Constituency Profile: Cork South-West

Quick facts:

  • 3-seater
  • 3 sitting TDs: Jim Daly (FG), Noel Harrington (FG), Michael McCarthy (LAB)
  • Ministerial representation: None
  • Population: 82,952
  • 2011 poll topper: Jim Daly, Fine Gael
  • Most likely loser: Michael McCarthy, Labour
  • One to watch: Michael Collins, Independent

Fianna Fáil’s two candidate strategy saw them lose a seat to Labour in 2011. This time they are running just the one candidate - Bandon-based Councillor Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony. If, as is likely, she gets elected, Cllr Murphy-O'Mahony will be the first ever female TD in the constituency.

Her success will be at the expense of shock 2011 winner Michael McCarthy, which should leave Fine Gael in pole position to retain their two seats. The only threat is Schull-based independent Michael Collins - who got 3,400 votes in 2014. If he can pick up transfers from Sinn Féin, he might put Fine Gael under pressure.

Possible result:

  • 2 FG
  • 1 FF (+1)

Ivan's take: This time round Labour's loss will be Fianna Fáil's gain. Two seats for Fine Gael and one seat for Fianna Fáil - with the loss of Michael McCarthy's Labour seat.

  • Alan Coleman - IND More Info:

    Cork County Counillor Alan Coleman resigned from Fianna Fáil in June 2015 saying he had become disillusioned with the party and would run in the general election as an independent. A Councillor for 24 years, he served as Mayor of County Cork between 2014-2015, the first time Fianna Fáil held the position since 1990. He had put his name forward for the Fianna Fáil selection convention for Cork South West, but withdrew before voting took place. 

  • Michael Collins - IND More Info:

    Michael Collins is an Independent Councillor for the West Cork area. He topped the poll in the 2014 local elections, and was elected in the first count.

  • Jim Daly - FG More Info:

    Jim Daly was elected to the Dáil in 2011. A former primary school teacher he had contested the Seanad election in 2007. He was a Councillor from 2004. Among the issues he has been vocal on are special needs education and tourism. 

  • Noel Harrington - FG More Info:

    Noel Harrington was elected for the first time in 2011. A postmaster, he had been a Cork County Councillor from 1999. His late father, Donie was also a Councillor. He had contested the 2007 Seanad election but did not win a seat. 

  • Theresa Heaney - IND More Info:

    Heaney is from Timoleague and is running as a Catholic Democrat.

  • Rachel McCarthy - SF More Info:

    Rachel McCarthy has been a Cork County Councillor since 2014, and a Bandon Town Councillor since 2009. She’s a relative newcomer to social media, only joining twitter in January 2015 and tweeting that when she grows up she wants to tweet like Gerry Adams. At the age of 17 she attended a Sinn Féin cumann meeting and ended up joining the party. 

  • Michael McCarthy - LAB More Info:

    Michael McCarthy won a Dáil seat in 2011 in his third election attempt. He was a Cork County Councillor from 1999 and served two terms in the Seanad (2002 and 2007). A full-time public representative, he was Chair of the Environment Committee in the 31st Dáil. He ran for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party in 2014.

  • Margaret Murphy O’Mahony - FF More Info:

    Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony is a Cork County Councillor, having been first elected to the authority in 2004. She says she comes from a very strong Fianna Fáil household and has a strong love, respect and loyalty for the party. She worked previously in a post office, but is now a full-time public representative. 

  • Fiona O'Leary - IND More Info:

    O'Leary is an autism advocate and founder of Autistic Rights Together.

  • Johnny O'Mahony - GP More Info:

    O'Mahony wants to resurrect the West Cork railway and set up volunteer groups to increase security in rural areas.

  • Gillian Powell - IND More Info:

    Gillian Powell is campaigning for a Bandon flood relief scheme.

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