General Election: The candidates in Longford/Westmeath

Nine men and four women have so far declared that they will be running as candidates in Longford/Westmeath at the upcoming general election. 

Fianna Fáil is not expected to add an Athlone-based candidate to its ticket in Longford/Westmeath. Westmeath TD Robert Troy and Longford councillor Joe Flaherty will be running for Micheál Martin's party in the constituency.

At previous selection conventions, Athlone councillors Aengus O'Rourke and Frankie Keena both received nominations to stand in a general election, but both withdrew their candidacies when it became clear that the party would not be running a second Westmeath candidate.

It's understood that this position remains the same and, with the short lead-in to polling day, there's little chance of the party changing course.

The list of declared candidates to date in the four-seat Longford/Westmeath constituency is a mixture of experienced politicians - four are current members of Oireachtas - and first-time general election candidates, such as Louise Heavin of the Green Party and former Westmeath footballer Alan Mangan (Labour). 

Athlone's Senator Gabrielle McFadden will be bidding to regain the Dáil seat she lost at the 2016 general election, and her Fine Gael running mates will be Mullingar-based TD Peter Burke and Cllr Micheál Carrigy from Ballinalee in Longford.

As announced earlier this week, Minister of State Kevin 'Boxer' Moran is running as an Independent candidate and not under the banner of the Independent Alliance.

Cllr Louise Heavin, a Mount Temple native who lives in Athlone, was elected to Westmeath County Council at her first attempt last May.

It was stated at the launch of her local election campaign that she would also be the Green Party's candidate for the general election in this constituency. One of the main changes in Longford/Westmeath is the departure of Ballinacargy's Willie Penrose, who has been a TD since 1992. 

At a Labour selection convention in 2018, Alan Mangan was chosen to replace him as the party's candidate.

Mullingar's Sorca Clarke was selected as Sinn Féin's candidate for Longford - Westmeath in December 2017, but she since suffered a setback when she lost her seat on Westmeath County Council at the general election in May.
Ms Clarke will contest the election for the party - and it's expected that she will be its sole candidate here. 

Athlone's Dom Parker is running for Solidarity (formerly the Anti Austerity Alliance).
The Social Democrats is not planning to run a candidate in Longford/Westmeath. Athlone's Fiona Lynam stood for the party at the local elections in May, but she told the Westmeath Independent that she would be putting her efforts into supporting its general election candidates in other constituencies.

Donal Jackson from Athlone, who has previously contested a number of local and general elections, confirmed on Monday that he would be running as an Independent.

Two other candidates who are planning to run in this constituency are Longford's James Reynolds, a deputy leader of the National Party, and Anna Kavanagh of the group 'Alliance of Birth Mothers Campaigning for Justice'.

Additional candidates could still emerge as people can be nominated as candidates up until next Wednesday (January 22). 

The declared candidates, to date, in Longford/Westmeath:

Fianna Fáil: 
Robert Troy
Joe Flaherty

Fine Gael: 
Gabrielle McFadden
Peter Burke
Micheál Carrigy

Sinn Fein: 
Sorca Clarke

Alan Mangan

Green Party: 
Louise Heavin

Dom Parker

National Party:
James Reynolds

Kevin 'Boxer' Moran
Anna Kavanagh
Donal Jackson