Constituency Profile: Cork South-Central

Quick facts:

  • 4-seater (-1 seat) 
  • Sitting TDs: Simon Coveney (FG), Jerry Buttimer (FG), Ciaran Lynch (LAB), Micheal Martin (FF), Michael McGrath (FF)
  • Ministerial representation: Minister Simon Coveney, Fine Gael
  • Home of Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin
  • Population: 117,952
  • 2011 poll topper: Micheál Martin, Fianna Fáil
  • Most likely loser: Jerry Buttimer, Fine Gael and/or Ciarán Lynch, Labour
  • One to watch: Jerry Buttimer, Fine Gael

With the loss of some 12,000 voters to Cork North-Central, the reduction to a four-seater makes this one of the dozen proverbial “constituencies of death” in this election.

In 2011, Michael McGrath warded off Sinn Féin for the final seat to join Laois-Offaly as the only constituencies where Fianna Fáil got more than one seat. His re-election prospects are very much tied in with how well the vote is managed with Micheál Martin, who is assured of victory.

Fine Gael is also certain of one seat with Simon Coveney the frontrunner, particularly as Jerry Buttimer is in a real dogfight in the inner city area. Despite his high profile as a very competent chairman of the Banking Inquiry, Ciarán Lynch is at the greatest risk of losing his seat, probably to Sinn Féin.

Because a party leader is in the fray normal rules don’t apply, and therefore it is likely that Fine Gael and Labour will be the losers.

Possible result:

  • 1 FG (-1)
  • 2 FF
  • 1 SF (+1)

  • Lorna Bogue - GP More Info:

    Lorna Bogue is chair of the ‘Young Greens’. A graduate of music and dance from the University of Limerick she says she’s standing in the constituency because she wants to reclaim politics, distribute wealth and repeal the 8th Amendment. 

  • Jerry Buttimer - FG More Info:

    Jerry Buttimer was elected to Dáil Eireann on his second attempt in 2011. He had been a Senator after his unsuccessful attempt to win a Dáil seat in 2007. He has chaired the Oireachtas Health Committee and led the pre-legislative scrutiny of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill. He is a former secondary school teacher. He was the first openly gay TD in Fine Gael. 

  • Simon Coveney - FG More Info:

    Simon Coveney is the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and Minister for Defence. He was first elected to the Dáil in a by-election in 1998 to fill the seat of his late father, and has been re-elected since. He was the Fine Gael Director of Elections in the Marriage Equality referendum. 

  • Mick Finn - IND More Info:

    Finn topped the poll in Cork South-Central Ward in 2014 as is attached to the Independent Alliance.

  • Joe Harris - IND More Info:

    Harris is a Councillor for the Ballincollig-Carrigaline LEA. He is the brother of well known columnist and commentator Eoghan Harris.

  • Elizabeth Hourihane - IND More Info:

    Hourihane is standing on an anti-water charges ticket and in 2014 took a High Court challenge against the installation of water meters.

  • Ciaran Kenneally - REN More Info:

    Ciaran Kenneally is from Turners Cross and has worked in the voluntary sector for past 6 years. His priority is the 8,500 on the Cork City housing list.

  • Ciaran Lynch - LAB More Info:

    Ciarán Lynch was first elected to the Dáil in 2007 and retained his seat in 2011. He is a brother-in-law to Minister of State Kathleen Lynch. He was appointed chair of the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry.  A full-time public representative, he was formerly an adult literary organiser for Cork VEC. 

  • Micheal Martin - FF More Info:

    Micheál Martin is the leader of Fianna Fáil and has been a TD in the Dáil since 1989. He was elected leader of the party in 2011. He has held a number of Cabinet positions – Foreign Affairs, Enterprise Trade and Employment, Health, Education. 

  • Michael McGrath - FF More Info:

    Michael McGrath was first elected to the Dáil in 2007 and retained his seat in 2011. He took over the finance portfolio in the party following the death of the late Brian Lenihan. He was one of the party’s representatives on the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry. He is seen as a possible future leader of the party. 

  • Michael Mohally - IND More Info:

    Michael Mohally is a People's Convention candidate.

  • Diarmaid Ó Cadhla - IND More Info:

    Diarmaid O’Cadhla has contested the 2011 general election and the 2014 local elections. He has run as an Independent under the People’s Convention banner. He wants to remove all vested interests from decision making and believes the political parties are private clubs.

  • Jim O'Connell - AAA-PBP More Info:

    Jim O’Connell has been an activist in Cork and nationally on campaigns such as housing, the property tax and water charges. He says he wants to work with people, and not against them like others have done once elected. 

  • Donnchadh Ó'Laoghaire - SF More Info:

    Donnchadh O’Laoghaire is a Councillor on Cork County Council. He first stood for the 2009 local elections at the age of 20 and narrowly missed getting a seat. A law graduate, he works as a political advisor for the Sinn Féin party. He has been the national organiser of Sinn Féin’s youth wing and has also served on the party’s Ard Comhairle. He is a fluent gaeilgeoir.

  • Fiona Ryan - AAA-PBP More Info:

    Fiona Ryan is 26 years old and a first-time election candidate. Her priorities are repealing the 8th amendment, to scrap water charges and the property tax and deal with the housing crisis through rent reversals and rent controls.

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