Constituency Profile: Offaly

Quick facts:

  • New 3-seater
  • 2 sitting TDs: Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy (FG), Barry Cowen (FF)
  • Ministerial representation: None
  • Population: 87,640
  • 2011 poll topper: Barry Cowen, Fianna Fáil (of Offaly candidates)
  • One to watch: John Leahy, Renua

As a standalone constituency for the first time, the two sitting Offaly based TDs from Laois-Offaly should have no difficulty in retaining their seats. But while Barry Cowan (Fianna Fáil) and Marcella Corcoran Kennedy (Fine Gael) can sleep relatively well, it will be an intriguing battle for the final seat.

Sinn Féin, on the back of a decent result in 2014 - they got over 6,000 votes and had all three candidates elected and topped the poll in Tullamore - will believe they can take a seat. Fianna Fáil also feel they have a chance of a second seat, but will be dependent on a significant surplus from Barry Cowan.

However Renua’s first recruit John Leahy and Independent (ex-Fianna Fáil) John Foley got 9,300 votes between them in 2011. If either can get the third place after the first count, they may well find themselves heading to Leinster House.

The final outcome could well be determined by the 7,500 voters coming in from the Borrisokane area of Tipperary.

Possible result:

  • 1 FG
  • 1 FF
  • 1 IND

Ivan's take: Yates is calling the results as two for Fianna Fáil and one for Fine Gael.

  • Kate Bopp - IND More Info:

    Bopp is a mother of five and is living in Rathcabbin which is in the portion of Tipperary that has been added to the Offaly constituency. She is running on a pro-life ticket.

  • Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy - FG More Info:

    Marcella Corcoran Kennedy is a TD for Laois-Offaly. She received 7.8% of the votes in the 2011 elections. Prior to being elected to the Dáil, she served as a local councillor from 1999 to 2009. She unsuccessfully stood in the 2009 local elections, receiving 11.48% of first preference votes. 

  • Barry Cowen - FF More Info:

    Barry Cowen is a Fianna Fáil TD for Laois-Offaly. He was first elected in 2011 receiving 11.1% of first preference votes.  Before being elected to the Dáil he served as a local councillor between 1991 and 2011. He is the brother of former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, and the son of former TD Bernard Cowen.

  • Christopher Fettes - GP More Info:

    Fettes was an original founder of the Green Party in Ireland in 1981. He is a retired English and French teacher.

  • Eddie Fitzpatrick - FF More Info:

    Eddie Fitzpatrick is a Fianna Fáil Councillor for the Edenderry area of Offaly. He was first elected in 2014. He unsuccessfully contested the 2011 general election as an Independent candidate, receiving 3.4% of first preference votes. 

  • John Foley - IND More Info:

    John Foley is an Independent County Councillor in Offaly since 2010. He was elected for Fianna Fáil in 2009. He had previously been a running mate for former Taoiseach Brian Cowen (2007 election) and as an Independent in 2011. In September 2015 it was announced he would run under the Independents Alliance banner. 

  • Joe Hannigan - IND More Info:

    Hannigan topped the poll in Nenagh LEA in 2014 and is hoping to take advantage of the Tipperary votes transferred to Offaly.

  • John Leahy - REN More Info:

    John Leahy is an Independent Councillor for the Bill area of Offaly. He was first elected in 2009. He works as the Offaly GAA Coaching & Games Promotion Officer. He unsuccessfully contested the 2011 general elections, receiving 6.6% of the first preference votes.

  • Carol Nolan - SF More Info:

    Carol Nolan is the Sinn Féin candidate for Offaly. This is her first political election. 

  • Teresa Ryan-Feehan - IND More Info:

    Ryan-Feehan is from Birr and has worked on BBC News and BBC World Television Service. She wants increased Garda services.

  • Ken Smollen - IND More Info:

    Ken Smollen is the Irish Democratic Party candidate for Offaly. He has been chairperson of the Irish Democratic Party since its foundation in 2014. He is a retired member of An Garda Siochána, with over thirty years service.

Offaly - First Preference Vote Share, General Election 2011