With the general election confirmed for Friday, February 26, a field of 15 candidates has emerged to date in the four-seater Longford-Westmeath constituency, while nine candidates have vowed to run in the new Roscommon-Galway three-seater.
LONGFORD - WESTMEATH
- Deputy Gabrielle McFadden: Athlone’s sitting TD for the last 18 months, Gabrielle was elected to the Dail at the 2014 by-election which followed the death of her sister, Nicky.
- Deputy James Bannon: Has been a TD since 2007, after being in the Seanad for the previous five years.
- Cllr Peter Burke: An accountant and county councillor from Mullingar, he was added to the party’s ticket in mid-November.
- Deputy Robert Troy: The Ballynacargy man was elected as a TD in his first general election campaign in 2011.
- Connie Gerety-Quinn: A first election run for the manager of Longford’s Citizens Information service. Was selected in October after a gender quota ruling from party HQ resulted in mutinous scenes at the convention in the Longford Arms Hotel.
- Deputy Willie Penrose: The Ballynacargy barrister topped the poll in his last four general elections. Was a Minister of State in 2011 when he resigned from the Labour party over the closure of the Army barracks in Mullingar. Returned to the party fold in 2013.
- Cllr Paul Hogan: Elected as a town councillor in 2004, at the age of just 21. Ran in the last two general elections and in the May 2014 by-election.
- Dominic Parker: The chairperson of the Athlone branch of the Anti-Austerity Alliance, he is a first-time candidate who has advocated boycotting water charges.
- Manchán Magan: The broadcaster, journalist and documentary-maker, who lives in Collinstown, Co Westmeath, joined the race in January when the Green Party announced he would be their candidate in Longford/Westmeath.
Direct Democracy Ireland:
- Stephanie Healy: The 26-year-old Limerick native is now based in Athlone and plans to focus on the issues of education and job creation.
- Cllr Kevin 'Boxer’ Moran: Ran as an Independent at the 2011 general election. Has teamed up with the Shane Ross/Michael Fitzmaurice Independent Alliance.
- James Morgan: Longford businessman who received almost 6,000 first preferences when he ran for the first time at the 2014 by-election. Like 'Boxer’, he’s an Independent Alliance candidate.
- Brian Fagan: The Mullingar businessman and charity worker performed very well in the 2014 by-election, picking up 4,200 first preferences.
- Barbara Smyth: Newtownforbes-based community activist who ran as a Sinn Fein candidate at the 2014 local elections.
- Donal Jackson: Athlone man and business consultant Donal Jackson was a first-time candidate in the 2011 general election and also contested the local elections and by-election in 2014.
ROSCOMMON - GALWAY
- Cllr Maura Hopkins: The 31-year-old from Ballaghaderreen was elected as a councillor in May 2014 and then ran in the Roscommon by-election later that year, coming in third.
- Cllr Eugene Murphy: The Strokestown resident was first elected to Roscommon County Council in 1985 but this will be his debut general election campaign.
- Senator John Kelly: A former Independent councillor who was elected to the Seanad by the Labour party in 2011. Has threatened to pull out of the election over the possibility of a county boundary change in Athlone.
- Anne Farrell: Sister of Senator John Kelly and first-time election candidate who told the Western People she was encouraged to run for Renua because of its “forward-thinking” approach.
- Claire Kerrane: Another election newcomer, from the Ballaghaderreen area. The 23-year-old was selected as Sinn Fein’s candidate last March.
People Before Profit Alliance:
- Eddie Conroy: The community activist from Boyle has been vocal on issues such as water charges, emigration and the neglect of towns and communities in Roscommon.
- Miriam Hennesy: The Knockvicar, County Roscommon, resident is a keen advocate of a 'green economy' and has been a member of the Green Party since 1987.
- Deputy Denis Naughten: Former Fine Gael TD who split with the party as a result of the removal of the A&E unit from Roscommon Hospital in 2011. Has been a TD since 1997.
- Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice: Another Independent who was elected to the Dail at his first attempt during the October 2014 by-election arising from Luke 'Ming’ Flanagan’s election as an MEP.