Constituency Profile: Meath East

Quick facts:

  • 3-seater
  • 3 sitting TDs: Regina Doherty (FG), Helen McEntee (FG), Dominic Hannigan (LAB) 
  • Ministerial representation: None
  • Population: 86,572
  • 2011 poll topper: Dominic Hannigan, Labour Party
  • 2013 by-election poll topper: Helen McEntee, Fine Gael
  • Most likely to lose : Dominic Hannigan, Labour / Regina Doherty, Fine Gael
  • One to watch: Darren O'Rourke, Sinn Fein

In the constituency probably hardest hit by mortgage distress - 36% of all houses in constituency were built between 2001 and 2011 - it would appear likely that Thomas Byrne is going to recover the Fianna Fáil seat he lost in 2011.

Fine Gael will also win a seat, with Helen McEntee the most likely as she is in the less congested Kells side of the constituency. It is difficult to see Labour retaining their seat, so it would leave the final seat to either Regina Doherty or Sinn Féin.

While Sinn Féin did well in the locals, they were well short of a quota. However the 2014 results also showed that should a strong Independent enter the race, there is the real chance of a seat.

Possible result:

  • 2 FG
  • 1 FF (+1)
  • 0 LAB (-1)

Ivan's take: Yates is calling the result as one for Fianna Fáil, one for Fine Gael and one for Sinn Féin - with two sitting government TDs will lose their seats in Meath East

  • Joe Bonner - IND More Info:

    Meath County Councillor Joe Bonner is running as an Independent supported by the Independent Alliance group. Bonner topped the poll in the Ashbourne LEA in 2014 with 1,907 first preferences and retained his seat for the third succcessive election.

  • Thomas Byrne - FF More Info:

    Thomas Byrne is a Fianna Fáil Senator. He previously served as a TD for Meath East between 2007 and 2011. He ran unsuccessfully in the 2011 general election and in the 2013 by-election, in which he lost on the third count to Helen McEntee. Prior to joining politics he worked in law.

  • Regina Doherty - FG More Info:

    Regina Doherty has been a TD for Meath East since 2011. She unsuccessfully sought election in the 2007 general elections, receiving 10.1% of first preference votes. Prior to becoming a TD, she served on Meath County Council between 2009 and 2011.

  • Ben Gilroy - IND More Info:

    Ben Gilroy contested the 2013 by-election and got over 1,500 votes or 6.5%. He also contested the European elections in Midlands North West in 2014, polling 7,600 or just over 1%. Direct Democracy Ireland was established in 2010. Ben Gilroy was leader until 2014. 

  • Dominic Hannigan - LAB More Info:

    Dominic Hannigan has been a TD for Meath East since 2011. He topped the poll in the 2011 general elections, receiving 21% of voter’s first preferences. Prior to becoming a TD, he served as a local councillor from 2004 to 2007 and as a senator from 2007 to 2011. 

  • Sharon Keogan - IND More Info:

    Sharon Keogan is an Independent Councillor from Duleek in County Meath since 2014. She runs a restaurant and pub and is a Peace Commissioner. She runs a full-time community advice and support office helping with issues such as housing, medical cards, diability grants and planning. 

  • Séamus McDonagh - IND More Info:

    Seamus McDonagh is the Workers Party for candidate for Meath East. He ran for election in the 2013 by-election but was unsuccessful, receiving 1.08% of the first preference votes. He worked as a steel fixer before becoming unemployed when the construction sector collapsed in 2007.

  • Helen McEntee - FG More Info:

    Helen McEntee was elected to the Dáil in 2013. She was elected in a by-election resulting from the death of her father, then Minister of State for Food, Horticulture and Food Safety Shane McEntee. She was the second youngest TD and youngest female TD in the 31st Dáil.

  • Seán Ó Buachalla - GP More Info:

    Seán O'Buachalla is the Green Party Candidate for Meath East. He previously ran for election in the 2013 by-election; however he was unsuccessful, receiving 1.74% of the first preference votes. He has a background in social care and works as a development officer for youth clubs.

  • Aisling O Neill - SD More Info:

    Aisling O'Neill is the first Social Democrats candidate for Meath East. She works in nursing, and says she has been involved with the campaign against water charges since the beginning.

  • Darren O'Rourke - SF More Info:

    Darren O’Rourke has been a local councillor in Meath since 2011. He unsuccessfully ran in the Meath East by-election in 2013, receiving 13.02% of first preference votes. He has a degree in Biomedical Science, and Masters from Trinity College and the Royal College of Surgeons. He has previously worked as a medical scientist at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

  • Sarah Tyrrell - REN More Info:

    Tyrrell is the RENUA national membership co-ordinator.

Meath East - First Preference Vote Share, General Election 2011