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Dublin: 5°C Monday 18 January 2021

Childers will confirm constituency at the end of January as FF nominations open today

We’ll have to wait until the end of the month to find out where the former Labour MEP will be running in May’s elections.

Image: James Horan/Photocall Ireland

INDEPENDENT MEP NESSA Childers will announce which constituency she intends to contest May’s European elections in at the end of the month.

Having quit the Labour Party last year and with the constituency of Ireland East abolished, Childers faces a choice between running in three-seat Dublin or in the expanded four-seat Ireland South, which includes parts of her current base.

She said that her campaign is “at an advanced stage” but despite having made her mind up about where she will run she declined to say publicly which constituency it will be.

As the daughter of former Fianna Fáil president Erskine Childers and a former Green Party councillor who joined Labour in 2008 before quitting the party last year, Childers has a varied political past, but she insisted she will run as an independent in the European elections next year.

Childers will be one of a number of reasonably high-profile independent candidates running to take one of Ireland’s 11 seats in the European Parliament towards the end of May.

Senator Rónán Mullen will be running in the new and vast Midlands North West constituency which runs from Donegal down to Laois and Mayo across to Louth.

Peter Mathews could also run as an independent in Dublin, but he has fuelled speculation that he could run for Fianna Fáil which has opened nominations to be its candidate in the capital today.

Equality campaigner Tiernan Brady has already declared his intention to seek the nomination as has councillor Mary Fitzpatrick. Former senator Geraldine Feeney will also seek the Dublin nomination.

Last night, Brady called on all candidates in Dublin to pledge to serve a full five-year term if elected to one of the three seats representing the capital in the European parliament.

Two of the three MEPs elected in 2009 have resigned with Socialist Joe Higgins elected to the Dáíl and Labour’s Pronsias de Rossa retiring. Brady also pointed out that Fine Gael’s Gay Mitchell, who is retiring this year, ran for the Irish presidency during his term.

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“Voters are entitled to know the future political intentions of those seeking election and candidates should come clean on where their true ambitions lie,” he said.

Also running in Dublin are Labour’s Emer Costello who will be looking to retain her seat, Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan, the Green Party’s Eamon Ryan and People Before Profit councillor Brid Smith.

With Mitchell retiring, junior minister Brian Hayes is widely expected to run for Fine Gael though this has yet to be confirmed.

Read: 9 questions we’re asking ahead of the new political year

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Hugh O'Connell

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