Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan re-elected as MEP in Midlands-North-West

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan Re-Elected As Mep In Midlands-North-West
European and local elections, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Cillian Sherlock, PA

Luke “Ming” Flanagan has been re-elected as an MEP in Midlands-North-West after days of vote counting.

Mr Flanagan, an independent in the Left grouping, is the first person to be elected in the five-seat constituency.


He reached the quota on Thursday evening after the 19th count, helped by thousands of transfers following the redistribution of votes for Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín, who was eliminated in the previous round.



Family and supporters hoisted him into the air on their shoulders, as he chanted “Viva Palestina” and “Championes”.

Speaking after his election, an emotional Mr Flanagan said: “I’m elated and just honoured to get the opportunity for the third time to represent this constituency.

“There’s a few people not here today – my mother, my father and my father-in-law. I’m missing you all.

“It’s just absolutely brilliant, it’s beyond my wildest dreams – thanks Midlands-North-West.”


In a further message to voters, he said: “I’m certainly not going to let you down, you’ve been let down too often – you’re not going to be let down by me.”

Mr Flanagan said he wanted to secure his place on the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee to get “real justice” for farmers in his constituency.

He also said he would go to the petitions committee to get “justice” for people affected by defective concrete blocks in their homes.



Mr Flanagan also called on other Irish MEPs not to support the re-election of Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission president.

Asked how he would celebrate, Mr Flanagan said he would relax and have an Indian meal: “I’m looking forward to some peshwari naan bread – I can’t wait for it.”


Mr Flanagan’s election also saw the elimination of Fianna Fáil’s Lisa Chambers, whose votes are being redistributed to five candidates vying for the remaining four seats at the TF Royal Theatre count centre in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

The top three are in a tight grouping going into the final count. They are Fine Gael candidates Nina Carberry, a former jockey, and Maria Walsh, who is seeking re-election, followed by Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen.

Mr Cowen is likely to be helped significantly by transfers from his running mate Lisa Chambers despite the party’s campaign in the constituency being marred by infighting.

It leaves Independent Ireland candidate and former RTÉ correspondent Ciaran Mullooly fighting it out with Sinn Féin representative Michelle Gildernew for the fifth and final seat.

Mr Mullooly has a 4,000 vote lead over Ms Gildernew going into the end of the race.

Earlier, Sinn Féin representative Chris MacManus became the third MEP to lose his seat nationwide.

Speaking following his elimination, Mr MacManus said: “I left nothing on the pitch.

“Me and my team worked as hard as we could over the last number of weeks during the actual campaign.”

European and local elections
Sinn Féin’s Chris MacManus and Michelle Gildernew (Conor McKeown/PA)

Asked if he would consider running in a general election, Mr MacManus said: “I don’t think it’s the last time you’ll see my MacManus name on a ballot paper.”

Earlier in the counting, Ms Gildernew almost ruled herself out of the race after saying she was “not overly optimistic” about catching Mr Mullooly.

But Sinn Féin later insisted it still had a “fighting chance” for that final spot – and transfers from Mr McManus significantly closed the gap.

Unpredictable transfers, which political commentators said were not following traditional patterns, are adding to the drama of who would claim the final seats.

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