Anglo Avenger developer Joe McNamara who famously drove his cement mixer into the gates of Dail Eireann on Budget Day will not be walking in the main door of Leinster House in March as an elected TD after he dramatically decided not to put his name forward for election in Galway West.
The Mayo-born developer had stated at a public meeting held by Frank Fahey last month that he would be standing against Fahey in the coming election — and his entrance into the race had promised to instil some colour into the election locally, because he had a massed a considerable amount of support online.
McNamara is currently facing charges relating to the Dail Eireann incident, but when nominations closed at noon yesterday, his name was not among the 17 who are vying for the five Galway West seats, with the only surprise candidate being Knocknacarra man Uinseann Holmes.
Thirty candidates will be standing for election to the 31st Dáil across County Galway’s two constituencies, however only nine of them can win a seat in Leinster House.
Yesterday was the closing date for all those wishing to stand in the 2011 General Election to hand in their nomination papers at the Galway Courthouse for the election to be held two weeks tomorrow.
A total of 17 candidates will be running in the five seat Galway West constituency. The candidates are Éamon Ó Cuív, Frank Fahey, and Michael J Crowe (Fianna Fáil ); Brian Walsh, Hildegarde Naughton, Fidelma Healy Eames, and Sean Kyne (Fine Gael ), Derek Nolan (Labour ), Trevor Ó Clochartaigh (Sinn Féin ), Niall Ó Brolcháin (Greens ), along with the Independent candidates Noel Grealish, Catherine Connolly, Tom Welby, Eamon Walsh, Mike Cubbard, Thomas King, and Uinseann Holmes.
Éamon Ó Cuív and Derek Nolan are expected to take seats. Fine Gael is tipped to win two but there is much debate as to which two of its four candidates will emerge victorious.
The final seat is likely to be a ferocious battle among any remaining Fianna Fáil candidate, and Noel Grealish, Catherine Connolly, and maybe Cllr Welby.
The four seat Galway East constituency will see 13 candidates standing for election. They are Paul Connaughton jnr, Tom McHugh, Ciaran Cannon, and Jimmy McClearn (Fine Gael ); Michael P Kitt and Michael F Dolan (Fianna Fáil ); Colm Keaveney and Lorraine Higgins (Labour ); Dermot Connolly (Sinn Féin ); Ciaran Kennedy (Green ) and Independent candidates Sean Canney, Tim Broderick, and Emer O’Donnell.
Councillor Connaughton and Dep Kitt are widely expected to be elected. Fine Gael is expected to win a second seat but opinion is divided as to whether it will be Sen Cannon or Mayor McClearn.
The final seat is due to be a fight between Cllr Canney and Labour, with Cllr Broderick being tipped as a dark horse.
Candidates have until 12 noon today to withdraw their names from the ballot papers.
The counts for the election will begin on the morning of February 26 at New Inn Community Centre and Leisureland.