Maria Walsh

  • A first-time candidate in the upcoming European elections has hit out at her Fine Gael colleague for "encroaching onto her side" of the Midlands-Northwest constituency.

    In today's Sunday Independent, former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh is critical of sitting MEP Mairead McGuinness and has accused Ms McGuinness of straying into her designated electoral area.

    Ms Walsh says it's disappointing that her party colleague is not sticking to her side of the constituency, as they're both trying to win seats for the party.

    She says the Fine Gael strategy was for her to focus on the West and Northwest of the constituency, while Ms McGuinness was to canvass the east.

    However, shortly before the boundary lines were officially issued, Mairead McGuinness is understood to have spoken in Maria Walsh's former secondary school - Presentation College, Headford.

    Sources for Ms McGuinness said she was invited to the Headford school long before Ms Walsh was announced as a candidate.

    Mairead McGuinness told the Sunday Independent that she fully supports and is abiding by the party's decision to split the constituency between the two candidates, and the focus of her canvass is exclusively on the counties allocated to her.

    The sitting MEP said the aim is to win two seats for the party in the large-13 county constituency.

    The two FG candidates are among 17 candidates seeking election to four seats in the Midlands-Northwest constituency.

  • FINE GAEL has selected two candidates – Mairead McGuinness and Maria Walsh - for the European Elections in the Midlands North-West constituency.

    Mairead McGuinness. First Vice President of the European Parliament and sitting MEP, and Maria Walsh, businesswoman and former Rose of Tralee, were selected by Fine Gael members at the constituency selection convention in Mullingar tonight.

    Mrs McGuinness said, “It’s a great honour to have the trust and confidence of party members. I am looking forward to working hard with Maria to achieve two seats for Fine Gael in this constituency.”

    She said while on the immediate horizon every effort is being made to avoid a no deal Brexit, the make-up of the next European Parliament is going to be critical.

    Speaking after her nomination, Maria Walsh said, “I firmly believe I am one of the many young people who represent the face of the New Ireland, one which is diverse and tolerant but continues to embrace the traditional values of love of family and community.

    The Midlands North-West constituency is made up of CavanDonegalGalwayKildareLeitrimLongfordLouthMayoMeathMonaghan
    RoscommonSligo and Westmeath.



  • Mayo has developed the country’s first online information resource for young people whose parents experience mental health distress.

    The WITH project (Wellbeing In The Home), a young person’s guide to parental mental health, was launched in Castlebar yesterday.

    It is a collaborative project between Mayo Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Mindspace Mayo, young people representing Mindspace and Comhairle na nÓg, and young people who have used the CAMHS service. 

    All of the resources were developed under the guidance of people who share the experience of living in families where mental illness is a part of family life, young people and service providers in the mental health field.

    Ms Maria Walsh, MEP, who officially launched the project said that “the aim of the WITH Project is to foster better mental health outcomes for children of parents with a mental illness, reduce stigma associated with parental mental illness, and help friends, family and workers identify and respond to the needs of the children and their families where parental mental illness exists.”

    The WITH online resources are available on its own dedicated YouTube channel and national websites such as,, and various HSE websites making it accessible to young people across the country who live with the impact of parent Mental Health distress.

  • The former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh from Shrule has confirmed that she is seeking the Fine Gael nomination to contest the European Elections in this constituency, the Midlands Northwest constituency.

    The party’s selection convention will be held on Friday week, Feb 22nd, at the Mullingar Park Hotel.

    Fine Gael have a sitting MEP in this constituency, that’s Mairead McGuinness


    Fine Gael will contest the Ballina Municipal District local elections with a 4 strong team.

    They were selected in a convention on Friday night last at the Great National Hotel, Ballina.

    The ticket in the 6 seat constituency will include 2 sitting cllrs – Jarlath Munnelly and John O’Hara and they will be joined by Kieran Gill and Aileen Horkan.

     The Fine Gael team to contest the 7 seater Castlebar Municipal District in the upcoming local elections will be selected this evening after 6pm in the TF Royal Hotel, Castlebar.

    There are now 5 contenders going forward, they include sitting cllr Cyril Burke, former cllrs Ger Deere and Eugene McCormack  together with Padraig Corcoran of Lahardane, and Castlebar based Darren McCormack.

    It remains to be seen how many candidates the party will put on the ticket .

     The Fianna Fáil selection convention for the Connemara North constituency takes place this evening at Peacock’s Hotel Maam Cross.

    Three names are being put forward for two places on the ticket.

    Sitting councillor Séamus Walsh and Josie Conneely and Gerry King.

    The selection convention gets underway at 6pm this evening.


  • Counting in the Midlands North West constituency for the European elections will resume this morning following the elimination of Green Party candidate Saoirse McHugh in the early hours of this morning.

    Saoirse was eliminated on the 11th count.

    Galway based Fianna Fail candidate Ann Rabbitte was eliminated in the previous count.

    Five candidates remain in the race for the three remaining seats in this 4 seater constituency following the election of Mairead McGuinness at lunchtime on Monday.

    Independent, Luke 'Ming' Flanagan looks poised to come in, in second place to secure a seat, followed by Sinn Féin's Matt Carthy and almost certainly Fine Gael's, Maria Walsh looks set to take the fourth seat.

    All three appear comfortably ahead of Independent Peter Casey and Fianna Fail's Brendan Smith.

    It is expected that the Midlands-North-West count will conclude this evening.  

     Speaking to Midwest News in the count centre yesterday evening Roscommon Senator Frank Feighin who is Maria Walsh’s campaign manager, said Fine Gael got "gold dust" when it secured Maria as a candidate

    Mayo deputy Lisa Chambers is the Fianna Fail Director of Elections nationally for Europe and in the count centre yesterday evening she admitted the party’s showing in the Midlands Northwest constituency is disappointing, but she began by praising Achill’s Saoirse McHugh of the Green party, who hasn’t secured a seat, but she said she had a great showing in this election.