Marcella Corcoran Kennedy to contest EU election in Ireland South at Taoiseach's request

Fine Gael TD, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy
By Daniel McConnell
Political Editor

Former junior health minister and Fine Gael TD, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, is to seek an MEP seat in the Ireland South constituency, having been asked by the Taoiseach to do so.

Ms Corcoran Kennedy was demoted by Leo Varadkar when he took office but the Taoiseach now seems to think she will be a good candidate to run alongside current MEPs Sean Kelly and Deirdre Clune.

With Britain leaving the European Union, Ireland is to get two additional seats – one in Dublin and one in Ireland South.

As a result, the desire of the party to add a candidate in Leinster is considerable as a counterbalance to the two other candidates who are based in Cork and Kerry.

The invitation of the party to ask Ms Corcoran Kennedy to contest seems to put an end to speculation that Waterford TD John Deasy would be included on the ticket. Mr Deasy had examined the possibility of running for Europe but it is believed he will not be going forward to selection convention.

Mr Deasy is currently the Government's special envoy to Washington and appears to want to remain in national politics.

Responding to the news, Ms Corcoran Kennedy said she is “privileged and honoured to accept Fine Gael’s invitation to seek the nomination”.

“I have always been committed to the European project as it has contributed so much to the development of progressive laws that continue to have a positive impact on all of our lives.

"What happens in Brussels can be a driver for positive change in our local communities.

"This can clearly be seen as Ireland has received billions in structural funding from the EU which was crucial in the development of the country as a modern, open and advanced economy,” she said.

“If selected, I will be privileged to join outgoing MEPs Deirdre Clune and Sean Kelly on the Fine Gael ticket for Ireland South,” she said.

Fine Gael will hold its Ireland South constituency selection convention on Sunday, March 3 in Clonmel, County Tipperary.

Elsewhere, the party looks set to select former Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald as one of its candidates for the Dublin constituency, with Senator Neale Richmond also being linked with a run for Europe.

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