Constituency Profile: Tipperary

Quick facts:

  • New 5-seater
  • 6 sitting TDs: Michael Lowry (Ind), Minister Alan Kelly (LAB), Noel Coonan (FG), Tom Hayes (FG), Seamus Healy (Ind), Mattie McGrath (Ind)
  • Ministerial representation: Alan Kelly, Labour; Minister of State Tom Hayes, Fine Gael)
  • Population: 147,801
  • 2011 poll topper: Michael Lowry, Independent; Tom Hayes, Fine Gael
  • Most likely loser: Noel Coonan, Fine Gael; Alan Kelly, Labour; Mattie McGrath, Independent
  • One to watch: Alan Kelly, Labour

As with Kerry, this is now a five-seater (reduced from two three seaters) and has six outgoing TDs - plus Fianna Fáil trying to get at least one seat back. Indeed, apart from 1992, when they won two seats in the county, they had never had less than three since 1927. The local election results say that they should get a seat, but running three candidates won’t make it easy.

Their problem is compounded by Mattie McGrath taking a substantial chunk of their vote in the south, while Michael Lowry takes everyone’s votes in the north.

Throw Seamus Healy into the mix and there is a distinct possibility that three Independent TDs will be elected, which only leaves two for the established parties.

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael should take those, but then that would discount Alan Kelly’s chances. While Labour did not do well in 2014, he will believe his profile will overcome that - and he is also the only Cabinet Minister in the constituency.

While Sinn Féin will not win a seat, the 7,000 votes they picked up in 2014 will probably end up boosting Healy and McGrath’s prospects.

Possible result:

  • 1 FG (-1)
  • 1 FF (+1)
  • 3 IND
  • 0 LAB (-1)

Ivan Yates's take: Yates is calling the result as two Independents Michael Lowry and Seamus Healy, Fine Gael's Tom Hayes, one for Jackie Cahill of Fianna Fáil and finally Minister Alan Kelly will narrowly win for Labour.

  • Siobhan Ambrose - FF More Info:

    Siobhan Ambrose is a South Tipperary County Councillor since 2009. She is a highly active member of the Fianna Fáil Party, holding several positions within the organisation on the Ard Chomhairle, the Women’s Equality Forum and Ógra Fianna Fáil.

  • Jackie Cahill - FF More Info:

    Jackie Cahill is a Tipperary County Councillor. He was elected to the council in 2014. He is a dairy farmer and former Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association president. If elected, he intends placing a strong focus on the needs of Irish agriculture.

  • Noel Coonan - FG More Info:

    Noel Coonan was first elected to the Dáil in 2007. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Tipperary in the 2002 general election. Prior to being elected as a TD, he served as a Senator from 2002 to 2007. In November 2014 he likened water meter protesters to ISIS. However he later withdrew the comments. 

  • Michael Dillon - IND More Info:

    Dillon got 296 votes in Nenagh LEA in 2014.

  • Gearóid Fitzgibbon - GP More Info:

    Fitzgibbon's priorities are energy, young people and better politics.

  • Tom Hayes - FG More Info:

    Tom Hayes was first elected to the Dáil in 1997. He served as Minister of State for Food, Horticulture and Food Safety in the last government and was Chairman of the Fine Gael parliamentary party from September 2002 to March 2010. He is a drystock farmer and avid GAA fan. 

  • Seamus Healy - IND More Info:

    Seamus Healy was first elected to the Dáil at a by-election in 2000. He held a seat between 2000 and 2007. However he lost his seat in the 2007 general election and served as a councillor for the Clonmel are of Tipperary. He was then re-elected in 2011 with 21.3% of first preference votes. 

  • Alan Kelly - LAB More Info:

    Alan Kelly has served as a Labour TD since 2011. He has been Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government and Deputy Leader of the Labour party since 2014. Prior to becoming a TD, he served as an MEP for South from 2009 to 2011. 

  • Michael Lowry - IND More Info:

    Michael Lowry has been a TD for Tipperary North since 1987. He served as Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications between 1994 and 1996. In Novemeber 1996 he resigned his ministry in some controversy and Fine Gael banned him from standing for their party again. He has stood as an independent candidate since 1997 and has topped the poll in every election since. 

  • Mattie McGrath - IND More Info:

    Mattie McGrath was first elected to the Dáil in 2007. He was a member of Fianna Fáil until January 2011 when he left the party, claiming he “had run out of final straw”. Previously he had controversially criticised the proposal by the then Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey to lower the legal level of alcohol in drivers, claiming that for some people a small amount of alcohol made them less nervous behind the wheel. He is now a member of the Dáil Technical Group.

  • Seamus Morris - SF More Info:

    Seamus Morris has been a local county councillor in the Nenagh area of Tipperary since 2014. He ran for election to the Dáil in both the 2007 and 2011 elections. In the 2011 general election he received 6.3% of first preference votes. 

  • Marie Murphy - FG More Info:

    Marie Murphy is a councillor for Clonmel. She won the 8th of nine seats in the 2014 local elections, having won 6.77% of the first preference votes.

  • Michael Smith - FF More Info:

    Michael Smith has been a Tipperary county councillor since 2004. He is the son of Michael Smith, who held a number of ministries including Environment, Education and Defence.

Tipperary - First Preference Vote Share, General Election 2011