by anti-immigration agitator Derek Blighe.

Saoirse McHugh - Independent

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Saoirse McHugh was a Green Party candidate for the EU Parliament elections in 2019 but was unsuccessful. She left the party in 2020 when it went into a coalition government with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

Ciaran Mullooly - Independent Ireland

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Ciaran Mullooly is a former RTÉ Midlands Correspondent. He currently works as a tourism activator for Longford County Council and is involved in community work in the South Longford area. He lives in Roscommon with his wife and three children.

Pauline O’Reilly - Green Party

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Pauline O’Reilly is a senator and the current chair of the Green Party. A qualified solicitor, she is the leader of the Green Party in the Seanad and has been since 2021.

Brian O’Boyle - People Before Profit – Solidarity

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Brian O’Boyle has been a member of People Before Profit for almost 20 years. He currently works as a lecturer of economics at Atlantic Technological University in Sligo and is the editor of the journal Irish Marxist Review. O’Boyle is the co-author of Tax Haven Ireland, Austerity Ireland, and Durkheim A Critical Introduction.

Daniel PocockIndependent

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Daniel Pocock in an Irish-Australian software engineer. He has worked for a number of banks and on 2021 founded the Software Freedom Institute, whose aim is to put humans “in charge of technology”.

James Reynolds - National Party

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James Reynolds is a farmer who served as chairman of the Longford branch of the Irish Farmers’ Association from 1999 to 2003. He was then the treasurer of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association until 2017. He co-founded the ethno-nationalist National Party in 2016 with Justin Barrett.

Michelle Smith - Independent

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Michelle Smith is an accountant from Ballinrobe, Co Mayo. A former member of Sinn Féin, she has been active in protests against asylum seekers accommodation in her area. 

Peadar Tóibín Aontú

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Peadar Tóibín has served as the leader of Aontú since 2019 and has been a TD for Westmeath since 2011. He used to be the Chair of the Committee on Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

Maria Walsh - Fine Gael

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Maria Walsh is a sitting MEP representing the Midlands North-West constituency and has been a member of the European Parliament since 2019. Born in Boston, the former Rose of Tralee is the youngest serving Irish MEP. She is a member of the European People’s Party group in parliament.

Gerry WatersIndependent

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Gerry Waters is a former general practitioner from Celbridge in Co Kildare. He refused to administer Covid-19 vaccines during the pandemic and was suspended by the Medical Council.

John Waters - Independent

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John Waters is a former Irish Times, Irish Independent and Hot Press journalist. He ran unsuccessfully in the 2020 general election for the Dun Laoghaire constituency as a member of Anti-Corruption Ireland, which was not a registered political party, meaning he appeared on the ballot as an independent. He and far-right activist Gemma O’Doherty took a legal challenge against Covid-19 lockdown measures, which was eventually dismissed by the Supreme Court.

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