We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Ballot count. Rolling News
European elections

European Parliament Election: Your Ireland South 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.

Ireland South has a total of five seats available, with 23 candidates running for election.

You can access our candidate database here, where we have information on each candidate. The Journal has 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.

If you’re living in Ireland South, here are your 23 candidates

Derek Blighe - Ireland First

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.50.11

Derek Blighe is a construction worker by trade. He became leader of Ireland First in 2023. He is a far-right agitator who travels the country for anti-immigration rallies and posts online videos to encourage others to do the same.

Lorna BogueAn Rabharta Glas

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.50.20

Lorna Bogue has served as councillor for Cork City South-East on Cork County Council since 2019. She began her career as an activist for reproductive and environmental justice. She is a former press officer for the Cork Together for Yes campaign and has worked in call centres for various multinational companies.

Christopher V.S. DoyleIndependent

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.50.29

Christopher Doyle was born in and lives in Wexford. He is an engineer by training and comes from a farming background. He has travelled, studied and worked in several industries throughout the US, Europe, north and central Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Susan Doyle - Social Democrats

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.50.39

Susan Doyle is a solicitor, focusing on areas such as housing, disability rights, immigration and discrimination. She is also a mental health advocate.

Mary Fitzgibbon - Independent

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.50.52

Mary Fitzgibbon is a nursing lecturer who ran as an independent candidate in the 2016 general election.

Kathleen FunchionSinn Féin

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.51.01

Kathleen Funchion has been the Sinn Féin TD for the Carlow and Kilkenny constituency since 2016. She is the Sinn Féin Spokesperson on children, equality and disability and sits on the Oireachtas Children and Youth Affairs Committee. She previously served as the Sinn Féin spokesperson for education and skills and was the chairperson for the Oireachtas Committee on the Good Friday Agreement.

Paul GavanSinn Féin

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.51.19

A Limerick native, Paul Gavan has served as a senator since 2016. He is a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and is also the Sinn Féin Seanad spokesperson for education and workers’ rights.

Niamh HouriganLabour

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.51.29

Niamh Hourigan has been a sociologist for over 25 years. Before taking up her position at Mary Immaculate College, she was the head of the sociology department at University College Cork and worked as a lecturer at the University of Limerick. She is a member of the Teaching Council, the Board of the Central Applications Office (CAO), and the Department of Justice’s Review Team of Civil Legal Aid. This is her first time running in an election.

Billy Kelleher Fianna Fáil

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.51.38

Billy Kelleher is a sitting MEP representing the Ireland South constituency and has been a member of the European Parliament since 2019. A former senator, Kelleher has previously served as Minister of State for Trade and Commerce and for Labour Affairs. He is a member of the Renew Europe group in parliament.

Seán Kelly - Fine Gael

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.51.49

Seán Kelly is a sitting MEP representing Ireland South and has been a member of the EU Parliament since 2009. He is the leader of Fine Gael’s contingent in Europe and sits on a number of committees covering trade, industry and fisheries. He was president of the GAA between 2003 and 2006.

Ross Lahive - The Irish People

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.52.00

Ross Lahive is a carpenter from Cork who has appeared in court over incidents at libraries last year.

Michael Leahy - Irish Freedom Party

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.52.08

Michael Leahy is a member of the Irish Freedom Party and a former architect and planner. He previously served as president of the Ennis Chamber of Commerce and was also a board member of An Bord Pleanála from 2012 to 2017.

Una McGurk - Independent

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.52.27

Una McGurk is a barrister from Kenmare, Co Kerry, who specializes in refugee and mental health law.

Michael McNamara - Independent

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.53.05

Michael McNamara is a barrister and an independent TD for Clare. He previously worked at the United Nations and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe as a legal and electoral expert.

Cynthia Ní Mhurchú Fianna Fáil

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.53.19

Cynthia Ní Mhurchú is a former journalist and presenter, working for organisations such as RTÉ, Raidió na Gaeltachta, The Sunday Independent and The Sunday Tribune. She has been working as a barrister for 27 years, specialising primarily in family law.

John Mullins - Fine Gael

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.53.27

John Mullins is a businessman and entrepreneur from Bishopstown in Cork. He is the executive chairman of solar power company Amerenco, which he founded, and was the chief executive at Bord Gáis from 2007 to 2013. He has held other senior management positions with ESB, ESB International and PricewaterhouseCoopers (UK).

Patrick Murphy Aontú

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.53.38

Patrick Murphy is the chief executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation. He is a former chair of the Ballydehob village Community Council. 

Ciarán O’RiordanIndependent

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.53.48

Ciarán O’Riordan is a homemaker from Cork city.

Grace O’Sullivan - Green Party

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.53.57

Grace O’Sullivan is a sitting MEP representing Ireland South and has been a member of the EU Parliament since 2019. A former senator, Greenpeace activist and Irish surfing champion, O’Sullivan sits on EU committees covering fisheries and the environment. She is a member of the European Green Party group in parliament.

Cian Prendiville - People Before Profit – Solidarity 

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.54.06

Cian Prendiville is a former member of Limerick City Council and an inactive politician for the last five years. He is known for his involvement in the anti-water charges movement. He currently works as chief editor at Rupture Magazine and is a producer at Rupture Radio, an eco-socialist network in the People Before Profit movement.

Eddie PunchIndependent

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.54.18

Eddie Punch was the general secretary of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) for 25 years. This is his first time running in an election.

Mick Wallace - Independents 4 Change

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.54.26

Mick Wallace has served as a Member of the European Parliament for Ireland South since 2019. He is a member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, Subcommittee on Security and Defence, and Delegation for relations with the Arabian Peninsula. He is part of The Left group in Parliament. He is a former property developer, and was a TD for the Wexford constituency from 2011-2019.

Graham de Barra - Independent

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 11.54.34

Graham de Barra is an independent candidate from Cork. He is the director of Help Not Harm, an organisation that advocates for a health-based, non-punitive approach to drug policy and legislation.


This work is co-funded by Journal Media and a grant programme from the European Parliament. Any opinions or conclusions expressed in this work are the author’s own. The European Parliament has no involvement in nor responsibility for the editorial content published by the project. For more information, see here.


Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel