Constituency Profile: Cork East

Quick facts

  • 4-seater
  • Sitting TDs: Tom Barry (FG), David Stanton (FG), Sean Sherlock (LAB), Sandra McLellan (SF)
  • Ministerial representation: Minister of State Seán Sherlock
  • Population: 114,365
  • 2011 poll topper: Seán Sherlock, Labour
  • Most likely loser: One of the Fine Gael seats
  • One to watch: Kieran McCarthy (IND)

Fianna Fáil lost both their seats in 2011 which was the first time in the history of this constituency that they had no representation.

A mismanagement of the vote cost Labour a second seat in 2011 which benefited Sinn Féin, but even winning one seat this time will be a struggle unless the Sherlock name adds several percentage points to the 11% from 2011.

Sinn Féin has been rent by internal disputes which have seen sitting TD Sandra McLellan deciding not to run in the General Election. There have also been expulsions and suspensions and Sinn Féin is now under pressure to retain their seat and this will give hope to Sean Sherlock in his quest to retain his Labour seat.

While Fine Gael is certain to retain at least one of their two seats, retention of the second is very dependent on the performance of former Fine Gael TD and current Senator Paul Bradford. While he is unlikely to win a seat, he might do sufficient damage to Fine Gael to compromise their second seat.

Possible result:

  • 2 FG
  • 1 FF (+1)
  • 1 LAB
  • 0 IND
  • 0 SF (-1)

Ivan's take: Yates is calling the result as two Fine Gael, one Independent and one Fianna Fáil - with Labour's Sean Sherlock losing his seat in Cork East.

  • Barbara Ahern - FF More Info:

    Barbara Ahern is a daughter of former TD Michael Ahern. An accountant and tax advisor, she made headlines on her
    addition to the ticket in the constituency as she brought the Fianna Fáil party to just above the gender quota rule. She has been working abroad.

  • Tom Barry - FG More Info:

    Tom Barry was newly elected in 2011, having been a Councillor since 2009. He owns and runs an agri-business, alongside being a public representative. He made the headlines in the 31st Dáil when in July 2013 during a televised Dáil vote on the abortion bill he could be seen pulling Fine Gael colleague, Deputy Aine Collins onto his lap. He apologised for the behaviour. 

  • Paul Bradford - REN More Info:

    Paul Bradford is the husband of Renua leader, Lucinda Creighton. He left the Fine Gael party in 2013 in the vote on abortion legislation and was a founding member of Renua in 2015. A Senator from 1987-1989 and again since 2002, he was a TD between 1989 and 2002. He didn’t contest the general election in 2011. 

  • Pat Buckley - SF More Info:

    A local councillor, Pat Buckley is contesting the general election for Sinn Féin. The Midleton native says the population of rural Ireland “have had enough of being reduced to second class citizens”. His selection came following reports of internal turmoil within Sinn Féin Cork over the Cork East constituency.

  • Paddy Bullman - IND More Info:

    Paddy Bullman is a tattoo artist from Youghal.

  • Ross Cannon - IND More Info:

    Ross Cannon is running under the banner of Rural Resettlement to bring vitality back to rural Ireland.

  • Ken Curtin - SD More Info:

    Ken Curtin has been named as the Social Democrat candidate in this constituency. It is his first general election campaign. A prominent Cork campaigner for marriage equality, Ken quit Fianna Fáil in 2015, saying “voices like mine are lost in there”.

  • Natasha Harty - GP More Info:

    Harty is a retired environmentalist from Midleton.

  • Ciara Leonardi Roche - AAA-PBP More Info:

    Ciara Leonardi Roche is a 22-year-old mother of one from Cobh in County Cork. She says she has always had an interest in politics from a young age. She says getting involved in the anti-water charges campaign in Cobh opened her eyes to the struggle people are going through everyday. 

  • Mary Linehan Foley - IND More Info:

    Foley is a Youghal-based Councillor and has been mayor of the town three times.

  • Kieran McCarthy - IND More Info:

    Kieran McCarthy was elected to Cork County Council in 2014 for Sinn Féin. In 2015 he was expelled from the party in 2015 after Sinn Fein initiated a review of the organisation in the constituency.

  • Noel McCarthy - FG More Info:

    Noel McCarthy resigned from Labour after thirty years membership, citing disappointment the party would not run him in the election. He joined Fine Gael. He was elected to Cork County Council in 2009 and 2014.

  • Kevin O Keeffe - FF More Info:

    Kevin O’Keeffe (born 1964) is the son of the former TD Ned O’Keeffe. In a near Miliband-style situation his younger brother Ciarán was also interested in the Fianna Fáil nomination but withdrew at the last minute. A businessman and farmer, Kevin contested the 2011 general election, missing out on a seat by 500 votes. He’s been a member of Cork County Council since 1997 when he was co-opted to the seat of his father. 

  • Sean Sherlock - LAB More Info:

    Seán Sherlock was first elected to the Dáil in 2007 and topped the poll in 2011. He was appointed Minister of State for Research and Innovation but was moved to the junior post in Foreign Affairs with responsibility for development and trade in the 2014 reshuffle. His father Joe was a TD in the Dáil for Labour, the Workers’ Party and Sinn Féin the Workers Party. 

  • David Stanton - FG More Info:

    David Stanton has been a TD for Cork East since 1997. A full-time public representative, he has held a number of portfolios as a party spokesperson. In the 31st Dáil he was the chair of the committee on justice, defence and equality.

Cork East - First Preference Vote Share, General Election 2011