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Senator Rónán Mullen to run for European seat

Speaking to this afternoon, Mullen also said that he will “probably run for the Dáil at the next election”.

Mullen says that the government had
Mullen says that the government had "lost touch with rural values".
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

INDEPENDENT SENATOR RÓNÁN Mullen is set for a tilt at a European seat after announcing that he will be a candidate in the Midlands-North-West constituency next year.

Speaking to this afternoon, Mullen said that he will also “probably run for the Dáil at the next election” and hinted that he will do so regardless of whether he wins a European seat.

He refused to rule out that a that he would look towards the Dáil even if he was elected as an MEP:

No I’m not saying that. I think that there are decision to be made as time goes on. If I run for the European Parliament and I’m elected I’ll serve in the European parliament and will keep a very open mind in running for the Dáil should the opportunity arise.

Mullen said he has taken the decision to run for Europe because he feels that the government had “lost touch with rural values” and that “people feel their needs are not being prioritised”. He said he “absolutely” feels that he can influence this from Europe.

Mullen will run as an independent in next June’s ballot and says that although he has “great respect for the people of the Refrom Alliance” he has not been approached to get involved in the group saying that in any case he is “very independent minded”.

The pro-life senator had been one of the most vocal opponents of the abortion bill and feels that this perception will help him in his candidacy:

I would have well known views on the protection of human dignity, and about the protection of life at all stages but I think that the protection of human dignity extends to a whole range of issues.

Senator Mullen is one of three Senators in the Seanad elected by graduates of the National University of Ireland and said that his future chances of re-election to the Seanad had nothing to do with his decision to run for Europe. “My vote went up by about 40 per cent in the last election and I would hope that it could go up by more in the next election,” he said.

Read: Large constituencies mean European elections ‘will become more presidential’ >

Read: Here are the 15 senators who opposed the abortion legislation >

Read: Mullen tells RTÉ critics to ‘stop calling for heads’ in Reynolds dispute >

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Rónán Duffy

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