Constituency Profile: Cork North-Central

Quick facts:

  • 4-seater
  • Sitting TDs: Dara Murphy (FG), Kathleen Lynch (LAB), Billy Kelleher (FF), Jonathan O'Brien (SF)
  • Ministerial representation: Minister of State Kathleen Lynch, Labour; Minister of State Dara Murphy, Fine Gael
  • Population: 104,911
  • 2011 poll topper: Jonathan O’Brien, Sinn Féin
  • Most likely loser: Kathleen Lynch, Labour
  • One to watch: Kathleen Lynch, Labour

Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin will each win one seat. The big question is will Kathleen Lynch be able to hold onto the Labour seat that she first won in 2002.

To do so she will have to withstand an onslaught from the hard left, led by Anti Austerity / People Before Profit candidate Mick Barry, who has been a constant thorn in Labour’s side for over a decade. Barry got 4,803 votes in 2011 and his chances are enhanced by some 12,000 voters transferred in from the city area of Cork South-Central, while 3,500 rural voters have gone to Cork North-West.

Ministerial status is a great boon in good times, but can be a millstone when a party is under pressure. Unless Labour’s fortunes improve dramatically from the 8.6% in 2014, it could signal the end of Lynch’s political career.

Possible result:

  • 1 FG
  • 1 FF
  • 1 SF
  • 1 AAA (+1)

Ivan Yates's take: Yates is calling the result as one for Fianna Fáil, one Sinn Féin, one Fine Gael and one for the Anti-Austerity Alliance / People Before Profit grouping. However, Labour's Kathleen Lynch will lose her seat.

  • Mick Barry - AAA-PBP More Info:

    Mick Barry has been a Cork city councillor since 2004. A member of the Socialist Party, he is standing under the Anti Austerity Alliance banner. He has previously contested general elections in 2002, 2007 and 2011.  He was expelled from the Labour Party by Dick Spring, alongside Joe Higgins and a number of others, in 1989. He was previously jailed for his opposition to the introduction of bin charges. 

  • Thomas Gould - SF More Info:

    Councillor Thomas Gould is a development officer with St. Vincent's GAA club and a former youth leader. He topped the poll in the 2014 local elections for the Cork North Central Ward.

  • Billy Kelleher - FF More Info:

    Billy Kelleher was first elected to the Dáil in 1997 and at each election since. Currently the party spokesperson on Health, he served as junior minister for labour affairs (2007-2009) and junior minister for trade and commerce (2009-2011). 

  • Ger Keohane - IND More Info:

    Keohane left SF having failed in his bid to get a nomination to run alonside Jonathan O'Brien.

  • Thomas Kiely - IND More Info:

    Thomas Kiely contested the 2014 local elections as an Independent/People’s Convention candidate. A qualified sheet metal fabricator, he’s unemployed and described himself as a full time Dad. He believes from being involved in protests against water charges, the property tax, etc... that there is a need to move away from party politics. 

  • Kathleen Lynch - LAB More Info:

    Kathleen Lynch was a founding member of Democratic Left and was first elected to the Dáil in a by-election in 1994. She lost her seat in the 1997 general election, but was re-elected in 2002 and at each subsequent election. She’s a junior minister in the Department of health with special responsibility for primary care, social care and older people. She is a sister in law of Ciarán Lynch, a TD in Cork South Central. 

  • Oliver Moran - GP More Info:

    Oliver Moran contested the 2014 local elections for the Greens on Cork City Council, but didn’t win a seat. The 27-year-old father of one says he wants to see a reformed Ireland and a ‘true Republic’. He was a founder of the national campaign group, Second Republic, in 2010.

  • Mick Murphy - IND More Info:

    Mick Murphy is an engineer from Cork City.

  • Dara Murphy - FG More Info:

    Dara Murphy was elected to the Dáil in 2011. He’d served on Cork City Council since 2004. In the July 2014 re-shuffle he was appointed Minister of State for European Affairs. He has a business background as an entrepreneur. 

  • Johnathan O'Brien - SF More Info:

    Jonathan O’Brien topped the poll to get elected to the Dáil in 2011. He had unsuccessfully contested the 2002 and 2007 general elections. A full-time public representative he was the party’s spokesperson on justice, equality and defence in the 31st Dáil. He says he has no time for hobbies, and is a former chairman of Cork City football club. 

  • Paddy O'Leary - REN More Info:

    O'Leary is originally from Mayfield and runs a small family businness in north Cork City.

  • Julie O'Leary - FG More Info:

    O'Leary is a 25-year-old barrister from Cork City and this is her first time running for public office.

  • Peter O'Loughlin - IND More Info:

    Peter O'Loughlin is running for Idenity Ireland who have now established links with anti-Islam group Pegida.

  • Ted Tynan - IND More Info:

    Ted Tynan has been a Workers Party Councillor on Cork City Council since 2009. He also contested the 2011 general election, getting 681 votes. Ted Tynan has been contesting elections since 1977 for Sinn Féin, Sinn Féin the Workers Party and the Workers Party. 

Cork North-Central - First Preference Vote Share, General Election 2011