Constituency Profile: Sligo-Leitrim

Quick facts:

  • New 4-seater
  • 3 sitting TDs: Tony McLoughlin (FG), John Perry (FG), Michael Colreavy (FF)
  • Ministerial representation: None
  • Population: 119,153
  • 2011 poll topper: John Perry, Fine Gael
  • One to watch: Gerry Reynolds, Fine Gael

A constituency that contains all or parts of four counties and also crosses provincial boundaries is not easy to predict. The one saving grace is that there is an extra seat on offer.

Fianna Fáil will get a seat back following the debacle of 2011, when they lost both seats. While Fine Gael will win one seat, their second one is at serious risk - although the 9,000 voters from west Cavan should favour them.

While Michael Colreavy is retiring, Sinn Féin should keep their seat - although unusually they are adopting a two candidate strategy. However the 6,000 voters coming in from the south Donegal areas of Bundoran and Ballyshannon will be a welcome boost for their prospects.

Although over 15,000 voted for Independents and smaller parties in 2014, they were a very disparate group. Unless someone can emerge to harness that vote, either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael will win a second seat by default.

Possible result:

  • 2 FG
  • 1 FF (+1)
  • 1 SF

Ivan's take: Yates is also calling the result as two seats for Fine Gael, one for Fianna Fáil, and one for Sinn Féin - and calls out "the Boundary Commission" for being "an absolute disgrace in what they did with this constituency."

  • Declan Bree - IND More Info:

    Independent candidate Declan Bree is a member of Sligo County Council. First elected to local government in 1974, he topped the poll in the 2014 local election.

  • Marie Casserly - IND More Info:

    Marie Casserly is an Independent councillor for Sligo County Council. She was first elected in 2014 and received 7.14% of the first preference votes. She is a community activist, secondary school teacher and guidance councillor. 

  • Finbarr Filan - REN More Info:

    Finbarr Filan is the Renua candidate for Sligo Leitrim. He is the brother of former Westlife star Shane Filan. A former developer, he set up Shafin Developments with his brother Shane during the boom. The company went into receivership in 2012, and the pair was left with debt of €23 million. 

  • Nigel Gallagher - AAA-PBP More Info:

    Nigel Gallagher is the People Before Profit Alliance candidate for the Sligo Leitrim constituency. He believes “poverty and inequality are destroying the social fabric of our society” and says a vote for him is a vote for grassroots people power, equality and social justice.

  • Des Guckian - IND More Info:

    Des Guckian has been an independent Councillor for Carrick on Shannon since 2014. He was not elected when he first contested in 2009. He contested the 2014 by-election in the Roscommon South Leitrim constituency as it was, polling less than 3% of the vote. 

  • Martin Kenny - SF More Info:

    Martin Kenny is a local councillor for Leitrim since 2004. He ran unsuccessfully in Roscommon-South Leitrim by election in 2014 receiving 17.7% of first preference votes and was eliminated after the fifth count. 

  • Chris MacManus - SF More Info:

    Chris MacManus has been a local council in Sligo County Council since 1999. He is the son of Sean MacManus, who was national chairperson of Sinn Fein from 1984 to 1990; and the brother of Joseph MacManus, an IRA volunteer who was killed in a firefight against a UDR squad in Belleek, County Fermanagh in 1992.

  • Marc MacSharry - FF More Info:

    Marc McSharry has been a Fianna Fáil Senator since 2009. He ran for Fianna Fáil in the 2011 general elections in Sligo - North Leitrim. However he was unsuccessful, receiving 10.4% of first preference votes. He is the son of Ray MacSharry, the former Fianna Fáil minister and European Commissioner. 

  • Tony McLoughlin - FG More Info:

    Tony McLoughlin (born 1949) has been a TD for Sligo – North Leitrim since 2011. He was elected to Sligo County 1974 and served four terms as Mayor of Sligo. He is the nephew of Joseph McLoughlin, who was a Fine Gael TD for the Sligo–Leitrim constituency from 1961 to 1977.

  • Eamon Murray - IND More Info:

    Eamon Murray is originally from Leitrim but now lives in Blacklion Cavan. He got just 160 votes in the Local Elections.

  • Bernie O'Hara - IND More Info:

    O'Hara is a Leitrim business woman who is campaigning on issues relevant to the people she represents. She is runnin as an independent candidate, representing the Sligo and Leitrim for Life groups, due to the growing campaign to repeal the 8th ammendment which affords equal right to life of mother and unborn baby. 


  • Leslie O'Hora - GP More Info:

    Leslie O'Hora is the Green Party candidate for Sligo-Leitrim. He works for a solar energy company.

  • Susan O'Keefe - LAB More Info:

    Susan O’Keeffe has been a Senator since 2011. She was an unsuccessful candidate at the 2011 general election for the Sligo–North Leitrim constituency, polling 10.2% of first preference votes. She is a journalist by profession and in 1995 was threatened with prison in Ireland for refusing to reveal her sources. 

  • Paddy O'Rourke - FF More Info:

    O'Rourke is a Leitrim based (Carrigallen) Councillor.

  • John Perry - FG More Info:

    John Perry has been a TD since 1997. In the 2011 General Election, he topped the poll with 19.5% of first preference
    votes. He was also involved in some controversy for mileage claims while he was Minister of State for Small Business in 2012. He was also involved in a controversy over the repayment of bank loans. He was sacked as a junior minister in the 2014 reshuffle.

  • Gerry Reynolds - FG More Info:

    Gerry Reynolds has previously served as a Senator, Councillor and TD for Fine Gael. He is the son of former Seanad Cathaoirleach Patrick J Reynolds.

  • Eamon Scanlon - FF More Info:

    Eamon Scanlon served as a Fianna Fáil TD from 2007 to 2011. He is a butcher by trade and business owner since 1975. He was a member of Sligo County Council from 1991 to 2003, representing the Ballymote electoral area. In August 2009 he resigned the party whip over his opposition to cuts in breast cancer services at Sligo General Hospital. He rejoined the parliamentary party on 13 January 2011.

  • Bernard Sweeney - IND More Info:

    Bernard Sweeney is an Independent candidate running in Sligo-Leitrim. A member of the Traveller community, Bernard has experience as a community worker and in conflict resolution.

Sligo-Leitrim - First Preference Vote Share, General Election 2011