Fianna Fail's female general election candidates
Fianna Fáil is the worst party in terms of the proportion of women they have running. They have 14 female candidates out of a total of 106 candidates.
Margaret Conlon FF (Cavan Monaghan)
Margaret Conlon is deputy principal of St Louis Secondary School, Monaghan.
She was a founding member of the Fianna Fáil Cumann in NUI Maynooth. Could be a surprise success, at the expense of the Independent candidate, Paudge Connolly. Issues: retain services at Monaghan Hospital; more investment in education, particularly secondary level; reduce class sizes; more cross-border co-operation and restoration of Ulster canal.
Cecilia Keaveney FF ( Donegal North East)
A sitting TD. Former music teacher. First elected in a by-election in 1996. She represents the Innisowen part of the constituency and her seat cannot be considered safe because the three outgoing Fianna Fáil candidates, including her, are all sitting TDs. One must lose. Campaigning on resolving the issue of cross-border taxation and wants cross-border cooperation on infrastructure like gas and communications.
Mary Coughlan FF (Donegal South East)
Minister for Agriculture, first elected to the Dáil in 1987. Previously Minster for Social and Family Affairs from 2002-2004. Formerly a social worker. Largely anonymous as a minister, which is disappointing as she had shown flair and independence previously. She “inherited” a family Dáil seat. Campaigning on fair competition for Irish farmers, development of agri-food sector, bio-security, bio-energy, balanced regional development, infrastructure, job creation.
Mary Fitzpatrick FF (Dublin Central)
Seeks to inherit the seat of her father, Dermot Fitzpatrick, the outgoing Fianna Fáil running mate of Bertie Ahern. She is a marketing director for telecommunications company. Seems bright but offers nothing at all as an independent voice, no ideas of her own – asked what of the Fianna Fáil manifesto that disappointed her, she said she thought the colour green on the cover should be of a darker shade. Issues: traffic.
Mary Corrigan FF (Dublin South)
The best Fianna Fáil candidate in Dublin South (the others are Seamus Brennan and Micheál Kitt) but no hope of election. A member of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council since 1999. She works as a psychologist in disability and special needs. She is also a member of National Advisory Committee on Drugs and the Family Support Agency. Issues: environment, health and education.
Mary Hanafin FF ( Dun Laoghaire)
Minister for Education and Science. First elected in 1997. Government chief whip from 2002 -2004. Topped the poll in 2002. Previously a secondary school teacher. Could be a contender for the Fianna Fáil leadership when Bertie goes which could be sooner than even he intends. Issues are focused on education – reducing class size, the school building programme and more special-needs services.
Norma Foley FF ( Kerry North)
Again, seeking to inherit a family seat – her father, Denis Foley forced out of politics when it was discovered he had an Ansbacher account. She was elected to Tralee Town Council 1994 and to Kerry County Council in 2004. Current mayor of Tralee. A former teacher. Almost no chance of election.
Aine Brady FF ( Kildare North)
A member of the Kitt family from Galway. Her father was a TD, two of her brothers were TDs, one of them now minister for state. She was the (unsuccessful) by-election candidate for Fianna Fáil after Charlie McCreevy was appointed to the European Commission. She could make it to the Dáil this time but faces challenge from her male party colleague. Issues: better transport for the area, improved health services and a greener country.
Noreen Ryan FF ( Limerick East)
First elected to Limerick County Council in 1999 and was re-elected in 2004. She thinks legal aid should be denied to persons involved in criminal activity but is unable to explain how this would be relevant when the issue of legal aid arises only before conviction. Issues: more childcare facilities, free legal aid for first-time buyers, a higher age of consent for sex, expand the prisons.
Mary Wallace FF (Meath East)
Has been a member of the Dáil since 1989. Recently appointed Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food. Even according to her own calculations, her Dáil record has been one of worst (Village understated her speaking record but even her own claims she was one of the most irregular speakers). When demoted after the last election, the Drogheda Independent said she was going to boycott the Dáil. Issues: better public transport to tackle traffic chaos; more funding for schools; recreational facilities.
Mary O'Rourke FF (Longford Westmeath)
Lost her seat in 2002 election. Mary is now determined to recover it and should succeed because the constituency boundary has been redrawn and it now has an extra seat. Former minister for education, then health, then transport. Sister of the late Brian Lenihan, former presidential candidate. Daughter of a former TD. At present leader of the Senate. Issues: everything.
Maire Hoctor FF (Tipperary North)
First elected in 2002 . Previously a secondary school teacher. She took the seat held previously by Michael O'Kennedy, former foreign minister and has inherited the antagonism towards the other Fianna Fáil TD in the constituency, another former minister, Michael Smith. Her seat is not safe. Issues: urban development, more educational facilities, better a road network.
Siobhan Ambrose FF (Tipperary South)
Member of Clonmel Borough Council. Her father was the “minder” of outgoing TD, Noel Davern. She could deprive Martin Mansergh, her Fianna Fáil colleague, of a seat, in spite of the latter's distinction and experience. Issues: more gardaí, better childcare facilities, smaller class sizes, more facilities for young people and the elderly.
Lisa McDonald FF ( Wexford)
A solicitor, member of Wexford County Council since 2004. Fianna Fáil will take two seats in Wexford and the issue is whether Lisa McDonald, a feisty, independent-minded candidate, will take the second (John Browne assured of the first) or Sean Connick. Issues: extend maternity leave, more tax breaks for childcare, subsidised pre-school and paternity leave. Also more third-level facilities in Wexford.